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Discover Magazine: Latest Blogs

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Views expressed in this science and technology news summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.

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Accessed on 24 October 2019, 1545 UTC.

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LATEST BLOG POSTS

D-BRIEF

Blue Origin is Partnering with Major Aerospace Companies to Land Humans on the Moon

By Hailey Rose McLaughlin | October 23, 2019 5:10 pm

An illustration of Blue Moon, the lunar lander Blue Origin is planning. A larger version of this could be the model for the new Human Landing System. (Credit: Blue Origin)

Some of the biggest names in the aerospace industry are teaming up with Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos to create the Human Landing System (HLS), which will bring humans back to the lunar surface by 2024 as part of NASA’s Artemis program.

The announcement at the International Astronautical congress …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: HUMAN SPACEFLIGHTNASA

D-BRIEF

The Giant Geode of Pulpi is 25 feet long. Now Scientists Know How it Formed

By Alex Orlando | October 23, 2019 4:20 pm

(Credit: Hector Garrido)

From one end to another, this giant geode is about as long as a small RV. If you wanted, you could comfortably house several adults within its dazzling interior. And the crystalline slabs that jut from its walls may even be taller than you are.

However you slice it, the geode of Pulpí is absolutely gigantic. The interior of the egg-shaped cavity — which measures 25 feet long, 7 feet wide and about 5 feet tall — is encrusted with shimmering crystals. These cr …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: GEOLOGY

D-BRIEF

These Rats Have Learned How to Drive Tiny Cars

By Nathaniel Scharping | October 23, 2019 3:30 pm

A rat in its new ride. (Credit: University of Richmond)

Researchers report that they’ve taught rats to drive cars, knocking human technical superiority down another notch.

It’s not quite as amazing as it sounds, of course. The “cars” are simple wheeled platforms controlled by means of electrically conductive bars. And the rats aren’t quite navigating the Nurburgring Nordschleife yet. But the feat hints at the adaptive skills of these common lab animals, and it could lead to new kinds of t …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: MIND & BRAINTOP POSTS

D-BRIEF

Dark Matter Makes ‘Super Spiral’ Galaxies Spin up to 350 Miles Per Second

By Erika K. Carlson | October 23, 2019 3:00 pm

(Credit: NASA, ESA, P. Ogle and J. DePasquale (STScI))

The larger the spiral galaxy, the faster it spins. That’s a well-known fact for astronomers. But a few years ago, researchers discovered a new class of jumbo-sized spiral galaxies; astronomers call them “super spirals.”

And, in a surprise find published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, researchers now say that these super spirals are actually rotating even faster than predicted based on the visible sizes of the galaxies. The fas …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: DARK MATTERGALAXIES

D-BRIEF

Archaeologists in Jerusalem Dug Up a Road Built by Pontius Pilate

By Leslie Nemo | October 23, 2019 2:04 pm

The Dome of the Rock, on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. An ancient road leading to the site was likely built by Pontius Pilate. (Credit: FrancisOD/Shutterstock)

An archaeological excavation begun 125 years ago has wrapped up with a fascinating discovery: A Roman-era street connecting two religious destinations in Jerusalem was likely built by Pontius Pilate.

Researchers were able to date the 720 feet of uncovered road to about A.D. 30, thanks to coins found along the pavement. That lines …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: LIVING WORLDTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: ARCHAEOLOGY

D-BRIEF

A New Kind of Storm Appears on Saturn, Puzzling Astronomers

By Erika K. Carlson | October 23, 2019 1:47 pm

A large storm on Saturn, commonly referred to as a Great White Spot. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI)

As serene as it appears in photographs, the gas giant Saturn is not a peaceful place. Its golden gases whiz around the planet at up to 1,000 mph. At times, massive storms thousands of miles wide break out in its upper atmosphere.

In 2018, astronomers spotted a new kind of storm on Saturn. Four large tempests formed one after another, passing by each other and further disturbing the atmosphe …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: SOLAR SYSTEM

D-BRIEF

SPONSORED: We’ve Launched Our New ‘Space & Beyond’ Subscription Box

By David J. Eicher | October 23, 2019 11:00 am

Since its inception more than four decades ago, Astronomy magazine — the sister magazine of Discover — has offered readers a ticket to travel into the cosmos. Now, we’re taking the next step by launching the Space & Beyond subscription box.

Starting today, you can order subscriptions for yourself and your loved ones on our website, www.spaceandbeyondbox.com.

Each box has a unique theme and is curated by the editors of our magazine to expand …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS

ROCKY PLANET

How Ice Cores from Antarctica Can Make or Break Mystery Eruptions

By Erik Klemetti | October 23, 2019 9:58 am

An ice core from Antarctica showing a thick layer of volcanic ash (grey). Oregon State University

The Earth’s ice caps, in Greenland and Antarctica, are an invaluable record of climate over the past hundreds of thousands of years. As each annual layer of snow falls, gets buried and eventually becomes glacial ice, it traps particles and gases from the time it fell. We use that record to examine how the atmosphere has changed.

These cores turn out to be one of the most important pieces of …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: ROCKY PLANETSCIENCESCIENCE BLOGS

D-BRIEF

These Weird Bagworm Moths Build Log Cabins of Twigs to Live and Die In

By Jennifer Walter | October 22, 2019 11:57 am

The nest of a female bagworm. (Credit: SIMON SHIM/Shutterstock)

Is that a cluster of miniature Lincoln Logs hanging off a branch? Not quite — what may look like a meticulous assortment of twigs is actually the home of a bagworm moth. These bug architects spend most of their short lives weaving homes out of plant debris.

As larvae, the silky worms find a place to settle down and feed, such as a leaf or the branch of a tree. Then, they crawl around and collect materials like twigs, dirt a …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: LIVING WORLDTOP POSTS

THE CRUX

Do Soda Taxes Actually Work? Here’s What the Science is Telling Us

By Greg MIller, Knowable Magazine | October 22, 2019 11:50 am

Teas, sodas, sports drinks, more: A broad variety of beverages contain caloric sweeteners, but beverage taxes don’t treat them equally. For example, 100% fruit juice generally gets a pass for nutritional reasons, even though it contains plenty of sugar that’s chemically no different than sugar added artificially. In a similar vein, among public health researchers and policymakers there’s disagreement on whether to tax sweetened milk, because the added sugar may make it more likely that ch …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: HEALTH & MEDICINETOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: NUTRITION
Our evolutionary ancestors had no chins. So why do we need them? https://t.co/ujviEtptry
6 examples of how Einstein’s general theory of relativity has stood the test of (space-)time. https://t.co/QIc0mJ9Z4z
The oldest life on the planet still has a few secrets. https://t.co/DqJ5obdGnd
From the vault: An ancient harbor on the Red Sea proves ancient Egyptians mastered oceangoing technology and la… https://t.co/UkxxoGFnsA
Over the past 10,000 years, human evolution has occurred a hundred times more quickly than in any other period in o… https://t.co/DXk6pJjB5X

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Russ Roberts
https://hawaiisciencedaily.com (breaking science and technology news).