Welcome to a “Discover Magazine” news update from Hawaii Science Digest.
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Content provided by “Discover Magazine”, 22 February 2019.
Accessed on 23 February 2019, 0525 UTC.
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LATEST BLOG POSTS
In a New Experiment, Scientists Used Jolts of Electricity to Spark Actual Joy
People all around the world (or at least where Netflix is available) have been exhausting themselves of late trying to “spark joy” in their lives. The urge comes from cleaning guru Marie Kondo, whose philosophy rests on the principle that we should rid our homes and minds of things that don’t inspire bursts of pleasure.
The message resonates, in part, because it ties positivity to the world of material things. Happiness is in our minds. So having a tangible mechanism for producing j …
NASA Picks Science Experiments to Send to the Moon This Year
Following on the heels of its announcement to return to the moon this year, NASA announced Thursday the first batch of science projects and technology demonstrations they want to send skyward in 2019, assuming their commercial partners can launch on time.
The selections highlight the science questions NASA wants answered as it ramps up robotic missions to the moon and shoots for placing humans back on the surface within the next decade, this time on a more permanent basis.
The science …
CITIZEN SCIENCE SALON
Take Pictures of Your (Six-Legged) Roommates for Science
Modern Americans spend nearly 90% of their lives indoors. Yet despite all that time inside, we know remarkably little about the life that shares our indoor spaces. This spring, a team at North Carolina State University hopes to change that by asking students to document the creatures they find in their dorms, homes, and apartments for a citizen science project called “Never Home Alone @ NCSU.”
Ever since we humans climbed down from the safety of the trees, we have been walling o …
Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Just Made its Second Trip to Space
On Friday, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo flew in space for the second time, taking off from Mojave, California after days of weather delay. SpaceShipTwo took off at 8:07 a.m. PST carrying two pilots, a crewmember, and a nearly full weight of science projects from NASA.
Unlike most spaceflights that fire rockets from the ground, SpaceShipTwo is carried on the belly of a plane named WhiteKnightTwo before being released to propel itself into the upper atmosphere. After being carried 45, …
Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Will Fly to Space Again Today
On Friday, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo will fly in space for the second time, taking off from Mojave, California after days of weather delay. Their launch time is set for 8 a.m. PST.
Unlike most spaceflights that fire rockets from the ground, SpaceShipTwo is carried on the back of a plane named WhiteKnightTwo before being released to propel itself into the upper atmosphere. It’s a suborbital flight, meaning it does not reach orbit, and attains weightlessness for only a few minutes …
SpaceX Just Launched Israel’s Lunar Lander off to the Moon
The Israeli spacecraft Beresheet launched this evening on a trip to the moon, where it hopes to touch down in two months. This will be the first attempt at a lunar landing by a private company, and it’s also the first launch by an Israeli spacecraft. Beresheet took off from from Cape Canaveral on one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets at 8:45 Eastern time tonight.
An hour after launch, Beresheet’s engineers reported that the spacecraft had deployed its landing legs as expected, and was sendin …
Japan’s Hayabusa2 Spacecraft Shot an Asteroid Tonight
Far from Earth, a tiny spacecraft punched an asteroid tonight.
Hayabusa2 swooped close to Ryugu today to collect asteroid dust. The JAXA spacecraft has spent the last day leaving its usual orbit around the asteroid to zoom in close. Tonight, it flew in close enough to touch Ryugu and hopefully steal some space dust before darting away again.
It didn’t stay long. The touchdown was more of a quick tag, and Hayabusa2 stayed just long enough to fire a tiny bullet into the asteroid’s …
SNAPSHOT: A New Way to Track Biodiversity
A team of scientists at the University of Alberta used an image spectrometer — essentially a specialized camera that captures light waves invisible to the naked eye — to create this technicolor shot of plants in the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve in Minnesota.
The different colors show differences in plants’ functions, which, the team suggests in a paper published last year in Nature Ecology & Evolution, could be a way to illustrate and track biodiversity.
Red repres …
Why Flu Vaccines Don’t Work as Well in the Elderly
The adage that “the older you are, the wiser you get” doesn’t always apply to our immune systems. Despite being exposed to a lifetime’s worth of illnesses, immune systems in the elderly are worse at fighting stealthy, shape-shifting viruses like the flu.
Why aging decreases our immune system’s abilities has been a mystery to researchers. But a new study published in Cell Host & Microbe finds that our infection-battling B-cells become blunted with age, making us less equi …
A New Species of Tiny Tyrannosaur Helps Explain the Rise of T. rex
Scientists have discovered a new species of tiny tyrannosaur that lived some 95 million years ago in what’s now Utah. The find helps fill a frustrating gap in the fossil record at a critical time when tyrannosaurs were evolving from small, speedy hunters, into the bone-crushing apex predators we know so well.
The new dinosaur has been dubbed Moros intrepidus, and its name means “harbinger of doom.” The creature, known only from a leg bone and some various teeth, weighed under 200 p …