Science

Boeing, SpaceX Will Beat Russia on Price for Astronaut Rides

Image made from a frame grabbed from NASA-TV, the SpaceX Dragon resupply capsule begins the process of being berthed on to the International Space Station, on April 20, 2014. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)
Image made from a frame grabbed from NASA-TV, the SpaceX Dragon resupply capsule begins the process of being berthed on to the International Space Station, on April 20, 2014. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.—NASA expects to save millions of dollars in launch costs, once its commercial crew program starts flying in a couple of years. SpaceX...


Most recent Science blogs and columns

  • Paula Olson, NOAA (www.wikimedia.org)

    Smallest Cetacean on the Brink of Extinction in Mexico

    The species was totally unknown to science until the late 1950’s, when it was first described from skulls and some sightings. Phocoena sinus – commonly... Read more

  • Borneo is home to many unique species, such as the endangered Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus). Photo taken in Sabah, Malaysia, by Rhett Butler.

    Half of Borneo’s Mammals Could Lose a Third of their Habitat by 2080

    Borneo consistently makes the list of the world’s “biodiversity hotspots” – areas full of a wide variety of forms of life found nowhere else, but... Read more

  • Huitoto leader beats tree-trunk drums to summon villagers to a meeting in Pucaurquillo, Peru, on the Ampiyacu River. Photo by Barbara Fraser

    Regional Park Balances Forest Conservation and Local Needs

    For Alfredo Rojas, the history of the remote villages along the Ampiyacu River is one of enslavement. Growing up here, Rojas listened to his parents... Read more

  • (Shutterstock*)

    Did Humans Walk the Earth With Dinosaurs? Triceratops Horn Dated to 33,500 Years

    A triceratops brow horn discovered in Dawson County, Mont., has been controversially dated to around 33,500 years, challenging the view that dinosaurs died out around... Read more

  • (Shutterstock*; edited by Epoch Times)

    Do Some People Sense the Unseen? (Part 3)

    Often science dismisses what it doesn’t yet grasp, until technology or some other breakthrough turns the tide. Before the advent of MRIs, for example, if... Read more

  • Coffee-growing is an important part of the economy of Semende. Photo by R. Ridzki Sigit.

    Sumatran Community Conserves Through ‘Village Forests’

    The rolling green hills covered in rice paddies and coffee plantations give Semende in the Muara Enim regency of South Sumatra a welcome and hospitable... Read more

  • Deforestation for soy in the Brazilian Amazon and cerrado. Data from Gibbs et al 2015, photo by Rhett A. Butler.

    Brazil’s Soy Moratorium Reduced Amazon Deforestation

    The moratorium on forest conversion established by Brazilian soy giants in 2006 dramatically reduce deforestation for soy expansion in the Amazon, and have been more... Read more

  • The first images of the European Space Agency's Rosetta probe comet orbit could provide clues about its origin and how it got its unique shape. (AOL Screenshot)

    Rosetta Captures Stunning Views, Diverse Data of Comet 67P (Video)

    The first images and findings are in from the Rosetta space probe’s historic mission as the first spacecraft to ever orbit a comet. People have been eagerly awaiting... Read more

  • (Vasabii/iStock/Thinkstock)

    Cool, Yet Creepy, Mind-Control and Mind-Controlled Technology

    The ways in which technology controls our minds may go eerily beyond our habits of blindly following GPS directions or instantly Googling something instead of thinking... Read more

  • The water below the Antarctic ice sheet is as cold and dark as ever, but it turns out it’s not as desolate as scientists thought. There’s a whole ecosystem down there. (AOL Screenshot)

    Fish Found Living Deep Below Antarctic Ice (Video)

    The water below the Antarctic ice sheet is as cold and dark as ever, but it turns out it’s not as desolate as scientists thought... Read more

  • (Shutterstock*)

    Traveling Faster Than the Speed of Light: Warp Drive Feasible?

    Going faster than the speed of light is impossible, according to Albert Einstein’s Special Relativity Theory, yet theoretical physicists bend their minds to the task,... Read more

  • (Shutterstock*)

    Why Materialism Is Not the Answer

    This talk by Rupert Sheldrake was banned by Ted because he exposes and questions the dogmas of science, which are the default worldview of the... Read more

  • Google Earth satellite imagery captured in 2015 shows the extent of the clearing. The site is about 3.5 miles long and 2 miles wide (5.6-by-3.2 kilometers). Tamshiyacu is the closest town.

