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Element of the week: plutonium | video

This week's chemical element is plutonium, which has the symbol <b>Pu</b> and the atomic number <b>94</b>. Inspired by the previous two elements in the periodic …

Video: Watching solstices and equinoxes from space

See how sunlight falls on Earth’s surface during the solstices and equinoxes, and get a better understanding of why Earth’s tilt causes the …

Solstice

The GM slow motion train wreck

Yesterday the UK launched an utterly predictable slow motion train wreck of an attempt to rehabilitate genetically modified organisms in the European …

All you need to know: June solstice 2018

Happy June solstice! Longest day for the Northern Hemisphere. Shortest day for the Southern Hemisphere. Either way … a good time to celebrate!<p>The …

Solstice

Noble gases get recycled in mineral ‘rings’

<b>BROWN (US) —</b> The six noble gases don’t usually dissolve into minerals, but scientists have discovered that the lattice structure of amphibole …

NASA and NOAA turn the 'Blue Marble' green in breathtaking new satellite images

Scientists have released new satellite images that show how much of the Earth's surface is covered in vegetation. Using the VIIRS sensor aboard the NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP satellite, experts collected data between April 2012 and April 2013 and used it to create a new vegetation index which identifies …

Shrunken accelerator blasts like the big boys

<b>U. TEXAS-AUSTIN (US) —</b> A new tabletop particle accelerator is a step toward having multi-gigaelectronvolt laser plasma accelerators in research labs …

Harvard Researchers Build Fast Moving Microrobot and Centipede Millirobot

The Harvard Microrobitcs Laboratory built a new Harvard Ambulatory MicroRobot (HAMR) that has four legs and moves rapidly. Harvard says the HAMR uses …

Why hottest weather isn’t on longest day

Solstice 2017 – longest day for us on northern Earth – has passed. But the hottest weather for the Northern Hemisphere is still to come. The reason …

Veggies ‘on the clock’ may be healthier

<b>RICE (US) —</b> Using cycles of light and dark to maintain vegetables’ “internal clocks” after harvest could have health benefits, say …

North American Birds Declining as Threats Mount

Global warming, habitat loss, wind turbines, and cats are factors.<p><i>Part of our weekly "In Focus" series—stepping back, looking closer.</i><p><b>Throughout the year, birders look forward to changing seasons and avian scenes as they explore woods, grasslands, and wetlands: the spectacle of spring migration, the</b> …

Uncovering the past using the future: how lasers are revolutionizing archaeology

High-tech tools are now giving archaeologists an unprecedented glimpse into lost civilizations<p>A map of the lost city of Mahendraparvata, created using lidar technology (Credit: Archaeology and Development Foundation — Phnom Kulen Program)<p>Indiana Jones was onto something. In <i>Raiders of the Lost Ark</i>, …

Scientists peek at memories being made

<b>USC (US) —</b> Using microscopic probes, researchers can see the physical changes that occur when a memory is made in a living brain.<p>Researchers …

Animals know more than you think

Perhaps it is no coincidence that the animals we think of as being the most stupid – pigs, chickens, sheep – are also the ones we don't always treat …

A revolutionary new 3D digital brain atlas

This is the first ever 3D microstructural model of the entire human brain, and it’s publicly available to researchers world-wide at no cost.<p>Imagine …

Mapping the brain: 3D atlas aims to unlock the secrets of the mind

Scientists have created the highest resolution 3D digital model yet made of a human brain, showing features as small as 20 micrometres across – …

Insulin-making cells multiply in test tubes

<b>WASHINGTON U. – ST. LOUIS (US) —</b> Scientists have coaxed clusters of insulin-making human cells to reproduce in the lab, which removes a significant …

Supermoon To Dominate Weekend Sky

The largest full moon of the year will grace the night sky Sunday as our nearest neighbor in space makes its closest approach.<p>The moon will reach its closest perigee of 2013, dominating the sky. For about a half-hour of the event, the moon will also turn full — a confluence of events that produces …

UFO over Stonehenge? Britain releases its last big batch of X-Files

Britain's Ministry of Defense finished up its release of almost 60 years' worth of UFO sighting reports on Friday with a bang: a 4,300-page cache of documents that describe strange sights over Stonehenge and Parliament, and lay out the reason why the ministry shut down its UFO desk three and a half …

APOD: Perigee's Full Moon (2013 Jun 22) Image Credit & Copyright: Anthony Ayiomamitis (TWAN) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130622.html Explanation: A big, bright, beautiful Full Moon will rise at sunset on Sunday. Its exact full phase (June 23, 11:32 UT) will occur shortly before it reaches perigee, the closest point to Earth in the Moon's orbit, and make it the largest Full Moon of 2013. But such circumstances are not very rare. The full lunar phase falls near the Moon's orbit perigee about every 14 lunar months. That means the following Full Perigee Moon will be on August 10, 2014, the 14th Full Moon after June 23. On May 5, 2012, 14 Full Moons ago, this inspired telescopic night skyscape captured the Full Perigee Moon rising over Cape Sounion, Greece and the ancient Temple of Poseidon. http://www.perseus.gr/ http://twanight.org/Ayiomamitis Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=130622 #APOD #TWAN

Bits of Arthur C. Clarke and 'Star Trek' celebs will sail in deep space

When the Sunjammer solar sail is launched for a deep-space test next year, small samples from sci-fi guru Arthur C. Clarke and three pioneers of the "Star Trek" TV series will be going along for the ride. And you can send a message as well.<p>It's all part of a memorial spaceflight organized by the …

'Space Penguin' PHOTO: Hubble Captures Arp 142 Galactic Collision In The Constellation Hydra

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... Space Penguin!<p>Alright, it's not exactly "Star Wars." But this image, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, does show a dramatic clash of galaxies. Scientists believe that the head of the bird (in the upper portion of the photograph) is the result of …