Discover Magazine Blogs

Welcome to a “Discover Magazine” update from Hawaii Science Digest. Views expressed in this science and technology news summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.  Content supplied by “Discover Magazine.”  Accessed on 16 May 2019, 0355 UTC.

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LATEST BLOG POSTS

D-BRIEF

MRI Scans During Birth Show How a Baby’s Head Changes Shape

By Nathaniel Scharping | May 15, 2019 5:08 pm

Don’t get a big head, your mother may have told you. That’s good advice, but it comes too late for most of us. Humans have had big heads, relatively speaking, for hundreds of thousands of years, much to our mothers’ dismay.

Our oversize noggins are a literal pain during childbirth. Babies have to twist and turn as they exit the birth canal, sometimes leading to complications that necessitate surgery. And while big heads can be painful for the mother, they can downright transformative for …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: HEALTH & MEDICINEMIND & BRAINTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: SEX & REPRODUCTION

D-BRIEF

Tonight’s SpaceX Starlink Launch Could be the Start of a New Internet

By Korey Haynes | May 15, 2019 3:30 pm

Tonight, SpaceX will launch the first flock of their Starlink satellites to space. These are the vanguard of what CEO Elon Musk hopes will eventually become a network of 12,000 orbiting devices providing cheap, global internet coverage.

The launch window opens at 10:30 p.m. E.T. The satellites, which are densely packed inside the cargo hold already, will be delivered to space on a Falcon 9 rocket. The weather forecast for Cape Canaveral, SpaceX’s standard launch site, looks promising fo …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: SPACE EXPLORATION

D-BRIEF

NASA Names 2024 Moon Mission ‘Artemis,’ Asks Congress for Funding

By Korey Haynes | May 15, 2019 3:30 pm

On Monday night, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced the space agency has named its planned mission to put humans back on the lunar surface: Artemis. As the Greek deity most associated with the Moon, and the god Apollo’s twin sister, the namesake choice was an obvious fit.

On the logistical side, Bridenstine also announced that NASA will ask Congress for an additional $1.6 billion in funding to jumpstart the program. NASA has not put forward a full budget for the ambitious Arte …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: SPACE EXPLORATION

D-BRIEF

Scientists Discover Hawaiian ‘Supercorals’ Thriving In Warm, Acidic Water

By Roni Dengler | May 15, 2019 3:10 pm

Climate change is decimating coral reefs. As humans put greenhouse gasses into Earth’s atmosphere, they warm the planet before settling back down into the oceans and making the water more acidic. These combined factors have caused coral die-offs around the world. But now researchers have found a set of corals in Hawaii’s Kāne’ohe Bay that can already tolerate warmer temperatures and more acidic waters. Scientists are calling them “supercorals.” These corals even bounced back after sewag …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: ENVIRONMENTLIVING WORLDTOP POSTS

D-BRIEF

China’s Lunar Rover Finds Ancient Rocks in Moon’s Biggest Crater

By Korey Haynes | May 15, 2019 2:15 pm

Since January, China’s Chang’e-4 mission – an orbiter and a rover – has been exploring the far side of the moon, particularly the prized South Pole-Aitken Basin, an asteroid impact crater that stretches across nearly a quarter of the moon’s surface. It’s the biggest crater on the moon, as well as the deepest and the oldest. That’s long left scientists suspecting that Aitken may hold vital clues as to how the moon – and many other solar system bodies – evolved.

Now, the Cha …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: MOON
March 25, 2019 image of Cerro Blanco in Argentina, seen by Sentinel-2. ESA.

ROCKY PLANET

Two Massive Eruptions in the Americas Hiding in Plain Sight

By Erik Klemetti | May 15, 2019 8:16 am

I am always amazed how much we are still discovering about massive volcanic eruptions that happened as little as a few thousand years ago. Geologically speaking, that is something that happened yesterday, yet even that small slice of time can obscure some giant volcanic events whose effects could have spread across the globe.

Two recent studies have improved our understanding of two truly enormous eruptions that happened in Central and South America. One, only 1,500 years ago, may have pr …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: ROCKY PLANETSCIENCESCIENCE BLOGS

D-BRIEF

Scientists Find Genetic Reason Why Store-Bought Tomatoes Taste So Bland

By Roni Dengler | May 13, 2019 11:29 pm

Store-bought tomatoes taste horrifically disgusting — err, bland. Now scientists have discovered a version of a gene that helps give tomatoes their flavor is actually missing in about 93 percent of modern, domesticated varieties. The discovery may help bring flavor back to tomatoes you can pick up in the produce section.

“How many times do you hear someone say that tomatoes from the store just don’t quite measure up to heirloom varieties?” Clifford Weil, program director of the National …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: LIVING WORLDTOP POSTS

D-BRIEF

Apollo-era Moonquakes Hint That Moon is Still Active Today

By Korey Haynes | May 13, 2019 5:00 pm

New analysis of Apollo-era quakes on the moon reveal that the moon is probably still tectonically active. Detectors laid down by Apollo astronauts revealed small shakes on the moon, but their causes weren’t well understood. And meteor strikes like those that caused the moon’s most distinctive features still rain down today, meaning astronomers couldn’t be sure whether the moon was shaking itself, or being shaken by external forces.

The new research tracked the epicenters of each sma …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: MOON

DEAD THINGS

Amber Preserves Rare Snapshot Of Coastal Life 99 Million Years Ago

By Gemma Tarlach | May 13, 2019 2:00 pm

Amber, being fossilized tree resin, usually preserves scenes from an ancient forest. The latest stunning find from Myanmar, however, is a souvenir from a day at the beach 99 million years ago, including the first ammonite, a marine animal, preserved in amber.

The piece of amber is small — about the size of a standard pair of dice, and less than a quarter of an ounce — but it’s jam-packed with animals that tell an intriguing story about its journey from tree trunk to fossil bed.

Th …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: LIVING WORLDTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: AMBERFOSSILSMYANMARPALEONTOLOGY

VINTAGE SPACE

Apollo 10, the Mission That Got So Close to Landing on the Moon

By Amy Shira Teitel | May 11, 2019 11:32 am

Apollo 10 doesn’t get much attention. On the rare occasion people talk about the mission right before the first lunar landing, it’s lumped into the “pre-Apollo 11” category and dismissed as one of the stepping stones on the bridge to the Moon. But it was far more interesting than just a mission that preceded Apollo 11.

My latest appearance on CBC Radio’s Quirks & Quarks was all about Apollo 10, but first, a little background on the mission.

In October of 1968, Apollo 7 flew …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICS
MORE ABOUT: APOLLO 10APOLLO 11CBCHISTORYNASA
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Until next time,

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