Elon Musk and other prominent Silicon Valley kooks may hold the belief that we live in a simulation, but one conspiracy theorist speaking at the Flat Earth Convention in England last weekend articulated an even stranger theory about our home, the Earth: the ‘Pac-Man effect.’ Continue reading According to some Theorists The universe may be a giant video game
The space-based telescope responsible for detecting 2,245 exoplanets, and another 2,342 yet to be confirmed, is running out of fuel and may have just a few months left before its lights go out. The Kepler spacecraft will go down in history as one of the greatest astronomical tools ever used to scan the heavens. Continue reading NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope Has Only a Few Months to Live
Diamonds have been in the news quite a lot this week, and not because of any celebrity engagement news. Instead, it’s what’s inside that counts. Continue reading Why so many diamonds are making science headlines this week
The Sun’s impact on weather here on Earth is clear: It makes it hot or cold, it powers air currents, it causes water to evaporate making rain, et cetera. But with our increasing reliance on satellites and electronics, you can’t forget its more insidious effects—and some satellites got a taste of those yesterday.
As things here on Earth become increasingly more Theater of the Absurd, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft whizzes millions of miles away, unaffected by our intra-human squabbling. After 20 years of heading toward and exploring the Saturn system, on September 15th, Cassini will plunge itself into the planet’s atmosphere, broadcasting the whole thing like a tearfully beautiful sequel to The Iron Giant.
Microscopic tardigrades, also known as “water bears,” are the toughest animals on the planet, capable of withstanding intense radiation, extreme temperatures, and even the vacuum of space. In a fascinating new study, researchers have shown that tardigrades are poised to survive literally anything that nature throws at them—and that of the animals alive today, they’ll be the last ones standing before the Sun annihilates the Earth billions of years from now.
One November night each year, beneath the full moon, more than 130 species of corals simultaneously spawn in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Some corals spew plumes of sperm, smoldering like underwater volcanoes. Others produce eggs. But most release both eggs and sperm, packed together in round, buoyant bundles as small as peppercorns and blushed in shades of pink, orange, and yellow.