Scientists Harvest Hydrogen from Water in Microgravity, a Nifty Trick for Deep-Space Travel

A team of scientists announced they have harvested hydrogen from water in microgravity – a proof-of-principle test that may one day lead to a way to acquire fuel or other resources during a long-distance, crewed space mission. Read More >>

Earth Has Many More Rivers and Streams Than We Thought, New Satellite Study Finds

Rivers and streams cover much more of the planet than geologists previously estimated, according to a new study published in Science. In total, this new estimate shows that, excluding land with glaciers, Earth is covered by just under 300,000 square miles (773,000 square kilometres) of rivers and streams. That’s more square footage than the state of Texas, and it’s as much as 44 percent higher than previous counts. Read More >>

The Discovery of Complex Organic Molecules on Saturn’s Moon Enceladus Is a Huge Deal

Using data collected by NASA’s late-great Cassini space probe, scientists have detected traces of complex organic molecules seeping out from Enceladus’ ice-covered ocean. It’s yet another sign that this intriguing Saturnian moon has what it takes to sustain life. Read More >>

Scientists Match Pollution in Greenland’s Ice Sheet to Events from Ancient Greece and Rome

We tend to associate industrial pollution with the modern era, but human civilisations have been contaminating the planet for thousands of years. By drilling deep into Greenland’s ice sheet, an interdisciplinary team of researchers has chronicled the industrial waste produced by the ancient Greeks and Romans over a 1,900-year period, linking pollution to economic booms, wars, and even plagues. Read More >>

Lunar Meteorite Found in Africa Points to Ice Beneath the Moon’s Surface

Good news, future lunar colonists! Scientists have discovered traces of moganite in a lunar meteorite that was discovered 13 years ago in Africa. This mineral requires ice to form, so its discovery is being taken as potential confirmation that frozen water exists beneath the Moon’s dusty surface. Read More >>

NASA’s Mini Fission Reactor Could Help Humans Survive on Mars, and It Just Cleared Early Tests

NASA announced today that it has completed tests of its Kilopower portable nuclear fission reactor, a device designed to one day power bases on Mars or the moon. The tests met or exceeded expectations on all metrics, which means the device can now go on to more serious flight testing. Read More >>

Here’s How Scientists Bent Diamonds

A team of physicists has figured out how to bend diamonds, according to a new paper. Okay, we’re talking about nano-scale diamond needles here. But it’s an impressive feat, because while diamonds are known for their hardness, these rocks will break if they are bent even a tiny bit. Read More >>

Diamonds Found Packed Inside Rare Meteorite Are Evidence of a Destroyed Planet

Back in 2008, an 80-tonne meteor exploded over the Nubian Desert of Sudan, showering the region with hundreds of tiny rocks. New research suggests the diamonds packed inside these meteorites could have only formed within a planetary body the size of Mercury or Mars—a planet that no longer exists. Read More >>

Do You Want to Eat This New Caffeine-Catalysed Gel as Much as I Do?

Finally, scientists have delivered exactly what you’ve been asking for: an edible polymer gel made with caffeine. Finally. Read More >>

Scientists Make a Molecule by Manipulating Just Two Atoms

You may make fun, but Ivanka Trump’s very dumb science photo op is actually what most people think when they hear “chemistry.” And it’s not a wrong idea. You mix some chemicals with some other chemicals, and you get molecules—multiple atoms bonded together. Read More >>

Scientists Create Beautiful Iridescent Material That Could Be Edible

What makes something red, or blue, or green? It’s all in the way light bounces off its surface. Something that primarily reflects light with shorter wavelengths will appear bluer, while something that reflects longer wavelengths will appear redder. By playing around with that principle, scientists have created a material that, much like soap bubbles and certain insect wings, displays a gorgeous iridescence—a shifting rainbow of colours they can tweak with the same surface. Read More >>

Someone Go Find a Practical Use for This Sweet Conductive Plastic

I’m not going to lie. Sometimes I see a science paper and think, dang, that’s really cool, I really wish it could do X. Like, maybe a major advancement in flexible, transparent plastic conductors could solve all of my cracked smartphone screen problems. Of course, things are more complex than just that, and a single new material won’t solve my concrete-induced woes. But this latest research definitely conjures some intriguing possibilities. Read More >>

Scientists Watch Water Change Phase From a Liquid… to a Liquid

H20 is oh-so very weird. It’s on the lighter side of gases, but it’s one of the denser liquids. It’s got an abnormally high freezing and melting point, and it is densest when four degrees above its freezing point, where it changes from a liquid to a solid. A new paper seems to show a source for that weirdness. Read More >>

Scientists Create Mind-Bending Rydberg Polarons, Atoms Full of Atoms

Some of the most exciting, mind-blowing physics happens when things get really, really cold—such as atoms clumping beneath the shell of a far-out electron. Imagine a bunch of people huddled under an awning, except the people are atoms, and the awning is... also an atom. Read More >>

giz asks
Can Black Panther’s Vibranium Ever Be Real?

Vibranium’s the lifeblood of the Black Panther universe—the metal that helped propel Wakanda into a hyper-advanced technological society and granted Black Panther his superheroic abilities via a Vibranium-mutated heart-shaped herb. The Wakandan strain, sheared off a meteorite hundreds of years ago, has a number of useful properties—primarily, its ability to store more energy than any known terrestrial substance. As armour, it renders its wearer unstoppable; as footwear material, it can neutralise leaps from tall buildings. Read More >>