With the days getting increasingly shorter and colder, it may appear as though winter has been upon us for many weeks. However, though meteorologists in the Northern Hemisphere consider December 1 as the start of the season, according to the astronomical calendar, the season will not begin until Friday, December 21. Often referred to as winter solstice, it is also the shortest day and longest night of the year. Southern Hemisphere residents, on the other hand, will celebrate summer solstice, the start of the astronomical summer, with the longest day and shortest night of 2018.
Kids News - Science Articles
While elephants born without tusks are not unheard of, they normally comprise just 2 to 6 percent of the herd population. However, that is not the case at Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park, where an astounding 33 percent of female elephants born after the country’s civil war ended in 1992, are tuskless. While that may appear to be just a coincidence, Joyce Poole, an elephant behavior expert and National Geographic Explorer, has another theory. The researcher thinks we may be witnessing an unnaturally induced evolution of the species due to the incessant poaching of the mighty mammals for their valuable tusks.
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.
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.