If the sun appears to set a little earlier (or later) this Sunday, it is not your imagination. That's because depending on where you live, December 21st will be the shortest or longest day of 2014. Also known as the winter (or summer) solstice, it marks the official start of winter for the residents of the Northern Hemisphere and summer for those that live in the Southern Hemisphere.
Kids News - Science Articles
With their large flattened heads, small beady eyes and slimy skins, Japanese giant salamanders are not destined to take home the prize for "best-looking". However, according to a team of scientists they may just be eligible for the most "awesome dad" award, at least amongst amphibian males who are not known for their nurturing personalities.
With Christmas less than two weeks away, your neighborhood is probably aglow with beautiful lights. However they will pale in comparison to nature's own light show, the Geminids. Though this annual celestial display that has been nicknamed the 900-pound gorilla of meteor showers has been visible since December 4th, their best showing will be on the night of December 13th and the early morning of the 14th, until about 2.00 am local time.
After a day's delay caused by a wayward boat, bad weather, and some technical problems, NASA's next generation spacecraft Orion, blasted off to space from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 7.05 EST on Friday, December 5th. Perched atop a Delta 4 heavy rocket, it soared through the Earth's atmosphere and disappeared into space.
If you have ever tried a new sport or attempted learning a musical instrument, you are well aware that the hardest part is getting started. Once you figure out the technique, the skills return fairly easily, even if they are not used for long periods of time. Most experts attribute this to "muscle memory," which means the brain remembers the action and can recall it when needed. Now some researchers from John Hopkins University, believe there is another factor that may be as important in recalling previously learned motor skills - the errors made while learning the task.
Every year, sports-related concussions affect several hundred thousand athletes - both professional and amateur. What's worrying is that despite advances in protective gear technology, the numbers are only increasing. According to CDC, emergency room visits relating to sports related injuries including concussions among children and adolescents, has increased by 60% in the last decade. While the fact that football and ice hockey players are the most susceptible to the head injury is not surprising, the high concussion rates in non-contact sports like lacrosse and soccer is certainly worrisome.
As a movie that portrays young scientists as superheroes, Walt Disney Animation's latest release Big Hero 6, is all about celebrating scientific curiosity and individual potential. Directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams, the movie centers around a group of young "misfits" who, with the help of a compassionate robot, successfully save the futuristic city of San Fransokyo (a blend of San Francisco and Tokyo), from an evil scientist and his swarm of malignant microbots.
On November 28th, 1964, NASA's Mariner 4 launched off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a historic mission - to carry out the first-ever flyby of Mars. Though it took a little over six months, on July 15th, 1965, the spacecraft successfully entered the Red Planet's orbit and sent back 22 images - providing scientists with the first ever close look at the surface of another planet from deep space. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this successful mission, crowd-sourced space-themed company Uwingu, ("sky" in Swahili), organized a global shout-out event.