Connor Silvester

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Scientist warns of inevitable solar super-storm propelled towards Earth

Such a storm would wreak havoc with our communication systems and power supplies, and scientists say we’re overdue.<p>In this month’s issue of <i>Physics</i> …

NASA’s Next Mars Rover Will Make Oxygen

Changing Planet<p>Illustration shows the suite of instruments that will be on NASA’s Mars 2020 rover. Courtesy: NASA<p><b>Living off the land looks like the key to survival on Mars, so NASA’s next red planet rover will help show the way by brewing up its own oxygen, the space agency announced Thursday. The</b> …

Hubble sees ancient galaxy that acts as enormous magnifying glass

It was a dumbfounding discovery. Using Hubble telescope data, a scientist spotted a "lensing" galaxy that was enormous, extremely distant and acting as a magnifying glass to another ancient galaxy behind it.<p>Kim-Vy Tran was sure she'd flubbed.<p>The Texas A&M scientific researcher was working late, …

‘Impossible’ Space Engine Might Work, NASA Test Suggests

NASA researchers have reported fresh evidence that an "impossible" space propulsion technology might actually work.<p>A study from NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston says a microwave thruster system that requires no propellant appears to generate a tiny amount of thrust. If the technology pans …

Physics

Q&A: The First-Ever Expedition to Turkmenistan's "Door to Hell"

Explorer George Kourounis describes his descent into a fiery, gas-fueled crater.<p>More than four decades ago, a gaping, fiery crater opened up in the desert of northern Turkmenistan (map), likely the result of a drilling mishap.<p>The Darvaza Crater, more commonly known as the Door to Hell, still burns …

Rover images hint at a warm and wet Mars - Futurity

Images from the Mars rover Curiosity show ancient fossilized Earth-like soils that suggest the possibility of microbial life, researchers say.

Mars Rover

Is our universe a bubble?

The multiverse hypothesis – the idea that there are other universes – can be tested, scientists say.<p>Never mind the big bang; in the beginning was the …

Black Holes May Explode Into 'White Holes' And Pour All Their Matter Into Space, Physicists Say

Black holes might end their lives by transforming into their exact opposite — 'white holes' that explosively pour all the material they ever swallowed into space, say two physicists. The suggestion, based on a speculative quantum theory of gravity, could solve a long-standing conundrum about …

Finally, Really, You're Invited to Help Name Distant Planets

It's a new policy for the International Astronomical Union.<p>The world known officially as PSR B1620-26 b orbits a binary star system about 12,000 light-years away. With an estimated age of 12.7 billion years, PSR B1620-26 b is considered one of the oldest planets in the universe, more than twice as …

Universe

Beach Sand Used To Make A Battery That Lasts Three Times Longer

Charge your phone with that white stuff from the beach<p>Sink your toes into this: Beach sand can be used to make lithium-ion batteries that last three times longer than current models, according to a study published in the journal <i>Scientific Reports</i>.<p>“This is the holy grail: a low-cost, non-toxic, …

Clean Energy

Mother Nature figured out how to fix climate change. Surprisingly, we still aren't listening to her.

<span class="redactor-invisible-space"></span><p>This talk is one in a series from NPR's TED Radio Hour. So if this sort of out-of-the-box thinking …

Climate

Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)

Giant New Jellyfish Species Washes Ashore Down Under

According to researchers, we can expect a lot more of this sort of slimy event.<p>What appears to be a giant living blob washed ashore a beach in southern Tasmania, where it was discovered by a family. Turns out it is a new species of lion's-mane jellyfish.<p>Government scientist Lisa-ann Gershwin told …

Nature

A New View of Europa

Europa is like a spherical ice cube that has partially melted. In fact, if you shook this small moon of Jupiter, you might hear a sloshing sound.<p>That’s because a deep, global ocean lies beneath the moon’s frozen, criss-crossed crust – an ocean that might be as much as 100 kilometers deep. In fact, …

Cross-Laminated Timber is the Most Advanced Building Material

Cross-Laminated Timber Continues to Impress Builders and Engineers<p>On a cloudy day in early October, the architect Andrew Waugh circles the base of a nondescript apartment tower in Shoreditch, a neighborhood in East London. Shoreditch suffered heavily during the blitz of World War II—“urban renewal, …

Your Body Can Kill Cancer. It Just Needs Better Instructions.

Researchers have been programming peoples' immune systems to recognize and destory cancer.<p>Part of what makes cancers so insidious is that they’re not invaders: They’re our own cells turned against us. That means the body usually doesn’t see them as a threat. But over the last few years, teams at …

Hurricane Science: How Storms Like Arthur Form and Grow

It comes down to warm ocean water and the Earth's eastward rotation.<p>As Hurricane Arthur, the season's first hurricane, gathers strength off the U.S. southeast coast, thousands of Americans who were looking forward to baseball games, barbecues, and beaches are preparing for a windy, water-soaked …

One of the Most Earthlike Planets Ever Found May Not Exist

What was thought to be a planet in the "Goldilocks Zone" of its star may have just been starspots.<p>All sorts of excitement accompanied astronomers' discovery of Gliese 581g in 2010—the alien world looked like Earth in both size and temperature, and thus seemed potentially hospitable to life.<p>But …

NASA Flying Saucer Flight Test Succeeds

The Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) touches down gently in the Pacific Ocean.<p>Over the weekend, a giant balloon carried NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) up to 120,000 feet over Hawaii and then let it go. The flying saucer then began a half hour of powered flight, at the end …

We could travel to new worlds in NASA's starship Enterprise

NASA announced in 2012 that it was working to build a "warp drive" that could enable "faster-than-light" travel. Two years later and the space agency hasn't built a spaceship capable of such speeds yet — but thanks to artist Mark Rademaker, we now know what one could look like. The result is the …

Russia Just Finished A Submarine It Has Spent 20 Years Building

The 1990s are back, and they're nuclear.<p>There are college sophomores who were born after Russia began building its newest submarine. The K-329 Severodvinsk (re-designated the K-560 Severodvinsk in late 2013) is a submarine powered by a nuclear reactor and is made to hunt other submarines, ships, …

Military

Mind-control: ‘I drove a car with my thoughts’

A car in Germany can be steered with thought alone. Rose Eveleth asks its driver and his team about the fiendishly difficult skills required to steer mind-controlled vehicles.<p>Henrik Matzke is in the driving seat of a car, poised to make a very unusual manoeuvre. The car pulls up to a junction. He …

Autonomous Cars

Mountain blast lays ground for massive telescope

NASA wants to capture an asteroid in 2019

The agency has announced a more detailed timeframe for its study of space rocks<p>NASA has been talking for some time now about its Asteroid Redirect Mission, a plan to snatch an asteroid out of space and send it into lunar orbit for study. Yesterday, the agency announced when the first phase of the …

Suspended-animation trials to begin on humans

Knife- and gunshot-wound victims will be placed in suspended animation as the first human trials begin on this emergency life-saving technique.<p>This month, the world's first attempts at placing humans in suspended animation using a new technique will take place at the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in …

Pigs

The Soldier of the Future Looks A Lot Like Science Fiction

This story originally appeared on CNBC<p>Forget an Apple iWatch, the U.S. military is the one really taking wearable technology to new levels.<p>Different divisions of the U.S. armed forces, as well as other government agencies such as Darpa, are all working on developing high-tech armor that will help …

Armed Forces