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Science Wire

The latest science media releases highlighting exciting news and research from around the globe.

LISA Pathfinder, ready for launch.  In this image, taken with an ultra-wide angle fisheye lens on 19 November, the spacecraft is hidden from view, encapsulated in the ‘upper composite’ of its Vega rocket. Only the aerodynamic fairing at the top of the fully assembled launcher is visible, while the lower stages are hidden by the movable access platform. The hose is part of the air conditioning system that regulates the environment inside the fairing. Image via ESA.
Science Wire | Dec 01, 2015

Countdown running to LISA Pathfinder launch

LISA Pathfinder is the forerunning of a mission designed to detect gravitational waves from space. It’ll launch on December 2 – tonight, according to U.S. clocks.

View larger. | Artist's concept of our sun as viewed from a very distant planet, via NASA / ESA / Adolf Schaller.
Science Wire | Dec 01, 2015

New most distant object in solar system

More than 100 times farther from the sun than Earth, this object has been designated V774104. It’s fueling speculation about a Planet X.

Image Credit: H Dragon
Science Wire | Dec 01, 2015

Lifeform of the week: Horseshoe crab

If the horseshoe crab looks like it comes from another era, that’s because it does.

Image Credit: Rob Lavinsky
Science Wire | Dec 01, 2015

What’s the birthstone for December?

December has two birthstones, turquoise and zircon.

Wisdom and mate, 2015, via U.S. Department of the Interior
Science Wire | Nov 30, 2015

Wisdom is back again!

Wisdom – world’s oldest living, banded, wild bird – has returned to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. She’s 64 years old and a symbol of hope and inspiration.

Image credit: Matthew Lutz, Princeton University and Chris Reid, University of Sydney.
Science Wire | Nov 30, 2015

Army ants build living bridges

If a gap interrupts a swarm of army ants, they build a ‘living bridge’ using their own bodies. How? New research says ants perform a collective computation.

Science Wire | Nov 30, 2015

Bumping up against a parallel universe

An analysis of the cosmic microwave background revealed bright spots, possible imprints left when an alternate universe bumped ours shortly after the Big Bang.

View larger. | Michael Jaeger shares this amazing picture of Comet Catalina as seen from Austria on November 24, 2015. "I see a faint third tail between the two (main) tails", reports Mr. Jaeger.
Science Wire | Nov 30, 2015

Try for Comet Catalina this week

It’s up before dawn, a small fuzzy patch of light in binoculars. It’s still just below the limit for viewing with the unaided eye, but may improve.

Photo credit: WMO
Science Wire | Nov 30, 2015

WMO: 2015 likely warmest year on record

The World Meteorological Organization says high temps in 2015 are due to the overall trend of global warming, combined with the strong ongoing El Niño.

Science Wire | Nov 30, 2015

Faster ice loss at major Greenland glacier

A large glacier in northeastern Greenland, called Zachariae Isstrom, has been melting faster since 2012. It’s now losing mass at rate of 5 billion tons per year.

Video still from Dishdance, part of project Skyglow
Science Wire | Nov 30, 2015

Dishdance, a tribute to radio telescopes

This new and beautiful video – called Dishdance – is part of project Skyglow. It’s a beautiful timelapse medley of radio astronomy facilities.

Photo by John Foster, Oregon Parks and Rec
Science Wire | Nov 30, 2015

Astronomy events, star parties, festivals, workshops

Time to start planning your astronomy travel in 2016. Learn night sky photography, or let an amateur astronomer point out stars and constellations to you.

Partial solar eclipse of March 8-9, 2016 via Fred Espenak/ NASA GSFC.
Science Wire | Nov 30, 2015

Solar eclipse to unite science students

The global nature of science – and challenge of global communications – will bring together university students in Indonesia, Japan and elsewhere across the world during a 2016 solar eclipse.

The nest of a birdlike dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of China.
Image via Kohei Tanaka via LiveScience
Science Wire | Nov 27, 2015

Were dinosaur nests buried or open?

We know that dinosaurs laid eggs, but did they bury their nests as crocodiles do, or leave them open and exposed, like birds? New research has some answers.

Image returned by Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity. Sol 1,174: Wednesday November 25, 2015.  The images on this page are from the rover's wide-angle NavCams (Navigational Cameras), which shoot in black-and-white.
Science Wire | Nov 27, 2015

Amazing new images from Mars rover

Awesome views, including some selfies, from the Mars Curiosity rover. The rover is looking across Gale Crater, approaching a large dune with ripples.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons, Paul Stansifer
Science Wire | Nov 27, 2015

How far is a light-year?

Light is the fastest-moving stuff in the universe. It travels at an incredible 300,000 kilometers (186,000 miles) per second. So, in a year, light travels far.

Science Wire | Nov 27, 2015

Video: EarthSky News with Deborah Byrd

Catch up with all the news you can fit into outer space with EarthSky.org’s Deborah Byrd, LIVE on Slooh Wednesdays at 4 PM ET (2100 UTC). Or watch right here!

This illustration shows Earth surrounded by filaments of dark matter called 'hairs,' proposed in a study in the Astrophysical Journal by Gary Prézeau of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. Read more about this image.
Science Wire | Nov 27, 2015

Does Earth create dark matter hairs?

Theoretical calculations by a JPL astronomer suggest that streams of dark matter – passing through Earth – would emerge as ultra-dense filaments or “hairs.”

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 11.32.26 AM
Science Wire | Nov 27, 2015

Satellite sensors for global fire coverage

A global fire alert from space, FireSat sensors would be able to detect a fire anywhere on Earth within 15 minutes of its start and notify area emergency responders.

Mars could gain a ring in 10-20 million years when its moon Phobos is torn to shreds by Mars gravity. Image of how Mars might look by Tushar Mittal using Celestia 2001-2010, Celestia Development Team.
Science Wire | Nov 26, 2015

Mars to lose a moon, gain a ring

Mars’ large moon Phobos is slowly falling toward the planet. In 20-40 million years, it’ll shatter, and its pieces will form a Saturn-like ring around Mars.

Science Wire | Nov 26, 2015

Does eating turkey really make you sleepy?

Many believe that turkey is high in tryptophan, which causes that drowsiness you feel after a big Thanksgiving meal. True?