On May 14, 2014, scientists at Swinburne University in Australia caught a huge high-energy burst of radio waves on CSIRO’s Parkes Radio Telescope in eastern Australia. Called a “fast radio burst”, the signal lasted a few milliseconds, but it gave off as much energy as the sun does in a day, said Daniele Malesani, astrophysicist at the Dark Cosmology Center, University of Copenhagen. Continue reading
Last August, construction began deep in the Amazon rainforest on what would soon become South America’s tallest skyscraper and the world’s first long-term tropical observatory.
In a standoff with a rattlesnake, the California ground squirrel stares down its opponent. It might kick sand at the snake, whipping its fuzzy tail back and forth in a “come and get me” taunt. The snake lounges and the squirrel leaps into the air, twisting its furry body like a ninja. The squirrel successfully dodges the attack and warns fellow squirrels of the snake with its display. Continue reading
Why are so many snowy owls popping up thousands of miles from their Arctic stomping grounds? Bird experts say the most likely reason is an abundance of rodents (lemmings are their prey of choice) in northern Quebec last year, and again on Bylot Island in the eastern Canadian Arctic this summer, that helped snowy owl pairs reproduce in large numbers. The population explosion sent the young birds up to 2,000 miles south, away from their regular Arctic stomping grounds in search of new hunting areas. Continue reading
European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst used his 166 days aboard the International Space Station to build an enormous high-resolution time lapse sequence featuring more than 12,000 photos of the planet, the atmosphere and the systems on the station. As … Continue reading
These so-called nanomeds, miniscule sensors embedded in a placebo pill that you swallow, set up shop in your gut. As they slowly work their way through your system, these “ingestibles” – which are actually not digested – are switched on by contact with saliva and/or gastric juices. The signal is picked up by another sensor which looks like a Band-Aid and is worn on your chest. Continue reading
Researchers at North Carolina State University are inventing technology to decode dog talk. Hari Sreenivasan visits a computer science lab that has designed a harness to monitor physiological and emotional changes and send wireless commands through vibrations, which could be used with guide animals or search and rescue dogs. Continue reading
On a prehistoric white shell fossil from the island of Java, tiny zig-zag shaped scratches may etch out the beginning of art history, and rewrite our human history. A study published in Nature this week found that the markings on the shell were between 430,000 and 540,000 years old, making it older than any art created by humans or Neanderthals. Continue reading