How Pittsburgh Is Leading the U.S. Back to the Moon
It’s not easy to get from North Lincoln Avenue to the Lake of Death. North Lincoln Avenue is in Pittsburgh; the Lake of Death is on the moon—meaning there’s a tidy 385,000 km (over 239,000 mi.) between them. But before the end of the year, that gap should close—thanks to a modest company in a…
WEDNESDAY 22. JUNE 2022
Climate Change a Factor in ‘Unprecedented’ South Asia Floods
(SYLHET, Bangladesh)—Scientists say climate change is a factor behind the erratic and early rains that triggered unprecedented floods in Bangladesh and northeastern India, killing scores and making lives miserable for millions of others.
Although the region is no stranger to flooding, it typically takes place later in the year when monsoon rains are well underway.
FRIDAY 17. JUNE 2022
NASA Insists All Is Well as the Webb Telescope’s Mirror Gets Dinged
How Climate Change and Air Pollution Affect Kids’ Health
In some ways, the last place you’d want to put the James Webb Space Telescope is, well, in space. If you owned a $10 billion car, you wouldn’t leave it out in a hail storm, and while there’s no hail in space, there are plenty of micrometeoroids—high speed debris no bigger than a dust grain but moving so fast they can pack a true destructive wallop. Every day, millions of...
Climate change affects everyone, but especially children. Their small bodies—and the fact that they grow so rapidly, starting from the time they’re in utero—make them more vulnerable to toxins, pollution, and other climate-change fallout. Over their lifetimes, kids also face greater exposure to the damage of climate change than adults.
A new scientific review article published...
THURSDAY 16. JUNE 2022
8-Month-Old Babies Recognize Wrongdoers and Seek to Punish Them
Human beings may be a savage species when we want to be, but we’re also an exceedingly moral one, with a highly evolved sense of right and wrong, good and bad, crime and consequences. Few things illustrate this better than our practice of third-party punishment: meting out penalties against malefactors who have done us no personal harm. The entire criminal and civil justice system is built...
WEDNESDAY 15. JUNE 2022
China Releases, Then Deletes, Report That It May Have Detected Signals From Aliens
China said its giant Sky Eye telescope may have picked up signs of alien civilizations, according to a report by the state-backed Science and Technology Daily, which then appeared to have deleted the report and posts about the discovery.
The narrow-band electromagnetic signals detected by Sky Eye — the world’s largest radio telescope — differ from previous ones captured and the...
TUESDAY 14. JUNE 2022
A Strawberry Moon Is Coming. Why the Rare Astrological Event Is So Exciting
The man who captained the first mission to orbit the moon was not, truth be told, terribly impressed by what he experienced. Frank Borman, the commander of Apollo 8, which circled the moon 10 times on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 1968, was candid when we chatted one day back in 2015. We met in his private airplane hangar in Billings, Montana, and I asked Borman, now 94, if, living out in big...
FRIDAY 10. JUNE 2022
America’s Best Astrophysicists Are Taking UFOs Seriously. Maybe You Should Too
NASA has spent more than 60 years flying UFOs. Every spacecraft that ever visited the moon, landed on Mars, buzzed by Jupiter, orbited Saturn, or reconnoitered Pluto would be a decidedly unidentified flying object to any alien intelligence that might encounter it. There may be no such intelligence beyond Earth in our solar system. But in interstellar space? That’s another question....
FRIDAY 3. JUNE 2022
New Lunar Spacesuits to Set NASA Back $3.5 Billion
Planet-Warming Carbon Dioxide Levels Are The Highest In Human History
Nobody would have known if I had touched Neil Armstrong’s moon-walking suit back in 2018. I wasn’t supposed to touch it—indeed, I was forbidden to touch it—but boy, I could have.
I was in the restoration lab at the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy extension outside of Washington, D.C., and the suit was being mounted on a new mannequin-like armature that...
The amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has shot past a key milestone—more than 50% higher than pre-industrial times—and is at levels not seen since millions of years ago when Earth was a hothouse ocean-inundated planet, federal scientists announced Friday.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said its long-time monitoring station at Mauna Loa,...
TUESDAY 24. MAY 2022
Climate Change Made India and Pakistan’s Intense Spring Heat Wave More Likely
(NEW DELHI, India)—The devastating heat wave that has baked India and Pakistan in recent months was made more likely by climate change and is a glimpse of the region’s future, international scientists said in a study released Monday.
The World Weather Attribution group analyzed historical weather data that suggested early, long heat waves that impact a massive geographical area are...
TUESDAY 17. MAY 2022
Congress is Finally Taking UFOs Seriously, 50 Years After Its Last Hearing on the Mysterious Subject
The House Intelligence Committee’s Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation subcommittee would like to make one thing very clear: They did not spend 90 minutes this morning conducting public hearings into the existence of UFOs. Yes, they were discussing unidentified objects, and yes those objects were seen to be flying, but the term for them today is...
