For only the second time, astronomers have picked up a mysterious repeating signal coming from an unknown source in space. They’re called fast radio bursts. And in less than the blink of an eye, they ping into the data collected by radio telescopes out of nowhere, with as much energy as a hundred million Suns.
2018 is expected to have been the warmest year on record for Earth’s oceans.Getty The ocean is heating up faster than previously thought, according to new research out this week, and that might help explain the recent spate of historic hurricanes and decline in a number of marine species. Basically, the report published in Friday’s
WASHINGTON — Thales Alenia Space said Jan. 10 it received a contract from the European Space Agency worth approximately 150 million euros ($172.4 million) to build the Fluorescent Explorer satellite. Fluorescent Explorer, or FLEX, is an ESA Earth Explorer mission that will measure photosynthetic activity by mapping vegetation fluorescence. The satellite is projected to launch
As far as supernovae go, AT2018cow – detected last year – was among the brightest ever seen. The flash was so intense, some mistook it for an explosion inside the Milky Way. In the event’s wake, all eyes turned to the expanding wave of debris to better understand the cause of this extreme flash. Now,
REM sleep is not fully understood, but a way to think about it is that the visual system is operating on “free-cycling autopilot”, unconstrained by the outside world. Think for a moment about freeform dancing, “dancing like no one is watching.” Or similarly, think about how a baby moves when it is on its back
SEATTLE — Despite a recent problem with one of its instruments, managers of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope are confident that the mission can continue to operate well into the next decade. NASA announced Jan. 8 that the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) instrument on Hubble suffered a hardware problem that forced it to suspend operations.
Long after fusion has faded and her furnaces have cooled, our Sun’s embers will form a giant crystal hanging in the sky – one of countless sprinkled throughout our galaxy. Astronomers have found evidence that massive white dwarf stars solidify into metallic crystals rather early in retirement. Poetic descriptions aside, it could challenge how we
Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin A woman stands alone before a large tidal wave coming on to the beach.Getty The oceans have been warming intensely for the past several decades. We are seeing increases in ocean heat waves and record-breaking ocean temperatures which are causing coastal ecosystems to rapidly change. The amount of heat that
SEATTLE — The latest taxi test of the giant aircraft being developed by Stratolaunch for its air-launch system is a sign the plane’s first flight may take place soon. The company announced Jan. 9 that its airplane, the largest in the world by wingspan, performed its fastest taxi test to date at the Mojave Air
We usually think of whales as serene, gentle creatures, but a new study on an ancient species paints a different picture. Around 35 million years ago, in the late Eocene, a giant whale roamed the oceans, feasting on large fish and, the new evidence suggests, other smaller whales. Yikes. Discovered in 2010, this 15 metre
You may have heard of the Mona Lisa effect, or even felt her famous, haunting gaze yourself. If you’re not familiar, the idea is that the eyes in the iconic painting follow you around the room wherever you stand. A new study has found that the effect can be backed up by science – but
One of the most cherished science fiction scenarios is using a black hole as a portal to another dimension or time or universe. That fantasy may be closer to reality than previously imagined. Black holes are perhaps the most mysterious objects in the Universe. They are the consequence of gravity crushing a dying star without
Hyundai’s Elevate conceptHyundai Cradle I’ll admit I’m one of those people that has looked derisively at the AT-AT Walkers in “Star Wars” and other weird walking vehicles from various science fiction franchises in the past. I mean, walking is mechanically more complicated, slower and less efficient than a rolling wheel – hence the dearth of
One of the upgrades is to support the military M-code, a secure anti-jam GPS signal that the Air Force plans to deploy in 2020. WASHINGTON — While work continues on a costly new ground control system for the GPS 3 constellation, the Air Force is investing in major upgrades to the existing ground infrastructure so
A tiny fragment of lapis lazuli pigment, discovered in the fossilised teeth of a medieval woman, is now challenging some of our most basic assumptions about the history of book production. Before the dawn of the 15th century, scribes and artists in Europe who wrote and illustrated religious manuscripts were often too modest to seal
We have been closely following the progress of Chang’e-4, the Chinese Moon lander that touched down on the far side of the Moon last week and released a rover called Yutu 2. As the first soft landing on the far side of the Moon in history, the mission was a coup for the Chinese space program.
Siberia’s wilderness is experiencing a new kind of gold rush. As melting permafrost gives up the bones of long extinct megafauna, a new breed of ivory hunter is cashing in on the remnants of creatures that vanished millennia ago. Trade in mammoth tusk isn’t illegal, and in China it’s actually viewed as an ethical alternative
When moving your bowels seems like a feat, what should you do with your feet? (Photo: Courtesy of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center)Courtesy of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center When trying to move your bowels and experiencing constipation, do you know squat? Unless you use an unusually low toilet or have
PHOENIX — Researchers examining data produced by small satellites launched in 2016 to track ocean winds were surprised the mission produced valuable information on soil moisture and flooding. NASA’s Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System, a constellation of eight 30-kilogram satellites built by the Southwest Research Institute and the University of Michigan, observed the Amazon River basin
George, a Hawaiian tree snail – also a 14-year-old local celebrity and the last known snail of his kind – will no longer be able to entertain school children, or eat tree fungus. He died on New Year’s Day, according to the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). The death of George, and