Month: September 2020

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Astronomers have taken detailed observations of an incredibly extreme exoplanet, detecting brutal surface temperatures in the region of 3,200 degrees Celsius (5,792 degrees Fahrenheit). Those temperatures – measured by the European Space Agency’s CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite (or CHEOPS) –  are enough to melt all rocks and metals, and even turn them into a gaseous form. While the
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Global warming is making the oceans more stable, increasing surface temperatures and reducing the carbon they can absorb, according to research published Monday by climate scientists who warned that the findings have “profound and troubling” implications. Man-made climate change has increased surface temperatures across the planet, leading to atmospheric instability and amplifying extreme weather events,
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Tarantulas don’t just come in brown and black. These large, hairy spiders can also display wonderful hues of blue, green, purple, and red. Yet tarantulas are most active at twilight, meaning they’re ‘crepuscular’ animals – where vibrant colours are significantly harder to see (at least for us). Until now, researchers didn’t know if they could even see
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For mouthless, lungless bacteria, breathing is a bit more complicated than it is for humans. We inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide; Geobacter - a ubiquitous, groundwater-dwelling genus of bacteria – swallow up organic waste and ‘exhale’ electrons, generating a tiny electric current in the process. Those waste electrons always need somewhere to go (usually into
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Wildfires are burning the West Coast, hurricanes are flooding the Southeast — and some of those storms are rising from the dead.  “Zombie storms”, which regain strength after initially petering out, are the newest addition to the year 2020. And these undead weather anomalies are becoming more common thanks to climate change. “Because 2020, we
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It’s hard to fathom that carnivorous plants exist. When Charles Darwin first described how a Venus flytrap worked, calling it “one of the most wonderful [plants] in the world”, some people simply didn’t believe him. Today, just as we’ve come to appreciate the gruesome nature of these remarkable predators – which can capture and eat flies, rats,
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Raising Earth’s average surface temperature another degree Celsius will lock in 2.5 metres of sea level rise from Antarctica alone and an extra three degrees see the frozen continent lift oceans 6.5 metres, scientists warned Wednesday. These devastating increases in the global waterline – enough to cripple coastal cities from Mumbai to Miami and displace
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The history of today’s stainless steel industry can be traced back to the early 19th century, when scientists noticed iron-chromium alloys resisted corrosion by certain acids. New research, however, suggests a similar alloy was being developed much, much earlier than this – even as far back as a thousand years ago. Archaeologists have found what they think
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Earth’s lost eighth continent, Zealandia, sank into the sea between 50 and 35 million years ago. Today, we know the tiny fraction of it that remains above the waves as New Zealand. But before most of Zealandia disappeared – about 60 million years ago – ancient penguins walked upon the 2-million-square-mile continent (5.18 million square kilometres).
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It was 1952, and Alan Turing was about to reshape humanity’s understanding of biology. In a landmark paper, the English mathematician introduced what became known as the Turing pattern – the notion that the dynamics of certain uniform systems could give rise to stable patterns when disturbed. Such ‘order from disturbance’ has become the theoretical
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An asteroid will get awfully close to Earth this Thursday (September 24), when it whizzes by our planet closer than the Moon orbits. The asteroid – known as 2020 SW – isn’t expected to collide with Earth, according to the Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. But it will get close, passing
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Hundreds of elephants that died mysteriously in Botswana’s famed Okavango Delta succumbed to cyanobacteria poisoning, the wildlife department revealed on Monday. The landlocked southern African country boasts the world’s largest elephant population, estimated at around 130,000. More than 300 of the pachyderms have mysteriously died since March, with their intact tusks ruling out the hypothesis