This Week’s ‘Supermoon’ Will Be Closer to Earth Than Usual—But at Roughly 220,000 Miles Away, It’s Still Appropriately Socially Distanced
(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) — A supermoon rises in the sky this week, looking to be the biggest and brightest of the year.
Not only will the moon be closer to Earth than usual, it will also be a full moon. Scientists call this cosmic combo a supermoon. The moon will be 221,855 miles (357,042 kilometers) away at its fullest Tuesday night, making it appear larger and more brilliant.
WEDNESDAY 1. APRIL 2020
Pausing the World to Fight Coronavirus Has Carbon Emissions Down—But True Climate Success Looks Like More Action, Not Less
Global Air Pollution Has Fallen Due to the Coronavirus Outbreak, but Experts Warn It Isn’t a Silver Lining
Runaway exponential growth. Unprecedented economic impacts. Untold deaths and suffering, especially among the poor and vulnerable.
All these superlatives are sadly apt descriptors for the COVID-19 crisis unfolding in front of our eyes. They also apply to climate change. But while the slowdown in activity due to COVID-19 has led to a temporary fall in China’s carbon dioxide emissions by up...
Around the world an unexpected impact of the economic shuttering due to the coronavirus outbreak is striking blue skies and clear water in places, from Venice to Beijing, Los Angeles to Bangalore, where only weeks ago pollution dominated.
COVID-19 has driven the global economy to a near-halt as the pandemic sweeps the globe. With factories shuttered and cars parked in garages, air pollution has...
FRIDAY 27. MARCH 2020
The U.S. Space Force Just Launched Its First Mission
(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) — The newly established U.S. Space Force launched its first national security satellite Thursday with a leaner staff because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Nothing stops the space launch mission!” the 45th Space Wing tweeted from Cape Canaveral.
The approximately $1 billion satellite is the sixth and final one in the U.S. military’s Advanced...
TUESDAY 24. MARCH 2020
What Coronavirus Means for the Possibility of a Carbon-Free Economy
In the days following Barack Obama’s election as president, incoming chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel made a bold declaration about how the administration would respond to the urgent financial crisis. “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” he said, citing a range of challenges, from climate to health care, that might be addressed as part of a response to the Great...
WEDNESDAY 18. MARCH 2020
Apollo 15 Astronaut Al Worden, Who Circled the Moon, Dies at 88
(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) — Apollo 15 astronaut Al Worden, who circled the moon alone in 1971 while his two crewmates test-drove the first lunar rover, has died at age 88, his family said Wednesday.
His family said he died in his sleep in Houston. No cause of death was given.
“Al was an American hero whose achievements in space and on Earth will never be forgotten., said NASA...
TUESDAY 17. MARCH 2020
How Fear Can Spread Like a Virus
The sensations were familiar: my heart rate accelerating, my chest tightening, my focus narrowing. These were feelings I’d had many times before in my life—most often when exposed to heights, climbing a ladder or hiking along a steep trail. I’d felt them during the long, stretched-out moments of a serious car accident, rolling off the highway and into a ditch in a mountain...
WEDNESDAY 11. MARCH 2020
Mapping the Spread of the Coronavirus Outbreak Around the U.S. and the World
Last Year Was the Second-Warmest on Record and the Decade Was the Hottest Ever, the U.N. Says
Since the first case of COVID-19 was identified in central China in December, the illness has spread across the world, leading to an outbreak that the World Health Organization has called a pandemic. The maps and charts below show the extent of the spread, and will be updated daily with data gathered from over a dozen sources by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and...
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Last year was the second warmest on record, the past decade was the hottest in human history and January was the warmest January since 1850, the head of the U.N. weather agency said Tuesday.
Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization also said Europe had a record-warm winter, and “we have also broken records in (emitting) carbon...
TUESDAY 10. MARCH 2020
Coronavirus Drug and Vaccine Studies Are Recruiting Their First Volunteers
As COVID-19 continues to spread both around the world and in the U.S., two separate efforts to find a medical solution to the virus are moving forward. At the University of Nebraska, the first patients have volunteered to test an experimental drug to treat COVID-19. And at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, researchers have begun recruiting people to test a possible...
TUESDAY 3. MARCH 2020
You Can Learn a Lot About Yourself From a DNA Test. Here’s What Your Genes Cannot Tell You
“Have you found an article of clothing with a suspicious stain?” asks the website of one Florida-based company called All About Truth DNA Services, which informs readers that “aprrpoximately [sic] 60% of husbands and 40% of wives will have an affair at some point,” and recommends consumers wait for their “suspicious item” to dry and then send it in for...
MONDAY 2. MARCH 2020
Coronavirus Could Preview What Will Happen When Alien Life Reaches Earth
You know what? Maybe we ought to reconsider this whole thing about looking for life on other worlds. It would be nice to find it, of course. But that doesn’t mean we could handle it—biologically, epidemiologically and most important, emotionally.
We are currently in the midst of a global near-panic over what, in some respects, is its own alien, or at least previously unknown,...
MONDAY 24. FEBRUARY 2020
Hidden Figures Hero Katherine Johnson Reminded Us That Space Was Never Safe From America’s Worst Impulses
NASA Mars Lander Confirms ‘Marsquakes,’ Frequent Seismic Activity on Red Planet
Katherine Johnson performed what might have been the most important job of her life backwards—because backwards was exactly the right way to do it. The job was figuring out how to ensure that John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, would splash down in the Atlantic as close as possible to the recovery team that would be awaiting him. So Johnson—the legendary NASA...
