The first solar eclipse of 2013 is upon us! Watch SLOOH Space Camera’s live feed of the “ring of fire” eclipse right here as the moon passes over the sun, covering about 95 percent of the celestial body.
Stephen Hawking and other eminent scientists called Friday for the British government to pardon computer pioneer Alan Turing, who helped win World War II but was later prosecuted for homosexuality.
In a letter published in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Hawking and 10 others urged Prime Minister David Cameron “formally to forgive the iconic British hero.” The letter, whose signatories also include Astronomer Royal Martin Rees and Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, called Turing “one of the most brilliant mathematicians of the modern era.”
The instrument works. We found carbon compounds on Mars, but where did they come from? Whatever they turn out to be, the press conference today demonstrated how excited all of us carbon-based lifeforms get about news like this.
A team of scientists announced on Monday that the Mars Rover Curiosity had found evidence of organic compounds on the Red Planet.
Martian soil samples analyzed aboard the rover revealed “water and sulfur and chlorine-containing substances,” the space agency said in press materials.
Scientists will now have to determine whether the compounds are indigenous to Mars. There is a possibility that the organics could have come to Mars from Earth aboard the rover. There is also a chance that they could be materials that had fallen to Mars from space.
Macho features have long been touted as an evolutionary asset that heterosexual women look for in a potential mate. But new research suggests weight may be a more powerful driver of attraction.
Macho features such as a strong jaw and squinty eyes advertise that a guy possesses high testosterone, according to the immunocompetence handicap hypothesis. Since high levels of this masculinizing hormone interfere with the immune system, the theory goes, macho men must be extra-fit to withstand the handicap their extra testosterone confers.
Figaro may not be as talented an inventor as Leonardo da Vinci, but among Goffin’s cockatoos, he’s a prodigy. In their natural habitat—the forests of Indonesia—these cockatoos have never been seen making or using tools. But researchers report today that Figaro, a member of a captive colony of the birds in Austria, invents and uses stick tools of his own design. Although toolmaking and use is not uncommon in animals, this type of spontaneous innovation and individual creativity is “exceedingly rare” among nonhuman animals, the scientists note, and opens up many questions about the cognitive skills required. Understanding these processes, they say, may help unlock many questions about the evolution of intelligence.