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The Crux

How the First Exoplanets Were Discovered

By John Wenz | October 8, 2019 2:30 pm

The first exoplanets ever discovered were found orbiting the pulsar PSR B1257+12. It took years for astronomers to find exoplanets around sun-like stars. (Credit:NASA/JPL-Caltech)

In 1992, astronomers discovered the first exoplanet, or planet
outside our solar system. But it didn’t come in any form they’d really

Neutron stars are the second densest type of object in the
universe outside black holes. They form when a giant star dies and explodes
outward as a result of the …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, Top Posts
MORE ABOUT: exoplanets

The Crux

How Many People Have Died in Outer Space?

By Jake Parks | October 8, 2019 12:59 pm

Following the only deaths to have ever occurred in space, the USSR started a policy requiring all cosmonauts to wear pressurized spacesuits during reentry. (Credit:

For many wannabe astronauts, the idea of venturing into the great unknown would be a dream come true. But over the past 50 years, there’s been a slew of spaceflight-related tragedies that are more akin to an astronaut’s worst nightmare.

In the last half-century, about 30 astronauts and cosmonauts have died while tr …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, Top Posts
MORE ABOUT: space exploration

The Crux

Whole Body Vibration: Does Shaking Up Our Workouts Lead to Better Health?

By Nathaniel Scharping | October 7, 2019 4:43 pm

Does working out on a vibrating plate help make us stronger? (Credit: Alliance Images)

Can we vibrate ourselves healthy? That’s the premise behind a form of therapy called whole body vibration, or WBV. Proponents argue that subjecting our bones and muscles to rapid vibrations makes them stronger — much the same way exercise does.

The idea is simple: Standing on a vibrating plate forces our muscles to do work. This low-grade stress ultimately leads to strength gains and weight loss. Some …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, Top Posts
MORE ABOUT: personal health

The Crux

How the U.S. Could Have an All-Renewable Energy Grid

By David Timmons, The Conversation | October 2, 2019 10:45 am

An all-renewable grid will mean more electricity and more transmission lines. (Credit: Russ Allison Loar/flickr, CC BY-NC-ND)

The main solution to climate change is well known – stop burning fossil fuels. How to do this is more complicated, but as a scholar who does energy modeling, I and others see the outlines of a post-fossil-fuel future: We make electricity with renewable sources and electrify almost everything.

That means running vehicles and trains on electricity, h …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Technology, Top Posts

The Crux

Evolution Could Explain Why Having a Girlfriend Makes Men More Attractive

By Bridget Alex | October 1, 2019 12:39 pm

Being in a relationship might make a man more attractive to women. (Credit: Roman Seliutin/Shutterstock)

Here’s an option for men struggling to find female partners: Hire a professional wing woman for a night on the town. A beautiful, charismatic companion will help ease you into conversations with prospective dates. At least, that’s the claim companies touting the service make.

But there may be another hidden advantage to your female companion, one rooted deep in our minds. Women seek …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Mind & Brain, Top Posts
MORE ABOUT: psychology

Citizen Science Salon

AI-Powered, Smart Project Recommendations on SciStarter

By cnickerson | September 30, 2019 12:39 pm

Portions of this blog post are excerpted from the accompanying podcast episode and from notes shared between the SciStarter team and Kobi Gal’s research team.

Smart Project Recommendations on SciStarter

With thousands of projects listed on SciStarter, a main challenge can be finding the right project, one that really suits your needs and your interests. After meeting at a workshop on the Open Science of Learning hosting by CRI, Kobi Gal, a leading expert in human …


Hurricane Lorenzo Defies Forecasts, Strengthening Into a Monster and Setting an All-time Record

By Tom Yulsman | September 29, 2019 1:43 pm

Hurricane Lorenzo, howling in the North Atlantic on the evening of Saturday September 28, 2019 and into Sunday the 29th, as seen by the GOES-16 weather satellite. (Note: The video cycles through several times. Source: CIRA/RAMMB)

On Thursday, Sept. 26, the National Hurricane Center described Hurricane Lorenzo as “one of the largest and most powerful hurricanes of record for the central tropical Atlantic, with the only comparable hurricane [near there] in recent  …

MORE ABOUT: weather


A Possibly Historic Snow Storm in the West, Plus a Heat Wave in the East — What's Going On?

By Tom Yulsman | September 28, 2019 4:18 pm

The National Weather Service is warning that “a significant, very early-season winter storm will enter the Northern Rockies Saturday. A host of potentially dangerous impacts will result from this type of early winter storm.”

Historic snow and a heat wave? That’s what a downright loopy jet stream pattern is bringing to large parts of the United States.

Parts of the Northern Rockies are bracing for what the National Weather Service in Missoula, MT is describing as an “historic winter storm  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Climate Change, Top Posts, Weather
MORE ABOUT: climate change


Arctic Sea Ice Plunges to Second Lowest Extent on Record

By Tom Yulsman | September 28, 2019 1:47 pm

Thanks to human-caused warming, an area of ice three times the size of Texas went missing this year

Arctic sea ice shriveled so much during this summer’s now-finished melt season that it has reached the second lowest extent on record.

A sensitive indicator of human-caused warming, the low extent of the region’s floating lid of ice effectively tied with 2007 and 2016 for second place in satellite records extending back 40 years, according to the National S …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Climate Change, Top Posts
MORE ABOUT: climate change

Citizen Science Salon

Citizen Science Around the World

By lshell | September 22, 2019 10:09 am

Join the global movement.

Citizen science provides many ways to explore topics you are curious or concerned about, from anywhere in the world.

Find a project near you using the SciStarter Project Finder. Enable the “near me” feature to find local projects in need of your help.

Below, we highlight projects and outcomes from every continent.

Cheers!The SciStarter Team

Citizen Science in North America

Ian Davies, a 26-year-old bird watcher in Canada, reported  …


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