space weather
Space Weather Can Alter Electronic Voting Machines

When all sources of errors have been ruled out and 4,096 phony votes have still been given to a candidate, who do you blame? In some cases, these kinds of glitches may be coming from outer space, according to scientists who discussed this cosmic conundrum today at the annual meeting of American Association for the Advancement of the Sciences in Boston. Just to be clear, this does NOT mean that aliens influenced the 2016 US election. Read More >>

Another Gravitational Wave Detector Will Help Revolutionise Astronomy

Last year, the pair of LIGO experiments announced a discovery a hundred years in the making: gravitational waves, tiny ripples in space time from a pair of colliding black holes a billion light years away. You might wonder what scientists will do with two giant gravitational wave detectors now that they’ve fulfilled their primary goal. Well, those ripples weren’t the end of the story—they were the start of a whole new saga in astronomy. Read More >>

Can We Charge Batteries With Greenhouse Gases?

Climate change is bad, and humans are causing it with all of our cars and factories belching greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Now that that’s out of the way, and since it doesn’t seem like our government is planning to do anything about it, what if we could actually use those emissions for good—like to produce electricity? Read More >>

NASA Has Finally Built a Computer Chip To Survive on Venus

You might wonder why Mars gets all the interplanetary attention when Venus, our sister planet, is actually closer. Well, the hellish orb has the hottest surface in the solar system, hotter than Mercury. Combined with its dense, caustic atmosphere, none of our computers can handle Venus for more than a few hours. Now, scientists think they’ve come up with a solution. Read More >>

This Glowing Pendulum Might Be The Most Mesmerising Thing You See All Day

A swinging pendulum is notoriously mesmerising — that’s why hypnotists are always swinging pocket watches in front of someone’s eyes to put them under. But when you add an extra point of articulation, creating a double pendulum, the seemingly random and flailing motions that ensue go well beyond hypnotic. Read More >>

Scientists Have a Crazy Hunch About Why the Sun is Spinning too Slowly

Physicists have long known that the Sun spins, like the Earth. But a few decades ago, they realised the surface of the Sun spins more slowly than their models predicted — not by a lot, but enough to signal that something they didn’t understand was going on. This kicked off a solar mystery and some scientists started to doubt their own understanding of the Sun’s behaviour. Read More >>

This is How You Fold a Record-Breaking Paper Aeroplane

In 2012, designer John Collins constructed a paper aeroplane that flew an astonishing 226 feet, establishing a distance record that still stands. A new video demonstrates the steps required to fold your own version of this record-setting paper-based aircraft. Read More >>

A Wild New Helium Compound Could Rewrite Chemistry Textbooks

Here’s a popular GCSE school chemistry fact: Helium atoms don’t interact with other atoms to create compounds. Well, that fact might need some reevaluating. Read More >>

These Dinosaur Bones Have a Little Meat On Them

Organic matter decomposes and sediment takes its place during the fossilisation process, turning bones to rock. Soft tissue and proteins do not stick around. But in at least one 195-million-year-old dinosaur rib bone, some ancient bits of collagen protein found a way. Read More >>

Did Scientists Actually Turn Hydrogen Into a Metal?

The more scientists achieve the same result, the more robust that result is. On the flip side, there’s reason to be skeptical when a single group claims to make a discovery based on a single observation. Read More >>

New Measurements of the Universe Expanding Tell a Confusing Story

Humans don’t know much about the universe, but we do know that most of the gravity holding it together—around 85 per cent of it—comes from something we can’t see or touch called dark matter. And some other force we can’t see or touch, called dark energy, is simultaneously causing the universe to expand, at an ever-increasing rate. But our measurements that seek to nail down the effects of dark energy don’t seem to be adding up. Read More >>

Custom High-Speed Camera Films ‘Sonic Boom’ of Light for the First Time 

Scientists have finally filmed what’s known as a “sonic boom” being created by light. But the breakthrough with the most immediate potential may be the camera itself. Read More >>

A Promising New Method For Cleaning Up the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

Hundreds of millions of gallons of radioactive water remain sitting around the site of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan. But scientists can’t simply dump the liquid into the ocean, and if it continues sitting around, it could seep into the soil. Read More >>