THURSDAY 12. MAY 2022
Astronomers Capture First Image of Supermassive Black Hole at the Center of our Galaxy
Scientists Grow Plants in Soil from the Moon. Lunar Farming Could Be Next.
You’d think it would be hard to overlook an object with a mass four million times greater than the sun. But when that object is a supermassive black hole like Sagittarius A*, the giant object astronomers have long believed sits at the center of our galaxy, it is, by definition, impossible to see. Black holes, after all, are collapsed objects with a gravitational pull so great that not even...
The Apollo astronauts faced a lot of challenges in their time on the moon, but having enough to eat was not among them. The longest any of the crews spent on the surface was the three days logged by Apollo 17 in 1972, and even in the astronauts’ tiny lunar module, there was enough room for the shrink-wrapped, pre-packaged provisions they’d need for such a brief camping trip. The next...
WEDNESDAY 11. MAY 2022
Climate Change Will Make Droughts Longer, More Common, Says UN
The frequency and duration of droughts will continue to increase due to human-caused climate change, with water scarcity already affecting billions of people across the world, the United Nations warned in a report Wednesday.
The U.N. desertification agency, which is currently hosting a conference of parties in Abidjan in Ivory Coast, estimates that roughly one third of the world’s...
TUESDAY 10. MAY 2022
Earth has a 50% Chance of Hitting Key 1.5°C Warming Threshold in the Next 5 Years
The world is creeping closer to the warming threshold international agreements are trying to prevent, with nearly a 50-50 chance that Earth will temporarily hit that temperature mark within the next five years, teams of meteorologists across the globe predicted.
With human-made climate change continuing, there’s a 48% chance that the globe will reach a yearly average of 1.5 degrees Celsius...
FRIDAY 6. MAY 2022
More Cosmic Saber-Rattling From Russia’s Space Boss
The Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to extend its reach—not just around the world, but into space. For that we have Dmitry Rogozin—an intemperate man in what demands to be a temperate business—to blame. Much of the world came to know Rogozin, the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, back in 2014, when he was deputy prime minister, and Russia had launched its first...
WEDNESDAY 4. MAY 2022
Early Transgender Identity Tends to Endure, a New Study Suggests
Children who begin identifying as transgender at a young age tend to retain that identity at least for several years, a study published Wednesday suggests.
The research involved 317 youngsters who were 3 to 12 years old when they were recruited to the study. Five years later, at the study’s end, 94% were living as transgender and almost two-thirds were using either puberty-blocking...
FRIDAY 29. APRIL 2022
NASA’s Far-Flung Space Fleet Is Getting a Few Extra Years to Explore the Cosmos
It’s not hard to keep track of NASA’s big-ticket items—the high visibility spacecraft that generally carry equally high price tags and make very big headlines. There’s the $150 billion International Space Station; the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope; the $2.4 billion Perseverance Mars rover; and then, of course, the trouble-plagued, $4.1 billion-per-flight Space...
THURSDAY 28. APRIL 2022
Physicist and Author Carlo Rovelli Would Like to Explain the Universe to You
The World’s Steel Comes at a Steep Climate Cost. A Swedish Company is Trying to Change That.
It’s a very good thing Carlo Rovelli did not get eaten by a bear in 1976—though even he admits it would have been his own fault. Camping alone in western Canada, he decided to save the money it would have cost him to pitch his tent in a designated area, and picked instead a wilder part of the wilderness. No sooner had he set up camp and prepared to settle in than the grizzly...
The New Science of Forgetting
At a steel plant in Lulea, Sweden, workers make the world’s most essential construction material the old fashioned way: piling iron ore and coke, a kind of coal-derived fuel, in a huge blast furnace, heating the mixture to enormous temperatures, and then “tapping” the cauldron of molten metal, which sends a stream of white-hot pig iron—and showers of sparks—spilling...
A baby zebrafish is just half the size of a pea. A recent look inside its transparent brain, however, offers clues to the far bigger mystery of how we remember—and how we forget. In an experiment that yielded insights into memory and the brain, a team of researchers at the University of Southern California taught…
TUESDAY 26. APRIL 2022
Expect More Disasters, U.N. Warns, as Climate Change Worsens Everything From Droughts to Economic Meltdowns
A disaster-weary globe will be hit harder in the coming years by even more catastrophes colliding in an interconnected world, a United Nations report issued Monday says.
If current trends continue the world will go from around 400 disasters per year in 2015 to an onslaught of about 560 catastrophes a year by 2030, the scientific report by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction...
FRIDAY 22. APRIL 2022
Europe Experienced its Warmest Summer on Record in 2021
Scientists say last summer was the hottest summer on record in Europe, with temperatures a full 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the average for the previous three decades.
