From the 1940s through the 1970s there was no major warming trend in the average surface temperature of Earth. At the same time, the tropical Pacific Ocean, which is responsible for the weather patterns known as El Niño and La Niña that can swing global average temperatures by as much as 0.3 degree Celsius, was anomalously cold. For the past decade or so the tropical Pacific has again gone cold -- more Niña than Niño -- and a new study suggests that the phenomenon may explain the recent "pause" … Read more
Every year astronomers see hundreds of supernovae erupt in other galaxies, but from such great distances these stellar explosions look only like bright dots. Researchers therefore prize the few supernovae that past observers witnessed in the Milky Way, where telescopes can scrutinize the wreckage. Since the year A.D. 1000, skywatchers have seen five of our galaxy's stars die in brilliant explosions. Now a new distance determination to the most mysterious of these is yielding new insight into its nature.
All five stars blew up thousands of light-years away, so their light took many millennia to reach us. But … Read more
When Dutch engineer Bas Lansdorp was a student, he saw an image of the surface of Mars sent back by NASA's Sojourner rover in 1997. That was a defining moment for Lansdorp, who knew immediately his life's ambition: to help send a human to the red planet one day. Sixteen years later, that dream is nearing reality, with more than 165,000 applicants from over 140 countries applying to join his Mars One venture to send the first humans to Mars.
The hard deadline to apply for the first mission is August 31, meaning those who have already … Read more
Its latest incarnation is as an extremely short-format science fair. GE's #6SecondScience Fair challenged people to explain science concepts as fast as they could count to six.
The Vine science fair participants covered an impressive variety of topics. There is a potato-powered lightbulb; the history of flight told with paper cutouts; a Play-Doh frog dissection; and quite a few creative explanations of how magnetism works.… Read more
City dwellers know how crazy-making it can be to endlessly hunt for a parking space.
The Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) this week revealed an electric-vehicle prototype designed to fold up to save parking space. Affectionately christened the Armadillo-T after the animal that hides itself inside its shell, the car is quite possibly one of the first of its type to be introduced to South Korea. You may have heard of a similar concept in the form of the Hiriko, a brainchild of MIT that launched in Spain last year.
With a maximum speed of 37 mph, the Armadillo-T can travel 62 miles after 10 minutes of lithium ion battery charging. After parking, the car can be folded in length from 110 inches down to almost half, 65 inches, via a smartphone interface. To save space, cameras replace the side and rear-view mirrors. According to the Korean Wall Street Journal, three Armadillo-Ts can be slotted into a standard sized parking lot in Korea after folding, using the same smartphone application. … Read more
Many a Sunday morning has involved millions of people all over the world wishing they hadn't had quite so much.
Their heads throb like a teenage boy's Adam's Apple on seeing Selena Gomez. Their throats are drier than a sand-technology textbook.
Yet too much beer has always, always meant one big hangover.
Now, however, sensitive Australian scientists claim they might take away at least some of the pain. They say they've created rehydrating beer.
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While a guy plays the "Breaking Bad" theme song with gear you'd find in a meth lab, we surrender to the soothing sounds of Wikipedia as random people edit entries that get turned into audio. Also, get excited about the Ubi Interactive, which turns any surface into a touch screen. All that and much more on this week's Crave show. … Read more
A dog might be a man's best friend.
A cat, not so much.
It's not merely that cats can be mercilessly self-centered beings. It's that their hair might help convict you, should you be accused of a heinous crime.
In what's said to be the first ever case of cat hair helping to catch a U.K. killer, scientists in Britain worked using a cat DNA database to identify cat hair found on a corpse.
Now this is what it's like when galaxies collide.
Or at the very least, this is what it looks like. The visual effects of the collision -- which generated an immense shock wave that produced a spiral plume of 6 million-degree hot gas -- were captured by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, visible here in purple. The European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope contributed to the image's impressive palate with optical observations revealing the galaxy in blue and white.
Such a shock wave, likened to a sonic boom, won't be felt anywhere near Earth, which is 60 million light-years away from the large spiral galaxy NGC 1232 that was rammed by a smaller, dwarf one. … Read more