It's been 4,595 days since the Rosetta space probe was lifted into orbit on the first stage of its 12-year mission to chase down comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Here is a look at some of the other numbers, big and small, surrounding the mission: SPACE ODYSSEY As journeys go, this one was epic. According to the European Space Agency the Rosetta probe has travelled some 7,971,290,298 kilometers (4,953,359,791 miles) during its lifetime — almost 21,000 times the distance from the Earth to the moon. HIGH-SPEED CHASE In order to catch up with a comet the Rosetta probe had to swing around Earth and Mars, using the planets' gravity to pick up speed. That's because 67P is flying through space at a breathtaking
Cheers erupted at the European Space Agency on Friday as the Rosetta spacecraft — which traveled 4 billion miles over the course of a decade — made a crash-landing onto the icy comet it has been orbiting for the past two years. It also ended Rosetta's run as an orbiter. "Today, we got more out of this mission than we ever thought," said Gerhard Schwehm, who was Rosetta's mission manager until his retirement in 2014.
Just days after SpaceX founder Elon Musk delivered his sweeping vision of colonizing Mars, a Colorado congressman is calling on government agencies to take over an investigation of the aerospace company's recent launchpad rocket explosion. The move — a signed congressional letter dated Thursday, September 29 — follows on the heels of two recent explosions of uncrewed Falcon 9 rockets. "These failures could have spelled disaster, even loss of life, had critical national security payloads or NASA crew been aboard those rockets," the letter states. "Both SpaceX failures occurred after the Air Force certified the Falcon 9 launch vehicle for U.S. national security launches, less than fifteen months
Earth is on track to sail past the two degree Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) threshold for dangerous global warming by 2050, seven of the world's top climate scientists warned Thursday. "Climate change is happening now, and much faster than anticipated," said Sir Robert Watson, former head of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), the body charged with distilling climate science for policy makers. Since 1990, devastating weather-related events -- floods, drought, more intense storms, heat waves and wild fires -- due to climate change have doubled in number, Watson and the other scientists said in a report.
The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, are among the most breathtaking spectacles of the natural world. When it came time to catch a glimpse, Icelanders weren’t about to let a little light pollution get in their way. So on Wednesday night, the streets of Reykjavik went dark. The blackout was a deliberate move by city officials, who hoped to cut light pollution and give residents a better view of the aurora. It was also a rare moment of recognition for the issue of light pollution, which affects more than 80 percent of the world’s population. “Switching off the street lights was a great gesture by the city council,” astronomy educator Saever Helgi Bragason told the BBC. “I hope this will be
An unexpected sugary snack can give bees a little buzz and appears to lift their mood, even making them optimistic, according to research Thursday that suggests pollinators have feelings, too. Since emotions are subjective and difficult to measure -- particularly in animals -- researchers looked at how bees' behavior changed after they were given a sip of sucrose solution. "Bees given a 60 percent sucrose reward to induce a positive affective state flew faster to the cylinder than non-rewarded bees," said the study in the journal Science, led by Clint Perry at the University of London.
Victoria Orphan has a problem. The geobiologist wants to understand how tiny microorganisms interact with their physical environment. But the organisms she wants to study are not exactly easy to access: They live on the ocean floor. Orphan’s quest to study those elusive microbes has taken her deep into one of Earth’s last frontiers — and her latest frontier is life as a MacArthur grant winner. There are compelling reasons for studying archaea and bacteria at the bottom of the sea. Both kinds of organisms play a fundamental role in gobbling up methane, a greenhouse gas that gets trapped at the bottom of the ocean in the form of an ice-like substance. Those substances, called methane hydrates,
Potsdam Police Chief Mark Murray takes us back to the scene of the crime to show Elizabeth Vargas how police think Garrett Phillips' killer escaped. Enter the apartment. Don't always. For Specter here the door was open is on responsive don't show floor
Land Rover knows how to build up to a new model reveal. While other companies are content with video teasers or social media campaigns, the British SUV brand can always be counted on to go above and beyond. The bricks, a record 5,805,846 to be precise, were needed to build a 13-meter-high replica of London's iconic Bridge, in and around which the new Discovery made its entrance.
