World News

Epstein donations force resignation at international peace organization

Epstein donations force resignation at international peace organization

The president of an international think tank has resigned following revelations that he accepted a loan from accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein and secured $650,000 in donations from foundations linked to Epstein for the peace organization. The International Peace Institute, based across the street from the United Nations, announced that diplomat Terje Rød-Larsen had apologized to…

Astronomers find smallest ‘rogue planet’ in the Milky Way

Astronomers find smallest ‘rogue planet’ in the Milky Way

Astronomers have detected the smallest rogue planet in our Milky Way galaxy, and it’s between the sizes of Mars and Earth. Rogue planets are free-floating planets that don’t orbit stars. The planet, named OGLE-2016-BLG-1928, was found by astronomers using the Warsaw Telescope at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. The astronomers are part of the OGLE…

New NASA posters share galactic horrors for Halloween

New NASA posters share galactic horrors for Halloween

Although our universe is full of wonders, it’s equally riddled with horrors. Colorful posters styled like vintage horror movie adverts highlight some of these cosmic frights in the latest release from NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The posters are free to download from NASA’s site, and they’re also…

NASA spacecraft safely seals up asteroid sample to return to Earth

NASA spacecraft safely seals up asteroid sample to return to Earth

Pieces of the near-Earth asteroid Bennu are ready to return to Earth. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft successfully stowed the sample collector head, which is full of surface material gathered from Bennu on October 20, in the sample return capsule on Wednesday. This will prevent any more of the sample from leaking into space. The mission team…

Koala populations are in decline due to increased human impacts on nature

Koala populations are in decline due to increased human impacts on nature

It has been a stressful year for Australia’s koalas. Their health and natural environment, however, have been under threat for a long time. Bushfires, habitat fragmentation, vehicle collisions and dog attacks — all which hurt koalas — have been getting worse over the last decade. That has led to species population decline and increased disease…

How octopuses taste their meals by touching them, according to a new study

How octopuses taste their meals by touching them, according to a new study

“A lot of people say an octopus is like an alien,” says filmmaker Craig Foster in his new Netflix documentary “My Octopus Teacher.” “But the strange thing is, as you get closer to them you realize that you’re very similar in a lot of ways.” One of those ways the octopuses are both familiar and…

These spiders lack ears. But they can hear you, study says

These spiders lack ears. But they can hear you, study says

Spooky season is here — so let’s talk about spiders. Ogre-faced spiders are believed to have the largest eyes of all known spider species, and they are known for their reported ability to see in the dark 2,000 times better than humans. That formidable eyesight, however, is just one of the sensory tools these arachnids…

Newly discovered Triassic lizard could float underwater to pick off prey

Scientists have discovered a new lizard-like species that lurked in shallow water to pick off its prey — with the help of a short, flat tail used as a float. Some 240 million years ago, the Triassic predator Brevicaudosaurus jiyangshanensis skulked, nearly motionless, in the sea — and researchers found clues in its skeleton that…

Unusual molecule found in atmosphere on Saturn’s moon Titan

Unusual molecule found in atmosphere on Saturn’s moon Titan

Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is the only moon in our solar system that has a thick atmosphere. It’s four times denser than Earth’s. And now, scientists have discovered a molecule in it that has never been found in any other atmosphere. The particle is called cyclopropenylidene, or C3H2, and it’s made of carbon and hydrogen.…

Juno mission observes ‘sprites’ dancing in Jupiter’s atmosphere

Juno mission observes ‘sprites’ dancing in Jupiter’s atmosphere

Blue sprites and elves have been detected twirling in the upper atmosphere of Jupiter by NASA’s Juno mission. While it may sound like something out of a fantasy novel, sprites and elves are actually two types of quick, bright flashes of light, or transient luminous events. Although these lightning-like flashes happen on Earth, this marks…

Antarctic fossil could have been the biggest flying bird ever, study finds

Antarctic fossil could have been the biggest flying bird ever, study finds

In the 1980s, paleontologists at the University of California Riverside visited Seymour Island, part of an island chain in the Antarctic Peninsula. They brought home a number of fossils — including the foot bone and partial jaw bone of two prehistoric birds. For decades, the fossils sat in a museum at the University of California…

NASA, European Space Agency to collaborate on Artemis Gateway lunar outpost

NASA, European Space Agency to collaborate on Artemis Gateway lunar outpost

It’s another step in humankind’s return to the moon, and eventually on to Mars. As NASA seeks to return humans to the lunar surface through its Artemis program, the space agency is adding international partnerships to facilitate sustainable exploration of the moon — while demonstrating that a human mission to Mars is possible in the…

‘Fireball’ meteorite that fell to Earth in 2018 reveals its secrets

‘Fireball’ meteorite that fell to Earth in 2018 reveals its secrets

A 12-million-year-old meteorite that fell to Earth in January 2018 is covered in more than 2,600 organic compounds, according to new research. Meteorites such as this one likely acted as messengers early in Earth’s history, delivering the building blocks of life, the researchers said. A fireball meteor was seen streaking across the sky over the…

NASA spacecraft will stow asteroid sample to stop it from leaking into space

NASA spacecraft will stow asteroid sample to stop it from leaking into space

A week after collecting a sample from the near-Earth asteroid Bennu, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will stow the sample to protect it from leaking into space on Tuesday. The mission team received images sent by the spacecraft last Thursday that revealed the sample collection head was full of surface material — so much so that a…

NASA mission finds water on the sunlit surface of the moon

NASA mission finds water on the sunlit surface of the moon

There may be more water on the moon than previously believed, including on its sunlit surface. This water could be used as a resource during upcoming missions — like NASA’s return of humans to the lunar surface through the Artemis program. The two studies published in the journal Nature Astronomy, and researchers shared their findings…

Asteroid Bennu has been hanging out with Earth for over a million years

Asteroid Bennu has been hanging out with Earth for over a million years

The near-Earth asteroid Bennu has been keeping our planet company for a long time. Bennu, new research suggests, has been in an orbit that brings it near to Earth for 1.75 million years. The study published Monday in the journal Nature. If this asteroid sounds familiar, it’s because the boulder-covered space rock was recently the…

Pope Francis appoints America’s first Black cardinal, Wilton Gregory

Pope Francis appoints America’s first Black cardinal, Wilton Gregory

Last year, Wilton Gregory made history as Washington, DC’s first African-American archbishop. On Sunday, speaking following his Angelus prayer from St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City, Pope Francis tapped Gregory to become America’s first Black cardinal. Archbishop Gregory is one of 13 to be elevated to the rank at a surprise consistory, or ceremony. In…