Orion Passes Key NASA Flight Review – “GO” for Maiden Test Flight on Dec. 4

ENLARGE / At NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the agency’s Orion spacecraft pauses in front of the spaceport’s iconic Vehicle Assembly Building as it is transported to Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. After arrival at the launch pad, United Launch Alliance engineers and technicians will lift Orion and mount it atop […]

Secrets Cracked in Yosemite’s Tuolumne Meadows

Tuolumne Meadows and Lembert Dome. Credit: bjul/Shutterstock.com Enlarge The broad, grassy plain of Yosemite National Park's Tuolumne Meadows is a welcome stop for visitors driving California's steep and winding Highway 120. But the wildflower-studded field is an oddball in Yosemite's iconic landscape of deep valleys and rugged peaks. The flat valley floor is a striking contrast to the […]

Rare new species of plant: Stachys caroliniana

Stachys caroliniana has been found in two populations in South Carolina, both located near the Santee River. Credit: Jim Fowler Enlarge The exclusive club of explorers who have discovered a rare new species of life isn't restricted to globetrotters traveling to remote locations like the Amazon rainforests, Madagascar or the woodlands of the Congo River basin. […]

NASA’s “Remastered” View of Europa is the Best Yet

The cracked, icy surface of Europa. The smoothness of the surface has led many scientists to conclude that oceans exist beneath it. Credit: NASA/JPLredit: NASA Europa, Jupiter’s sixth-closest moon, has long been a source of fascination and wonder for astronomers. Not only is it unique amongst its Jovian peers for having a smooth, ice-covered surface, […]

European space plane set for February launch

A replica of the ESA's space plane IXV is on display during the presentation at the European Space Research and Technology Centre in Noordwijk, on September 9, 2014 Europe's first-ever "space plane" will be launched on February 11 next year, rocket firm Arianespace said Friday after a three-month delay to fine-tune the mission flight plan. […]

Global Warming Watch: How Carbon Dioxide Bleeds Across The Earth

ENLARGE / High concentrations of carbon dioxide (in red) tend to congregate in the northern hemisphere during colder months, when plants can’t absorb as much from the atmosphere. This picture is based on a NASA Goddard computer model from ground-based observations and depicts concentrations on March 30, 2006. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/B. Putman/YouTube (screenshot) […]

Small ‘Underwater Pompeii’ Found Off Greek Island

The sea floor embedded with 16 terracotta pots. Credit: Greece Culture Ministry Remains of an ancient settlement, complete with a ruined pottery workshop, have been found on the bottom of the Aegean sea off the small island of Delos, the Greek ministry of culture has announced. Dubbed by the Greek media “a small underwater Pompeii,” the […]

Marijuana Use Linked to Changes in the Brain

Credit: Yellowj/Shutterstock.com Enlarge Using marijuana daily for four years or longer may be related to certain changes in the brain, according to new research. In the study, researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine the brains of 48 adults who were chronic marijuana users, meaning they used the drug at least three times a day. […]

Erosion may trigger earthquakes

Researchers from laboratories at Géosciences Rennes (CNRS/Université de Rennes 1), Géosciences Montpellier (CNRS/Université de Montpellier 2) and Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (CNRS/IPGP/Université Paris Diderot), in collaboration with a scientist in Taiwan, have shown that surface processes, i.e. erosion and sedimentation, may trigger shallow earthquakes (less than five kilometers deep) and favor the […]

Amazon frogs found to build mental maps of their local area

Credit: Andrius Pasukonis Enlarge (Phys.org) —A quartet of researchers with the University of Vienna has found that the brilliant-thighed poison frog is able to build a mental map of its immediate surroundings and use it to navigate. The finding, the team reports in their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, suggests that such frogs have […]

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