Remains thought to be those of U.S. troops who died in the Mexican-American War have been flown to a military mortuary in Delaware in an effort to determine whether they belonged to militia members of a Tennessee regiment known as "The Bloody First." An Army twin-engine turbotrop bearing two aluminum cases topped by American flags arrived Wednesday afternoon at Dover Air Force Base, home to the nation's largest military mortuary. White-gloved members of the 3rd Infantry "Old Guard" unit, which stands vigil at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery near the nation's capital, solemnly transferred the cases to a vehicle bound for the mortuary. The Armed Forces Medical Examiner System
By Victoria Bryan BERLIN (Reuters) - The Rosetta spacecraft ended its historic mission on Friday, crashing on the surface of the dusty, icy comet it has spent 12 years chasing in a hunt that has provided insight into the early days of the solar system and captured the public's imagination. Scientists in the European Space Agency control centre in Darmstadt, Germany, clapped and hugged as confirmation of the end of the mission came at 1119 GMT. Rosetta completed its free-fall descent at the speed of a sedate walk, joining the probe Philae, which landed on the comet in November 2014 in what was considered a remarkable feat of precision space travel.
Riding a roller coaster could be beneficial for passing kidney stones. After patients came back from Disney World, a urologist at Michigan State University noticed an interesting pattern: Those who rode medium-intensity roller coasters came back with fewer kidney stones. In fact, one patient told the doctor that he passed a kidney stone every single time he rode Big Thunder Mountain roller coaster.
BOGOTA, COLOMBIA – In 2004, scientist Diego Alarcón ventured into the Colombian mountains to study bird species in a place most scientists wouldn’t dare go: territory controlled by FARC rebels. Scientists studying Colombia’s rich biodiversity are among many celebrating the August announcement of a permanent ceasefire between the Colombian government and FARC rebels. After decades of limited access to Colombia’s most biodiverse areas, researchers can finally explore and document the plants, animals and microorganisms that make Colombia the second most biodiverse country in the world. One expedition by the Humboldt Institute has already uncovered more than 100 new species in conflict zones.
EU environment ministers agreed Friday to fast-track the ratification of the landmark Paris agreement on climate change, despite the fact that some national parliaments have yet to approve the deal. What some believed impossible is now real," European Union President Donald Tusk said on Twitter. Around 60 countries have now committed to the landmark agreement designed to stem the planet's rising temperatures, which was sealed in December 2015 in the French capital.
In the wake of an unprecedented blackout that cut off an entire Australian state from electricity on Wednesday into Thursday, some politicians are vilifying renewable power sources, particularly wind turbines. Had the state of South Australia, which
September has seen women in tech achieving more remarkable feats, and there have also been some really useful tips on how to grow a career to new heights. Here’s our look at some of the most fantastic female tech triumph stories during the month. Reaching For The Stars We’ll begin our rundown with the story of Dawn Stanley, a systems engineer and integration technical manager with NASAundefined who is helping to lay the groundwork for future crewed missions into space. Stanley details some of the highlights of her career to date and offers her advice to young women who might want to follow in her footsteps. Plus she explains how her work might soon see American astronauts landing on an asteroid
Scientists coming up with shape-shifting materials is cool, but you know what’s even cooler? Materials that shape-shift on demand. That’s what a team of researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Akron describe
Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook, IBM, and Google-owned British AI firm DeepMind on Wednesday announced a non-profit organization called "Partnership on AI" focused on helping the public understand the technology and practices in the field. The move comes amid concerns that new artificial intelligence efforts could spin out of control and end up being detrimental to society. Academics, non-profit groups, and specialists in policy and ethics will be invited to join the board of the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society (Partnership on AI).
