NASA has launched the last of its longtime tracking and communication satellites. The end of the era came with Friday morning's liftoff of TDRS-M (T-driss-M), the 13th satellite that's part of the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite network. An unmanned Atlas V rocket provided the lift from Cape Canaveral, Florida. NASA has been launching TDRS satellites since 1983. The 22,300-mile-high constellation links ground controllers with the International Space Station, the Hubble Space Telescope and other low-orbiting craft. This newest satellite cost $408 million. The price tag jumps to $540 million with the rocket. The flight was delayed two weeks after a crane hit one of the satellite's antennas last
With the solar eclipse just three days away, there is growing concern about a shortage in the special glasses needed to view the event without damaging your eyes. NBC’s Tom Costello reports for TODAY from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland
This team of University of Maryland students is hoping to prove it can win SpaceX’s hyperloop capsule competition and bring in a new form of transportation to life. It may take years to see if Elon Musk’s dream of a hyperloop will lead to humans zipping between cities at hundreds of miles an hour aboard pods packed inside low-pressure tubes, but one team of college students is sure they can help lead the way there.
Forest fires cut off a village of 2,000 people in Portugal, as firefighters struggled Thursday to control two major blazes in the centre of the country, local officials said. Summer has seen a record number of fires and Portugal's Interior Minister Constanca Urbano de Sousa has blamed arsonists and human negligence for most of them.
A founder of modern neuroscience who studied Einstein's brain has died. The University of California, Berkeley says Marian Cleeves Diamond was 90 when she died July 25 at her home in Oakland. She was the first to show that the brain can change with time and improve with enrichment. Diamond discovered evidence of this by examining preserved slices of Einstein's brain. She was a UC Berkeley professor emerita of integrative biology. She found in 1984 that Einstein's brain had more support cells than average. Working with rats, she showed that an enriched environment changed the anatomy of the brain. The implication was that the brains of all animals including humans benefit from enriched environments
For white nationalists, DNA tests are a way to prove their racial purity. Two years ago—before Donald Trump was elected president, before white nationalism had become central to the political conversation—Aaron Panofsky and Joan Donovan, sociologists then at the University of California, Los Angeles, set out to study Stormfront forum posts about genetic ancestry tests.
Babbitt is a loose term for a metal alloy used in bearings. Consider the crankshaft in a combustion engine: It rotates and is subject to thousands of pounds of force. The modern solution is a hydrodynamic shell bearing, a replaceable piece of metal that sits between engine block and crank.
Spencer blames Antifa for most of the violence between the groups, while MacAuley refused to condemn when Spencer was punched in the face.
Almost 20 years ago, Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-B) vice-chairman Charlie Munger gave a talk called "The psychology of human misjudgment" at Harvard. He's given dozens of talks since, but I don't think any match its wisdom and usefulness. I recently came found the talk on video. You can listen to the whole thing here, and I highly encourage you to if you have an hour to spare. For the impatient, the talk discusses about 18 separate biases that cause people to fool themselves make bad decisions. I've summarized them here, along with a few comments from Munger. 1. Under-recognition of the power incentives. "I think I've been in the top 5% of my age cohort all my life in understanding the power
Researchers say they have found a new clue into the mysterious exodus of ancient cliff-dwelling people from the Mesa Verde area of Colorado more than 700 years ago: DNA from the bones of domesticated turkeys. The DNA shows the Mesa Verde people raised turkeys that had telltale similarities to turkeys kept by ancient people in the Rio Grande Valley of northern New Mexico — and that those birds became more common in New Mexico about the same time the Mesa Verde people were leaving their cliff dwellings, according to a paper published last month in the journal PLoS One.
There’s a total solar eclipse somewhere on Earth once every 18 months or so. And whether it’s passing over a barren, ice-cragged coast of Antarctica, a remote African desert, or a lonely patch of ocean, you can be sure there will be an umbraphile — a shadow-loving eclipse chaser — there to see it. Eclipse chasers are people who plan their lives around (and spend small fortunes on) eclipse travel. This year, of course, they’ll be joining millions of people in the United States to see the total solar eclipse on August 21. We wanted to know: What’s so special about total solar eclipses that you would chase them around the world? So we called up eight eclipse chasers and talked to them for hours,
South Africa said Friday it would oppose an online auction of rhino horns due to start next week, as outraged conservationists said the sale would undermine the global ban on rhino trade. The three-day auction by South African John Hume, who runs the world's biggest rhino farm, comes after a ban on domestic trade in the country was lifted three months ago. The government said it would fight Hume's court application to be granted sale permits.
The death of the 13 North Atlantic right whales in the past few months has raised concern over the future of the endangered species, only around 500 of which exist in the world. The latest death was reported from about 160 miles east of Cape Cod by the U.S. Coast Guard on Monday. This was the third right whale death in the U.S. waters this summer and comes a week after the last death was reported in Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.