    Company Chops Down Rainforest for ‘Sustainable’ Chocolate

    A cacao grower with roots in Southeast Asia’s palm oil industry has set up shop in the Peruvian Amazon. The CEO of United Cacao has... Read more

  • (Shutterstock*)

    Birds Can Sense Extreme Weather Events and Storms More Than 24 Hours in Advance

    An experiment on bird migration patterns has inadvertently revealed that some bird species possess a unique ability to detect inclement weather hours or even days... Read more

  • 1,215 Rhinos Butchered in South Africa in 2014

    1,215: that’s the total number of rhinos butchered last year in South Africa for their horns. The number represents another annual record—the seventh in a... Read more

  • (Shutterstock*)

    Scientists Slow Down the Speed of Light in Air—Thought Impossible

    Slowing the speed of light particles, known as photons, as they travel through air was thought to be impossible. “That the speed of light in... Read more

  • The water below the Antarctic ice sheet is as cold and dark as ever, but it turns out it’s not as desolate as scientists thought. There’s a whole ecosystem down there. (AOL Screenshot)

    Fish Found Living Deep Below Antarctic Ice (Video)

    The water below the Antarctic ice sheet is as cold and dark as ever, but it turns out it’s not as desolate as scientists thought... Read more

  • (Shutterstock*)

    Why Materialism Is Not the Answer

    This talk by Rupert Sheldrake was banned by Ted because he exposes and questions the dogmas of science, which are the default worldview of the... Read more

  • (Shutterstock*)

    Birds Can Sense Extreme Weather Events and Storms More Than 24 Hours in Advance

    An experiment on bird migration patterns has inadvertently revealed that some bird species possess a unique ability to detect inclement weather hours or even days... Read more

  • (Shutterstock*)

    Scientists Slow Down the Speed of Light in Air—Thought Impossible

    Slowing the speed of light particles, known as photons, as they travel through air was thought to be impossible. “That the speed of light in... Read more

  • In examining a layer of seafloor sediment, researchers learned that regular supernovae may not have had much to do with delivering key heavy metals to Earth. (AOL Screenshot)

    Clues to Supernovae Mystery Found at The Bottom of the Ocean (Video)

    As important as stars exploding in the sky millions of years ago were to the development of land, sea, and life itself, a complete picture... Read more

  • Using x-rays, scientists have been able to look inside thousand-year-old scrolls from an ancient Roman library and could be able to read them soon. (AOL Screenshot)

    X-Rays Could Help Scientists Read Carbonized Ancient Scrolls (Video)

    Scientists are close to solving a puzzle more than 1,000 years old: how to read ancient scrolls carbonized by an ancient volcano. The scrolls are from... Read more

  • University of Rochester has developed a technique that uses lasers to render materials hydrophobic, illustrated in these images taken in his lab. (J. Adam Fenster/University of Rochester)

    How Lasers Make Metal Super Water Repellent

    Scientists have used lasers to turn metals into extremely water repellent materials without the need for temporary coatings. Water repellent, or super-hydrophobic, materials are desirable for... Read more

  • M-class flares can cause minor radiation storms that might endanger astronauts and cause brief radio blackouts at Earth’s poles. X-class flares are the most powerful. (Craig, CC BY)

    AI Learns to Predict Powerful Solar Flares

    Solar flares come from the twisted magnetic fields that occur all over the sun’s surface, and they increase in frequency every 11 years. That cycle is now at... Read more

  • Seattle Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch (24) celebrates his touchdown run during the second half of the NFL football NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Beast Quake! Marshawn Lynch Fans Create Earthquake at Century Link as Seattle Seahawks Beat Greenbay Packers.

    We knew @MoneyLynch‘s #BeastQuake is coming! #QuickShake #GBvsSEA #NFCChampionship pic.twitter.com/mqh8kmkzLQ — PNSN (@PNSN1) January 18, 2015 Seahawks fans created a measurable earthquake during Marshawn Lynch’s... Read more

  • Ebola close up. (NIAID, CC BY)

    Ebola Outbreak: Where We Are Now and What Happens Next

    Ebola virus disease was first discovered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1976, and by 2013 had caused about 20 recorded outbreaks across... Read more

  • Judith Miles and a patient. (Rebecca F. Miller/U. Missouri)

    3-D Scans Hunt for Facial Traits of Autism

    3-D imaging and statistical analysis techniques could lead to a screening tool for autism among young children. The technique, which identifies facial measurements, could also... Read more

  • A matter of inches might help solve a riddle scientists have been working on for years: why rising ocean levels don't match ice melt. (AOL Screenshot)

    New Measurements Might Explain Sea-Level Rise Mystery (Video)

    A matter of inches could completely change the way scientists think about rising sea levels. (Video via National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ) A group of... Read more

  • (*Shutterstock)

    Arctic Bacteria Could Form Foundation of Lifesaving Drugs: Researchers

    Bacteria growing in the Arctic could provide researchers with new antibiotics, a field that’s getting more urgent as time goes on. Because it’s not cost-effective... Read more

  • The National Security Agency (NSA) in the Washington suburb of Fort Meade, Maryland, on Jan. 25, 2006. (Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

    Science Panel: No Alternative to Bulk Collection of Data by NSA

    WASHINGTON—A committee of scientific experts has concluded that there is no viable technological alternative to bulk collection of data by the National Security Agency that... Read more

  • This computer-simulated model, developed by Purdue University researchers, shows the receptors of the common cold virus, rhinovirus 16, attach to the outer protein shell of the virus. Picovir, a drug that is the first to directly attack viruses that cause the common cold, faced scrutiny March 19, 2002 as U.S. advisers consider whether to urge approval for the experimental medicine. The new drug hits viruses responsible for more than half of the1 billion colds that afflict Americans each year. Over-the-counter remedies only mask symptoms such as coughing and a runny nose, but Picovir may shorten a colds duration. (Photo by Dilip Paithankar/Purdue School of Chemical Engineering/Getty Images)

    Do Viruses Make Us Smarter?

