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Accessed on 24 October 2019, 1545 UTC.
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Blue Origin is Partnering with Major Aerospace Companies to Land Humans on the Moon
An illustration of Blue Moon, the lunar lander Blue Origin is planning. A larger version of this could be the model for the new Human Landing System. (Credit: Blue Origin)
Some of the biggest names in the aerospace industry are teaming up with Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos to create the Human Landing System (HLS), which will bring humans back to the lunar surface by 2024 as part of NASA’s Artemis program.
The announcement at the International Astronautical congress …
The Giant Geode of Pulpi is 25 feet long. Now Scientists Know How it Formed
(Credit: Hector Garrido)
From one end to another, this giant geode is about as long as a small RV. If you wanted, you could comfortably house several adults within its dazzling interior. And the crystalline slabs that jut from its walls may even be taller than you are.
However you slice it, the geode of Pulpí is absolutely gigantic. The interior of the egg-shaped cavity — which measures 25 feet long, 7 feet wide and about 5 feet tall — is encrusted with shimmering crystals. These cr …
These Rats Have Learned How to Drive Tiny Cars
A rat in its new ride. (Credit: University of Richmond)
Researchers report that they’ve taught rats to drive cars, knocking human technical superiority down another notch.
It’s not quite as amazing as it sounds, of course. The “cars” are simple wheeled platforms controlled by means of electrically conductive bars. And the rats aren’t quite navigating the Nurburgring Nordschleife yet. But the feat hints at the adaptive skills of these common lab animals, and it could lead to new kinds of t …
Dark Matter Makes ‘Super Spiral’ Galaxies Spin up to 350 Miles Per Second
(Credit: NASA, ESA, P. Ogle and J. DePasquale (STScI))
The larger the spiral galaxy, the faster it spins. That’s a well-known fact for astronomers. But a few years ago, researchers discovered a new class of jumbo-sized spiral galaxies; astronomers call them “super spirals.”
And, in a surprise find published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, researchers now say that these super spirals are actually rotating even faster than predicted based on the visible sizes of the galaxies. The fas …
Archaeologists in Jerusalem Dug Up a Road Built by Pontius Pilate
The Dome of the Rock, on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. An ancient road leading to the site was likely built by Pontius Pilate. (Credit: FrancisOD/Shutterstock)
An archaeological excavation begun 125 years ago has wrapped up with a fascinating discovery: A Roman-era street connecting two religious destinations in Jerusalem was likely built by Pontius Pilate.
Researchers were able to date the 720 feet of uncovered road to about A.D. 30, thanks to coins found along the pavement. That lines …
A New Kind of Storm Appears on Saturn, Puzzling Astronomers
A large storm on Saturn, commonly referred to as a Great White Spot. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI)
As serene as it appears in photographs, the gas giant Saturn is not a peaceful place. Its golden gases whiz around the planet at up to 1,000 mph. At times, massive storms thousands of miles wide break out in its upper atmosphere.
In 2018, astronomers spotted a new kind of storm on Saturn. Four large tempests formed one after another, passing by each other and further disturbing the atmosphe …
SPONSORED: We’ve Launched Our New ‘Space & Beyond’ Subscription Box
Since its inception more than four decades ago, Astronomy magazine — the sister magazine of Discover — has offered readers a ticket to travel into the cosmos. Now, we’re taking the next step by launching the Space & Beyond subscription box.
Starting today, you can order subscriptions for yourself and your loved ones on our website, www.spaceandbeyondbox.com.
Each box has a unique theme and is curated by the editors of our magazine to expand …
How Ice Cores from Antarctica Can Make or Break Mystery Eruptions
An ice core from Antarctica showing a thick layer of volcanic ash (grey). Oregon State University
The Earth’s ice caps, in Greenland and Antarctica, are an invaluable record of climate over the past hundreds of thousands of years. As each annual layer of snow falls, gets buried and eventually becomes glacial ice, it traps particles and gases from the time it fell. We use that record to examine how the atmosphere has changed.
These cores turn out to be one of the most important pieces of …
These Weird Bagworm Moths Build Log Cabins of Twigs to Live and Die In
The nest of a female bagworm. (Credit: SIMON SHIM/Shutterstock)
Is that a cluster of miniature Lincoln Logs hanging off a branch? Not quite — what may look like a meticulous assortment of twigs is actually the home of a bagworm moth. These bug architects spend most of their short lives weaving homes out of plant debris.
As larvae, the silky worms find a place to settle down and feed, such as a leaf or the branch of a tree. Then, they crawl around and collect materials like twigs, dirt a …
Do Soda Taxes Actually Work? Here’s What the Science is Telling Us
Teas, sodas, sports drinks, more: A broad variety of beverages contain caloric sweeteners, but beverage taxes don’t treat them equally. For example, 100% fruit juice generally gets a pass for nutritional reasons, even though it contains plenty of sugar that’s chemically no different than sugar added artificially. In a similar vein, among public health researchers and policymakers there’s disagreement on whether to tax sweetened milk, because the added sugar may make it more likely that ch …