Category: science

By Rachel Treisman The first all-female spacewalk in NASA’s 61-year history is finally happening and will even take place a few days ahead of schedule. Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir, who were initially supposed to venture beyond the International Space Station on Oct. 21, are now slated to make their historic excursion this Friday. …

By Adam Levy In the depths of winter, water temperatures in the ice-covered Arctic Ocean can sink below zero. That’s cold enough to freeze many fish, but the conditions don’t trouble the cod. A protein in its blood and tissues binds to tiny ice crystals and stops them from growing. Where codfish got this talent …

By Becky Ferreira All around the world, radio antennae in remote landscapes are scanning the sky for the same faint signal from the “cosmic dawn,” a time when the first stars shone more than 12 billion years ago. If detected, the signal will shed light on some of the most enduring mysteries about the origins …

By Aylin Woodward About 4,000 years ago on a remote island in the Arctic, the last woolly mammoth died out. Elephantine in shape and size, mammoths (official name Mammuthus primigenius) dominated the northern hemisphere during Earth’s last ice age for nearly 90,000 years, before changing climates and human hunting drove them to extinction. Scientists have …

By Yasemin Saplakoglu Here’s the reality: We’re messing up the Earth and any far-out ideas of colonizing another orb when we’re done with our own are wishful thinking. That’s according to Michel Mayor, an astrophysicist who was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in physics this year for discovering the first planet orbiting a sun-like star outside …

By Jeremy Hsu Within one second of the big bang, the first newborn black holes may have announced their formation with gravitational waves that stretched and squeezed the fabric of existence as they rippled outward into the expanding universe. Now researchers at Northwestern University have begun planning a tabletop-size sensor that could detect these primordial …

By John Pickrell Typically taller than four elephants and heftier than a jet airliner, sauropods are among the most famous of the dinosaurs. But scientists may have been wrong about one of their key features. Instead of lizardlike lips, the behemoths sported beaks akin to those of birds or turtles, researchers report here today at …

By Ben Guarino The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded Wednesday to John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino for the development of lithium-ion batteries. “We have gained access to a technical revolution,” said Sara Snogerup Linse, a chemistry professor and member of the award committee, sweeping her finger at the reporters gathered …

By Sofie Bates Saturn now reigns as the solar system’s “moon king,” thanks to 20 newfound moons. That brings the ringed planet’s total known satellites to 82, knocking Jupiter — with 79 moons (SN: 7/17/18) — off the throne, the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center announced October 7. And it’s not just a phase. Saturn is …

By Scott Neuman A Canadian and two Swiss scientists have won the Nobel Prize in physics for contributions to our understanding of the evolution of the universe and Earth’s position in the cosmos. James Peebles of Princeton received half of the prize, with Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz sharing the other half, the Royal Swedish …