China tests giant air cleaner to combat smog
Mar 6, 2018 · 3 

By David Cyranoski A 60-metre-high chimney stands among a sea of high-rise buildings in one of China’s most polluted cities. But instead of adding to Xian’s smog, this chimney is helping to clear the air. The outdoor air-purifying system, powered by the Sun, filters out noxious particles and billows clean air into the skies. Chinese scientists …

Latest US weather satellite highlights forecasting challenges
Mar 5, 2018

By Jeff Tollefson The United States filled a crucial gap in its weather-forecasting arsenal when it launched its latest geostationary satellite on 1 March. The craft will enable meteorologists to track hurricanes, snow storms and other threats as they develop. It will also beam down data that researchers can use to measure air temperature and humidity …

Humans Will Hear from Intelligent Aliens This Century, Physicist Says
Feb 26, 2018 · 8 

By Jeanna Bryner Humans will make contact with aliens by the end of the century, theoretical physicist and futurist Michio Kaku told Redditers last week. However, Kaku said he wasn’t sure whether we’d be able to communicate directly with this unknown extraterrestrial society — one that could run the gamut from hostile to pacifist, according to …

Amateur astronomer catches first glimpses of birth of a supernova
Feb 22, 2018

By Davide Castelvecchi Victor Buso was eager to use the new camera on his telescope. But the amateur astronomer didn’t want to disturb his neighbours with the loud noise of opening his rooftop observatory, so he pointed his telescope through a gap in the enclosure on the night of 20 September 2016. He trained it on …

Secret to Great Pyramid’s Near Perfect Alignment Possibly Found
Feb 19, 2018

By Owen Jarus Though slightly lopsided, the towering, Great Pyramid of Giza is an ancient feat of engineering, and now an archaeologist has figured out how the Egyptians may have aligned the monument almost perfectly along the cardinal points, north-south-east-west — they may have used the fall equinox. The fall equinox occurs halfway between the summer and winter solstices, when …

The Next Falcon Heavy Will Carry the Most Powerful Atomic Clock Ever Launched into Space
Feb 9, 2018

By Rafi Letzter An ultra-precise atomic clock the size of a four-slice toaster is set to zip into outer space this summer, NASA said. This isn’t your average timekeeper. The so-called Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC) is far smaller than Earth-bound atomic clocks, far more precise than the handful of other space-bound atomic clocks, and more …

Elon Musk Does It Again
Feb 7, 2018 · 4 

By Lee Billings Earlier today, our sun gained a new satellite, courtesy of SpaceX’s first test launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket: A cherry-red Tesla Roadster once driven by SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, blasting tunes from David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” with a spacesuit-clad “Starman” dummy strapped in the driver’s seat. On the dashboard …

Tractor Beam Levitates Large Orbs with Sound
Jan 24, 2018

By Stephanie Pappas A new “tractor beam” can levitate large objects in midair, using only sound. So far, researchers have floated spheres as large as 0.6 inches (16 millimeters) in diameter and moved orbs as large as 0.8 inches (2 cm) on a tabletop using tornadoes of sound waves. Theoretically, vortices made by an array …

Farewell, Cassini: Saturn Spacecraft’s Crash Is Top Spaceflight Story of 2017
Dec 26, 2017 · 3 

By Nola Taylor Redd After 13 years in the Saturn system, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft had become an icon. The probe’s data and imagery reshaped scientists’ understanding of the ringed planet and its 60-plus moons, and brought Saturn’s beauty and mystery to the masses all over the world. All of that storied work came to an end on Sept. 15, 2017, …

How Do Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles Work?
Nov 30, 2017 · 7 

By Laura Geggel How do intercontinental ballistic missiles — including the one North Korea launched Tuesday (Nov. 28) that flew more than 10 times higher than the International Space Station — work? The answer depends on the type of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), but most of these rockets launch from a device on the ground, travel …

How an underwater sensor network is tracking Argentina’s lost submarine
Nov 28, 2017

By Davide Castelvecchi On 15 November, Argentina’s Navy lost contact with the ARA San Juan, a small diesel-powered submarine that had been involved in exercises off the east coast of Patagonia. About a week later, on 23 November, the Vienna-based Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) announced that its International Monitoring System — a network of sensors designed …

First Digital Pill Approved to Worries About Biomedical ‘Big Brother’
Nov 16, 2017 · 4 

By Pam Belluck For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration has approved a digital pill — a medication embedded with a sensor that can tell doctors whether, and when, patients take their medicine. The approval, announced late on Monday, marks a significant advance in the growing field of digital devices designed to monitor …