Latest news in science, space, technology, health, the environment, culture and history. Wed, 21 Oct 2020 16:24:28 +0000 'Starman' just zipped past Mars in his rapidly-decaying Tesla Roadster Starman — the dummy riding a Tesla Roadster through space — has made his closest approach ever to Mars since his stunt launch in 2018. Wed, 21 Oct 2020 16:14:08 +0000 You can't squish this 'iron' beetle. Now, scientists know why. A tough exoskeleton in ironclad beetles protect them against piercing and crushing, and scientists recently uncovered the unusual interlocking structures that strengthen the insect's hard shell. Wed, 21 Oct 2020 15:03:03 +0000 NASA spacecraft makes historic attempt to snag samples of asteroid Bennu For the first time ever, a NASA probe has performed a sample-snagging operation on an asteroid in deep space. Wed, 21 Oct 2020 14:16:43 +0000 Black holes could become massive particle accelerators Physicists suggest harnessing the gravitational pull of black holes to create ferocious particle accelerators. The trick? Carefully set everything up so the particles don't get lost forever. Wed, 21 Oct 2020 12:00:19 +0000 The strange story of 2020 SO: How an asteroid turned into rocket junk and the NASA scientist who figured it out As soon as he saw the data, Paul Chodas knew something was strange about the near-Earth object that had been designated 2020 SO. Wed, 21 Oct 2020 11:37:15 +0000 The closest black hole to Earth may not actually be a black hole after all An object identified earlier this year as the closest black hole we've ever discovered may have just been demoted. Wed, 21 Oct 2020 11:33:14 +0000 Ghostly 'UFO cloud' hovering over mountains wows judges in weather photo contest Lenticular clouds look like saucers and form when wind meets mountains. This photo is one of the Royal Meteorological Society's favorites of the year. Wed, 21 Oct 2020 11:24:18 +0000 'Monster' storms and frozen bison: The most spectacular weather photos of 2020 Here are the winners of the Royal Meteorological Society's 2020 Weather Photo of the Year contest, sponsored by AccuWeather. Wed, 21 Oct 2020 11:21:46 +0000 COVID-19 is at least 5 times deadlier than flu for hospitalized patients Mounting evidence shows that COVID-19 is more severe than flu. Tue, 20 Oct 2020 20:42:55 +0000 Scientists discover new organ in the throat A newly discovered set of salivary glands is nestled behind the nose. Tue, 20 Oct 2020 19:11:02 +0000 1st-ever footage of giant pandas mating in the wild is not 'cute and cuddly' Filmmakers spent three years following pandas in China's Qinling Mountains, capturing never-before-seen footage of males competing over females. Tue, 20 Oct 2020 16:34:39 +0000 Astronomers claimed galaxy was 98% dark matter. They were wrong. Back in 2016, researchers claimed Dragonfly 44 was a "failed" Milky Way — a galaxy with a huge dark matter mass but almost no stars. Now, on closer examination, that claim has fallen apart. Tue, 20 Oct 2020 16:25:11 +0000 Teen wins $25k for finding molecule that may disarm coronavirus Anika Chebrolu hopes to work with scientists to develop the drug candidate further. Tue, 20 Oct 2020 16:10:49 +0000 Coronavirus outbreak: Live updates Among the top news today: Cases in North America and Europe are rising as the Northern Hemisphere approaches winter months and WHO warns of pandemic fatigue. Tue, 20 Oct 2020 15:49:48 +0000 'Challenge study' to infect healthy volunteers with the coronavirus will begin in early 2021 The study will test how much virus is needed to infect humans and which vaccines work the best to prevent COVID-19. Tue, 20 Oct 2020 15:39:54 +0000 New Nazca Line geoglyph discovered: A 120-foot-long cat The latest Nazca Line depicts a giant cat. Tue, 20 Oct 2020 11:45:51 +0000 The very first forms of life may have been more animal-like than we ever realized Early life may have been far more like animals than we thought, suggests new research that shows bacteria can 'develop' like an embryo. Tue, 20 Oct 2020 11:28:02 +0000 Artemis Accords: Why many countries are refusing to sign moon exploration agreement Only eight countries have signed the Artemis Accords, a set of guidelines surrounding the Artemis Program for crewed exploration of the moon. Tue, 20 Oct 2020 11:17:01 +0000 Without gravity, the fluid around an astronaut's brain moves in weird ways The fluid that cushions the human brain redistributes in the skull during spaceflight, according to a new study. Tue, 20 Oct 2020 11:10:02 +0000 Young women may be likelier to die after heart attacks than men Scientists don't yet know why death rates were higher among women in the study. Tue, 20 Oct 2020 11:00:17 +0000 Higgs boson possibly caught in act of never-before-seen transformation If the Higgs boson really is decaying into pairs of muons in the Large Hadron Collider, that's a big deal for particle physics. Tue, 20 Oct 2020 11:00:00 +0000 History of Halloween Halloween has its roots in a pagan harvest festival, while different traditions were added throughout the years. Mon, 19 Oct 2020 20:31:57 +0000 NASA is about to play 'tag' with asteroid Bennu: Here's how it will work. NASA's OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft will "TAG" asteroid Bennu Tuesday (Oct. 20) and collect a sample for return to Earth. Mon, 19 Oct 2020 20:01:42 +0000 24 million-year-old nursery for baby megasharks discovered in South Carolina The discovery of nearly 90 shark teeth, largely from young sharks, indicates there was a shark nursery here 24 million years ago. Mon, 19 Oct 2020 18:40:48 +0000 Half-male, half-female songbird discovered in Pennsylvania A rose-breasted grosbeak that was captured in a Pennsylvania nature reserve is a bilateral gynandromorph — male on the right side and female on the left side. Mon, 19 Oct 2020 18:18:43 +0000 Severe burn damage from California wildfires seen from space New satellite imagery of California reveals not just the extent of its wildfire damage, but the depth of the loss. Mon, 19 Oct 2020 14:08:31 +0000 The body fires 'blobs of fat' packed with toxic proteins to fight bacteria Scientists have known about these 'blobs of fat' for more than 130 years, but they're just understanding all the roles they play in the body. Mon, 19 Oct 2020 13:32:39 +0000 Ice melt in Alaska threatens to unleash unprecedented 'mega-tsunami,' scientists warn A giant, catastrophic tsunami in Alaska triggered by a landslide of rock left unstable after glacier melting is likely to occur in the next two decades, scientists fear - and it could happen within the next 12 months. Mon, 19 Oct 2020 12:30:25 +0000 Researchers capture elusive particle trios at room temperature Researchers have found a way to trap and study elusive particle trios called trions at room temperature. Mon, 19 Oct 2020 11:55:07 +0000 Anglo-Saxon warlord unearthed by metal detector hobbyists Archaeologists have unearthed the rich burial of a sixth-century man thought to be an Anglo-Saxon warlord in southern England, after it was first discovered by metal detectorists. Mon, 19 Oct 2020 11:41:21 +0000