Science

NASA will launch world’s most advanced space laser tool to monitor Earth’s ice

NASA will launch world’s most advanced space laser tool to monitor Earth’s ice

NASA is preparing to launch humanity's most advanced laser tool into space, where it will be used to measure Earth's polar ice caps. Key to the mission is NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2), which will use the laser instrument to measure -- within the width of a pencil -- the amount of land ice elevation changes in Antarctica and Greenland. ICESat-2 will capture 60,000 measurements every second, says NASA.

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Recently discovered turtle fossil challenges theories on origins

Recently discovered turtle fossil challenges theories on origins

Scientists have discovered the fossilized remains of a turtle in southwestern China. The fossil is said to fill an evolutionary hole in how the reptiles developed features like a beak and the shell. The specimen discovered could help scientists determine when modern turtles developed those characteristics, but it has cast mystery on the origin of the group.

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MIT designs system that allows subs and aircraft to wirelessly communicate

MIT designs system that allows subs and aircraft to wirelessly communicate

MIT researchers have designed a new system that is meant to overcome a longstanding challenge with communication between the air and beneath the water. Wireless underwater sensors are currently unable to share data with sensors on land because the signals able to travel through the air dissipate quickly in the water. At the same time, acoustic signals (sonar) signals sent by underwater devices reflect off the surface of the water without breaking through.

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Arctic permafrost may be thawing faster than expected, fueling climate change

Arctic permafrost may be thawing faster than expected, fueling climate change

Arctic permafrost may be thawing decades sooner than expected, according to a new report, releasing trapped greenhouse gases that accelerate climate change. The startling discovery was recently made by researchers working 200 miles north of the Arctic circle in Russia, where they found patches of land the remained thawed throughout the winter.

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LUCA: Study says life came not long after first planet impact

LUCA: Study says life came not long after first planet impact

A new study suggests that life on Earth is far older than science once suspected. The scientific world's been relying on the oldest known fossils to date the start of life on this planet - they've been doing this for ages. This sort of science works, but because its source material changes, it's not entirely accurate. A study published this week combines both fossil and genome science to date our ancestors well beyond what's been found in the ground.

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Sky surprise: These ethereal Northern lights are no aurora

Sky surprise: These ethereal Northern lights are no aurora

A mesmerizing natural light show long considered to be another aurora is actually something completely unknown, scientists have concluded, after digging into the oddly-named STEVE phenomenon. The glowing ribbons of white and purple light had been observed in Canada's night sky for many years, with the unsurprising assumption that it was just another type of aurora.

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Halfway to Mars, NASA’s InSight phones home

Halfway to Mars, NASA’s InSight phones home

NASA's InSight spacecraft has called home for an mid-flight update, halfway through its roughly 300 million mile trip to Mars. Launched on May 5, InSight - or "Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport" - used the opportunity to run through the status of its equipment, as it prepares for a never-before-attempted mission.

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NASA directly observes definitive evidence of water ice on Moon for first time

NASA directly observes definitive evidence of water ice on Moon for first time

NASA scientists have directly observed definitive evidence of water ice on the Moon's surface for the first time. The evidence of water ice was found in the darkest and coldest parts of the polar regions of the moon. Scientists say that these ice deposits are patchily distributed and could be ancient.

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Maple leaf extract may prevent skin wrinkles new research reveals

Maple leaf extract may prevent skin wrinkles new research reveals

An extract made from maple leaves may prevent skin wrinkles, as well as improving dark spots and fading unwanted freckles. The news was revealed ahead of the upcoming American Chemical Society exposition, which will take place on Thursday. If brought to market, the extract could be applied topically to one's face as a non-invasive treatment.

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MIT ReMix system could usher in new era of cancer treatment

MIT ReMix system could usher in new era of cancer treatment

MIT researchers led by Professor Dina Katabi are working on a new system called ReMix that is described as a GPS system for the human body. The system is meant to allow the precise location of ingested markers inside the body. Those sensors can be very tiny because they need no internal power source and don’t have to make the wireless signals on their own.

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NASA says Opportunity rover may never be the same, but hope remains

NASA says Opportunity rover may never be the same, but hope remains

NASA has published an update on its Opportunity rover, which fell silent after losing power during the ongoing Mars dust storm. The space agency reveals what may happen next, including what it would take to get the rover back in action. Though it remains optimistic, NASA also warns that Opportunity may not be the same after the dust clears, with potential issues including reduce battery capacity.

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This epic NASA photo of star births spans 11 billion years

This epic NASA photo of star births spans 11 billion years

As group photos go, NASA's latest snapshot of 15,000 galaxies across the universe has to be one of the biggest, with the epic image spanning not only distance but time, too. Captured using the Hubble Space Telescope, the new photo is dominated by forming stars: newly blooming points of light that stud freshly-created galaxies.

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