Latest Blog Posts

D-brief

NASA Announces Upcoming ISS Crews, Which Won't Fly Commercial

By Korey Haynes | April 19, 2019 3:00 pm

Ever since the space shuttle retired in 2011, NASA has been paying Russia for rides to the International Space Station. They’d hoped that dependency would finally end in 2019. But with its new lineup of flights and launch dates released this week, the space agency acknowledged they’re not quite done needing Russia’s Soyuz rockets yet.

NASA will remain dependent on Russia for the next round of space station rotations. Thanks to delays in commercial launches by SpaceX and Boeing, which NASA …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts
MORE ABOUT: space exploration

The Crux

H.M.S. Challenger: Humanity's First Real Glimpse of the Deep Oceans

By Kate Golembiewski | April 19, 2019 2:48 pm

We know more about the surface of the moon than about the ocean floor. Scientists estimate that 91 percent of life under the sea hasn’t been discovered yet and more than 80 percent of the ocean has never been explored. What we do know about the ocean makes it almost more mysterious. It’s an alien landscape, complete with undersea mountain ranges and trenches deeper than Mount Everest is tall, home to a glorious nightmare carnival of weird, often glowing animals.

And most of what we kn …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Living World, Top Posts

D-brief

Two Neutron Stars Collide, Forming a Magnetar

By Alison Klesman | April 19, 2019 1:30 pm

In October 2017, astronomers announced the first detection of gravitational waves from the merger of two neutron stars earlier that year. The event also rung in the era of multi-messenger astronomy, as more than 70 telescopes observed the event’s afterglow in optical light, X-rays, gamma rays, and more. Now, an X-ray signal dubbed XT2 from a galaxy 6.6 billion light-years away has revealed another neutron star merger, which left behind a single, heavier neutron star with an incredibly powe …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts
MORE ABOUT: stars

D-brief

How Passing Asteroids Reveal the Secrets of Distant Stars

By Alison Klesman | April 19, 2019 1:15 pm

Stars in the night sky appear as tiny points of light because they are too far away for your eyes to resolve. But even through powerful telescopes, stars still appear as mere points because they are too small to see their true physical size at vast distances. Now, a group of astronomers from over 20 different institutions has found a way to combine a unique telescope array with passing asteroids to measure the diameter of two distant stars, including the smallest star directly measured to da …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts

Neuroskeptic

Premature Commercialization in Suicide Prediction

By Neuroskeptic | April 19, 2019 12:31 pm

A Swedish company called Emotra make a device to detect someone’s risk of suicide based on measuring the body’s autonomic responses to certain sounds. It’s called EDOR®.

I’ve been blogging about this machine for the past 18 months (1, 2, 3) because such a product, if it worked, would be very important. It could help save countless lives. Unfortunately, I don’t think EDOR® has been proven to be effective. As I’ve argued in my previous posts, the evidence just isn’t there yet.

Now, …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: mental health, science, select, Top Posts
Professor Bobson, an expert in rare birds, shows the CyberSquad how to organize and analyze data from citizen scientists in Cyberchase’s “The Migration Situation.” Image courtesy of THIRTEEN Productions LLC.

Citizen Science Salon

Cyberchase and Citizen Science

By Guest | April 19, 2019 9:21 am

Why don’t kids like math and science?

Based on my many years of teaching elementary math and science, I know that when kids are bored with these subjects, it’s usually because they don’t see the point of how these subjects could be useful or interesting in the context of their real lives. Kids want to apply their math and science skills to make things happen! One great way to help them do this and see the value of these subjects is to introduce the idea of citizen science. Citizen scien …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Classroom, Education, In the News
Eastern Spotted Skunk. Photo credit: Missouri Department of Conservation

Citizen Science Salon

Citizen Science in Nebraska

By Guest | April 19, 2019 8:37 am

In Nebraska, scientists working for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission are increasingly relying on casual researchers and citizen scientists to better understand three creatures in particular: spotted skunks, salamanders, and regal fritillary and monarch butterflies. Why? The populations of these species have either declined or are in jeopardy, and scientists want to get a current population count. Let’s take a closer look at these three Nebraskan citizen science projects and what researcher …

D-brief

How A 'Snowball Chamber' Might Help Scientists Finally Find Dark Matter

By Jake Parks | April 18, 2019 4:07 pm

If you enjoy watching videos on the internet, you’ve likely already witnessed the phenomenon known as supercooling. Basically, the process involves taking ultra-pure water and putting it into a clean, smooth container that lacks any structural defects. If the conditions are right, when you attempt to freeze the water by dropping its temperature below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius), it will surprisingly remain in a liquid state.

This is because in order for ice crystals …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts
MORE ABOUT: dark matter, physics

D-brief

Scientists Discover 1.8 Million Hidden Southern California Earthquakes

By Roni Dengler | April 18, 2019 3:00 pm

Southern California is famous for its sandy beaches, wine country, theme parks and Hollywood glitz. And also its earthquakes. Now, researchers have identified more than 1.8 million previously unknown earthquakes that hit Southern California between 2008 and 2017. The findings suggest these truly tiny earthquakes — as small as just 0.3 magnitude on the Richter scale — happen every 174 seconds, yet they’re hardly felt on Earth’s surface.

“The goal was to produce a state of the art …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, Technology, top posts
MORE ABOUT: geology

D-brief

We Might All Have Synesthesia, New Study Suggests

By Nathaniel Scharping | April 18, 2019 2:00 pm

Oh, to be a synesthete, those rare people with access to an extra layer of perception. Sounds have colors. Words have taste. Colors play music. The list goes on. The phenomenon isn’t totally understood by scientists, but the general idea is that those with synesthesia experience sensory inputs differently than the rest of us.
It’s no wonder that synesthesia is common among artists. But for those of us that just see letters as letters and can’t taste a song, synesthesia is more apt to  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Mind & Brain, top posts
NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Collapse bottom bar
+