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Plants & Animals Jan 06, 2022

Leonardo 'Tree' Caprio: new species named after star

A new tree species has been named after actor Leonardo DiCaprio as a tribute to the Hollywood star's anti-logging campaigning, London's Royal Botanic Gardens announced Thursday.

Astronomy Jan 06, 2022

Sending tardigrades to the stars

No longer solely in the realm of science fiction, the possibility of interstellar travel has appeared, tantalizingly, on the horizon. Although we may not see it in our lifetimes—at least not some real version of the fictional ...

Space Exploration Jan 05, 2022

2029 will be the perfect year to launch a mission to Sedna

Object 90377 Sedna—a distant trans-Neptunian object known best for its highly elliptical, 11,390-year long orbit—is currently on its way toward perihelion (its closest approach to the sun) in 2076. After that, Sedna will ...

Astronomy Jan 03, 2022

Quadrantids offer winter meteor spectacle

Northern hemisphere stargazers can look forward to what could be 2022's best meteor shower on 3–4 January. Observers enjoying dark skies could see 50 or more meteors an hour that night, as the Quadrantids shower reaches ...

Planetary Sciences Dec 28, 2021

SoloHi catches stunning views of 'Christmas comet' Leonard fly by

Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory evaluate early data the ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter spacecraft sent back to Earth as it observes comet Leonard, a mass of space dust, rock and ice just over half a mile across (1 ...

Astronomy Dec 22, 2021

James Webb telescope: How it could uncover some of the universe's best-kept secrets

If everything goes according to plan on December 25, we will enter a new era of astronomy with the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). It's an event that has been anticipated for a decade—it will be the largest ...

Space Exploration Dec 21, 2021

Views of comet Leonard from two sun-watching spacecraft

When Comet Leonard, a mass of space dust, rock and ice about a half-mile (1 kilometer) wide, makes its closest pass of the Sun on Jan. 3, 2022, it will be a journey 40,000 years in the making. Ahead of its close pass, two ...

Astronomy Dec 20, 2021

Comets' heads can be green, but never their tails: After 90 years, we finally know why

Every so often, the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud throw galactic snowballs made up of ice, dust and rocks our way: 4.6-billion-year-old leftovers from the formation of the solar system.

Astronomy Dec 20, 2021

Image: Hubble views a galaxy with an explosive past

In this image, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captures a side-on view of NGC 3568, a barred spiral galaxy roughly 57 million light-years from the Milky Way in the constellation Centaurus. In 2014 the light from a supernova ...

Plants & Animals Dec 17, 2021

Is Santa's sleigh zero carbon? The answer lies in reindeer poo

Santa's sleigh is famously pulled by eight reindeer, nine if you include the luminous Rudolf who pitches in when it's foggy. The classic eight are Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Vixen and Blitzen. Those last ...

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