    A new study from Lund University in Sweden indicates that inherited viruses that are millions of years old play an important role in building up... Read more

  • A sign at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

    Computers Using Digital Footprints Are Better Judges of Personality Than Friends and Family

    Researchers have found that, based on enough Facebook Likes, computers can judge your personality traits better than your friends, family and even your partner. Using... Read more

  • A young surfer catches one of the bigger waves in the morning in Huntington Beach on Thursday morning Dec. 11, 2014. A powerful storm churned down the West Coast on Thursday, bringing strong gales and much-needed rain and snow that caused widespread blackouts in Northern California and whiteouts in the Sierra Nevada.   (AP Photo/The Orange County Register, Michael Goulding)

    Wave Energy Integration Costs Should Compare Favorably to Other Energy Sources

    A new analysis suggests that large-scale wave energy systems developed in the Pacific Northwest should be comparatively steady, dependable and able to be integrated into... Read more

  • A general view taken on May 15, 2008 shows Statoil's Sleipner gas platform, some 250 kms off Norway's coast in the North Sea. (Daniel Sannum-Lauten/AFP/Getty Images)

    Cheap Asphalt Provides ‘Green’ Carbon Capture

    The best material to keep carbon dioxide from natural gas wells from fouling the atmosphere may be a derivative of asphalt, according to Rice University... Read more

  • Aji Mathew assistant professor at Luleå University of Technology with her graduate students Peng Liu and Zoheb Karim with prototypes of nano-filters. (Luleå University of Technology)

    Nano Filter Cleans Dirty Industry

    Prototypes of nano-cellulose based filters with high purification capacity towards environmentally hazardous contaminants from industrial effluents eg. process industries, have been developed by researchers at... Read more

  • Nanoparticles of indium tin oxide on a surface of graphene. (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

    GraphExeter Defies the Achilles Heel of Wonder Material Graphene

    A resilience to extreme conditions by the most transparent, lightweight and flexible material for conducting electricity could help revolutionize the electronic industry, according to a... Read more

  • (Shutterstock*)

    Did Humans Walk the Earth With Dinosaurs? Triceratops Horn Dated to 33,500 Years

    A triceratops brow horn discovered in Dawson County, Mont., has been controversially dated to around 33,500 years, challenging the view that dinosaurs died out around... Read more

  • (Shutterstock*; edited by Epoch Times)

    Do Some People Sense the Unseen? (Part 3)

    Often science dismisses what it doesn’t yet grasp, until technology or some other breakthrough turns the tide. Before the advent of MRIs, for example, if... Read more

  • (Vasabii/iStock/Thinkstock)

    Cool, Yet Creepy, Mind-Control and Mind-Controlled Technology

    The ways in which technology controls our minds may go eerily beyond our habits of blindly following GPS directions or instantly Googling something instead of thinking... Read more

  • (Shutterstock*)

    Traveling Faster Than the Speed of Light: Warp Drive Feasible?

    Going faster than the speed of light is impossible, according to Albert Einstein’s Special Relativity Theory, yet theoretical physicists bend their minds to the task,... Read more

  • (Shutterstock*)

    Scientists Slow Down the Speed of Light in Air—Thought Impossible

    Slowing the speed of light particles, known as photons, as they travel through air was thought to be impossible. “That the speed of light in... Read more

  • Bones in the Paris catacombs. (Jjmusgrove via Compfight cc*)

    Terrifying Footage Found on Camera Dropped in Paris Catacombs: What Did This Man See? (Watch Here)

    Mounds of human bones are found in the Parisian catacombs. Beneath Paris stretches a network of tunnels and rooms as vast as the city’s streets, most... Read more

  • (Shutterstock*)

    Astonishing ‘Explosions’ and Surprising Shifts in the Planet’s History

    At one point in the history of the Earth, the land was pulled toward the equator. The shift was so great, it was like Boston... Read more

  • Excerpts from files declassified by the U.S. government. (NSA) Background: A file photo of an alleged unidentified flying object over Lake Cote, Costa Rica, Sept. 1971, not directly related to the U.S. government files. (Instituto Geografico Nacional de Costa Rica)

    What Skimming the Declassified US Govn’t UFO Files Tells You

    Top secret files on unidentified flying objects (UFOs) were declassified by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) as a result of a 1980 civil action... Read more

  • "UFO enthusiast" John Greenewald says he's spent 20 years collecting these docs, and believes there's a cover-up going on. (AOL Screenshot)

    130,000 Pages of UFO Investigation Docs Now Online (Video)

    The truth is out there – 130,000 pages of it. A massive amount of U.S. Air Force documents on alleged UFO sightings and investigations just... Read more

  • (Shutterstock*)

    Do You Believe in Reincarnation? Boy Gives Detailed, Verified Information About Past Life

    If you heard a child give detailed information about a dead man’s life that he could not seemingly have known through normal means, would you... Read more

