Science/Nature

'Ground-breaking' galaxy collision detected

Image copyright NRAO/AUI/NSF/S. Dagnello Image caption An artist’s impression of the 14 galaxies detected Scientists have detected a cosmic “pileup” of galaxies in the early Universe. Imaged almost at the boundary of the observable Universe, the 14 unusually bright objects are on a collision course, set to form one massive galaxy. This will in turn […]

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Gaia telescope's 'book of the heavens' takes shape

Image copyright ESA The Gaia observatory has released a second swathe of data as it assembles the most precise map of the sky. The European Space Agency telescope has now plotted the position and brightness of nearly 1.7 billion stars. It also has information on the distance, motion and colour of 1.3 billion of these […]

Science/Nature

Swedish archaeologists reveal 5th Century massacre at Sandby borg

Image copyright Daniel Lindskog Image caption Team member Clara Alfsdotter arranges the remains of one victim Swedish archaeologists have found evidence of a 5th century massacre on the south-eastern island of Oland. In a paper published in the journal Antiquity, the team writes about the 1,500 year old attack at Sandby borg. Dozens of corpses […]

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An unusually late start to the season for USA's Tornado Alley

Tornado In a twist that would ruin the storyline to the Wizard of Oz, the USA’s ‘Tornado Alley’ has been strangely quiet this year. In fact, if there are none reported in Oklahoma or Kansas on Thursday, 2018 will officially be the quietest start to the tornado season in both states …on record! What is […]

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Modified plant boosts malaria drug yield

Image copyright Ying Liu / Xinhua Image caption Artemisia annua usually makes only small amounts of the drug in its leaves Scientists have modified a plant’s genes to make it produce high levels of a key malaria drug, potentially helping meet the large global demand. The team identified genes involved in making artemisinin, altering their […]

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Record concentration of microplastics found in Arctic

Image copyright Alfred Wegener Institute/ R.Stein Image caption Plastic particles end up in sea ice floating in the Arctic Record levels of microplastics have been found trapped inside sea ice floating in the Arctic. Ice cores gathered across the Arctic Ocean reveal microplastics at concentrations two to three times higher than previously recorded. As sea […]

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Noxious gas found on planet Uranus

Image copyright NASA Image caption The discovery confirms a long-held idea about Uranus’ atmosphere Hydrogen sulphide, the gas associated with the smell of rotten eggs, has been detected in the atmosphere of the seventh planet, Uranus. The possibility of this gas being present had long been debated, but has now been confirmed for the first […]

Science/Nature

Environment prize goes to Flint water activist

Image copyright Goldman Prize Image caption Lead levels in Ms Walters’ home were found to be seven times acceptable limits The founder of a citizens’ movement that helped expose the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, is one of the recipients of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize. Nearly 100,000 residents of Flint were left without safe […]

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'Exploding ant' species found in South East Asia

A team of international scientists has discovered a new species of “exploding ants”. The canopy-dwelling ants, common in South East Asia, are known for their bizarre defensive behaviour. Alice Laciny, from the Natural History Museum of Vienna, is one of the researchers behind the discovery. Source link

Science/Nature

Nasa engineer: Three facts about landing on Mars

Caley Burke is a Nasa flight analyst based at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. She designs the trajectory so that when rockets are launched into space, they end up in the right place. Caley’s currently working on the InSight Lander, which is heading to Mars later this year. She told BBC Radio 5 live about […]

Science/Nature

Rare brown bear dies in Italy capture operation

Image copyright AFP Image caption The Marsican bear is a critically endangered subspecies of the brown bear A national park in central Italy is investigating the death of a rare brown bear during an operation to capture it. Biologists at the park in the Apennine mountains had trapped the animal to fit him with a […]