Tenacious bacteria flourish on space station, but they're no more dangerous than Earth bugs

Burkholderia cepacia, one of the bacterial species found on the potable water dispenser on the International Space Station. It turns out that bacteria contaminating the drinking water on the International Space Station aren't any more dangerous than bacteria here on Earth. Bacteria have flourished in space, growing in the potable water dispenser on the space station. But the two species of bacteria thriving in this dispenser aren't any more harmful than closely related microbes here on Earth,

Did this newfound particle form the universe's dark matter?

A ghostly ring of dark matter floating in the galaxy cluster ZwCl0024+1652, one of the strongest pieces of evidence to date for the existence of dark matter. Astronomers think the dark-matter ring was produced from a collision between two gigantic clusters. Researchers think that a newly identified subatomic particle may have formed the universe's dark matter right after the Big Bang, approximately 13.8 billion years ago. While scientists have determined that up to 27% of the matter in the uni

Despite Similarities, Are the 2 Recent 737 Max 8 Crashes a Coincidence?

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed shortly after takeoff this week, killing all 157 people onboard and triggering a storm in the aviation industry. The aircraft was a Boeing 737 Max 8—the same type involved when Lion Air Flight 610 plummeted into the sea off Indonesia just five months earlier. Despite similarities between the events, aviation expert Peter Lemme believes they are unrelated. Both flights seemed to have difficulties maintaining a normal climb, and fell mere minutes after takeof

'Ghost' dwarf galaxy found hiding at the edge of the Milky Way

An international team of astronomers can’t fully explain the “ghost” galaxy that they discovered about 130,000 light-years from the edge of the Milky Way.This galaxy, named Antlia 2 (or Ant 2), is described as a “ghost” because of how strangely dim it is . Ant 2 is rather large for a dwarf galaxy – it’s about the same size as the 7,000 light-year-wide Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), which is the Milky Way’s largest satellite galaxy. Yet it’s 10,000 times fainter than the LMC. So Ant 2 gives off ve

Rainfall in the Atacama Desert spells death for microbes

The rain fell in the Atacama Desert in Chile for the first time in hundreds of years, and it caused a mass extinction.It might seem natural to think that such rains would be followed by blooming flowers and new life. But, an international team of planetary astrobiologists found, this precipitation killed most of the microbial life in the region.“When the rains came to the Atacama, we were hoping for majestic blooms and deserts springing to life. Instead, we learned the contrary, as we found that

Pluto’s strange ridges formed from ancient glaciers

The maps and images revealed two different types of ridges bordering Sputnik Planitia: washboard and fluted. Washboard ridges exist in flat areas like valley floors and basins. Fluted ridges, however, exist in steeper areas like the crater walls that separate basins and valleys. These fluted and washboard ridges also coincide with a major tectonic system at the edge of Sputnik Planitia.In piecing together the ridges’ history, the researchers found that their formative events happened about 4 bil

'Science Fair' Documentary Showcases the Real-Life Genius of Teenage Scientists

In science fairs all over the world, students dream big and work hard, hoping to impress with their creative hypotheses. In National Geographic Documentary Films' "Science Fair," filmmakers Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster showcase the journeys of nine young scientists striving to win big at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Los Angeles. In the film, students from around the globe are shown working on the projects they will present at ISEF. The documentary tracks a v

This Pride, Be Inspired by Sally Ride's Legacy

Seen on board the space shuttle Challenger, astronaut Sally Ride became the first U.S. woman in space on June 18, 1983. Sally Ride, the United States' first woman in space, who flew 35 years today (June 18), in 1983, has inspired countless people, as she lived a life committed to science, education and inclusion. And while she only "came out" publicly as a member of the LGBTQ community in her obituary, written by Tam O'Shaughnessy, Ride's surviving partner of 27 years, Ride is still the first

Why You Need to Go to a Rocket Launch This Summer

It turns out you can just go to a rocket launch — and, after attending my first, I can say with certainty that everyone should watch a rocket launch at least once in their life. On Monday (May 21), Orbital ATK's Antares rocket launched a Cygnus spacecraft full of supplies and scientific equipment to the International Space Station from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. This mission, OA-9, which followed the November launch of OA-8, sent up clothi

Here's What Sophia, the First Robot Citizen, Thinks About Gender and Consciousness

In a video that's as unsettling as it is awe-inspiring, Sophia — the world's first robot citizen — breaks down everything from gender to ethical robot design. Sophia spoke last month at a festival of the future called Brain Bar in Budapest, Hungary. Since Sophia was activated in April 2015, she has appeared publicly to speak about women's rights issues, her own citizenship and other topics. The android made big news in October 2017, when she was granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia at the tech s

Brrr! Earth-Like Alien Planets Could Experience 'Snowball States'

A NASA artist visualized what Earth would look like if it entered the "snowball state" predicted by new research from the University of Washington. Earth-like planets with severe tilts and orbits could enter abrupt "snowball states," in which entire oceans freeze and surface life cannot survive, according to new research. Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) have found a new reason why, just because a planet is located in a "habitable zone" — meaning it's close enough to its host s
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