A giant spinning wheel of ice on the surface of the Presumpscot River has enthralled crowds in Westbrook, Maine since Monday, January 14, 2019. Many locals have likened it to crop circles –strange patterns that appear mysteriously overnight in farmers' fields, which have long been theorized to be markers of extraterrestrial communication – and speculated that the icy ring is a landing site for an alien ship. Unfortunately for UFO enthusiasts, experts say that the rare winter phenomenon is a natural occurrence.
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Coral reefs are some of the most diverse and vital ecosystems on Earth. The colorful underwater colonies of coral polyps, held together by calcium carbonate, provide homes for many marine plants and animals and help keep the ocean's nitrogen levels balanced. But while scientists are aware of where the world’s reef systems are located, there is no complete record of all the different types of coral that live there. Now, NASA researchers are hoping to entice nature lovers, both experts and amateurs, to help them create a comprehensive database of these all-important ecosystems by playing a fun, interactive video game!
In DC Film's recent action-packed blockbuster Aquaman, the superhero flaunts many spectacular powers. While the half-human, half-Atlantean’s ability to heal others and withstand intense heat may be hard for scientists to emulate, here are three Aquaman superpowers that may be available to all of us in the very near future.
Overnight from Sunday, Jan. 20 into Monday, Jan. 21, stargazers will be treated to what promises to be a spectacular total lunar eclipse. Also being referred to as the “Super Blood Moon” – “super” because the Moon will be at perigee and appear larger than normal, and “blood" because of its reddish-orange color during totality – the eclipse will be seen in its entirety in North and South America, Europe, and western Africa.
In addition to providing us with delicious honey, the hardworking honey bees also pollinate about a third of food crops and almost 90 percent of wild grasses, like alfalfa, used to feed livestock. Hence, it is not surprising that their declining population, caused by climate change, habitat loss, and deadly microbial diseases, has researchers scrambling to find ways to protect the vulnerable insects, which are so crucial to our existence. Now, scientists from the University of Helsinki in Finland have found a way to help honey bees fight off infectious diseases with a sweet, edible vaccine!
The Moon’s near side, the one we all see, has been the target of numerous robotic and human missions. However, our lunar companion’s far side, which is not visible from Earth, has never been explored. That changed on Jan. 2, 2019, when Chinese spacecraft Chang'e 4 made a soft landing on what is often referred to as the “dark side,” because it remained largely unseen until humans were able to send spacecraft around the Moon in 1959.
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, launched in 2006 with a primary mission to perform the first-ever flyby of Pluto, has provided researchers with invaluable information about the dwarf planet. Now, the space probe has made more history with its January 1, 2019 flyby of distant world 2014 MU69. The close rendezvous with the icy rock, located four billion miles from Earth in the Kuiper Belt, is not only humanity’s furthest encounter with a distant object, but also the most primitive one ever visited by a spacecraft.
Thanks to its harsh environment, Antarctica remained largely untouched by humans for many millennia, allowing a thriving ecosystem to evolve. However, since the 1990s, the last true wilderness on the planet is becoming an increasingly popular destination for adventure-seeking tourists. Now, a new study asserts that the visitors may be leaving behind harmful bacteria which could devastate the area’s native bird population.