After orbiting Saturn for more than 13 years, NASA's Cassini spacecraft is getting ready to say goodbye. On Monday (Aug. 14), Cassini made the first of five passes through Saturn's upper atmosphere, kicking off the last phase of the mission's "Grand Finale." After completing those five dives, Cassini will come back around again one last time, plunging into Saturn's atmosphere on Sept. 15. This will be a suicide maneuver: Cassini will burn up in the ringed planet's thick air, turning into a meteor in the Saturn sky. [Cassini's 'Grand Finale' at Saturn: NASA's Plan in Pictures] Cassini will keep sending back data on Sept. 15 until it gets to an altitude where atmospheric density is about twice
When just one person does it it's not a big deal, but when dozens or hundreds of people all unwisely dispose of the grease from their Thanksgiving turkeys it creates a big problem. Many of the largest fatbergs occur in the U.K., because they have lax regulations on grease traps. Most cities in the U.S. require restaurants to use and maintain their own grease traps, but the rules in the U.K. make implementing similar regulations difficult.
A new research paper suggests Oklahoma’s earthquake hazard might not taper off as quickly or as significantly as scientists previously predicted. The energy industry practice of pumping toxic waste-fluid byproducts of oil and gas production into underground disposal wells is thought to be fueling Oklahoma’s earthquake surge. This activity peaked in 2015 and slowed due to regulations and low oil prices. A November 2016 study by Stanford University geophysicists predicted fewer earthquakes and less-damaging shaking would soon follow, but newly published research is less optimistic. In a newly published paper in the journal Science Advances, a team of scientists from University of California Santa
The Super Soaker was a game changer when came to squirt guns and summer fun. The man behind one of the most popular toys of all time is an engineer who has worked for Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Air Force, and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Now he's working on a few other inventions that he hopes will change the world. Following is a transcript of the video.
The timeline has been stretched and the pot sweetened. Putting a robot on the surface of the moon won’t be a cake walk, and the finalist teams in the Google Lunar XPrize competition have just received a deadline extension and a tweak to the terms of the tilt. Previously, the rules required launch of robotic landers moon-ward on the last day of this year. Now, the prize-winning team will have to complete its moon mission by March 31 next year, to win grand prizes. “The teams must demonstrate that their vehicles can land gently on the Moon, and then move up to 1,640 feet (500 meters) across the lunar surface, taking pictures and video that can be sent back to Earth,” tech website The Verge reported.
Roberto Altamirano has the lake to himself as he casts his glistening net onto the still water in a perfect circle, lets it sink, then slowly pulls it in. It comes back bearing a large haul of tilapia and carp -- and that is exactly the problem. Altamirano is one of just 20 or so fishermen who remain in the floating gardens of Xochimilco, an idyllic network of lakes, canals and artificial islands improbably tucked into the urban sprawl of Mexico City.
Two sisters from Seattle, Washington, are turning their family science project into the opportunity of a lifetime: working with NASA during the historic total solar eclipse. Rebecca and Kimberly Yeung are participating in NASA’s Eclipse Ballooning project in conjunction with the University of Montana on Aug. 21. Rebecca, 12, and Kimberly, 10, built their own balloon craft that they will launch from Casper, Wyoming, into the eclipse's path of totality.
If the world is free of flat tires a couple decades from now, you may have researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences to thank for it. “We have a made a new type of rubber with an exceptional combination of toughness and self-healing ability,” Liheng Cai, a postdoctoral fellow in applied physics, told Digital Trends. “We did so by developing a new way to mix two intrinsically immiscible bonds, reversible and covalent bonds, in a dry rubber.
An abortion can be an emotional experience that raises questions about a woman's relationships, past regrets, and future. To vividly and persuasively make their case, anti-abortion rights activists often point to scientific research that makes dubious connections between the medical procedure and long-term psychological turmoil or suffering.
Experts have unearthed three tombs that date back 2,000 years at the site of an ancient city in the Nile Valley. Egypt's antiquities ministry said that archaeologists discovered the tombs from the Ptolemaic Period. The discovery was made in the province of Minya, south of Cairo, in an area known as al-Kamin al-Sahrawi. In a August 15 Facebook post, the ministry explained that excavators unearthed a collection of sarcophagi of different shapes and sizes as well as clay fragments that date the tomb to between Egypt’s 27th Dynasty and the Greco-Roman period. The area was likely a “great cemetery,” according to Dr. Ayman Ashmawy, head of the ministry’s Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector. Ashmawy
Los Angeles has a lot going for it: the sunshine, the mountains, the ocean, the food. But on the day of the Great American Eclipse, it won’t exactly be the place to be. On Aug. 21, cities from Salem, Ore., to St. Louis to Charleston, S.C., will witness a total solar eclipse. The moon will completely block the sun, causing the daytime sky to grow dark enough for the stars to come out. Here in L.A., we’ll experience a partial eclipse. Even at the point of greatest eclipse, just 62% of the sun will be obscured by the moon. No darkness. No stars. No animals acting funny. Still, there’s no reason to sulk. With a pair of eclipse glasses at the ready, you can still get a glimpse of the cosmic alignment
Serious whiskey drinkers insist that it tastes better diluted with a little water — and, with the help of computer simulations, scientists now know why. The distinctive taste of whiskey is largely caused by a molecule called guaiacol, which has one section that likes water and one section that doesn’t like water. In a study published today in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers simulated what happens to guaiacol when there are different concentrations of water, and which combination makes the molecule most potent. Of course, the liquid in the Jack Daniels bottle isn’t pure alcohol to begin with. By the time whiskey is in the bottle, it’s usually already about 40 percent alcohol, though