Category Archives: Space News

The world’s oldest temple was built along a grand geometric plan

Hunter-gatherers might have built the world’s oldest known temple on a precise geometric plan, according to new findings. The Neolithic site, known as Göbekli Tepe, is perched atop a limestone mountain ridge in southeastern Turkey. The site’s T-shaped pillars, which are carved with mystic drawings of animals, abstract symbols and human hands, are arranged in giant circles and ovals — each structure is made up of two large central pillars surrounded by smaller inward-facing pillars. Göbekli Tepe […]

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Lego and partners open online robotics competition for students

If your child likes “Star Wars,” robots and Lego, they’re in luck!  Lego, in association with FIRST Robotics and “Star Wars: Force for Change,” announced the preliminary details of the 2020-21 Lego League season. Anyone between the ages of four to 16 can participate and registration is open now for the online program, which begins Aug. 4. “Whether it’s finding their people or finding their path, students will gain the skills and confidence with FIRST to forge […]

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Massive disk galaxy could change our understanding of how galaxies are born

A massive, rotating disk galaxy that first formed just 1.5 billion years after the Big Bang, could upend our understanding of galaxy formation, scientists suggest in a new study. In traditional galaxy formation models and according to modern cosmology, galaxies are built beginning with dark-matter halos. Over time, those halos pull in gases and material, eventually building up full-fledged galaxies. Disk galaxies, like our own Milky Way, form with prominent disks of stars and gas and are […]

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Cold War satellites tracked missiles … and marmots?

The U.S. launched espionage satellites during the Cold War to locate Soviet missile sites, but in doing so, they also captured photos of animals and their historic habitats, Science magazine reported. Now, scientists have put these 1960s snapshots to new use: showing how a specific population of marmots in Kazakhstan has dwindled over the last five decades. The same approach could be used to study how other animal populations have changed through time, particularly in regions with […]

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Plague doctors: Separating medical myths from facts

You’ve seen them before: mysterious figures, clad from head to toe in oiled leather, wearing goggles and beaked masks. The plague doctor costume looks like a cross between a steampunk crow and the Grim Reaper, and has come to represent both the terrors of the Black Death and the foreignness of medieval medicine. However, the beak mask costume first appeared much later than the middle ages, some three centuries after the Black Death first struck in the […]

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High-speed video shows every second of a praying mantis’s lethal strike

New slow-motion video shows how praying mantises snatch their prey with lightning-fast, deadly precision. Though these strikes are completed in microseconds, the long-armed predators calibrate their attacks even more quickly than that, adjusting to prey’s speed and movements; praying mantises can even halt mistimed attacks mid-strike, scientists reported in a new study. Related: Lunch on the wing: Mantises snack on birds (photos) Mantises are ambush predators; rather than stalking or chasing their prey, they select a perch and then […]

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SpaceX Crew Dragon reaches launch pad for historic NASA astronaut launch

SpaceX’s first Crew Dragon spacecraft to carry astronauts rolled out to its Florida launch pad today (May 21) for a much-anticipated flight for NASA next week. The Crew Dragon capsule, atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, reached the historic Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida — the same site where NASA’s Apollo and space shuttle missions launched. This big step comes less than one week before Crew Dragon is set to […]

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US seeks to change the rules for mining the moon

Private industries have helped drop the cost of launching rockets, satellites and other equipment into space to historic lows. That has boosted interest in developing space – both for mining raw materials such as silicon for solar panels and oxygen for rocket fuel, as well as potentially relocating polluting industries off the Earth. But the rules are not clear about who would profit if, for instance, a U.S. company like SpaceX colonized Mars or established a moon base. At the moment, no company – […]

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NASA plan to sample asteroid Bennu delayed by coronavirus pandemic

After delays from the coronavirus pandemic, NASA has picked a date for its spacecraft to snatch up a chunk of space rock to bring home. NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft mission is now expected to perform its first asteroid-sampling attempt to occur on Oct. 20. The procedure had previously been scheduled for August, but the mission team has decided to delay the maneuver because of limitations meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus-borne respiratory disease COVID-19. “The OSIRIS-REx […]

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‘First species discovered on Twitter’ is a parasitic fungus that dines on millipede genitals

Researchers have discovered a parasitic fungus that sucks nutrients out of the reproductive organs of millipedes. They named it after Twitter. Meet Troglomyces twitteri. This near-microscopic parasite looks like a larva and is about 100 micrometers long — comparable to the average diameter of a human hair. Each spore spends its entire lifecycle hanging around the genitals of a single male or female millipede. However you may feel about Twitter, the researchers who discovered the unfortunately-placed parasite […]

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