Space, you may have heard, can be a cold and lonely place. But the NASA/ESA Hubble telescope has identified a particularly well-adjusted corner of space â€” or at least that's what a recent image suggests, with the help of an effect called an Einstein Ring.
In the Hubble image of galaxy cluster SDSS J1038+4849, two bright galaxies resemble eyes, NASA says, "and the misleading smile lines are actually arcs caused by an effect known as strong gravitational lensing."
Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 3:20 pm
Before anyone tries to cool the Earth with technologies that could counteract global warming, there needs to be a lot more research into the benefits and risks. That's the conclusion announced Tuesday by a scientific panel convened by the prestigious National Research Council to assess "climate geoengineering" â€” deliberate attempts to alter the global climate.
Geoengineering has been seen as the potential last-ditch option to stave off the worst effects of climate change, given that agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have been slow in coming.
Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 9:58 am
There are many invisible realities that lie hidden from us. Some things happen too fast for us to see. Some things are too small to see. Some things are too far away. Some things, however, are right in front of us, but we are just in the wrong position to get a clear view.
Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 6:27 pm
Cars and trucks today are computers, and a new report overseen by Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., comes with a warning: As more vehicles have wireless connections, the data stored in them is vulnerable to stealing, hacking and the same invasions faced by any technical system today.
Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 11:25 am
A couple of listeners wrote to Morning Edition on Thursday with the same idea.
"Did anyone notice that shortly after reporting on the difficulty of tracking airliners in flight, you aired a story about a gentleman in West Virginia who was able to work with Google to track fishing boats in real time?" wrote Paul Douglas from Simsbury, Conn.
Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 2:46 pm
The call for more systemic changes to prevent mega-hacks is getting louder after hackers hit Anthem, the nation's second-largest health insurer. The company says cyberthieves gained access to the addresses, employment information and Social Security numbers of 80 million customers and employees.
Eighty million individuals is a lot â€” it's roughly the populations of California, Texas and Illinois combined.
Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 10:38 am
Some 55,000 years ago, a person â€” whether female or male, we don't know â€” lived in Manot Cave in the western Galilee area of what is now Israel. Judging from the partial skull recovered from the cave, and described in Nature last week by Israel Hershkovitz of Tel Aviv University and his co-authors, the person was anatomically modern and closely related to the first modern humans who went on to colonize Europe.
Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 10:48 am
Updated Feb. 4, 11:52 a.m. ET: Wheeler Outlines His Proposal In Wired.
Today is the day net neutrality watchers had been waiting for, according to numerous reports. After months of debate, discussion and the culling of nearly 4 million public comments on the matter, the Federal Communications Commission appears poised to decide how it will regulate the Internet.
Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 3:06 pm
There's a battle going on at the edge of the universe, but it's getting fought right here on Earth. With roots stretching back as far as the ancient Greeks, in the eyes of champions on either side, this fight is a contest over nothing less than the future of science. It's a conflict over the biggest cosmic questions humans can ask and the methods we use â€” or can use â€” to get answers for those questions.
Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 8:23 am
Normally, we wouldn't call something a living fossil. But the name seems tailor-made for the frilled shark, whose roots are traced to 80 million years ago. Its prehistoric origins are obvious in its primitive body; nearly all of the rare animal's closest relatives are long extinct.
In the most recent of those 80 million years, the frilled shark has been scaring the bejeezus out of humans who pull it out of the water to find an animal with rows of needle-like teeth in a gaping mouth at the front of its head.
Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 1:18 pm
Babies "social reference" by checking out their parents' facial expressions and voice tones when they encounter a new or strange object or event in their environment â€” then base their own reactions on mom's or dad's. They look to their parents as they wonder: Is it OK to stay calm, or is it time to worry?
Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 7:41 pm
Researchers in Europe have managed to read from an ancient scroll buried when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. The feat is all the more remarkable because the scroll was never opened.
The Vesuvius eruption famously destroyed Pompeii. But it also devastated the nearby town of Herculaneum. A villa there contained a library stacked with papyrus scrolls, and the hot gas and ash preserved them.
Facebook's on a mission to make your News Feed a little more truthful.
The social media giant has announced it will start doing more to alert users when stories they're seeing in their feeds are fake. And it will allow users to start flagging hoaxes themselves. But Facebook says it won't remove false stories. And the company says it won't start "reviewing content and making a determination on its accuracy."
Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 12:30 pm
Google's massive investment in SpaceX gives the tech giant another avenue for its goal of providing Internet access to remote parts of the Earth, and it gives Elon Musk's company money to continue its research on space transport, re-usability and satellite manufacturing.