Paula Jane Lucas

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Dreamy concept imagines life in a Mars colony

Assuming we get there soon, what would life in a Mars colony look like? German firm ZA Architects' latest project explores the concept of establishing an underground colony on the red planet. The plan calls for robots to be sent to Mars to analyze its surface and choose the correct place for …

Astronomer royal calls for 'Plan B' to prevent runaway climate change

Launching mirrors into space, triggering algal blooms in the oceans and seeding clouds are among experimental "Plan B" schemes world leaders would have to consider if the rise in carbon emissions cannot be curbed within a couple of decades, according to one of Britain's most senior …

How To 3-D Print Your Own Invisibility Cloak

Now you see it...<p>The invisibility cloak Harry Potter brandishes against dark lords and nosy professors is now a reality—at least in microwave light. Duke University engineer Yaroslav Urzhumov has designed a plastic disk that makes a small object placed in its hollow center invisible to frequencies …

FYI: What Would Happen If Every Element On The Periodic Table Came Into Contact Simultaneously?

There are two ways to go about testing this, neither of which are practical. One requires the energy of dozens of Large Hadron Colliders. The other could yield a cauldron-full of flaming plutonium. Both, however, would probably create carbon monoxide and a pile of rust and salts rather than a cool …

Human Urban Activity Makes Animals Develop Bigger Brains

A study finds urban mammals have significantly larger brains than their rural cousins.<p>Humans aren't just changing the climate, causing earthquakes and you know, generally adapting the world to suit our whims. Human activity might also be driving increased brain size in animals! Woo, evolution!<p>In a …

The Latest In Scientific Field Equipment? Fido's Nose

Dave Vesely is busy training his dog, Sharpy. She isn't learning to sit or fetch or even herd sheep; Sharpy is learning to find the nests of western pond turtles.<p>These turtles are sneaky. After laying their eggs in a small hole, they knead together dirt, leaves and their own urine to plug the …

Pollution, Not Rising Temperatures, May Have Melted Alpine Glaciers

Glaciers in the Alps of Europe pose a scientific mystery. They started melting rapidly back in the 1860s. In a span of about 50 years, some of the biggest glaciers had retreated more than half a mile.<p>But nobody could explain the glacier's rapid decline. Now, a new study from NASA's Jet Propulsion …

Look at This Giant Bug!

The largest adult insect ever found actually seems sort of cuddly<p>This amazing/disturbing picture is of a giant weta, the world's biggest insect at a whopping 71 grams in weight. Wetas are cricket- or grasshopper-like insects native to the smaller islands of New Zealand, having been eradicated from …

APOD: North America and the Pelican (2013 Sep 03) Image Credit & Copyright: Scott Rosen http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130903.html Explanation: Here lie familiar shapes in unfamiliar locations. On the left is an emission nebula cataloged as NGC 7000, famous partly because it resembles our fair planet's continent of North America. The emission region to the right of the North America Nebula is IC 5070, also known for its suggestive outlines as the Pelican Nebula. Separated by a dark cloud of obscuring dust, the two bright nebulae are about 1,500 light-years away. At that distance, the 4 degree wide field of view spans 100 light-years. This spectacular cosmic portrait combines narrow band images to highlight bright ionization fronts with fine details of dark, dusty forms in silhouette. Emission from atomic hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen is captured in the narrow band data. These nebulae can be seen with binoculars from a dark location. Look northeast of bright star Deneb in the constellation of Cygnus the Swan. http://www.astronomersdoitinthedark.com/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=130903 #APOD