American farmers say they are facing a severe worker shortage. More than half of U.S. farm workers are undocumented immigrants, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Yet, that pool of workers is shrinking. A recent Pew Research report found that more Mexican immigrants are now leaving the U.S. than coming into the country, citing tougher enforcement of immigration laws and the slow economic recovery here in the U.S. (The report accounted for both documented and undocumented immigrants). With fewer workers, farm owners say costs are rising and they often must leave unpicked fruit to rot in the fields. Many producers are even opting to leave the U.S. for countries with lower costs and fewer
On Tuesday, Elon Musk gave a keynote talk at the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he outlined SpaceX's ambitious plan to colonize Mars. Musk made it clear that he wants to make a "ticket to Mars" within reach for many people, aiming to bring the price down to $200,000 — or the median cost of a house in the US. [...] one qualification that might set a potential Mars explorer apart from your average Joe looking to vacation on the red planet: A required comfort level with a grand adventure that has quite a high chance of ending in death. The first human beings to set foot on the planet will have to deal with an onslaught of radiation, solar flares, weak gravity, frigid cold, and even toxic soil. [...] beyond the basic incentives, like colonizing a foreign planet and saving humanity from an impending extinction event, Musk says the trip to Mars will be "an incredible adventure." According to Musk, this mission is not only about "minimizing existential risk," but also about "having a tremendous sense of adventure."
By Kate Kelland and Alissa de Carbonnel LONDON/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Europe's food safety watchdog will release data from some of the scientific studies it reviewed in its assessment of glyphosate, an ingredient in Monsanto's widely used herbicide Roundup and subject of a fierce row over possible cancer risk. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said on Thursday it had decided to release the raw data as part of its "commitment to open risk assessment". EFSA had received several requests for data in relation to its glyphosate assessment, including from members of the European parliament.
During a new moon, the moon is basically invisible from Earth, as it is located on the same side as the sun (thus there's no sunlight to reflect off of the moon and make it visible). So the term "black moon" is actually indicative of what you will see on Friday night. The new moon occurs late that night, which will already be Saturday, October 1st in the Eastern Hemisphere (Europe/Africa/Asia/Australia). This means that part of the world will experience their black moon on October 31st, or Halloween (spooky...). After that, the next black moon will not occur until July 31st, 2019. A black moon has another definition, as it is also used to refer to a month with no new or no full moons, which can
College science classes are hostile to women and minorities because they use the scientific method, which assumes people can find reliable truths about the natural world through careful and sustained experimentation, concludes a recent dissertation by a doctoral candidate at the University of North Dakota. Laura Parson, a student in the university’s education department, reviewed eight science class syllabi at a “Midwest public university” and said she discovered in them a hidden hostility to women and minorities: Initial exploration of the STEM syllabi in this study did not reveal overt references to gender, such as through the use of gendered pronouns. However, upon deeper review, language
South Africa's all-female "Black Mambas" anti-poaching team had never lost a rhino since they were formed in 2013, but the killing of two animals earlier this month shattered their proud record. The two rhinos, one of which was pregnant, were shot dead and their horns hacked off by poachers on a full moon night, underlining the crisis that threatens the species. The Black Mambas are made up of 36 unarmed female rangers, aged from 19 to 33, based at the Balule Game Reserve in Limpopo province on the edge of Kruger National Park.
The LHC is colliding protons at a faster rate than ever before, approximately 1 billion times per second. Those collisions are adding up: This year alone the LHC has produced roughly the same number of collisions as it did during all of the previous years of operation together. This faster collision rate enables scientists to learn more about rare processes and particles such as Higgs bosons, which the LHC produces about once every billion collisions. “Every time the protons collide, it’s like the spin of a roulette wheel with several billion possible outcomes,” says Jim Olsen, a professor of physics at Princeton University working on the CMS experiment. “From all these possible outcomes, only