Astronomers Discover ‘Pi Earth’ Exoplanet Orbits Its Star Once Every 3.14 Days
Sep 22, 2020

By Michelle Starr Every exoplanet is special in its own way, but a newly discovered exoplanet 186 light-years away is an especially delicious treat. It’s a smallish world around the same size as Earth, whipping around its star on an orbit that takes just 3.14 days. That’s extremely close to the mathematical constant π (Pi), …

Rising temperatures shrink Arctic sea ice to second-lowest level on record
Sep 21, 2020

By Reuters Rising temperatures in the Arctic shrank the ice covering the polar ocean this year to its second-lowest extent in four decades, scientists have announced, in yet another sign of how the climate crisis is rapidly transforming the region. Satellites recorded this year’s sea ice minimum at 3.74m sq km on 15 September, only the second …

Pastel-colored Jupiter dazzles in gorgeous Hubble telescope photo
Sep 18, 2020

By Mike Wall It’s like somebody put Jupiter under a blacklight. A new photo by the Hubble Space Telescope shows the solar system’s largest planet in surprising pastel hues. The image, captured on Aug. 25, combines data in ultraviolet, visible and near-infrared light to give researchers a new look at Jupiter, one that could reveal insights about the gas …

The world set a 2020 deadline to save nature but not a single target was met, UN report says
Sep 17, 2020

By Jessie Yeung In 2010, leaders from 196 countries gathered in Japan and agreed on a list of goals designed to save the Earth. The Aichi Biodiversity Targets laid out a 10-year plan to conserve the world’s biodiversity, promote sustainability, and protect ecosystems. The targets were ambitious, but crucial. One, for instance, aimed to prevent the extinction of threatened …

Astronomers Discover First Known Planet to Orbit a White Dwarf Star
Sep 16, 2020

By George Dvorsky The unprecedented discovery of a Jupiter-sized planet in orbit around a white dwarf star suggests it’s possible for planets to survive the tumultuous death throes of their parent stars. Imagine a dim, late-stage star roughly the size of Earth with a gigantic Jupiter-sized planet orbiting around it every 34 hours. It would …

Scientific American Endorses Joe Biden
Sep 15, 2020 · 1 

By the Editors Scientific American has never endorsed a presidential candidate in its 175-year history. This year we are compelled to do so. We do not do this lightly. The evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people—because he rejects evidence and science. The most devastating example is …

Life on Venus? Astronomers See a Signal in Its Clouds
Sep 14, 2020

By Shannon Stirone, Kenneth Chang, and Dennis Overbye High in the toxic atmosphere of the planet Venus, astronomers on Earth have discovered signs of what might be life. If the discovery is confirmed by additional telescope observations and future space missions, it could turn the gaze of scientists toward one of the brightest objects in …

Earth barreling toward ‘Hothouse’ state not seen in 50 million years, epic new climate record shows
Sep 11, 2020

By Brandon Specktor Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Sept. 11 to fix two Celsius and Fahrenheit conversions. Sixty-six million years ago, after a massive asteroid hit Earth with the explosive energy of roughly 1 billion nuclear bombs, a shroud of ash, dust and vaporized rock covered the sky and slowly rained down on the planet. As …

Trump Admits Playing Down Coronavirus’s Severity, According To New Woodward Book
Sep 10, 2020

By Alana Wise President Trump is defending himself after interviews from a new book by legendary reporter Bob Woodward reveal that Trump acknowledged the deadliness of the coronavirus in early February and admitted in March to playing down its severity. “This is deadly stuff,” the president told Woodward in a Feb. 7 conversation, according to …

Huge cavities threaten glacier larger than Great Britain
Sep 9, 2020

By Jonathan Watts British scientists have mapped cavities half the size of the Grand Canyon that are allowing warm ocean water to erode the vast Thwaites glacier in the Antarctic, accelerating the rise of sea levels across the world. Like decay in a tooth, the channels of warm water are melting the ice from below, …

Across 10 Million Stars, Not a Single Whisper of Alien Technology
Sep 8, 2020 · 1 

By Michelle Starr In a comprehensive search of a patch of the Southern sky, not even a hint of alien technology has been detected at low radio frequencies. Across at least 10 million stars that populate the Vela region – the deepest and widest survey for extraterrestrial intelligence yet – the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) …

Coronavirus reinfections: three questions scientists are asking
Sep 7, 2020

By Heidi Ledford When news broke last week that a man living in Hong Kong had been infected with the coronavirus again, months after recovering from a previous bout of COVID-19, immunologist Akiko Iwasaki had an unusual reaction. “I was really kind of happy,” she says. “It’s a nice textbook example of how the immune …