Category: Science

Alan Stern hugs Alice Bowman after getting a signal lock with New Horizons 0

We get signal: New Horizons’ first science data payload

Last night, the New Horizons team received a signal from the probe containing a data payload that was mostly engineering data–systems status, telemetry…basically, phoning home letting Mom know it was doing just fine after its busy day flying by Pluto and taking lots of pictures and scientific measurements. This morning, from about 7:00 – 8:25 am ET, they received the first payload of those pictures and measurements. This payload will include three very high-resolution, greyscale images in which each pixel represents a quarter mile. Beginning at 3:25 pm, more data will start streaming in. But this is only the beginning–it...

Pluto 0

New Horizons Pluto mission is up there with the moon landing in American space achievement

If ever there were a perfect use for the phrase, “I can’t even,” this is it. Today we saw a high-resolution picture of a world over a billion miles away, taken by a small probe launched nine years ago on a mission that has been over 25 years in the making. And oh, yeah, that tiny probe not only took pictures, but it (presumably) took a variety of scientific readings, passing just 7,500 miles from Pluto. That’s less than the average diameter of the Earth. In astronomical terms, that’s CLOSE. I hardly have words for how absolutely awesome it is...

“Zom-bees” may provide key to cracking colony collapse disorder

Colony collapse disorder, the “phenomenon in which worker bees from a beehive or European honey bee colony abruptly disappear,” has been attributed to everything from cell phone radiation to fungi, but scientists have not been able to find a consistent link among affected colonies. A recent discovery of the larvae of a parasitic fly inside of some dead honeybees may provide that link. Researchers have found that the parasitized bees tend to behave strangely, acting almost like zombies. Eventually, the affected bees leave the hives at night, fly into a light source, and lose control of their bodies before falling...