  • Left: Rama welcomed back to Ayodhya, including the celestial flying machine, the Pushpak Vimana. Right: An illustration of the Shakuna Vimana that is supposed to fly like a bird with hinged wings and tail, drawn in Bangalore, India, in 1923. Background: A file photo of Sanskrit text. (Wikimedia Commons)

    Speakers at Science Congress Say Ancient India Mastered Advanced Space Flight Thousands of Years Ago

    A controversial paper presented at the prestigious science conference, the 102nd Indian Science Congress in Mumbai, claims human aviation and advanced space flight was achieved... Read more

  • (Shutterstock*; edited by Epoch Times)

    3 Distinguished Linguists Examine Mysterious Origin of Native Americans

    It is conventionally held in the scientific community that the New World was first populated some 12,000 to 20,000 years ago by a wave of... Read more

  • (Shutterstock*; edited by Epoch Times)

    Do Some People Sense the Unseen? (Part 2)

    My own investigation—published in peer reviewed journals within the last several years—furnishes evidence that highly sensitive individuals are much more likely than the general population... Read more

  • Derinkuyu underground city in Turkey. (Shutterstock*)

    Who Built the Underground City of Derinkuyu?

    In the Cappadocia region of Turkey there is a town called Derinkuyu; and beneath Derinkuyu there is a city, vast and deep, of ancient design,... Read more

  • Frances Griffiths (L) and Elsie Wright (R) posing in 1917 with what they maintained for decades were real fairies. (Public Domain) Background: The beck in Cottingley, UK, where the girls took the photos. (Paul Glazzard/Wikimedia Commons)

    Would You Believe in the Cottingley Fairies If You Saw Them Today?

    In 1917, two little girls took photos of themselves surrounded by what looked like fairies. For the next 70 years, they faced the scrutiny of... Read more

  • (Shutterstock*)

    Unravelling the Identity of the Real Robin Hood

    Robin Hood is perhaps one of the most iconic English heroes. His ethos of “robbing from the rich and giving to the poor” has endeared... Read more

  • (Shutterstock*)

    Do Some People Sense the Unseen? (Part 1)

    Emily is a travel writer who believes she has a special sensitivity to places that are supposedly haunted. She says she’s been “overly empathetic” her... Read more

  • Lyonnesse

    Britain’s Atlantis, Lyonnesse: The Sunken Land of Arthurian Legend

    Off the coast of Cornwall, at the southern tip of the UK, on a clear day, the Isles of Scilly can be seen at some... Read more

  • A Bhatra practices on the road side in Gumat bazaar area of the northern city of Jammu, India on Jan. 2, 2015. (Venus Upadhayaya/Epoch Times)

    Secret Drug Removes Tooth With No Blood or Pain

    JAMMU, India—A family in the northern Indian city of Jammu has the recipe for a rare drug that can painlessly remove a tooth without anesthesia... Read more

  • A pulsar, known as SXP 1062, is seen to the right, the bright white spot with the diffuse blue emission. (NASA/CXC/Univ. of Potsdam/L. Oskinova et al.)

    Pulsars: Why We May Be Overlooking Extraterrestrial Beacons

    Considering the vastness of space, the immensity of the cosmos we search, it seems unlikely that we would ever find evidence of extraterrestrial life in the... Read more

  • The first images of the European Space Agency's Rosetta probe comet orbit could provide clues about its origin and how it got its unique shape. (AOL Screenshot)

    Rosetta Captures Stunning Views, Diverse Data of Comet 67P (Video)

    The first images and findings are in from the Rosetta space probe’s historic mission as the first spacecraft to ever orbit a comet. People have been eagerly awaiting... Read more

  • (Shutterstock*)

    Traveling Faster Than the Speed of Light: Warp Drive Feasible?

    Going faster than the speed of light is impossible, according to Albert Einstein’s Special Relativity Theory, yet theoretical physicists bend their minds to the task,... Read more

  • The Milky Way is bit of a barrier between us the extra-galactic universe. (NASA, CC BY)

    Stories From the Sky: Astronomy in Indigenous Knowledge

    Indigenous Australians have been developing complex knowledge systems for tens of thousands of years. These knowledge systems – which seek to understand, explain, and predict... Read more

  • Elon Musk, Tesla Chairman, Product Architect and CEO, speaks at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit, Jan. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

    Elon Musk Wants Internet on Mars, Google Pledges $1 Billion. Competition Surfaces

    The billionaire genius Elon Musk has another great idea that he wants to invest billions into. Using one of his many companies, SpaceX, he outlined... Read more

  • In this image provided by NASA an annotated image shows a bright feature interpreted as the United Kingdom's Beagle 2 Lander with solar arrays at least partially deployed on the surface of Mars. Beagle 2 was released by the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter but never heard from after its expected Dec. 25, 2003, landing.  This and other images from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have located the lander close to the center of its planned landing area. Two images taken months apart, with the sun at different angles, are merged in this view. A glint comes from a different part of the lander in one than in the other, interpreted as evidence of more than one deployed panel on the lander.  (AP Photo/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona/University of Leicester)

