Over the past 30 years, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has experienced a 50 percent loss in coral. Though part of the decline is being attributed to the warmer ocean temperatures caused by climate change, about half of the damage is due to the proliferation of the crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS). The deadly predators can devour as much as 53 square feet (five square meters) of live coral annually.
Burying time capsules for future civilizations is not a new concept. However, the one hidden underground near the Polish Polar Station in Hornsund, Spitsbergen, in the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, is a little unique. Instead of detailed documents to showcase our progress and knowledge, the capsule contains objects, which the creators believe will be easier for future historians to interpret.
After providing the world with spectacular close-up images of Pluto and its icy moons in the summer of 2015, NASA’s New Horizons is zipping off into uncharted territory a billion miles away. On January 1, 2019, the spacecraft will fly past the most remote world ever explored by mankind. Dubbed (486958) 2014 MU69, the small frozen object that lies in the Kuiper Belt may help scientists reveal the origins of our solar system. To mark this historic event, the US Space Agency is asking the public to help find a nickname that is easier to remember than the elaborated moniker assigned by researchers.
Before astronauts embark on a mission to Mars, it is imperative for scientists to know everything they can about the impact of long-term space travel on the human body. Previous studies have shown that extended exposure to microgravity causes muscles and bones to weaken, deteriorates vision, and, in some cases, even alters the astronaut’s DNA. Now, there is evidence that spending a long time in space could also permanently change the brain’s structure.
Flat Holm, a small limestone island in Britain’s Bristol Channel, has no permanent residents and minimal infrastructure. The area’s low energy needs have therefore been fulfilled using old-fashioned solar panels and a diesel generator. The picturesque landmass is now, however, becoming increasingly popular with tourists wishing to explore the rustic landscape and view the island’s seabird colonies.
On Saturday, November 11, Americans will celebrate Veterans Day. The federal holiday pays tribute to the brave men and women of the United States armed forces who risk their daily basis to protect our freedom. This includes everyone who has served in the US Army, Navy, Marine Corps, National Guard, Air Force and the Coast Guard.
On October 20, British adventurer Tom Morgan soared over South Africa seated in a camp chair strapped to 100 helium balloons. During the two-hour flight, the balloonist covered 16 miles and reached heights of up to 8,000 feet. Though the daredevil later called the experience “unbelievably cool,” he did admit feeling “somewhere between terrified and elated” during the flight.
Albert Einstein, the genius behind the theory of relativity, which provided a new framework for all of physics and proposed new concepts of space and time, has recently been making headlines again. However, this time it is not for a new scientific breakthrough, but because of two handwritten notes the scientist gave a bellboy 95 years ago.