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Accessed on 22 July 2019, 0735 UTC.
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LATEST BLOG POSTS
An Electric “Humm” To Make You Smarter?
This week I came across a brain stimulation device called Humm that promises to improve your cognitive function and memory if you stick it to your forehead.
The Humm device. Image adapted from https://thinkhumm.com/preorder
There are several broadly similar devices on the market, which make use of the principle of transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) – passing a current through the head (the front of the head, generally) in order to modulate brain activity.
In the case o …
Apollo’s Legacy is Keeping Us Grounded
Buzz Aldrin’s famous footprint. NASA.
Apollo was amazing. Footage moonwalking astronauts and breathtaking images of the Earth from space remain a source of inspiration, and on a personal level have been the driver behind my entire academic and professional career. Apollo’s legacy, on the other hand, has crippled our progress in space. In short, I think Apollo sort of ruined spaceflight.
In the Very Beginning…
On July 29, 1955, White House Press Secretary James C. Hagerty addres …
Elon Musk Confirms SpaceX’s Starhopper Survived Recent Fireball
An artist rendition of Starship on a future flight in space. (Credit: SpaceX)
In a series of Twitter responses, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk confirmed Starhopper, the prototype for the company’s next generation of spacecraft, survived what appeared to be an explosion during a recent test.
On Tuesday, July 16, Starhopper had undergone a “static fire test” to check recently added Raptor engines on a testing pad in Boca Chica, Texas. But about five seconds after the test, a fireball surrounded …
Why Do Mosquitos Love Biting Some People More Than Others?
Mosquitos are an annoyance to all — but some people seem to attract them far more than others. (Credit: mycteria/Shutterstock)
As I slept unaware beneath the stars one night in early July, what I can only assume to be a legion of mosquitoes declared war against my forehead.
I’ve been a mosquito magnet as long as I can remember, so I should have foreseen the itchy misery they would deliver upon my face. I offered them an exposed patch of flesh, they took it. Eight times. But my t …
NASA: Last month was the warmest June on record. Will July turn out to be the warmest month ever observed?
Satellite image of a wildfire blazing in in the Qeqqata Kommunia of western Greenland. The image consists of data acquired by a Sentinel satellite on July 14th, 2019 in the infrared and visible parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. (Source: Copernicus Sentinel Data processed by Pierre Markuse)
Last month has gone into the books as the warmest June on record, beating out 2016 by a comfortable margin, according to the latest global analysis by NASA.
Now, more than half way through July, co …
This AI Solves The Rubik’s Cube Way Better Than You
In 1974, an architecture professor named Erno Rubik built a movable piece of art to help his students understand three-dimensional problems. Though his own creation took him more than a month to solve, it soon became an iconic puzzle game, the Rubik’s cube.
The goal of the game is to re-arrange the faces of a cube decorated with 54 multi-colored squares so that each face shows a solid block of color. There are 43 quintillion potential ways to arrange the …
How a Zombie Fungus Takes Over Ants’ Jaws to Deliver a Death Bite
An ant infected by a cordyceps fungus with a stroma emerging from the back of its head. (Credit: David P. Hughes, Maj-Britt Pontoppidan/Wikimedia Commons)
Forget The Walking Dead – there’s a real zombie outbreak happening right now — though it’s more like the crawling dead.
Ants, moths, grasshoppers, wasps and hundreds of other species of insects regularly fall victim to a deadly parasite that hijacks their bodies and brains, causing strange behaviors and eventually leading them …
The Truth is Out There: Using VERITAS to Search for E.T.
The four VERITAS telescopes in Arizona will soon be used to hunt for alien communications. (Credit: The VERITAS collaboration)
Traditionally, the hunt for intelligent life in the universe has focused on radio signals from far off worlds. But scientists are turning to more varied types of signals, acknowledging that we have very little idea how a truly alien life-form might choose to communicate, either with themselves or us.
With that in mind, Breakthrough Listen, a program searching for …
Three New ISS Crew Members to Launch on July 20
Exactly 50 years after the first humans stepped foot on the
moon, three astronauts will blast off into space to join the current crew on
the International Space Station.
On July 20, NASA astronaut Drew Morgan, European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano, and Russian cosmonaut Aleksandr Skvortsov, will launch from Kazakhstan around 12:28 EDT. After a four-hour orbit around Earth, the crew will travel the last two hours to the ISS, docking around 6:50 p.m. EDT. Two hours …
Resveratrol, Compound in Red Wine, Could Help Astronauts Walk on Mars
The same stuff that’s been linked to red wine’s heart-health benefits could also someday help astronauts walk on Mars. In a new study published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology, researchers say that resveratrol, a compound found in wines, could lessen muscle loss on the long trip to Mars.
The Trouble With Traveling to Mars
Currently, a one-way trip to Mars will take something like nine months. To make the trek, whichever spacecraft astr …