Science

10:02am

Tue September 3, 2013
Space

U.S. 'Space Fence' Radar System Goes Silent, After 50 Years

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 10:51 am

A computer image generated by NASA shows objects orbiting Earth, including those in geosynchronous orbit at a high altitude. The objects are not to scale.
NASA

The Space Fence is down. That's the message we get from the SatWatch site, following up on our report last month that the U.S. Air Force was poised to shut down the radar system that tracks thousands of objects orbiting Earth. It had been in operation since 1961.

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3:15am

Tue September 3, 2013
Animals

The Latest In Scientific Field Equipment? Fido's Nose

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 5:25 pm

Rob Finch

Dave Vesely is busy training his dog, Sharpy. She isn't learning to sit or fetch or even herd sheep; Sharpy is learning to find the nests of western pond turtles.

These turtles are sneaky. After laying their eggs in a small hole, they knead together dirt, leaves and their own urine to plug the opening. Once this mud dries, the nest looks like an unremarkable patch of ground.

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5:08am

Fri August 30, 2013
Science

Wise Old Whooping Cranes Keep Captive-Bred Fledglings On Track

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 12:40 pm

This young whooping crane is on its first fall migration, guided by an Operation Migration ultralight aircraft. Each whooper in this population wears an identification band, and many carry tracking devices that record their movements in detail.
Joe Duff Operation Migration USA Inc.

Being a wildlife biologist in the 21st century increasingly means rescuing rare animals from extinction. Among the success stories is the whooping crane. Seventy years ago there were only about 16 birds left on the planet. Now there are about 600.

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9:15am

Thu August 29, 2013
Science

Are We Martians? Scientist Says We Just Might Be

Mars: Our "home" planet?
NASA Getty Images

As Adam Frank has said over on the 13.7 blog, "Earth and Mars have been swapping spit (astrobiologically speaking) for eons ... [and] it is entirely possible we were Earth's first alien invasion."

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5:24pm

Tue August 27, 2013
Science

Scientists Say They've Confirmed A New Element

The periodic table.
Wikimedia Commons

Scientists in Sweden say they have confirmed a new, super-heavy element that was first proposed by Russian scientists in 2004. The element with the atomic number 115 has yet to be named.

In a press release, Lund University says a group of international scientists led by physicists from Lund University, made the element by shooting a beam of calcium, which has 20 protons, into a thin film of americium, which has 95 protons.

For less than a second, the new element had 115 protons.

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