November 17, 2014

2:35 PM | An Extreme Gift Guide For Obscenely Wealthy Nerds
WorldView Are you bored of eating at Michelin-star restaurants and flying in a helicopter to work everyday? Do you have so many piles of cash sitting around that they're cluttering up your second vacation home? Sounds like you need a real vacation. Hop into your private jet and check out these extreme, geeky, and sometimes absurdly pricy experiences.

November 14, 2014

4:55 PM | Rosetta's Philae Lander Is In Trouble [Updated]
Philae's First Photo. This first-ever image from a comet's surface shows a steep cliff, with one of the lander's feet is in the foreground. ESA Update 1, 11:00 a.m. 11/14/2014 Faced with a missing lander and a limited battery life, ESA scientists are trying out a risky maneuver. Philae is deploying its drill today, in hopes of securing and analyzing at least one soil sample from the comet. The lander may be keeled over on its side, however, so the spinning […]

November 13, 2014

5:45 PM | Rosetta's Philae Lander Is In Trouble
Philae's First Photo. This first-ever image from a comet's surface shows a steep cliff, with one of the lander's feet is in the foreground. ESA Yesterday the European Space Agency made history by completing the first soft landing on a comet. The Rosetta mission successfully dropped the lander Philae onto Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and it has already sent back data and photos. But the landing was not as soft as scientists were expecting: After the […]

November 12, 2014

7:45 PM | Rosetta Mission Lands On Rubber Ducky Comet [Update]
Update 9, 2:35 p.m. A press briefing reviews what scientists currently know about Philae's condition: It landed, and it landed in the right place. The lander has power onboard, and it has been communicating with ESA mission control via radio waves. The scientific instruments are working, and they're already sending back data, which scientists need more time to analyze.  Philae's harpoons did not fire, "so the lander is not anchored to the surface," said […]
4:51 PM | [Update] Touch Down! Rosetta Mission Finally Lands On "Rubber Ducky" Comet
Rosetta Landing Artist's interpretation ESA Update 6: 11:50 a.m.  Oh ... While ESA has confirmed that Philae has touched the surface, it appears that the harpoons may not have fired to anchor it to the surface. Says ESA: "Without this anchor we cannot with 100 percent certainty state that we are landed on the comet and that we’re fixed on the comet... Everything is proceeding normally."  Update 5: 11:40 a.m. on November 12 NASA planetary […]

November 10, 2014

6:35 PM | Geophysicists Are Turning Peanut Butter Into Diamond Gemstones
Peanut Butter So that's where the crunch comes from... Steve Jurvetson and certified su via Flickr CC BY 2.0 In his lab at the Bayerisches Geoinstitut in Germany, Dan Frost is trying to simulate conditions found in the Earth’s lower mantle. More than 1,800 miles below the surface, the lower mantle experiences temperatures nearing 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit and pressures that are 1.3 million times higher than the air we breathe. According to David Robson at […]
3:45 PM | Here's How We'll Touch Down On A Comet This Week (We Hope)
Philae's Descent An artist's interpretation of what the November 12 landing will look like. ESA/ATG medialab About 31 million miles away from Earth, the Rosetta spacecraft is circling a rubber ducky-shaped comet and getting reading for touchdown. On November 12 at around 4 a.m. EST, the orbiter will release the Philae lander, which will become the first manmade object ever to touch down (or maybe crash) on a comet. It will be a challenging landing. Comet […]

November 07, 2014

3:00 PM | The Beautiful Innards Of 19 Everyday Objects
CD Player Imaging method: X-ray GE Healthcare You may not know it, but November 8th is the International Day Of Radiology. On this day in 1895, German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen accidentally discovered x-rays. The British Library tells the story of the serendipitous revelation. First-Ever Medical X-Ray Wikimedia Commons Roentgen was exploring the path of electrical rays passing from an induction coil through a partially evacuated glass tube. […]

November 04, 2014

6:45 PM | Landing Site On Rubber Ducky Comet Has A New Name
Philae Anchors In. An artist's impression of what the lander will look like after it reaches Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. ESA/ATG medialab On November 12, the Rosetta mission will make history by becoming the first spacecraft to touch down on a comet. Until today, the European Space Agency has been referring to the craft's epic landing area as “Site J”. But in mid-October the ESA announced a competition to give the site a better name, and the […]
5:30 PM | The First Fully 3-D Printed LEDs Are Here
Quantum LED This schematic shows the five layers of the 3-D printed LED light. McAlpine et al./Nano Letters 3-D printing has been touted as the most amazing thing to happen to manufacturing since the assembly line. The idea is that, someday, every home could be a mini-factory, downloading CAD templates online and printing off eyeglasses, coffee mugs, shoes, and whatever else a household might need. The problem is that right now most 3-D printers can only print the […]

November 03, 2014

6:45 PM | Why Fabien Cousteau Wants To Build An Underwater City
July 1963 Cover Popular Science In the July 1963 issue of Popular Science, we detailed the work of Jacques Cousteau, an oceanographer who was building the Conshelf II -- an underwater habitat where he would set a world record living under the sea for 30 days. At the time,Cousteau predicted that “within 50 years a new breed of humans—Homo aquaticus, the Water Man—will live under water without an air supply.”  Although artificial gills […]

October 27, 2014

4:40 PM | 'Littlefinger' Actor From 'Game Of Thrones' Stars In Rosetta Mission Promo
Aiden Gillen Ambition We’ve been telling you all along that the Rosetta mission is incredible—the spacecraft has traveled for 10 years and some 250 million miles, and on November 12, it’ll become the first spacecraft ever to land on a comet. Now it appears that Aidan Gillen, the guy who plays ‘Littlefinger’ on HBO’s Game of Thrones, is also getting behind the mission. In a sci-fi short named Ambition, Gillen's character explains why […]

October 24, 2014

7:06 PM | Should NYC's Ebola Patient Have Been Quarantined?
Ebola Healthcare Workers U.S. healthcare workers train to work in an Ebola treatment center in West Africa. Nahid Bhadelia/CDC New York City has its first case of Ebola, and it's not surprising in the least. Months ago, experts predicted that, with the outbreak raging in West Africa, the disease would inevitably find its way into the major cities of the world. But the good news is, we have the infrastructure and resources to stop an outbreak in its […]
1:09 PM | These Real-Life Alien Worlds Could Become Humanity's New Home In 'Interstellar'
Artist's conception of exoplanet Gliese 667 Cc's surface. ESO/L. Calçada In the upcoming film, Interstellar, a group of heroes blasts off from a dying Earth to search for a new home for humanity. For reasons that aren’t explained in the trailer, the solar system (including Mars) apparently cannot help. Instead, the extraplanetary explorers must seek out Earth 2.0 in another star system. “There are twelve potentially habitable worlds within our reach,” […]

October 23, 2014

10:30 PM | Why Liberia Needs Help NOW To Prevent 98,000 Ebola Cases
Ebola ward in Lagos, Nigeria. CDC Global via Flickr CC By 2.0 The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is growing exponentially. The latest reports suggest that at least 9,915 people have been infected, and 4,555 have died. And this is just the beginning. Previously, the CDC estimated that a startling 1.4 million West Africans could be infected by January.   The outbreak is already considered to be out of control, and according to a paper published today in The Lancet […]
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