    Missing Lander Beagle-2 Finally Located On Mars, Agency Says

    LONDON— The European Space Agency’s Beagle-2 lander, which had been lost on Mars since 2003, has been found, the agency said Friday. New photos taken... Read more

  • An artist’s rendering of a protoplanetary impact. Early in the impact, molten jetted material is ejected at a high velocity and breaks up to form chondrules, the millimeter-scale, formerly molten droplets found in most meteorites. These droplets cool and solidify over hours to days. (NASA/California Institute of Technology)

    A Twist on Planetary Origins

    Meteors that have crashed to Earth have long been regarded as relics of the early solar system. These craggy chunks of metal and rock are... Read more

  • Image provided by NASA taken during a training exercise, US astronaut Terry Virts (L), assists European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti with emergency training aboard the International Space Station, on Dec. 1, 2014. Astronauts evacuated the US section of the International Space Station and moved to its Russian module after a problem emerged Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/NASA)

    Astronauts Flee US Side of Space Station but No Sign of Leak

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.—In a rare scare, astronauts fled the American side of the International Space Station on Wednesday after an alarm indicated a possible toxic... Read more

  • This still frame from the Illustris simulation is centered on the most massive galaxy cluster existing today. The blue-purple filaments show the location of dark matter, which attracts normal matter gravitationally and helps galaxies and clusters clump together. Bubbles of red, orange, and white show where gas is being blasted outward by supernovae or jets from supermassive black holes. (Image courtesy of Illustris Collaboration)

    Decoding the Gravitational Evolution of Dark Matter Halos

    Researchers at Kavli IPMU and their collaborators have revealed that considering environmental effects such as a gravitational tidal force spread over a scale much larger... Read more

  • • This NASA handout image shows the International Space Station July 10, 2011. (NASA via Getty Images)

    NASA Says Space Station Problems Poses No Danger to Crew

    MOSCOW—A problem in the U.S. segment of the International Space Station on Wednesday prompted its six-person crew to quickly lock it up and move to... Read more

  • GPI imaging polarimetry of the circumstellar disk around HR 4796A, a ring of dust and planetesimals similar in some ways to a scaled up version of the solar system’s Kuiper Belt. These GPI observations reveal a complex pattern of variations in brightness and polarization around the HR 4796A disk. The western side (tilted closer to the Earth) appears brighter in polarized light, while in total intensity the eastern side appears slightly brighter, particularly just to the east of the widest apparent separation points of the disk. Reconciling this complex and apparently-contradictory pattern of brighter and darker regions required a major overhaul of our understanding of this circumstellar disk. Image credit: Marshall Perrin (Space Telescope Science Institute), Gaspard Duchene (UC Berkeley), Max Millar-Blanchaer (University of Toronto), and the GPI Team.

    New Planet Hunting Telescopes See Success in First Year

    Stunning exoplanet images and spectra from the first year of science operations with the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) were featured today in a press conference... Read more

  • Eta Carinae's great eruption in the 1840s created the billowing Homunculus Nebula, imaged here by Hubble. Now about a light-year long, the expanding cloud contains enough material to make at least 10 copies of our sun. Astronomers cannot yet explain what caused this eruption.
(NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team)

    NASA Observatories Take an Unprecedented Look Into Superstar Eta Carinae

    Eta Carinae, the most luminous and massive stellar system within 10,000 light-years of Earth, is known for its surprising behavior, erupting twice in the 19th... Read more

  • A pulsar, known as SXP 1062, is seen to the right, the bright white spot with the diffuse blue emission. (NASA/CXC/Univ. of Potsdam/L. Oskinova et al.)

    Pulsars: Why We May Be Overlooking Extraterrestrial Beacons

    Considering the vastness of space, the immensity of the cosmos we search, it seems unlikely that we would ever find evidence of extraterrestrial life in the... Read more

  • Two new exoplanets discovered via NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope are more like our own planet than any far-off celestial body ever examined. (AOL Screenshot)

    Newly Discovered Exoplanets are Most Earth-Like Ones Ever Found (Video)

    Two new exoplanets discovered via NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope maybe more like our own planet than any far-off celestial body ever examined. What astronomers are... Read more

  • Some of the stars appear to be missing in this intriguing new ESO image. But the black gap in this glitteringly beautiful starfield is not really a gap, but rather a region of space clogged with gas and dust. This dark cloud is called LDN 483 — for Lynds Dark Nebula 483. Such clouds are the birthplaces of future stars. The Wide Field Imager, an instrument mounted on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, captured this image of LDN 483 and its surroundings. (ESO)

    Where Did All the Stars Go?

    LDN 483 [1] is located about 700 light-years away in the constellation of Serpens (The Serpent). The cloud contains enough dusty material to completely block... Read more

  • Hubble maps velocity and composition of mysterious lobes expanding from our galaxy. (NASA/ESA/A. Fox and A. Feild/STScI)

    Hubble Discovers That Milky Way Core Drives Wind at 2 Million Miles per Hour

    At a time when our earliest human ancestors mastered walking upright the heart of our Milky Way galaxy underwent a titanic eruption, driving gases and... Read more

  • Astronomers have detected the largest X-ray flare ever from the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. This event was 400 times brighter than the usual X-ray output from the black hole. (NASA/CXC/Northwestern Univ/D.Haggard et al.)

