Welcome to another science update from “Hawaii Science Digest”. This Hawaii island blog focuses on science, technology, medicine, health, the environment, cyber security, and artificial intelligence (AI). Views expressed in this science news summary are those of the reporters and correspondents. Content provided by “Discover Magazine”.
Accessed on 02 February 2019, 0235 UTC.
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LATEST BLOG POSTS
Major Study Rewrites the Driving Source of Atlantic Ocean Circulation
Massive volumes of water circulate throughout the Atlantic Ocean and serve as the central drivers of Earth’s climate. Now researchers have discovered that the heart of this circulation is not where they suspected.
“The general understanding has been [that it’s] in the Labrador Sea, which sits between the Canadian coast and the west side of Greenland,” said Susan Lozier, a physical oceanographer at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, who led the new research. “What we foun …
Chinese Rover Wakes Up, Does Science, Goes Back to Sleep
The Chinese Chang’e-4 lunar mission is returning data again after a scheduled two-week rest period. It’s rover, Yutu-2, woke up on January 29, but the Chang’e-4 lander slept in an extra day. The rest mode was necessary due to the frigid nighttime temperatures on the lunar far side, which plunged as low as -310 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Chang’e-4 mission is the first to explore the far side of the moon, and the cold temperatures are part of the discovery process.
Chang’e-4 Disagrees with Ap …
Hubble Accidentally Discovers An Ancient, Nearby Dwarf Galaxy
The Hubble Space Telescope has discovered a small and strangely isolated dwarf galaxy just 30 million light-years away from our own Milky Way. And astronomers say the discovery was completely by accident.
Luigi Bedin, of the Astronomical Observatory of Padua, and his colleagues were using Hubble to study a globular star cluster called NGC 6752. Globular clusters are tightly packed crowds of ancient stars. And when they looked at the images Hubble sent back, they noticed a small galaxy hid …
CITIZEN SCIENCE SALON
Nature: American Spring LIVE, premieres April 29 on PBS. #citizenscience
Spring is one of nature’s greatest performances – a time of rebirth, renewed energy and dramatic transformations. For three consecutive nights, Monday, April 29 – Wednesday, May 1 at 8:00 p.m. ET on PBS, Nature: American Spring LIVE presents the change from winter to spring in real time from iconic locations across America. The series will include a mix of live and pre-taped footage highlighting some of the most pivotal events in nature’s calendar. A diverse group of researchers and …
Visit the Early Solar System Today
The early solar system was a strange place. Instead of all the planets with which we are so familiar, there were likely lots of small proto-planets and moons competing to get larger and larger. That’s because early on, the planets were accreting — that is, they were being built as bits of rock, dust and gas stuck together due to collisions. The larger the object got, the more pieces would be attracted to it thanks to its increasing gravitational pull.
Eventually, these objects would ge …
NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover Finds Clues About Mysterious Mount Sharp
A team of researchers managed to repurpose a movement-detecting device that helps NASA’s Curiosity rover navigate and use it to measure variations in the Red Planet’s gravitational field. In the process, the scientists discovered that the rocks beneath the rover are more porous than previously suspected. This offers clues into the mysterious formation Mount Sharp, a strange hill the rover has been exploring in the center of Gale Crater.
“This study is a little bit of the fi …
What Happens When You Go Beyond the Final Frontier?
It was a New Year’s Eve like no other. First of all, the big celebration started a half hour after midnight. Children were waving mini-flags, surrounded by throngs of giddy planetary scientists. And four billion miles away, one billion miles past Pluto, the New Horizons spacecraft was flying past an enigmatic object called 2014 MU69–better known by its nickname, Ultima Thule.
When radio signals from New Horizons finally reached Earth the next morning, they revealed that the mission was a …
Scientists Just Cleared Up A Mystery About Auroras
Auroras: They’re colorful, mesmerizing and, most of all, mysterious. Scientists understand the basic physics behind how charged particles interact with our atmosphere to produce these dancing lights. But the larger mechanics of when, why and how auroras appear still isn’t very well understood.
One particular mystery is that the northern and southern lights don’t always match up like researchers would expect. For years, scientists assumed that aurora borealis and aurora australis would m …
New Study Says that Dark Energy Could be Growing in Strength
Dark energy, the mysterious and hypothetical force that scientists think is causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate, may actually be growing over time, according to one new study.
About 20 years ago, scientists discovered dark energy by measuring the light coming from exploding stars, known as supernovas. Dark energy is thought to permeate all of space and, by continuing to study the light coming from supernovas, scientists have observed the effects of dark energy a …
New Study Says We Can Prime Our Brains to Learn While We Sleep
“Learn a new language while you sleep!” may sound like the start of a bad 3 a.m. infomercial, but new research has found some evidence for sleep learning. Of course, listening to French on tape while you sleep is unlikely to instantly give you the ability to order a vanilla latte and an omelet in a foreign tongue the next morning. But it may enhance your ability to learn new vocabulary, according to a study published in Current Biology.
Researchers have long known that sleeping play …