Josh Topple

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The Shkadov Thruster, or: How to Move an Entire Solar System

In our cosmic megastructures series, PM explores some of the key engineering and design challenges in building gigantic structures for use by humankind in space. Today: the Shkadov Thruster, a mirror potentially larger than the sun.<p><b>Name</b>: Shkadov Thruster<p><b>Named for</b>: Russian physicist Leonid Shkadov, …

Life on Europa? NASA Will Put $25 Million Toward Quest

NASA says it's setting aside $25 million for designing scientific instruments to address questions about the habitability of Europa, an ice-covered moon of Jupiter. Europa is thought to have a hidden ocean that could sustain life. The agency's announcement of opportunity calls for scientists to …

Large number of dark matter peaks found using gravitational lensing

A number of studies have shown that dark matter is the principle mass component of the universe making up about 80% of the mass budget. The most …

Salt on Mars May Turn Ice into Liquid Water (Video)

It may seem impossible that water could flow on the frigid surface of Mars, but a new study in a simulated Red Planet environment shows that a type …

John Steinbeck's 1966 Plea To Create A NASA For The Oceans

In the September 1966 issue of Popular Science, author John Steinbeck made the case for giving deep-sea exploration the same attention as the space race.<p><i>Three years before the first humans landed on the moon, Nobel-prize winning author John Steinbeck published a passionate plea in</i> Popular Science</i> …

Literature

European Court of Human Rights upholds French ban on Muslim face veils

The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday upheld France's law banning face-covering Muslim veils from the streets, in a case brought by a woman who claimed her freedom of religion was violated.<p>The ruling by the Strasbourg-based court was the first of its kind since France passed a law in 2010 …

Deep dives of devil rays solve 'mystery' of warm brain

<b>A new study shows that devil rays plunge nearly 2km below the ocean surface, making some of the deepest and fastest dives ever observed in the sea.</b><p>Scientists tracked 15 of the large, winged fish, previously thought to be surface dwellers, for several months.<p>In between their icy dives, they appear …

Nature Communications

Why would Syria bomb Iraq? Your questions answered

Syrian warplanes reportedly targeted Iraq this week. Scores of civilians were killed at markets and gas stations in Anbar province Tuesday, local leaders told CNN.<p>A militant group called ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, has been pushing into Iraq, shaking the country, its leadership and, …

N Korea and Russia: A step towards a worldwide anti-hegemonic front? | China

This year was marked by a sudden outburst of political exchanges and economic negotiations between North Korea and Russia. In March and April, Pyongyang was visited by Rustam Minnikhanov, president of the Republic of Tatarstan, Alexander Galushka, Russian minister for the Development of the Far …