science
So What’s Going on With That ‘Hurricane of Dark Matter?’

It’s the perfect science-fiction device: a hurricane of dark matter. Recent, real-life research has demonstrated that our Sun is currently engulfed in a so-called a stellar stream. Some publications have seized on this ominous-sounding idea, reporting that Earth is about to be walloped by a dark matter storm—but in fact, if it exists, we’re already inside the storm. The reality of the situation isn’t quite so dire, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Read More >>

science
Incredible Bird-Dinosaur Specimen Thrills Scientists After 25 Years in Museum Storage

A museum might wow you with all of its fossil specimens on display, but that’s often just a small part of what’s really there – specimens in the back might lay in drawers or plaster-wrapped in boxes, quietly holding yet-to-be-revealed secrets or further mysteries about the past. Such is the case with an incredible bird fossil, found 25 years ago in Utah but only just described. Read More >>

space
Scientists Spot Tantalising New Super-Earth Around Nearby Star

Scientists have spotted strong evidence of a super-Earth orbiting the second-closest star system to the Sun, according to new research. Read More >>

science
New Mucus Study Could Hold the Key to Clearing Your Phlegm

Mucus, you fickle fiend—usually, you’re there keeping us safe from whatever nasties sneak inside of us. But then you turn, becoming a source of discomfort, cancelled plans, and overall malaise. How I wish we knew you better. Read More >>

space
Here’s Where the ExoMars 2020 Mission Will Likely Land, and Why

When it comes to landing a robot on another planet, perhaps the most important question is where to put the dang thing. The researchers behind the upcoming ExoMars mission, consisting of a rover and lander, have now announced their preferred location on the Red Planet. Read More >>

science
DNA Testing Reveals Baffling Bird Is Three Species in One

A birder in America spotted the bird of a lifetime in his backyard this past spring—it was a hybrid of three species across two genera in a single bird. He’d found a three-in-one warbler. Read More >>

science
How Plants Produce Oxygen Revealed by ‘Tour-de-Force’ Laser Measurement

An experiment using intense laser pulses has allowed scientists to watch plants produce oxygen from water as part of photosynthesis in real time, according to a groundbreaking new paper. Read More >>

space
Report: NASA and Yuri Milner Working Together on Life-Hunting Mission to Enceladus

It looks like NASA will offer billionaire entrepreneur and physicist Yuri Milner help on the first private deep-space mission: a journey designed to detect life, if it exists, on Saturn’s moon Enceladus, according to documents acquired by New Scientist. Read More >>

birdmodo
Crafty Cockatoos Make Custom Tools to Reach Sweet, Sweet Nuts

Cockatoos have once again demonstrated that birds have surprisingly advanced toolmaking abilities – particularly when delicious cashews are involved. Read More >>

space
NASA Hopes for Martian Wind as It Extends Efforts to Reach Opportunity Rover

Five months have passed since scientists last heard from the Opportunity rover, which went into hibernation mode after planet-wide dust storm dimmed the Martian skies. But it appears that NASA has no plans to curtail its search for the rover, at least “for the foreseeable future,” according to a release. Read More >>

science
The Way We Define a Kilogram Could Change Next Week

The future of mass depends on a conference vote next week. Read More >>

space
No, ‘Oumuamua Is Probably Not an Alien Spaceship

On 19 October 2017, a strange object from outside the Solar System whizzed by the Earth, exciting scientists and non-scientists alike. Immediately, some people speculated that this interstellar visitor could be an alien spacecraft. But we’re here to report that, despite a recent paper, there’s no reason to think ‘Oumuamua is an alien ship. Read More >>

science
Scientists Weighed the Earth Using Ghostly Particles From Space

Scientists have to use some roundabout methods to weigh the Earth and measure what’s inside it—typically, they’ve used sound waves and the strength of gravity to make their calculations. But one team has weighed the Earth in a whole new way: by measuring mysterious cosmic particles that pass through it. Read More >>

science
Extinct, 10-Foot-Tall Bird May Have Been Nocturnal

Less than a thousand years ago, a bird roamed Madagascar that stood as tall as an elephant. You may have heard of the elephant bird – it’s the largest bird species to ever live. New research has presented evidence that this famous extinct bird was nocturnal and had poor vision. Read More >>

nasa
Telescope Drama Could Thwart the Hunt for Extraterrestrial Life

For nearly 20 years, NASA has been planning and constructing a telescope unlike any ever built before: the James Webb Space Telescope. It will change the way scientists see the most distant galaxies and intensify the hunt for extraterrestrial life; it will answer outstanding questions about the birth and death of stars and planets. It is the future of astronomy—but it’s causing trouble. JWST’s high price and decade of delays could stymie the development of future telescopes, impacting the course of astronomy for the next 30 years. Read More >>