    NASA’s Chandra Detects Record-Breaking Outburst From Milky Way’s Black Hole

    Astronomers have observed the largest X-ray flare ever detected from the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. This event, detected... Read more

  • Have you ever looked up in the night sky and wondered, "Why is space black?" (AOL Screenshot)

    Why is Space Black? (Video)

    Have you ever looked up in the night sky and wondered, “Why is space black?”…... Read more

  • (NASA/SDO)

    Coronal Hole on Sun Captured by NASA on New Year’s Day (+Photo)

    An intense picture of a coronal hole on the sun was captured by United States space agency NASA on New Year’s Day, welcoming the New... Read more

  • (Twitter/Pete Czech)

    Meteor Sightings Tonight: Meteors Reported Across Northeast (+Video)

    Meteors have been spotted across the northeast on Monday night, including one in Morristown, New Jersey. That meteor was caught on video around 6:30 p.m... Read more

  • Emergency services gather around a Virgin Atlantic Boeing passenger jet after it performed an emergency landing at Gatwick Airport following a landing gear fault, London, Monday, Dec. 29, 2014. The airline says the plane undertook "a non-standard landing procedure" because of "a technical issue with one of the landing gears." (AP Photo/PA, Gareth Fuller)

    Virgin Atlantic Plane Makes Gatwick Emergency Landing

    LONDON—A Virgin Atlantic jet bound from London to Las Vegas turned back and made an emergency landing at Gatwick Airport on Monday after developing a... Read more

  • Paula Olson, NOAA (www.wikimedia.org)

    Smallest Cetacean on the Brink of Extinction in Mexico

    The species was totally unknown to science until the late 1950’s, when it was first described from skulls and some sightings. Phocoena sinus – commonly... Read more

  • Borneo is home to many unique species, such as the endangered Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus). Photo taken in Sabah, Malaysia, by Rhett Butler.

    Half of Borneo’s Mammals Could Lose a Third of their Habitat by 2080

    Borneo consistently makes the list of the world’s “biodiversity hotspots” – areas full of a wide variety of forms of life found nowhere else, but... Read more

  • Huitoto leader beats tree-trunk drums to summon villagers to a meeting in Pucaurquillo, Peru, on the Ampiyacu River. Photo by Barbara Fraser

    Regional Park Balances Forest Conservation and Local Needs

    For Alfredo Rojas, the history of the remote villages along the Ampiyacu River is one of enslavement. Growing up here, Rojas listened to his parents... Read more

  • Coffee-growing is an important part of the economy of Semende. Photo by R. Ridzki Sigit.

    Sumatran Community Conserves Through ‘Village Forests’

    The rolling green hills covered in rice paddies and coffee plantations give Semende in the Muara Enim regency of South Sumatra a welcome and hospitable... Read more

  • Deforestation for soy in the Brazilian Amazon and cerrado. Data from Gibbs et al 2015, photo by Rhett A. Butler.

    Brazil’s Soy Moratorium Reduced Amazon Deforestation

    The moratorium on forest conversion established by Brazilian soy giants in 2006 dramatically reduce deforestation for soy expansion in the Amazon, and have been more... Read more

  • Google Earth satellite imagery captured in 2015 shows the extent of the clearing. The site is about 3.5 miles long and 2 miles wide (5.6-by-3.2 kilometers). Tamshiyacu is the closest town.

    Company Chops Down Rainforest for ‘Sustainable’ Chocolate

    A cacao grower with roots in Southeast Asia’s palm oil industry has set up shop in the Peruvian Amazon. The CEO of United Cacao has... Read more

  • 1,215 Rhinos Butchered in South Africa in 2014

    1,215: that’s the total number of rhinos butchered last year in South Africa for their horns. The number represents another annual record—the seventh in a... Read more

  • Screen shot of Asian elephants from video camera traps in Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary. Photo by: Habitat ID.

    Rare Wildlife Caught on Video in Thailand

    Camera trap video from Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary in southern Thailand has revealed an impressive array of wildlife, including scent-marking clouded leopards and a whole herd of... Read more

  • Harvard and Rutgers scientists propose a new, potentially more accurate way, to measure the rate of sea level rise. (*Shutterstock)

    Solving the Puzzle of Sea-Level Rise by Reexamining the Past

    When you ask yourself what the biggest unanswered scientific questions are, “how did sea levels change over the past 100 years?” is unlikely to appear... Read more

  • 0122dashboard_news.mongabay.com

    Palm Oil Giant Starts Online Support for Zero Deforestation

    Wilmar, the world’s largest palm oil company, has unveiled a tool it says will help eliminate deforestation from its global supply chain.  The tool is an... Read more

  • A crocodile wades into oil-tainted waters in the Sundarbans. Photo by: Arati Kumar-Rao.

