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Spread of early humans: New findings

New studies reveal the diversity of early human populations and help pin down when we left Africa.


Are we in a sixth mass extinction?

This short video puts modern extinctions in context by comparing them with Earth’s 5 previous mass extinctions.

Image via rapgenius.com

Today in science: E=mc2

Mass and energy are interchangeable.


New theory on why time advances

Why does time flow inexorably toward the future? A Berkeley physicist proposes that time is expanding because space is expanding.

Neptune via NASA, Voyager 2.

Today in science: Discovery of Neptune

Neptune is the planet discovered with mathematics.


A Chinese perspective on autumn

Autumn is connected in Chinese thought with the direction west, considered to be the direction of dreams and visions.

Michael Faraday via 5minutebiographies.

Today in science: Michael Faraday

Meet Michael Faraday, the man behind the electric motor and theory of electromagnetism.

Image via NASA

Satellite sees 3 California wildfires

There were more than a dozen wildfires burning in California, as of September 20.

The feeling isn’t mutual. Image via caruba/Flickr

Lifeform of the week: Rats

The secret life of urban rats.

A Livingston Parish deputy sheriff surveys flood damage from a boat on August 15, 2016.  Image courtesy of Rapides County Sheriff's Office

Climate change’s role in Louisiana floods

After a rapid assessment, scientists have concluded that climate change increased chances of the August record rains in Louisiana by at least 40%.

he HI-SEAS mission gives people a chance to practise on Earth what life would be like on Mars. A crew member here from the 2015 mission.  Image via Flickr/University of Hawaii/HI-SEAS

After a year on (simulated) Mars

A week ago, a test crew emerged after living for a year in Mars-like conditions inside a solar-powered dome on the slopes of Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano.

NOAA satellite image of Hermine on September 2, 2016.

Hurricane Hermine strikes Florida coast

National Weather Service in Tallahassee reported that Hermine made landfall east of St. Marks, near Tallahassee, early Friday morning as a Category 1 hurricane.


Space X explosion at Cape Canaveral

No injuries in Thursday’s explosion on a SpaceX launch pad at Cape Canaveral. But Facebook’s planned satellite is no more.

seth shostak 2016

No alien signal, says SETI astronomer

A strong signal from a sunlike star sparked speculation this week that we might – at last – have heard from an alien civilization. Now astronomers say … no.

NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore works outside the International Space Station on the first of three spacewalks preparing the station for future arrivals by U.S. commercial crew spacecraft, Saturday, February 21, 2015. Fellow spacewalker Terry Virts, seen reflected in the visor, shared this photograph on social media.
 View larger. \  Image credit; NASA

Watch spacewalk live September 1

NASA TV will broadcast live coverage on Thursday of a 6.5-hour spacewalk by 2 astronauts aboard ISS. Coverage will start at 6:30 a.m. EDT (1030 UTC). The spacewalk will begin about 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC).

nuclear-test-bikini-atoll-1946 (1)

Experts declare Anthropocene has begun

It means Age of Humans. A scientific working group – at an international meeting of geologists – just recommended including it in the Geologic Time Scale.


Your cosmic suntan

Lie on the beach, and your body is bombarded by light from our sun, and from beyond our galaxy.

Via Wikimedia Commons

Seeing things that aren’t there

Seeing animals in clouds, or a face in the moon, are examples of pareidolia. Look here for photos to test your own ability to see things that aren’t there.

NASA astronaut Tim Kopra captured an image of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft, on the company's eighth Commercial Resupply Services mission, from the Cupola Module of the International Space Station during Expedition 47 in April 2016. Image via NASA

Watch SpaceX Dragon depart ISS Friday

Live coverage Friday of cargo ship’s departure from International Space Station. Begins at 5:45 a.m. EDT (9:45 UTC).

The inhabitants of the moon (Vespertilio homo or men-bat).
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Today in science: Great Moon Hoax

A series of 6 newspaper articles in 1835 about the discovery of life on the moon (including bat-men and unicorns), supposedly made by famous astronomer.