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  • The Science Life

    Balloons will broadcast the 2017 solar eclipse live from on high

    Only a lucky few have watched a solar eclipse from above the Earth. Angela Des Jardins wants to bring that view to everyone.

    On August 21, Des Jardins, an astrophysicist at Montana State University in Bozeman, will help broadcast the first livestream of a total solar eclipse from the edge of space. She and more than 50 groups across the United States will launch high-altitude balloons to...

    07/26/2017 - 13:30 Astronomy, Networks, Science & Society
  • Editor's Note

    Expert eavesdroppers occasionally catch a break

    In July of 1972, NASA launched the first Landsat satellite into orbit around Earth. Since then, the spacecraft and its successors have transformed our understanding of Antarctica (and the rest of the planet, too). In the first year following the launch, Landsat’s images of the faraway continent showed “uncharted mountain ranges, vast ice movements and errors in maps as little as two years old...

    07/26/2017 - 13:15 Earth, Science & Society
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘Making Contact’ chronicles an astronomer’s struggle to find E.T.

    Making ContactSarah ScolesPegasus Books, $27.95

    In Carl Sagan’s 1985 sci-fi novel Contact, a radio astronomer battles naysayers and funding setbacks to persist in her audacious plan — scanning the skies for signals from aliens. Sagan had real-life inspiration for his book (and the 1997 movie of the same name): astronomer Jill Tarter, who spearheaded the search for extraterrestrial...

    07/24/2017 - 16:33 Astronomy, History of Science, Science & Society
  • News

    Radioactive substances leave electron ‘fingerprints’ behind

    Walls can’t talk, but scientists can now read stories written in their subatomic particles. And that could make it harder to store radioactive material in secret.

    Nuclear radiation rearranges the electrons in insulators such as brick, glass and porcelain. So comparing the positions of electrons in atoms at different spots on walls, windows and floors could provide a rough snapshot of...

    07/24/2017 - 07:00 Chemistry, Science & Society
  • News

    Resistance to CRISPR gene drives may arise easily

    A genetic-engineering tool designed to spread through a population like wildfire — eradicating disease and even whole invasive species — might be more easily thwarted than thought.

    Resistance to the tools, called CRISPR gene drives, arose at high rates in experiments with Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies, researchers at Cornell University report July 20 in PLOS Genetics. Rates of...

    07/20/2017 - 16:35 Genetics, Science & Society, Animals
  • Science Ticker

    Rising temps may mean fewer passengers on airplane flights

    As if air travel weren’t annoying enough, new research suggests that global warming will force planes to carry fewer passengers to get off the ground. While a little more legroom might sound good, it could make flying more expensive. 

    Researchers examined the impact of rising temperatures on five types of commercial planes flying out of 19 of the world’s busiest airports. In the coming...

    07/13/2017 - 05:30 Climate, Science & Society
  • Science Ticker

    Whales feast when hatcheries release salmon

    View the video

    Humpback whales, those innovative foodies, have discovered their own pop-up restaurants.

    Migrant humpbacks returning to southeastern Alaska in spring are the first of their kind known to make routine visits to fish hatcheries releasing young salmon into the sea, says marine ecologist Ellen Chenoweth.

    The whales are “40 feet long and they’re feeding on fish that...

    07/11/2017 - 19:05 Animals, Ecology, Science & Society
  • News

    Climate change could exacerbate economic inequalities in the U.S.

    Climate change may make the rich richer and the poor poorer in the United States.

    Counties in the South face a higher risk of economic downturn due to climate change than their northern counterparts, a new computer simulation predicts. Because southern counties generally host poorer populations, the new findings, reported in the June 30 Science, suggest that climate change will worsen...

    06/29/2017 - 14:00 Climate, Science & Society
  • Science & the Public

    Latest stats are just a start in preventing gun injuries in kids

    On June 18, 4-year-old Bentley Thomas Koch fatally shot himself in the face. A few weeks earlier, Harmony Warfield, age 7, was shot and killed by her 2-year-old cousin. And teens Shadi Najjar and Artem Ziberov, both on the eve of graduating from high school, died in a hail of gunfire. Stories like these of kids dying from gunshot wounds are devastating, but, sadly, they aren’t an anomaly.

    ...
    06/26/2017 - 10:00 Science & Society, Health
  • Editor's Note

    Launch your imagination with Science News stories

    Imagine for a moment that you lived on another planet. Not Tatooine, Trantor or another fictional orb, but a real-deal planet circling a star somewhere in our real-deal galaxy. What would your world look like? Would there be a rocky surface? An atmosphere? How long would a day last? How about a year? What special physiology might you need to survive there? There’s no single scenario, of course...

    06/14/2017 - 10:57 Science & Society