    Sundarbans Still Reeling From Effects of December Oil Spill

    Last month, an estimated 350,000 liters of fuel oil spilled into the Sundarbans delta on the Bay of Bengal. An oil tanker that had collided... Read more

  • Shark deterring wetsuits, designed to camouflage or repel. (Shark Attack Mitigation Systems (SAM))

    More Shark Research Needed as Dangerous Encounters Increase

    SYDNEY—When US bombardier Louis Zamperini crashed into the Pacific in 1943, he and two other survivors feared sharks more than they did the Japanese. Crammed... Read more

  • via Flickr/creativecommons

    India’s Tiger Numbers Rise to 2226

    There is a big reason to hail India’s conservation efforts. The tiger population of the country has risen from 1706 in 2010 to 2226 in... Read more

  • Redwood forest in Big Basin State Park, California. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.

    Changing California Forests May Help Us Prepare for the Future

    A new study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examines how California’s forests have changed since the 1930s–and, according to its... Read more

  • Wild Bengal tiger in India. Photo by: Morgan Erickson-Davis.

    India’s Tiger Population up by More Than 500 Animals in 4 Years

    The tiger—one of the world’s most famous animals and its biggest cat—is in major trouble. In 1900, the global population was over 100,000 animals; today,... Read more

  • Humans have ignored the signs. (Sporst, CC BY)

    Humanity Is in the Existential Danger Zone, Study Confirms

    The Earth’s climate has always changed. All species eventually become extinct. But a new study has brought into sharp relief the fact that humans have,... Read more

  • Deforestation in Riau, Sumatra in 2014. Photos by Rhett A. Butler.

    Indonesia Not Reaching Emission Reduction Target

    When Indonesia’s former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono declared a moratorium in May 2012 on the issuance of new permits for logging in primary forests and... Read more

  • The Simandou mine will be the largest in Africa (in the red oval). Source Rio Tinto..

    Simandou Mine in Guinea Dealing with Unpredictability

    When I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa decades ago well-laid plans often crumbled to dust in the unpredictable confusion of life there... Read more

  • 0118afolu_news.mongabay.com

    Agriculture Pushing Past Deforestation in Global Warming

    Agriculture has surpassed deforestation and land use change as a driver of greenhouse gas emissions, argues a paper published in Global Change Biology.  The research, led... Read more

  • Logging road in neighboring Sabah. Legal logging has caused substantial forest loss and degradation in Sarawak over the past 30 years, depleting canopy cover, altering forest structure, exacerbated hunting, and driving conversion to plantations.

    Malaysia Might Stop Granting Logging Concessions

    Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem says his government may stop granting new logging concessions, reports Malaysian state media.  “Enough with this broad daylight robbery of... Read more

  • Left: Rama welcomed back to Ayodhya, including the celestial flying machine, the Pushpak Vimana. Right: An illustration of the Shakuna Vimana that is supposed to fly like a bird with hinged wings and tail, drawn in Bangalore, India, in 1923. Background: A file photo of Sanskrit text. (Wikimedia Commons)

    Speakers at Science Congress Say Ancient India Mastered Advanced Space Flight Thousands of Years Ago

    A controversial paper presented at the prestigious science conference, the 102nd Indian Science Congress in Mumbai, claims human aviation and advanced space flight was achieved... Read more

  • Photo provided by Nature Publishing group on Tuesday, Jan 20, 2015 shows close up of Herculaneum Papyrus scroll. Scientists have succeeded in reading parts of an ancient scroll that was buried in a volcanic eruption almost 2,000 years ago, holding out the promise that the world’s oldest surviving library may one day reveal all of its secrets.  (AP Photo/NPG, Emmanuel Brun)

    X-rays Reveal Secrets of Ancient Scrolls Buried by Volcano

    BERLIN—Scientists have succeeded in reading parts of an ancient scroll that was buried in a volcanic eruption almost 2,000 years ago, holding out the promise... Read more

  • Derinkuyu underground city in Turkey. (Shutterstock*)

    Who Built the Underground City of Derinkuyu?

    In the Cappadocia region of Turkey there is a town called Derinkuyu; and beneath Derinkuyu there is a city, vast and deep, of ancient design,... Read more

  • The amulet with the palindrome inscription found in Cyprus. (Marcin Iwan, artifact from the excavations of Jagiellonian University in Krakow at Paphos Agora)

    Ancient Greek Amulet With Strange Palindrome Inscription Discovered in Cyprus

    Archaeologists in Cyprus have unearthed a 1,500-year-old amulet in the ancient city of Nea Paphos in Cyprus, which contains a curious palindrome inscription—a text that... Read more

  • Small cross type penny with portrait of King Ethelred, similar to the ones recently discovered near Lenborough, England. (Wikimedia Commons)

    Hoard of 5,000 Anglo Saxon Coins Worth Over $1.5 M Discovered by Amateur Metal Detectorists

    Amateur treasure hunters struck it rich when they unearthed a massive hoard of more than  5,000 silver coins during a Christmas gathering on farmland near... Read more

  • Lyonnesse

    Britain’s Atlantis, Lyonnesse: The Sunken Land of Arthurian Legend

    Off the coast of Cornwall, at the southern tip of the UK, on a clear day, the Isles of Scilly can be seen at some... Read more

