Ann Encke

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Moon-Day! Skywatchers Catch a 'Blood Moon' Eclipse and Mars

The first total lunar eclipse in more than two years turned the moon into a cosmic red ball early Tuesday —and there's still more to come.<p>Total lunar eclipses occur when Earth is positioned precisely between the sun and the full moon. Because of the tilt of the moon's orbit, total eclipses don't …

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Blood moon: Lunar eclipse gazers mesmerized as red hue lights up sky

Sky gazers caught a glimpse of the "blood moon" crossing the Earth's shadow Tuesday in all its splendor.<p>The moon took on a reddish hue as it appeared in different phases between 2 and 4:30 a.m. ET.<p>In North and South America, where the blood moon was most prominent, observers pointed at the …

It only took 35 years for flesh-eating bacteria to become an infectious terror

Scientists have discovered that its evolutionary path was eerily simple<p>All it took for flesh-eating bacteria to go from harmless organisms to gruesome infectious pathogens was four mutations and about 35 years. That's what an international group of researchers announced today in a study that …

'Blood moon' will be a sight to behold, weather permitting - CNN.com

A blood moon is seen over Gaza City in March 2007.<p>HIDE CAPTION<p>Total lunar eclipses<p>Total lunar eclipses<p>Total lunar eclipses<p>Total lunar eclipses<p>Total lunar eclipses<p>Total lunar eclipses<p>Total lunar eclipses<p>Total lunar eclipses<p><i>We want to see your photos of the blood moon! Share your best shots with CNN</i> …

5 Sky Events This Week: Full Lunar Eclipse and Lord of the Rings

Changing Planet<p><b>This is a big week even for the most amateur of sky-watchers, with a rare full lunar eclipse and Mars getting as close as it ever does to Earth.</b><p><b>Moon shadow play.</b> The moon will appear to be orange-red late Monday night and early Tuesday morning as it undergoes a total eclipse, the …

Starwatch: Mars at its closest

Mars comes closer to the Earth on 14 April than at any time since early 2008. Even so, it appears only 15.2 arcsec across through our telescopes and we need good observing conditions, and some patience, to appreciate its surface detail. Just don't expect as sharp a view as that in our Hubble image …

For every 'designer drug' the authorities ban, clandestine labs are churning out a new version. No wonder the law can't keep up…<p>The term "designer drug" became popular with the acid house and ecstasy boom in the 1990s, but it was never really accurate. The main ingredient in ecstasy pills – MDMA – …

Edith Heard: 'We can't undo what our parents have given us in terms of our genes'

When something isn't working, Edith Heard is the kind of person who will try to fix it. And at the top of her list might well be the reputation of her subject – epigenetics. At a recent science festival, James Watson, outspoken co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, publicly blasted the fashionable …

A rough guide to mind-reading

When I raise my index finger on entering my local bar in the Netherlands, by some mysterious process a bottle of La Chouffe is brought to the table. This is a trivial example of mind-reading. That last sentence might read like an oxymoron, but mind-reading is commonplace; and like many things we …

The Subterranean War on Science

Science denial kills. More than 300,000 South Africans died needlessly in the early 2000s because the government of President Mbeki preferred to …

A look inside SFMOMA's transformation

Inside the red-brick shell of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on Third Street, the past is ghostly as the future takes shape.<p>The emphatic masonry staircase that anchored the atrium is gone, gaps on the floor and walls the only sign it ever was there. Galleries remain, dust-coated and dim. …

Is El Niño Back? Climate Scientists Forecast Its Arrival

What does that mean for global weather? The climate pattern explained.<p>The odds are in El Niño's favor. The U.S. Climate Prediction Center forecasts a greater than 50 percent chance that the climate-disrupting phenomenon could be upon us as early as this summer, with a two-in-three chance we'll be …

Sense of smell gets 'wired' early in life - Futurity

The wiring of the olfactory system, which controls the sense of smell, gets set up shortly after birth and then remains stable but adaptable.

The Navy Just Turned Seawater Into Jet Fuel

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Navy's future: Electric guns, lasers, water as fuel

Imagine ships that fire missiles at seven times the speed of sound without using explosives, or that use lasers to destroy threats at the cost of about a dollar a shot, and vessels making fuel from the very seawater in which they're floating.<p>That's the glimpse of the high-tech future the U.S. Navy …

A feature is not an essay regurgitating facts. You need to get on the phone and speak to the people directly involved, or better still meet them in person<p><i>The Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize, in association with the Guardian and the Observer, is open for entries</i><p>Be realistic about the issue you …

Astronomers find 'diamond engagement ring' in space

Planetary nebula Abell 33 has taken on romantic proportions.<p>The European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope has captured a spectacular image of a planetary nebula aligned with a star in such a way that it looks like a diamond engagement ring.<p>Abell 33 came from a star that's going to become …

Scientists discover the secret behind zombie plants

If the fungal spore outbreak in <i>The Last of Us</i> scared the hell out of you, you'll be doubly terrified to know that there are actual parasites in nature that can turn animals and plants into zombies. In fact, a group of scientists from the John Innes Centre in the UK just figured out how certain …

The Mystery of Dark Matter: WIMPS May Have the Answer

It’s a mystery that has haunted astronomers for nearly 80 years now: what is the mysterious dark matter that outweighs ordinary matter—all of the …

Galaxy Cluster Is a Cosmic Magnifying Glass for Hubble Telescope

A new image from the Hubble Space Telescope reveals a galaxy cluster so huge that it acts like a magnifying glass, warping and amplifying light from …

What's Your Animal Personality Type?

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is an expansion of Carl Jung's ideas about personality types, expressed in one of 16 four-letter acronyms that express your dominant traits. The official test is available online.<p>The four letters in the Myers Briggs test represent your tendencies when it comes to …