A report released Friday by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service found that while spring 2021 was cooler than average, the summer months were marked by “severe and...
THURSDAY 21. APRIL 2022
The Hunt for Life On Jupiter’s Moon Europa Just Got a Little Easier
It’s hard not to love Europa. It is far and away the most promising of Jupiter’s 79 moons, covered in a rind of water ice perhaps 30 km (18 mi.) thick. Beneath the ice lies a salty, globe-girdling ocean that astronomers estimate could be up to 150 km (93 mi.) deep. As its larger sister moons—Io, Ganymede and Callisto—pass by in their orbits, their gravity causes Europa to...
WEDNESDAY 20. APRIL 2022
Biden Launches $6B Effort to Save Distressed Nuclear Plants
The Biden administration is launching a $6 billion effort to rescue nuclear power plants at risk of closing, citing the need to continue nuclear energy as a carbon-free source of power that helps to combat climate change.
A certification and bidding process opened Tuesday for a civil nuclear credit program that is intended to bail out financially distressed owners or operators of nuclear power...
MONDAY 18. APRIL 2022
Psilocybin Could be a Therapeutic Breakthrough For Addiction
To the uninitiated, psilocybin—the substance that gives ‘magic mushrooms’ their psychedelic qualities—could be dismissed as a recreational drug. Like many other psychedelics, it is banned by the U.S. government as a Schedule 1 substance, meaning it supposedly has high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use in treatment. However, to many medical science...
SATURDAY 16. APRIL 2022
Chinese Astronauts Land After Six Months in Space
BEIJING — Three Chinese astronauts returned to Earth on Saturday after six months aboard their country’s newest orbital station in the longest crewed mission to date for China’s ambitious space program.
The Shenzhou 13 space capsule landed in the Gobi desert in the northern region of Inner Mongolia, shown live on state TV.
During the mission, astronaut Wang Yaping carried out...
FRIDAY 15. APRIL 2022
NASA’s Mega Moon Rocket Is Flunking its Dress Rehearsal
It is a fact of orbital mechanics that the moon is steadily receding from the Earth. Every year the distance between the two worlds grows by 3.78 cm (1.48 in.), or about the speed at which our fingernails grow. That’s not much compared to the overall 384,472 km (238,900 mi.) average distance between the Earth and the moon, and there’s no reason to worry that the moon will be bidding...
SATURDAY 9. APRIL 2022
Steelers Quarterback Dwayne Haskins Killed in Auto Accident
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins was killed in an auto accident Saturday in Florida.
Haskins’ agent, Cedric Saunders, told ESPN about the quarterback’s death, and the Steelers released a statement extending their condolences.
“I am devastated and at a loss for words with the unfortunate passing of Dwayne Haskins,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “He...
FRIDAY 8. APRIL 2022
The First Private Crew Blasts Off for the Space Station
The dining will be fine aboard the International Space Station (ISS) throughout the next week. Flying 408 km (254 mi.) above the Earth and clipping along at a brisk 28,000 km/h (17,500 mph), the crew will be tucking into arroz Estelle Valencia, a Spanish rice dish; secreto de cerdo with pisto—Ibérico Pork with tomatoes, onions, eggplant, and peppers; and chicken and mushroom...
THURSDAY 7. APRIL 2022
We Have the Technology to Solve Climate Change. What We Need is Political Will.
Decades ago, the state of California tried to strike a major blow against climate change, and failed. The state passed an ambitious rule in 1990 mandating car companies slowly begin replacing their offerings with electric vehicles (EVs). But in 2002, the state backed off the policy. Part of the reason was political—car companies, aided by the Bush Administration, were fighting the state...
TUESDAY 5. APRIL 2022
Climeworks Raises $650 Million to Scale Up Carbon Capture Technology
Vegan Documentarian Tells the Inside Story of the Lab-Grown Meat Industry
Swiss startup Climeworks AG has raised 600 million francs ($650 million) to scale up its technology that sucks carbon dioxide directly from the air.
The world has to reach peak greenhouse-gas emissions before 2025 to avoid catastrophic climate change, according to a major United Nations report published Monday. But most scenarios that keep warming within 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels...
Liz Marshall’s latest release, Meat the Future, will be available for streaming April 5 on Apple TV, Amazon, and Google Play. The feature length-documentary charts the birth of a new technological innovation that grows meat from stem cells instead of animals, reducing the need for industrial agriculture and ending slaughter. She tells the story through Uma Valeti, a cardiologist-turned...
MONDAY 4. APRIL 2022
The New IPCC Report Was Delayed As Scientists Debated Reliance On Carbon Capture
Cutting greenhouse gas emissions to prevent the worst of climate change would be relatively cheap and technologically feasible, but governments and financial bodies are failing to do so as they continue to prop up the fossil fuel industry. That’s the conclusion of a landmark report published Monday by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).