Even within a phylum so full of mean little creatures, the yellow-colored Ormia ochracea fly is distinguished among other arthropods for its cruelty — at least to crickets. Native to the southeastern U.S. states and Central America, the fly is a most predatory sort of parasite. It swoops onto the back of a singing male cricket, deposits a smear of larvae, and leaves its wicked brood to invade, kill and consume the cricket from inside out.
A new home-grown instrument based on bundles of optical fibers is giving Australian astronomers...
NASA doesn't have enough money to get its new, $12 billion rocket system off the ground by the...
String bends, tapping, vibrato and whammy bars are all techniques that add to the distinctiveness of a lead guitarist's sound, whether it's Clapton, Hendrix, or BB King. Now, guitarist and physicist Dr. David Robert Grimes has described the physics underlying these techniques.
Maybe you’ve sat on the lawn, even hung out on the flightline. Now, for the first time since 1997, NASA Ames Research Center is opening their house. An announcement posted on NASA.gov states: “For our 75th anniversary, we're inviting all of the Bay Area and Silicon Valley to come inside the gates and get to know NASA's center in Silicon Valley. Take a two-mile walking tour through the center and visit with Ames engineers and scientists..."
Twisting a screwdriver, removing a bottle cap, and peeling a banana are just a few simple tasks that are tricky to pull off single-handedly. Now, a new wrist-mounted robot can provide a helping hand — or rather, fingers. Researchers at MIT have developed a robot that enhances the grasping motion of the human hand.
It takes only a couple of minutes, twice a day, but 101-year-old Richard Hendrickson is fiercely proud that he has done the same thing for his country and community nearly every day since Herbert Hoover was in the White House in 1930. The retired chicken and dairy farmer has been recording daily readings of temperature and precipitation on eastern Long Island longer than any volunteer observer in the history of the National Weather Service.
A team of Dartmouth scientists and their colleagues have devised a breakthrough laser that uses a single artificial atom to generate and emit particles of light — and may play a crucial role in the development of quantum computers, which are predicted to eventually outperform even today’s most powerful supercomputers.
In 1054 AD, Chinese astronomers and others around the world noticed a new bright object in the sky. This “new star” was, in fact, the supernova explosion that created what is now called the Crab Nebula. At the center of the Crab Nebula is an extremely dense, rapidly rotating neutron star left behind by the explosion.
This colorized image of Jupiter's moon Europa is a product of clear-filter grayscale data from one orbit of NASA's Galileo spacecraft, combined with lower-resolution color data taken on a different orbit. The blue-white terrains indicate relatively pure water ice, whereas the reddish areas contain water ice mixed with hydrated salts, potentially magnesium sulfate or sulfuric acid.
The globe is on a hot streak, setting a heat record in June. That's after the world broke a record in May. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced July 21, 2014, that last month's average global temperature was 61.2 degrees, which is 1.3 degrees higher than the 20th century average. It beat 2010's old record by one-twentieth of a degree.
A new material structure developed at MIT generates steam by soaking up the sun. The structure — a layer of graphite flakes and an underlying carbon foam — is a porous, insulating material structure that floats on water. When sunlight hits the structure’s surface, it creates a hotspot in the graphite, drawing water up through the material’s pores, where it evaporates as steam. The brighter the light, the more steam is generated.
Inspired by science fiction, three bowling ball-size free-flying Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) have been flying inside the International Space Station since 2006. These satellites provide a test bed for development and research, each having its own power, propulsion, computer, navigation equipment, and physical and electrical connections for hardware and sensors for various experiments.
Scientists from Queen Mary University of London have found a successful way of identifying bird sounds from large audio collections, which could be useful for expert and amateur bird-watchers alike. The analysis used recordings of individual birds and of dawn choruses to identify characteristics of bird sounds. It took advantage of large datasets of sound recordings provided by the British Library Sound Archive, and online sources.
