Though we are treated to several meteor showers throughout the year, most pale in comparison to the grand finale – the Geminids. Expected to be at their peak on Thursday and Friday night (Dec. 13-14, 2018), the dependable meteors rank high in both quantity and quality. Nicknamed the “900-pound gorilla of meteor showers” by NASA, they outweigh other dust streams by factors of between 5 to 500! The shooting stars are also easier to spot because they streak through the skies at a noticeably slower pace, encountering Earth at about 22 miles (35 kilometers) per second, or about half the speed of the Perseids meteors’ 37 miles (60 kilometers) per second.
Kids News - Science Articles
Dolphins have been known to demonstrate many human-like behavioral traits. These include forming complex relationships to accomplish common goals, teaching one another survival skills, and even “babysitting” each other's kids. Now, some researchers at the Dolphin Plus Marine Mammal Responder in Key Largo, Florida have discovered another thing the intelligent mammals share with humans – a love for television!
On most days, our brains do a good job at interpreting the myriad sights, sounds, and other sensory information that bombards us dawn to dusk. However, every now and again, even our highly-evolved minds get a little confused, resulting in what we call illusions. While all five senses are capable of tricking the brain, researchers have thus far largely focused on optical illusions simply because our vision dominates all senses. Now, scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have devised two clever tricks that fool the mind using sound.
Hadi Partovi, founder of Code.org believes every student should learn the basics of computer science just like they do math, physics, or biology, regardless of what they want to do in the future. The expert says knowledge about the subject is important to understand how the world around us works and compares it to learning about photosynthesis, even though not every student is going to be a botanist. To spark student interest, he created the “Hour of Code,” which introduces the world of computing to anyone, from ages 4 to 104, in a fun, interactive manner. Observed annually during Computer Science Week, which will be celebrated from December 3 through 9, 2018, the event now draws tens of millions of kids from over 180 countries.
On November 26, 2018, scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California held their breath as the InSight spacecraft attempted the most challenging part of its 300 million-mile-long journey to Mars – landing. At 2:53 p.m. EST, following a few nail-biting moments, the room erupted in joy at the sound of the official “beep,” and the grainy photo of the Red Planet which confirmed that the lander had not only touched down but was functioning as expected.
Always wished your stuffed animals could come alive like the ones in Disney’s animated Toy Story franchise? Then you will be thrilled to hear about the new “robotic skins,” which can instantly transform any object into a robot capable of performing basic tasks, like sprinting or climbing. The ingenious device is the brainchild of a team of researchers led by Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Yale University.
Most dog owners are convinced that their four-legged friends know exactly what they mean when they use certain words like sit, stay, or treat. However, researchers have always wondered whether canines really understand human speech or if they rely on other clues to deduce the meaning. For example, does the word “fetch” conjure up an image of a stick or ball in the dog’s mind, or does the pooch retrieve the object based on cues such as the owner’s tone or gesture? A new study by scientists at Atlanta’s Emory University seems to indicate that “man’s best friend” is not faking it – he/she does indeed know what the owner is saying.
The residents of Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin are no strangers to wild turkeys. However, “Smoke,” a lone bird who has been a fixture in the town since spring this year, is like none other they have encountered before. The renegade turkey pursues moving vehicles, “controls” traffic flow by parking himself in the middle of the road, and even chases after children as they descend from school buses. He is also known to boldly approach residents and gobble at them, as though sharing some pertinent information.