Science

NASA’s Cassini to give Saturn’s moon Dione one last flyby

NASA’s Cassini to give Saturn’s moon Dione one last flyby

NASA will be getting one of its best look to date of Saturn's moon Dione today, as the Cassini spacecraft will be flying within 295 miles of its surface. This will be the fifth and final close flyby that Cassini conducts of the pockmarked Dione before its mission of studying Saturn concludes in 2017. Scientists are hoping the data gathered will tell them if the icy moon is geologically alive and active, similar to Enceladus, another of Saturn's satellites.

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Dinosaur footprints found strolling a German beach together

Dinosaur footprints found strolling a German beach together

Biologists uncover dinosaur tracks in formation with one another, suggesting carnivores walked amongst one another. What these ca. 50 footprints suggest, say biologist Pernille Venø Troelsen, is that these prints could have belonged to "two social animals, perhaps a parent and a young." These tracks were first revealed to the public back at this year's XIII Annual Meeting of the European Association of Vertebrate Paleontologists in Opole, Poland. It was there that Troelsen first showed the prints excavated between 2009-11 in a Bückeberg Formation in Münchehagen in Germany.

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Digital pen might one day help detect brain conditions

Digital pen might one day help detect brain conditions

Brain diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's can have a severe impact on people later in their life, and one of the biggest problems is detecting them early enough for effective treatments to begin. One way that doctors check for early signs is through patient's drawing irregularities, i.e. distortions in shapes and how long it takes to finish a drawing. Unfortunately, these irregularities, like signs of brain diseases, can be easily overlooked due to a doctor's opinion. But MIT researchers think a digital pen with tracking software could help improve detection.

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Google Project Sunroof takes guesswork out of solar switch

Google Project Sunroof takes guesswork out of solar switch

Google is hoping to encourage more homeowners to fit rooftop solar panels, launching Project Sunroof to do the math on just how much could be saved. The system relies on the same aerial imagery that Google already delivers in Google Earth, figuring out rooftop area and then taking into account factors like what angle the sunlight will hit it, whether it's in the shade of nearby buildings or trees, and even what the weather might be like in your area.

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The Drinkable Book filters water for drinking

The Drinkable Book filters water for drinking

It can be very hard to get drinkable water in some parts of the world where utility systems are non-existent or unreliable. For many people in rural parts of the world getting water to drink can be a big undertaking and at times clean water is simply not available. A researcher named Theresa Dankovich has discovered a cheap and easy to transport method to purify drinking water.

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Mars One project inspires clothing line, is still ill-fated

Mars One project inspires clothing line, is still ill-fated

Mars One inspired a lot of people when it first entered the public eye. Thousands of applicants volunteered for a one-way trip to Mars. Almost immediately, though, critics began pointing out big problems with the proposed plan, and soon after the applicants themselves began raising issues. The dream is still alive despite this, and the company is still pushing on, still insisting that its plan is possible. Spawning from the project is an upcoming line of clothing that will be revealed at the upcoming Spring/Summer 2016 fashion show.

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Ecuador’s Cotopaxi volcano awakens for first time in 75 years

Ecuador’s Cotopaxi volcano awakens for first time in 75 years

Today the volcano Cotopaxi began erupting, spewing ash across the landscape in Ecuador. In the early morning hours of Friday, August 15th, sounds of explosions from the summit were heard by climbers who then reported to local news outlets. While no major blasts have yet been seen, ash has begun to spew from the volcanic mountain. Ash now covers the nearby area. Patricio Ramon of Ecuador's geophysics institute spoke today with Teleamazonas TV, suggesting that "the situation merits the population staying informed about what's happening with the volcano."

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Humans are using up nature’s resources ‘budget’ faster than ever

Humans are using up nature’s resources ‘budget’ faster than ever

On Thursday, Global Footprint Network issued a statement saying that over the past eight months, humans have “used up nature’s budget” for 2015, meaning the remainder of the year will be spent using up resources and impacting Earth in such a way that is, in the long term, unsustainable. Carbon sequestration is said to be responsible for more than 50 percent of the demand on nature. Humanity’s ecological footprint continues to exceed our planet’s biocapacity — that is, nature’s ability to keep up with our demands.

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Stressed bears suggest drones are animal menace

Stressed bears suggest drones are animal menace

The FAA aren't the only ones taking issue with drones, with new research suggesting unmanned aerial vehicles are stressing out animals more than previously believed. The study, carried out in Minnesota, found that repeated UAV flights overhead left black bears in an agitated state, something which had been missed as the animals froze when the drones were nearby.

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Aerojet Rocketdyne completes sixth rocket engine test

Aerojet Rocketdyne completes sixth rocket engine test

Aerojet Rocketdyne has announced it successfully finished a complete verification test with its RS-25 rocket engine, which will be powering NASA’s Space Launch System in the future. The full duration was 535 seconds long; the test was performed alongside NASA at its Stennis Space Center. This marks the half-dozen test out of a planned seven-test series. The first test took place back in January. The RS-25 rocket engine was formerly referred to as the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME), and spent decades in service powering the space shuttle, according to Aerojet.

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Jupiter’s twin is tiniest planet ever seen outside our Solar System

Jupiter’s twin is tiniest planet ever seen outside our Solar System

Using the Gemini Planet Imager, researchers have discovered a planet near the star 51 Eridani consistent in size and formation with our own Jupiter. This planet has been dubbed 51 Eridani b or "51 Eri b", and has a luminosity low enough to be consistent with the cold-start core accretion process that may have kickstarted Jupiter. At the same time, this planet's possible hot-start formation models indicate a planet with twice the mass of Jupiter. Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system at 318 times the size of our Earth - imagine a planet twice that size.

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ISS pictures are being used to map global light pollution

ISS pictures are being used to map global light pollution

A project called Cities at Night is using photographs taken by astronauts from the International Space Station to map nightly light pollution in cities across the world. The project started last summer, and requires the mapping of more than 130,000 high-resolution photographs using geo-centric details. This project is looking at the amount of light produced by cities across the entire globe, including the smaller sources of scattered light in addition to the bigger, more obvious points of light pollution.

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