World News

Life may have existed on warm, rainy, ancient Mars before winter came

Life may have existed on warm, rainy, ancient Mars before winter came

Although Mars seems cold and inhospitable today, it was a different story 3 billion to 4 billion years ago. A new study suggests that the Red Planet was once warm enough to host pouring rainstorms and flowing water, which would have created an environment that could support simple life. The knowledge of water on ancient…

Black hole gobbles up neutron star, causing ripples in space and time

Black hole gobbles up neutron star, causing ripples in space and time

In the same decade when gravitational waves and a neutron star merger have been observed, astronomers have now observed what they believe to be the first detection of a black hole swallowing a neutron star. Last Wednesday, gravitational wave detectors in Italy and the US, called LIGO and Virgo, detected telltale ripples in space and…

Microplastics discovered in ‘extreme’ concentrations in the North Atlantic

Microplastics discovered in ‘extreme’ concentrations in the North Atlantic

Within the Atlantic Ocean is the world’s only sea without shores, its borders defined by the currents of the North Atlantic gyre. The Sargasso Sea takes its name from sargassum, a free-floating golden brown seaweed that is a haven for hatchling sea turtles and hundreds of other marine species who use it to feed, grow…

Like Mercury, a nearby ‘lava world’ is probably lacking an atmosphere

Like Mercury, a nearby ‘lava world’ is probably lacking an atmosphere

Last year, a nearby rocky world was spotted by NASA’s planet-hunting telescope TESS. Now, astronomers have been able to observe the planet using the Spitzer Space Telescope, taking a closer look at this intriguing world. The planet, called LHS 3884b, is 49 light-years away in the Indus constellation, orbiting a cool M-dwarf star that’s only…

Second exoplanet found around a curious star

Second exoplanet found around a curious star

Astronomers have discovered a second exoplanet hiding out in an intriguing star system. The Beta Pictoris system is 63.4 light-years from Earth. The star is very bright, and it’s surrounded by a giant disk made of dust, gas and debris — the leftovers of its formation. The star is also twice the mass of our…

Hurricanes lead to more aggressive spiders, study says

Hurricanes lead to more aggressive spiders, study says

In regions of the United States and Mexico that are prone to hurricanes, aggressive spiders are evolving to survive and ride out the storm. When hurricanes rage along the Gulf of Mexico or charge up the East Coast, they can reshape an entire habitat in a short time. The winds destroy trees and spread debris…

ISIS suspect ‘Jihadi Jack’ has been stripped of his UK citizenship, officials say

ISIS suspect ‘Jihadi Jack’ has been stripped of his UK citizenship, officials say

ISIS suspect Jack Letts has been stripped of his British citizenship, according to Canadian officials. Letts was a British-Canadian national who converted to Islam and fled his home in Oxford in 2014 to allegedly join the terrorist organization in its self-declared capital, Raqqa. He also is believed to have married an ISIS bride in Iraq.…

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson comes out as gay

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson comes out as gay

Longtime Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson came out as gay in a column in the Ottawa Citizen on Saturday, writing that the announcement was “better late than never.” The 58-year-old wrote he had long struggled with the decision to be open about his sexuality, and considered whether the revelation would affect his relationships with family, friends…

US mother ruled too Western by Saudi court will appeal

US mother ruled too Western by Saudi court will appeal

Last month, an American mother named Bethany Vierra lost custody of her young daughter Zaina, on the grounds that she was too Western to raise the child well. Now her own parents worry that they will lose both grand-daughter and daughter, as the window to appeal closes in Saudi Arabia. “If Zaina can’t leave, she…

US makes last-ditch attempt to stop Iranian supertanker setting sail

US makes last-ditch attempt to stop Iranian supertanker setting sail

The United States has unsealed a warrant for the seizure of an Iranian oil tanker anchored off the coast of Gibraltar. It is the latest twist involving the vessel at the center of a standoff between Tehran and the West. The warrant comes just a day after a judge in Gibraltar said the Grace 1…

Why the moon glows brighter than the sun in these new NASA images

Why the moon glows brighter than the sun in these new NASA images

When it comes to brightness, it’s hard to outshine the sun. But in new NASA images, the moon sparkles brighter thanks to a telescope that can detect high-energy radiation. NASA’s Fermi space telescope allows us to see high-energy radiation called gamma rays, which make the moon appear to have an intense glow because of its…

Microplastics are everywhere, even in the Arctic snow

Microplastics are everywhere, even in the Arctic snow

Microplastics are some of the Earth’s tiniest and most insidious enemies. These tiny bits of plastic are found in countless consumer products including cosmetics, tires, cigarettes and toothpaste, and when they collect in bodies of water and other natural areas, they can pose serious environmental hazards and health risks. In fact, a new study reveals…

This is the most massive star ever destroyed by a supernova

This is the most massive star ever destroyed by a supernova

The explosions of stars are some of the most stunning and powerful phenomena seen in the universe. But a recently observed supernova clashes with the models for the death of massive stars. In November 2016, the European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite spotted something intriguing. Astronomers used follow-up observations over the past three years in an…

New telescope could look for atmospheres around these exoplanets in a year

New telescope could look for atmospheres around these exoplanets in a year

Scientists have been anticipating the James Webb Space Telescope for years, and it’s set to launch in 2021. This large infrared telescope will be the premier observatory of the next decade, according to NASA. While TESS, the planet-hunting satellite, has had a very busy first year seeking exoplanets — those outside our solar system —…

July was Earth’s hottest month on record

July was Earth’s hottest month on record

Earth faced unprecedented heat in July, its hottest month on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. July’s temperature across land and ocean surfaces worldwide was 1.71 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average of 60.4. It was the highest for July since records began in 1880, besting the record set in 2016 by…

A woman survived a plunge of more than 5,000 feet after her parachute failed

A woman survived a plunge of more than 5,000 feet after her parachute failed

A 30-year-old woman is recovering after falling more than 5,000 feet from a plane. The woman, whose name was not released, was skydiving Saturday near Trois-Rivières, Quebec, when her main and backup parachutes failed to open. She plummeted into a wooded area, and she is in the hospital with several fractures, including broken vertebrae, CNN…

When Jupiter was young, a massive planet likely slammed into it

When Jupiter was young, a massive planet likely slammed into it

When Jupiter was still forming 4.5 billion years ago, something giant likely crashed into the planet and disrupted the process, according to a new study. NASA’s Juno spacecraft began orbiting Jupiter in July 2016. In addition to capturing stunning imagery of the gas giant, Juno has also uncovered surprising insight that only creates more questions.…