Its surface temperature approaches 900 degrees Fahrenheit; the atmospheric pressure is about 90 times the Earth's. In such a place, a human being would be instantaneously incinerated while simultaneously squashed. “You'd be barbecued, and you would implode,” says Rakesh Mogul, professor of biological chemistry at California State Polytechnic University at Pomona. “The surface is not hospitable for life as we know it.” But primitive life might linger miles above, in murky Venusian clouds that drift through an orange sky. “A colony of microorganisms could survive and evolve in those clouds,” says Sanjay Limaye, senior scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. No one is certain, of course.
Despite optimistic talk about sending humans to Mars, we still don't know all the risks. Beyond the difficulty of getting to the Red Planet safely, crews would need to survive the conditions there. Mars lacks Earth's thick atmosphere and magnetic fields, which means it can't protect us from as much dangerous radiation from the Sun (beyond that silly breathing requirement we humans have). Thanks to a new measurement, however, we have a little good news: a common type of storm from the Sun doesn't seem to create extra risks. According to a study published in Geophysical Research Letters, the Curiosity rover (AKA the Mars Science Laboratory) detected elevated levels of radiation at the same time
Today's the day for SpaceX's launch of Iridium's NEXT communications
Some 2,000 years ago, a ragtag troop of about 400 Germanic tribesmen marched into battle against a mysterious adversary in Denmark, and they were slaughtered to the last man. Or at least that's the story their bones tell. Exhumed from Alken Enge — a peat bog in Denmark's Illerup River Valley — between 2009 and 2014, nearly 2,100 bones belonging to the dead fighters have given archaeologists a rare window into the post-battle rituals of Europe's so-called "barbarian" tribes during the height of the Roman Empire. In a new study published online May 21 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark dug into the bloody details.
US scientists found a Spanish galleon laden with treasure worth up to £12.6bn at the bottom of the Caribbean Sea, more than 300 years after it sank. The San Jose, considered the holy grail of shipwrecks, was discovered three years ago off the coast of Colombia but few details were released at the time. The 62-gun, three-masted galleon sank in June 1708, during a battle with British ships in the War of Spanish Succession, with the loss of nearly 600 lives.
On the way to its final orbit around Earth, NASA's planet-hunting Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has sailed by the moon and snapped its first picture of space. We've said several times that TESS would be able to look at 200,000 stars in the 300 light-years around the Earth—but maybe this new shot will show you what that really means. Here's the entire image: This is just 0.25 percent of the amount of sky that TESS will image in its search for exoplanets. TESS isn't in its final orbit yet, according to a NASA release. It's got one more thruster burn before arriving in the highly elliptical path it will take around the Earth. The elongated orbit will allow it to capture more of the
Scientists now can estimate how much the different types of life on Earth weigh and humans don't nearly measure up to plants, bacteria or even earthworms
Like Fox Mulder, I want to believe. I want to believe the conclusions of a new paper that says octopuses are actually space aliens whose frozen eggs first came to Earth aboard an icy meteor. I want to believe that humans, too, are aliens — the final descendants of an extraterrestrial virus that crashed to Earth 540 million years ago and sent evolution spiraling into wild new directions. I want to believe that the universe is one giant biosphere, tossing the same building blocks of life from planet to planet in a never-ending game of cosmic hot potato. I want to believe these things because they are cool and fascinating — but I probably shouldn't. Because right now, there is still almost no evidence
In 2003, scientists discovered an object beyond Neptune that was unlike any other: Sedna. While there were larger dwarf planets beyond Neptune, and comets that would travel farther from the Sun, Sedna was unique for how far it always remained from the Sun. It always remained more than twice as distant from the Sun as Neptune was, and would achieve a maximum distance nearly 1,000 times as far as the Earth-Sun distance. And despite all that, it's extremely large: perhaps 1,000 kilometers in diameter. It's the first object we've ever found that might have originated from the Oort cloud. And we'll only get two chances if we want to send a mission there: in 2033 and 2046. Right now, there isn't even
In a NASA town hall yesterday (May 17), NASA's new administrator, Jim Bridenstine, said that he knows Earth's climate is changing, and that humans contribute to it "in a major way," also supporting NASA's research into that important area. The statement is significant because Bridenstine has expressed doubt about human-caused climate change in the past, causing some to question his suitability to lead a fact-focused NASA. In 2013, as an Oklahoma congressman, Bridenstine claimed there was no current trend toward global warming. More recently, such as in his NASA administrator confirmation hearings last November, he has acknowledged that human activity contributes to climate change. But he had
New online resource provides free access to fun, hands-on STEM activities for kids. GERMANTOWN, Md., May 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- HughesNet and National 4-H Council announce the launch of STEM Lab to inspire the next generation of scientists. A free resource to parents and teachers, STEM Lab is an online hub offering fun, hands-on STEM activities developed by top public universities and 4-H groups to spark kids' interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Yield10 Bioscience, Inc. (YTEN), a Company developing new technologies to achieve step-change improvements in crop yield to enhance global food security, today announced that it has executed an exclusive worldwide license to two novel gene technologies to boost oil content in crops from the University of Missouri (MU). The university previously granted the Company a one-year option to evaluate the technologies. Developed by Professor of Biochemistry Jay Thelen, Ph.D., and his team at the MU Bond Life Sciences Center, these technologies may represent particularly effective targets for boosting oil content in oilseed crops including Camelina, canola and soybean.