  • Left: A depiction of the Babylonian god Adad. Right: A depiction of the Roman god Janus, who looks both backward and forward. (Wikimedia Commons)

    Ancient History of New Year’s Resolutions

    A New Year’s resolution is a tradition, most common in the West but found around the world, in which a person makes a promise on... Read more

  • A file photo of an Egyptian mummy. (Shutterstock*)

    Art, Meds, and Fuel—The Surprising Historical Uses of Ancient Mummies

    Mummies are a familiar image in modern Western culture, sometimes silently resting in glass museum cases, or other times shuffling along on two cursed feet,... Read more

  • The reptilian creature is believed to have made its home in Scotland some 170 million years ago. (AOL Screenshot)

    It’s Not Nessie, But Jurassic Predator Found in Scotland (Video)

    A giant, ancient, aquatic predator trolling the waters of Scotland — hmm, why does that sound familiar? According to HowStuffWorks: “The Loch Ness is one... Read more

  • For decades archaeologists have been searching for a passageway connected to the Great Pyramid, but it was a man digging around his own house who found it. (AOL Screenshot)

    Man Finds a Hidden Passage to Great Pyramids Beneath His House (Video)

    The Pyramids at Giza are among the world’s most famous ancient buildings, but there are still many mysteries surrounding them. Until recently, one thing that... Read more

  • An underwater cave housing what could be the largest known collection of lemur fossils has been discovered in Madagascar. (AOL Screenshot)

    Underwater Cave Found to House Large Fossil Graveyard (Video)

    A series of underwater caves housing what could be the largest known collection of lemur fossils has been discovered in Madagascar. Paleontologists and anthropologists funded... Read more

  • The monumental Bronze Age tomb at Nichoria from above. (University of Cincinnati)

    Research Dishes the Dirt on the Demise of a Civilization

    Two researchers are taking a new twist on long-published research about what an ancient civilization did for a living. W. Flint Dibble, a University of... Read more

  • Right: A depiction of Zhang Guo Lao riding backward on his donkey. (Yeuan Fang/Epoch Times) Background: A Lakota camp, c. 1891. (John C. Grabill via Shutterstock*)

    Similar Backward Characters in Ancient Chinese, Native American Cultures

    Are you moving forward or backward in life? Some ancient cultures had figures that literally moved backward to remind the people around them to pay... Read more

  • Aztec goddess of corn and popcorn. The approximately 80,000 year old snack. Learn how to make your own traditionally with Celtic sea salt or clarified butter based caramel.

    80.000 Year Old Celtic Popcorn Recipe

    This easy (potentially 80,000 year old) recipe for Celtic or caramelized popcorn will you save from microwave popcorn—a nasty modern concoction. Read on to discover... Read more

  • Qin Ling Mountains in China, where the White Pyramid of Xi'an is said to be. A model of a mausoleum pyramid at the Han Yang Ling Museum. Some say people have mistaken the Maoling mausoleum pyramid for the white pyramid of legend, but others disagree saying the descriptions don't match. (Wikimedia Commons)

    In Search of the Legendary 1,000-Foot White Pyramid of Xi’an

    Scattered across an isolated, flat plain in Shaanxi Province, near the ancient capital of Xi’an, lie dozens of spectacular pyramid mounds that are little known... Read more

  • (Paolo Bondielli/Min Project)

    Tomb Resembling Mythical Tomb of Egyptian God Osiris Found

    A tomb dedicated to the ancient Egyptian god of death, Osiris, has been found in the Valley of Nobles (also known as the Tombs of... Read more

  • Baccus, c. 1595, by Caravaggio.

    Ancient Hangover Cures

    Slightly over-indulged in wine this festive season? Suffering from throbbing headache, dry mouth, and nausea after the office Christmas party? The hair of the dog... Read more

  • The mysterious and elaborately carved walls of Royston Cave. (Sizbut/Flickr)

    Enigmatic Symbols and Carvings in Man-Made Cave Confound Experts

    The Royston Cave is an artificial cave in Hertfordshire, England. It is not known who created the cave or what it was used for, but... Read more

  • Top right: The remnants of a 4,000-year-old copper crown found on a skull from the late Indus Valley civilization period found at village of Chandayan, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Background: Earthen pots found at a burial site from the late Indus Valley civilization period in the village of Chandayan, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. (A.K. Pandey/Archaeological Survey of India)

    4,000-Year-Old Copper Crown Found in India

    NEW DELHI —Indian archaeologists uncovered a 4,000-year-old copper crown in the village of Chandayan, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh this week, from... Read more

  • Left: A megalithic stone at Avebury Cove. (Jim Champion/Wikimedia Commons) Top right: Megaliths at Ollantaytambo in Peru. (Wolfgang Beyer/Wikimedia Commons) Bottom right: A megalith at Baalbek in Lebanon. (Wikimedia Commons) Background: (Bikerboy82/iStock/Thinkstock)

    Did Giants Exist? Part 4: Were Giants Responsible for the World’s Ancient Megalithic Structures?

    Imagine our world long ago, when the Great Pyramid at Giza and Stonehenge were young. The freshly cut stones are smooth to the touch without... Read more


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