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Accessed on 19 March 2019, 1545 UTC.
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LATEST BLOG POSTS
Two Russian Volcanoes Erupting in Tandem
The Kamchatka Peninsula in far eastern Russia is one of the most active volcanic areas on Earth. It isn’t surprising to find multiple volcanoes erupting each week and this week is no exception. Two side-by-side volcanoes — Bezymianny and Sheveluch — were simultaneously erupting over the weekend (above). The eruption at Bezymianny was big enough to cause some air travel over the peninsula to change their flight paths to avoid the ash, but that’s business-as-usual in Kamchatka.
SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy Rocket May Launch Its First Commercial Flight Soon
SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket may fly again as soon as April 7, if the reporting of CNBC proves accurate. The news outlet cites anonymous sources in its story, and SpaceX so far hasn’t confirmed the launch. The rocket’s first and last flight was in February 2018, when it successfully launched Elon Musk’s Tesla roadster into space.
Falcon Heavy’s next mission would fly a communications satellite into space for Arabsat, a Saudi Arabian company. It would launch from SpaceX’s usua …
CBD Is In Jelly Beans, Pet Food and Shampoo. But Many Benefits Are Untested
CBD, or cannabidiol, has exploded onto the market in recent years. Sometime in the past decade, this purportedly medicinal marijuana extract went from being an obscure stoner oil to the wellness product du jour, flooding from holistic markets to the mainstream. Analysts at the investment bank Cowen Inc. predict the industry will balloon to $16 billion by 2025. In comparison, CBD sales totaled less than $1 billion last year, though that’s no small feat for a field that didn’t exist a fe …
Turkish Meteorite Turns Out to be a Free Sample from Asteroid Vesta
Twenty-two million years ago, something crashed into the asteroid Vesta, carving out a large crater and throwing the debris high into space. In 2015, a three-foot meteor streaked through the sky above Turkey before fragmenting into pieces and falling near a village called Sariçiçek. Scientists who studied a whopping 343 pieces of the recovered meteorite now think it originated in that long-ago collision on Vesta.
Connecting the Pieces
Vesta is the second-largest object in the asteroid be …
What Are Tholins? The Mysterious Substance That Turned Ultima Thule Red
On New Year’s Day, NASA’s New Horizons probe streaked by a tiny world dubbed MU69, or Ultima Thule, the farthest object humankind has studied up close. With most of the data still on the spacecraft waiting to be transmitted, scientists are still getting to know this distant body. We know that it’s composed of two chunks of rock loosely stuck together. We know that it doesn’t have moons or rings that New Horizons might have careened into on its close pass. And we know Ultima Thule is r …
Humans Can Sense Earth’s Magnetic Field, Brain Imaging Study Says
Do human beings have a magnetic sense? Biologists know other animals do. They think it helps creatures including bees, turtles and birds navigate through the world.
Scientists have tried to investigate whether humans belong on the list of magnetically sensitive organisms. For decades, there’s been a back-and-forth between positive reports and failures to demonstrate the trait in people, with seemingly endless controversy.
The mixed results in people may be due to the fact that vi …
Are Atheists Genetically Damaged?
I just came across a paper with an interesting title: The Mutant Says in His Heart, “There Is No God”.
The conclusions of this work are even more interesting. According to the authors, Edward Dutton et al., humans evolved to be religious and atheism is caused (in part) by mutational damage to our normal, religious DNA. Atheists, in other words, are genetic degenerates.
Despite the talk of mutations, there is no genetics in this paper. No atheist genomes were sequenced and found …
With the Mars InSight Lander Stuck, NASA Tries to Hack a Fix With Earthly Clones
Last month, NASA’s Mars InSight lander started digging into the Red Planet. Its HP3 (Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package) instrument was designed to burrow and measure Mars from underground, uncovering new geological evidence about how heat flows through the Martian soil. The part of this instrument that actually burrows into the ground is known as the mole. It was meant to penetrate up to 16 feet deep. But it stopped just hours after it starting digging. The mole only made it ab …
Meet Chesley Bonestell, The Most Important Space Artist You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
Over the last half century, spacecraft have visited every planet and their major moons, as well as two dwarf planets and more than a dozen asteroids and comets. Thanks to high-res images, we know these worlds intimately and can appreciate what makes each of them unique. These days, fewer than 3 in 10 Americans are old enough to recall a time when our neighboring worlds were indistinct dots in even the most powerful telescopes.
And yet, even before there were spacecraft to show us, in the …
When Did Humans Start to Get Old?
Age 116, Kane Tanaka of Japan was recently crowned the oldest person on Earth. She’s six years shy of the longest human life on record: 122 years and 164 days reached by a French woman, Jeanne Louise Calment, before her death in 1997.
While turning 100 can get you a shout out on the Today show, there’s nothing newsworthy about surviving into your 70s. That’s just expected based on life expectancy. In the United States, on average, newborn males live to 76 years and females to 81, a …