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LATEST

Mixing trees and crops can help both farmers and the climate

Maxwell Ochoo’s first attempt at farming was a dismal failure. In Ochieng Odiere, a village near the shores of Kenya’s Lake Victoria, “getting a job is a challenge,” the 34-year-old says. To earn some money and help feed his family, he turned to farming. In 2017, he planted watermelon seeds on his 0.7-hectare plot. Right […]

Souped-up supernovas may produce much of the universe’s heavy elements

Analysis of a rare, ancient star suggests a new birthplace for elements like uranium and silver Violent explosions of massive, magnetized stars may forge most of the universe’s heavy elements, such as silver and uranium. These r-process elements, which include half of all elements heavier than iron, are also produced when neutron stars merge (SN: […]

New images clarify how glasswing butterflies make their wings transparent

Sparse, spindly scales and a waxy membrane coating are behind the insect’s transparency. Most butterflies sport colorful, eye-catching patterns on their wings. But some species, like the glasswing butterfly, use mostly transparent wings to hide in plain sight. To figure out how these Central American butterflies go incognito, researchers put the wings of glasswing butterflies […]

How does the summer solstice affect animals?

Does it keep them up later? The summer solstice, which marks the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, happens Sunday (June 20) at 11:32 p.m. EDT (Monday, June 21 at 03:32 UTC). This event happens when Earth’s tilt toward the sun is at its maximum and the sun points directly over the […]

Climate ‘tipping points’ could push us past the point-of-no-return after less than 2 degrees of warming

Knock-on effects could transform the Amazon rainforest into savannah As climate change continues to heat the planet, ice sheets and ocean currents could destabilize each other, leading to a climate domino effect impacting 40% of the world’s population, according to new research. And these effects could be seen at way lower temperatures than previously thought. […]

What is the Milky Way?

Let’s dive into the science of our home galaxy, the Milky Way. The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy, one of hundreds of billions in the observable universe. It’s also our home. Like other galaxies, the Milky Way is an isolated collection of stars and other material bound together by their common gravity. In […]

Dramatic images capture rapid slide of Antarctic glacier

Pine Island Glacier, one of the fastest-shrinking glaciers in Antarctica, hastened its slide into the sea between 2017 and 2020, when one-fifth of its associated ice shelf broke off as massive icebergs, a new study reveals. The glacier sped up another time in recent history, between the 1990s and 2009, when warm ocean currents ate […]

Tons of toxic pellets blanket Sri Lanka beaches, causing environmental disaster

A burning container ship dumped tons of plastic debris onto Sri Lanka’s beaches. A burning container ship dumped tons of plastic debris onto Sri Lanka’s beaches, prompting a widespread environmental disaster, according to recent news reports. The ship, the X-Press Pearl, had sailed to Sri Lanka from India and was anchored near Colombo on May […]

‘Bonanza’ gold veins in rocks finally explained

Gold veins thicker than your arm finally get a geological explanation. Why did some gold prospectors strike it rich with a bonanza gold vein, while others came up empty-handed? The credit may go to nanoparticles. New research reveals that high-grade veins of gold contain clusters of gold nanoparticles, which is important because it explains how […]

Technology

These weird, thin ice crystals are springy and bendy

These weird, thin ice crystals are springy and bendy

Scientists grew nearly defect-free fibers of frozen water with counterintuitive properties. A tiny thread of ice (shown in a microscope...

An atomic clock that could revolutionize space travel just passed its first test

An atomic clock that could revolutionize space travel just passed its first test

The Deep Space Atomic Clock could help spacecraft reach distant destinations on their own The most precise clock ever flown...

Gravitational waves reveal the first known mergers of a black hole and neutron star

Gravitational waves reveal the first known mergers of a black hole and neutron star

An elusive source of ripples in spacetime has finally been found A black hole (illustrated in black) and a neutron...

New device gets power from 5G signals grabbed from the air

New device gets power from 5G signals grabbed from the air

The new technology might one day help power the Internet of Things. A few years ago, Aline Eid was sitting...

5G promises new energy savings for digital tech

5G promises new energy savings for digital tech

Some of that savings will come from new opportunities made possible by this technology. Almost all apps and programs on...

Training AI to be really smart poses risks to climate

Training AI to be really smart poses risks to climate

The computing power needed can use a lot of energy and spew lots of carbon dioxide. Artificial intelligence — or...