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E.g., 08/23/2017
E.g., 08/23/2017
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  • Growth Curve

    Seeing one picture at a time helps kids learn words from books

    We’re going through a comic book phase at my house. Since lucking into the comics stash at the library, my 4-year-old refuses any other literary offering. Try as I might to rekindle her love of Rosie Revere, my daughter shuns that scrappy little engineer for Superman every single night.

    I know that comic fans abound, but I’ll admit that I get a little lost reading the books. The multi-...

    08/23/2017 - 07:00 Parenting, Child Development
  • News

    New antennas are up to a hundredth the size of today’s devices

    Antennas just got a whole lot smaller.

    Tiny chips that communicate via radio waves are a tenth to a hundredth the length of current state-of-the-art compact antennas. At only a couple hundred micrometers across — comparable to the thickness of a piece of paper — these next-gen antennas can relay the same types of signals as those used by TVs, cell phones and radios, researchers report...

    08/22/2017 - 14:00 Technology, Materials
  • Teaser

    These chip-sized spacecraft are the smallest space probes yet

    Spacecraft have gone bite-sized. On June 23, Breakthrough Starshot, an initiative to send spacecraft to another star system, launched half a dozen probes called Sprites to test how their electronics fare in outer space. Each Sprite, built on a single circuit board, is a prototype of the tiny spacecraft that Starshot scientists intend to send to Alpha Centauri, the trio of stars closest to the...

    08/22/2017 - 13:30 Astronomy
  • Feature

    Birth control research is moving beyond the pill

    Mention “the pill,” and only one kind of drug comes to mind. The claim that oral contraceptives have on that simple noun testifies to the pill’s singular effect in the United States. Introduced in 1960, the pill gave women reliable access to birth control for the first time. The opportunity to delay having children opened the door to higher education and professional careers for many women....

    08/22/2017 - 12:30 Health, Human Development
  • News

    Some secrets of China’s terra-cotta army are baked in the clay

    China’s first emperor broke the mold when he had himself buried with a terra-cotta army.  Now insight into the careful crafting of those soldiers is coming from the clays used to build them. Custom clay pastes were mixed at a clay-making center and then distributed to specialized workshops that cranked out thousands of the life-size figures, new research suggests.

    Roughly 700,000...

    08/22/2017 - 09:30 Anthropology, Archaeology
  • News

    On a mountain in Wyoming, the eclipse brings wonder — and, hopefully, answers

    View the video

    CASPER MOUNTAIN, Wyo. — It’s nothing like a sunset. It’s cold and dark, but it’s not like nighttime, or even twilight. The moon just snaps into place over the last slivers of the sun, turning the sun into a dark hole. The only illumination — a flat, ghostly, metallic sort of light — is from peaked gossamer streamers stretching out toward the edges of the sky.

    I’ve...

    08/21/2017 - 19:38 Astronomy, Earth
  • News

    Mars has nighttime snow storms

    Nighttime may be snow-time on Mars.

    Low evening temperatures could cool clouds and trigger turbulent winds that fuel fast-falling snowstorms on the Red Planet, new simulations suggest. This process, reported August 21 in Nature Geoscience, may account for surprising observations of snowfall by one of NASA’s Martian landers.

    “Clouds and snowfall have emerged in recent years as...

    08/21/2017 - 11:00 Planetary Science
  • Science Ticker

    Today is the day! A last-minute guide for watching the Great American Eclipse

    Just a stab in the dark, but you’ve probably heard: There is a total solar eclipse today, August 21.

    For the first time since 1979, the moon’s shadow will zip across the continental United States. The shadow will travel from Oregon to South Carolina in a swift 92 minutes. For those in the path of totality, total darkness will last only a couple of minutes. There and elsewhere in most of...

    08/21/2017 - 06:00 Science & Society
  • News

    Eclipse watchers will go after the biggest solar mystery: Why is the corona so hot?

    A total solar eclipse shines a light on the sun's elusive atmosphere. When the moon blocks the sun, it’s finally possible to see how this diffuse cloud of plasma, called the corona, is magnetically sculpted into beautiful loops. The material there is about a trillionth the density of the solar surface. From its delicate and diaphanous appearance, you might expect the corona to be where the sun...

    08/20/2017 - 06:00 Astronomy, Science & Society, Physics
  • News

    Does the corona look different when solar activity is high versus when it’s low?

    Some cities have all the luck.

    Carbondale, Ill., is just a few kilometers north of the point where this year’s total solar eclipse will linger longest — the city will get two minutes and 38 seconds of total darkness when the moon blocks out the sun. And it’s the only city in the United States that will also be in the path of totality when the next total solar eclipse crosses North...

    08/19/2017 - 07:00 Astronomy, Physics, Science & Society, Earth