The Apollo 11 Lunar Module Eagle, in a landing configuration was photographed in lunar orbit from the Command and Service Module Columbia. Inside the module were Commander Neil A. Armstrong and Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin. The long rod-like protrusions under the landing pods are lunar surface sensing probes. Upon contact with the lunar surface, the probes sent a signal to the crew to shut down the descent engine.
Scientists for the first time have experimentally re-created the conditions that exist deep inside giant planets, such as Jupiter, Uranus and many of the planets recently discovered outside our solar system. Researchers can now re-create and accurately measure material properties that control how these planets evolve over time. This study focused on carbon, which has an important role in many types of planets ...
Physicists have created a unique combination of computer models, based on the theory of quantum mechanics, and applied them to a previously well-characterized protein found in muscle to develop a new picture of how biomolecules transport and store oxygen (O2). In doing so, the team has shown how the process of respiration, which is fundamental in humans and other vertebrates, exploits quantum mechanical effects working on tiny scales.
This photo of a deep-sea amphipod received an Image of Distinction designation in the 2013 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. It was taken by Mr. David Forest and Alison Sweeney ofUC Santa Barbara, Neuroscience Research Institute in Santa Barbara, CA, using a brightfield technique.
On July 20, 1969, Buzz Aldrin was "out of town" when the world united and rejoiced in a way never seen before or since. He and Neil Armstrong were on the moon. They missed the whole celebration 45 years ago this Sunday. So did Michael Collins, orbiting solo around the moon in the mother ship.
This 15x photo of two burs locked together received an Image of Distinction designation in the 2013 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. It was taken by Mr. Neil James Egan of PPG Industries, Electro-coat Quality Assurance in Cleveland, OH, using a brightfield technique.
One of the great, unanswered questions for space weather scientists is just what creates two gigantic donuts of radiation surrounding Earth, called the Van Allen radiation belts. Recent data from the Van Allen Probes — two nearly identical spacecraft that launched in 2012 — address this question.
Over the years, computer chips have gotten smaller, thanks to advances in materials science and manufacturing technologies. This march of progress, the doubling of transistors on a microprocessor roughly every two years, is called Moore’s Law. But there’s one component of the chip-making process in need of an overhaul if Moore’s law is to continue: the chemical mixture called photoresist.
Dassault Systèmes announced the acquisition of SIMPACK, a multi-body simulation technologies and solutions company. With the acquisition of SIMPACK, based near Munich, Germany, Dassault Systèmes is expanding its SIMULIA realistic multiphysics simulation technology portfolio to include multi-body mechatronic systems, from virtual concept validation to the real-time experience.
The Cray XC30 system will be used by a nation-wide consortium of scientists called the Indian Lattice Gauge Theory Initiative (ILGTI). The group will research the properties of a phase of matter called the quark-gluon plasma, which existed when the universe was approximately a microsecond old. ILGTI also carries out research on exotic and heavy-flavor hadrons, which will be produced in hadron collider experiments.
A spring bloom of phytoplankton lingered in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Iceland in early June, 2014. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image on June 5. At that time, swirling jewel tones of a vast bloom were visible between banks of white clouds.
Scientists have demonstrated the ability to track real quantum errors as they occur, a major step in the development of reliable quantum computers. Quantum computers could significantly improve the computational power of modern computers, but a major problem stands in the way: information loss, or quantum errors. To combat errors, physicists must be able to detect that an error has occurred and then correct it in real time.
As anybody who has started a campfire by rubbing sticks knows, friction generates heat. Now, computer modeling by NASA scientists shows that friction could be the key to survival for some distant Earth-sized planets traveling in dangerous orbits. The findings are consistent with observations that Earth-sized planets appear to be very common in other star systems.
With some no bigger than a hummingbird, the hottest things at this week's Farnborough International Airshow are tiny compared with the titans of the sky, such as the Airbus 380 or the Boeing Dreamliner. What's got aviation geeks salivating at Farnborough, this year's biggest aviation jamboree that features participants from 40 countries, are the commercial possibilities of unmanned aerial vehicles — drones to most of us.
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