Angel of Thursday

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Study: Earth has 'Star Trek'-style shield

The University of Colorado Boulder has announced a discovery 7,200 miles above Earth of a protective shield similar to the force fields you might see in "Star Trek."<p>The discovery of this barrier in the Van Allen radiation belts suggests a new explanation for how "killer electrons" are held at bay. …

Dwarf Galaxies Dim Hopes of Dark Matter

For five years physicists have been tantalized by possible evidence of dark matter in the Milky Way's center.<p>Once again, a shadow of a signal that scientists hoped would amplify into conclusive evidence of dark matter has instead flatlined, repeating a maddening refrain in the search for the …

The Surprisingly Strong Case for Colonizing Venus

Science fiction writers have come up with a plausible scenario for a floating city above the fiery planet.<p>Why worry about building a colony on Mars when instead you could float one high above the surface of Venus? Science fiction writer Charles Stross recently revived the idea of building a …

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NASA Actually Working on Faster-than-Light Warp Drive

You know that scene in the film <i>Contact</i> where the “Machine” is spooling up, its three spinning rings kicking out crazy light and an electromagnetic …

Inside The New Dragon Spacecraft

The Dragon V2 Capsule can carry humans, dock with the ISS, and land on its own.<p>Last night, SpaceX unveiled the Dragon V2 capsule, destined to eventually carry astronauts to the International Space Station.<p>Although the previous version of the Dragon capsule was flightworthy enough to deliver …

Space Exploration

Elon Musk Just Unveiled SpaceX 2.0

Tesla, SpaceX, Solar City, the Hyperloop: entrepreneur Elon Musk is renowned for having more futuristic ideas than he knows what to do with. But what …

A New Idea For Colonizing Space: Send Our DNA, Assemble Ourselves Once We Get There

I mean, it’s just too hard to send actual humans, right?<p>It’s difficult to send people far into space. Why not send bacteria instead? That’s the simple foundation behind one decidedly out-there idea for sending humans to live on other planets in the future.<p>“Our best bet for space exploration could …

Planetary Habitability

Black hole doughnut theory cast into doubt

A fresh analysis of data collected by NASA's WISE telescope has cast doubt on the widely accepted unified model for the composition of black holes. …

Suspended-animation trials to begin on humans

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 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania -- not for space travel, but to save lives.<p>The technique will initially be used on 10 patients whose wounds would …

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Supermassive Black Hole At The Centre Of The Galaxy May Be A Wormhole In Disguise, Say Astronomers

And if it is a wormhole, this is how it would look…<p>One of the most extraordinary objects in the Milky Way galaxy is Sagittarius A* (pronounced …

Some sunlike stars eat Earthlike planets

Some sunlike stars are “Earth-eaters.” As they form, they ingest large amounts of the rocky material from which planets like Earth, Mars and Venus …

Patrick Stewart: 'I can store emotions. No experience is ever wasted'

If I were a Trekkie, as opposed to someone who enjoyed <i>Star Trek</i> but was never a true devotee, I would surely have died and gone to heaven early on in my lunch with Patrick Stewart. Or, as a Trekkie might put it, I would have beamed up to the pleasure planet Risa, 90 light years from the Sol system, …

Cosmic beauty, photographed from the desert (pictures)

What Are Gravitons? - The Nature of Reality — The Nature of Reality | PBS

In a contest for the least contentious statement a person can make, “What goes up must come down” is surely a strong contender. Of the four known …

World's oldest sperm found in Queensland cave

The oldest sperm sample in the world has been uncovered from a tiny fossilised shrimp in a Queensland cave.<p>A seed shrimp estimated to be around 17 million years old was uncovered by a team from the University of New South Wales in an ancient cave deposit in the Riversleigh world heritage fossil …

UN Official Urges World Governments To Take 'Bold Action' On Killer Robots

The United Nations has started a four day meeting of government officials and experts to discuss the advent of autonomous killer robots and whether nations should commit to new international laws on their development.<p>In opening remarks at the talks, acting director-general of the United Nations …

New plastics heal themselves

Researchers have developed a regenerating plastic that grows back after damage.<p>Looking at a smooth sheet of plastic in one University of Illinois …

University of Illinois

New State Of Light Revealed With Photon-Trapping Method

A theoretical physicist has explained a way to capture particles of light called photons, even at room temperature, a feat thought only possible at bone-chillingly cold temperatures.<p>Alex Kruchkov, a doctoral student at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), has built the first …

China may build an undersea train to America

By Ishaan Tharoor<p>, Reporter<p>China is planning to build a train line that would, in theory, connect Beijing to the United States. According to a report in the Beijing Times, citing an expert at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Chinese officials are considering a route that would start in the …

Astronomers Discover Sun’s Long-Lost ‘Sibling,’ Massive Star's Planets Could Host Extraterrestrial Life

A star born from the same cloud of gas and dust as the sun was recently discovered, and researchers say the “solar sibling” could host …

Astronomers discover star born 13bn years ago

Astronomers in Chile have discovered a 13-billion-year-old star, one of the oldest ever found.<p>The scientists hope the discovery will get them a step closer to understanding the universe.<p>Al Jazeera's Nick Clark reports from the Atacama desert in Chile.

Fossil Galaxy Provides a Window Into the Early Universe

The dwarf galaxy Segue 1 has remained largely unchanged for billions of years.<p>A tiny galaxy lying just beyond the edge of the Milky Way has failed to evolve normally over the last several billion years, say astronomers, and it represents a sample of the universe as it was in its infancy, around 13 …

Solar Panels Could Replace Roads

Back when the concept of global warming was still nascent—only eight years ago, mind you—Scott and Julie Brusaw of Sagle, Idaho, began heavily contemplating an idea that Scott, an electrical engineer, had toyed with as a child: solar panel roads.<p>After years of figuring out many ways <i>not</i> to make a …

Habitable Planets May Not Look Exactly Like The Earth

When I was a kid we had <i>Star Trek</i> reruns showing twice a day. These were, without a doubt, the most important hours of my day. One thing that came from watching the Enterprise zoom around the galaxy so much was the recognition that there were a whole lot of "class M planets" out there. Back in the …

Putin Clamps Down: A Chilling Report From Moscow

“Nadya, pay the bill,” Masha Alyokhina says impatiently, taking a drag of her cigarette.<p>“OK, OK,” says Nadya Tolokonnikova. She stubs out her own …

What Are Gravitational Waves, And How Do We Find Them?

With a monumental detector powering up for a new generation of experiments, Rana Adhikari, a Caltech physicist, is chasing down these elusive signals. He tells PopMech what gravitational waves are, why scientists are on the cusp of measuring them, and how these waves will change the way we look at …

A single drop of seawater, magnified 25 times

Ever wonder what’s in seawater? This photograph shows a drop of seawater, magnified 25 times.<p>From thisiscolossal.com … “You know when you’re horsing …

Seawater

Dark Matter Might Be Hiding In Microscopic Black Holes, Astrophysicists Say

Dark matter, the invisible and mysterious stuff that makes up most of the material universe, might be hiding itself in microscopic black holes, says a team of Russian astrophysicists.<p>No one knows what dark matter is. But scientists do know that it must exist, because there is not enough visible …