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LATEST BLOG POSTS
The scars of Europa’s chaos terrain also includes simple table salt, which could inform scientists about the nature of the moon’s underground ocean. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
Scientists are fairly confident that Jupiter’s moon Europa has an underground ocean, even though they’ve never seen it.
Hidden beneath an icy crust, most of what researchers know about that ocean is based on the moon’s smooth, streaked surface. Europa lacks mountains or large craters, but it is crisscrossed …
Current food packaging often contains films that must be removed before recycling, increasing costs. (Credit: Lunatictm/Shutterstock)
Rip open a bag of chips and you’ll find a shiny, silver material staring back at you. This metallized film helps keep packaged foods like cookies and energy bars tasting fresh by preventing gases from leaking out (or in). The material is the industry standard for flexible, shelf-stable food packaging. But it’s not so great for the environment.
To recycl …
A power superflare fries an exoplanet in the star’s system. (Credit: NASA, ESA and D. Player)
Astronomers have learned over the past decade that even large solar flares — powerful bursts of radiation — from our Sun are actually small potatoes compared to some of the flares we see around other stars. It’s now common to spot “superflares” hundreds to thousands of times more powerful than the Sun’s flares from stars hundreds of light-years away. Earlier this year, researchers even i …
Audubon’s Climate Watch Program needs volunteers to help it spot 12 birds threatened by climate change. Are you in?
“Hope is the thing with feathers/ That perches in the soul,” Emily Dickinson wrote. Is there hope for our feathered friends in the era of climate change? Yes, but they need our help. More than 300 North American birds will likely lose over 50 percent of their current geographical range by 2080, according to Audubon’s 2014 Birds and Climate Change Report. Thi …
Did Sue the T. rex and other members of the species have a great sense of smell? (Credit: The Field Museum)
As fascinating and awe-inspiring as fossils are, the ancient bones tell us only so much about how an animal actually lived.
Take T. rex, for example: How did the animal find food, through sharp sight, great hearing or a keen sense of smell? The nose knows, say authors of a new paper on the iconic dinosaur’s olfactory ability.
In most modern animals, including birds, the size …
(Credit: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock)
The pursuit of science is usually an unending stream of embarrassments for the human ego. No, the sun doesn’t revolve around us. No, we’re not all that different from common animals. No, we’re not even the only humans. But, in some ways at least, our brains really are special.
A new study out this week in Nature Neuroscience shows one more way we really are different from some of our closest simian relatives: our mental capacity to appr …
(Credit: Alexander Raths/Shutterstock)
An apple a day may not keep the doctor away, but several could do the trick. Millions of cardiovascular deaths around the world may be linked to a lack of fruit and vegetable consumption, according to preliminary results from a Tufts University study.
Vitamins and minerals like potassium, fiber and magnesium and antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. And a large body of knowledge already suggests t …
Telescopes at Lowell Observatory in Arizona captured this image of galaxies on May 25, their images marred by the reflected light from more than 25 Starlink satellites as they passed overhead. (Credit: Victoria Girgis/Lowell Observatory)
Elon Musk’s company SpaceX launched 60 small satellites on May 23 as the beginning of the company’s Starlink program. They’re the vanguard of a planned 12,000-satellite-strong constellation that Musk intends to serve as the infrastructure for a cheap globa …
The South Pole-Aitken basin shows up clearly as low-lying blue in a topographical map of the moon, with the newly discovered mass located underneath the dotted line. (Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/University of Arizona)
Buried under the largest, oldest crater on the moon,
scientists have discovered an enormous mass of dense material, possibly the
remains of the asteroid that formed the crater some 4 billion years ago.
Astronomers led by Peter B. James from Baylor University di …
A Knysna Turaco (Tauraco corythaix) in South Africa. (Credit: Daniel J. Field)
Many of the birds we see only in the tropics today once lived as far north as Canada and Russia. A warmer climate millions of years ago gave them free reign over more northern habitats, before gradual climatic shifts pushed them southwards, a new study shows.
Now, the climate is
changing again, but birds may not be able to adapt fast enough this time
“We’ve illustrated the extent to which suitabl …