Katherine Johnson, NASA Mathematician Whose Work Inspired the Film Hidden Figures, Dies at 101
(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) — NASA’s newest Mars lander has confirmed that quakes and even aftershocks are regularly jolting the red planet.
Scientists reported Monday that the seismometer from the InSight spacecraft has detected scores of marsquakes.
A series of research papers focus on the 174 marsquakes noted through last September. Twenty-four were relatively strong — magnitude...
Katherine Johnson, a mathematician who calculated rocket trajectories and earth orbits for NASA’s early space missions and was later portrayed in the 2016 hit film “Hidden Figures,” about pioneering black female aerospace workers, has died. She was 101.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said on Twitter that she died Monday morning. No cause was given.
Bridenstine tweeted that...
THURSDAY 20. FEBRUARY 2020
‘Your Workday Is Easier Thanks to His Revolutionary Ideas.’ Computer Scientist Who Created ‘Copy’ and ‘Paste’ Dies
(NEW YORK) — Larry Tesler, the Silicon Valley pioneer who created the now-ubiquitous computer concepts such as “cut,” “copy” and “paste,” has died. He was 74.
He made using computers easier for generations as a proponent and pioneer of what he called “modeless editing.” That meant a user wouldn’t have to use a keyboard to switch between...
TUESDAY 18. FEBRUARY 2020
NASA Could Get a Raise Next Year to Help Fund a 2024 Human Trip to the Moon
For decades, NASA has been the kid politely asking for a raise in its allowance. Time was NASA’s pocket money was huge. Go back 54 years, to 1966, and the space agency was getting $5.9 billion a year—which would be a tidy $47 billion in 2020 dollars. That represented 4.1% of America’s annual household budget. But in 1966 there was also a bully on the block, whose mailbox at the...
SUNDAY 16. FEBRUARY 2020
Sandra the Orangutan, Granted Legal Personhood by Judge in Argentina, Celebrates 34th Birthday
(WAUCHULA, Fla.) — A orangutan named Sandra, who was granted legal personhood by a judge in Argentina and later found a new home in Florida, celebrated her 34th birthday on Valentine’s Day with a special new primate friend.
Patti Ragan, director of the Center for Great Apes in Wauchula, Florida, says Sandra “has adjusted beautifully to her life at the sanctuary” and has...
THURSDAY 13. FEBRUARY 2020
A Group of Big Businesses is Backing a Carbon Tax. Could It Be a Solution to Climate Change?
New Study Shows That When It Comes to Pesticides and Kids, the EPA Has Looked the Other Way
The long list of big companies backing a carbon tax as a solution to climate change grew this week with financial giant J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. endorsing a legislative plan billed as a centrist approach to reducing emissions.
The announcement comes as the Climate Leadership Council (CLC), the organization behind the proposal, which was first released in 2017, redoubles efforts to promote the...
It’s easy to lose count of all of the pesticides that are sprayed on crops in the U.S., and well-nigh impossible to know all of the names (dichloropropene and pyraclostrobin and spinetoram and on and on). But it’s not hard to guess who gets hit hardest by all of these chemicals: kids, whose brain, nervous and hormonal systems are still developing at the time of exposure. What’s...
TUESDAY 11. FEBRUARY 2020
Climate Change is Decimating the Chinstrap Penguins of Antarctica
Chinstrap penguins are exquisitely adapted to their environment. They live and breed in some of the world’s harshest conditions, nesting in the windblown, rocky coves of the Antarctic Peninsula, a strip of land comprising the northernmost part of the frigid continent. In water they are precision hunters, darting after krill, the tiny shrimp-like crustaceans that…
MONDAY 10. FEBRUARY 2020
Solar Orbiter Blasts Off to Capture a First Look at the Sun’s Elusive Poles
(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) — Europe and NASA’s Solar Orbiter rocketed into space Sunday night on an unprecedented mission to capture the first pictures of the sun’s elusive poles.
The $1.5 billion spacecraft will join NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, launched 1 1/2 years ago, in coming perilously close to the sun in order to unveil its secrets.
While Solar Orbiter won’t...
FRIDAY 7. FEBRUARY 2020
Record Temperatures Hit Antarctica as Region Experiences ‘Dramatic Changes’
The temperature at one research base in Antarctica reached a record-breaking 18.3 degrees Celsius (65 Fahrenheit) on Thursday, almost a full degree above the previous high set five years ago.
Argentine scientists on the Esperanza base who confirmed the reading said that wasn’t the only record broken this week. The nation’s Marambio site registered the highest temperature for the...
THURSDAY 6. FEBRUARY 2020
The Wuhan Coronavirus, Climate Change, and Future Epidemics
NASA Astronaut Christina Koch Returns Safely From History-Making 328-Day Mission
A previously unknown strain of coronavirus has dominated headlines in recent weeks, and alarmed public health officials with its rapid spread and virulent nature. But it’s really no surprise to the scientists who study infectious disease: it’s just one of several pathogens that have the potential to reach calamitous status.
I have no evidence that climate change triggered this...
(MOSCOW) — NASA astronaut Christina Koch, who has spent nearly 11 months in orbit on the longest spaceflight by a woman, landed safely in Kazakhstan on Thursday along with two of her International Space Station crewmates.
The Soyuz capsule carrying Koch, along with station Commander Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency and the Russian space agency Roscosmos’ Alexander...