NASA Finds Lost Mars ProbeAfter more than 11 years of mystery, the European Space Agency has finally found their long lost Mars lander, the Beagle-2. The tiny spacecraft was recently spotted in high-resolution images taken ... More >
Is Dark Snow Bad?The snow in the America's Heartland isn't as "snow white" as one might hope. That's because pollution trapped in the snow is making it darker. Dark snow often contains black carbon—a ... More >
Photos Of SpaceX's Failed Rocket LandingEarly this morning, Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, released images from the company's rocket landing attempt on Saturday. The photos show how the Falcon 9 rocket did indeed hit its intended landing ... More >
How a Cyberattack Causes Physical DamageThe terrifying specter of a future of cyberattacks is that someday, a malicious actor will reach through the internet and cause real, tangible, physical harm. It sounds like a Hollywood plot: a ... More >
How do Planetary Flybys Work?Gravity assists -- flybys -- are pretty neat. These precision maneuvers that involve harnessing and using the gravity of a planet to accelerate and direct a spacecraft to its destination. It's ... More >
The Rosetta mission made history last year, by being the first manmade spacecraft to ever orbit or land on a comet. Things didn't go exactly as planned, though. The lander Philae bounced around and got lost somewhere on the comet's surface. Wherever it is, it's not getting enough sunlight on its solar panels to keep it fully charged, so ESA has shut it down until the springtime, when the comet will be closer to the Sun. Meanwhile, the orbiter has been busy collecting data. The journal Science just published a boatload of new findings from the duck-shaped Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Here are some of our favorites.
Intelligence agencies, the spies and spooks and analysts grouped under three letter acronyms, exist in part to answer a difficult question that dates back to antiquity: Is it possible to predict the future, and, if so, how do we do it? A study published this month in the Journal of Experimental Psychology answers the question at least in part: Prediction is a skill, but it takes a special environment to develop that skill.
In the transitory space between Mexico's Tijuana and America's San Ysidro, the drone flew. Six rotors carried it forward, and strapped to its body were six packets of methamphetamine, weighing more than six pounds. Discovered by Tijuana police crashed in a parking lot just shy of the San Ysidro border crossing, the drone never completed its illicit mission.
When the guy in the cubicle next to you microwaves his tikka masala or tears open a bag of chips, your nose and ears perk up — food. Your senses trigger your brain to, maybe, head for the break room searching for a snack of your own, or even steal some of his chips. (Or maybe you just get annoyed and tell him to eat elsewhere.)
The havoc that Ebola is wreaking in West Africa cannot be understated. With a total of 21,200 people infected since March 2014, the disease is shredding the social fabric of Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, leaving 8,400 dead. People live in fear, afraid to shake others' hands. Survivors are shunned, and those suspected of carrying the disease are being physically assaulted in some regions. Schools are closed, and economies have been ravaged.
Sometimes Iceland really lives up to its name. For instance, in the picture above, the entire country is basically covered in snow and ice. With one notable exception. See that big black dot in the middle? No, not in the lower left--that's the largest natural lake in Iceland, Lake Þingvallavatn, which is a favorite for snorkelers and scuba divers. We're talking about the beauty mark in the center-right, which is an absolutely massive lava flow originating from a fissure of the volcano Bárðarbunga.
With its new version of Windows, Microsoft has done the seemingly impossible: It skipped right over version 9 and straight to 10. Really, though, the maker of the world's most popular operating system dropped a lot of major announcements during its press event about Windows 10 on Wednesday. Here are the top five most interesting decisions by Microsoft for its next OS update—not including the holograms.
Sneezes never seem to be lonely. As soon as you expel your first mighty “achoo,” there's usually another sneeze lurking right behind to follow it up. For some people, there may be two, three, or even 10 that come after that original sneeze, making for an awful lot of “bless yous” from well-wishers nearby. So why is it that our sneezes seem to adhere to the buddy system?
Last year, in a lab in sunny San Diego, researchers fed a dozen mice a small drop each of a very special liquid. Inside the drops, invisible to the naked eye, were thousands of tube-shaped, microscopic motors. The motors made their way to the mice's stomachs, embedded in their stomach linings, and released their tiny payloads: nano-size flakes of gold. The research represented a major step toward putting microbots to work in human medicine, where they could one day ferry drugs efficiently into specific organs or even specific cells.
All of life on Earth speaks the same language. That language is the language of the genes. (Not love, or music, sorry. This is Popular Science.) Even vastly different species can run by pretty similar genetic principles. That's why scientists are able to make genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. You wouldn't be able to put genes from bacteria into corn plants if corn wasn't able to "read" the DNA of bacteria.