World News

The coronavirus pandemic is making Earth vibrate less

The coronavirus pandemic is making Earth vibrate less

Once-crowded city streets are now empty. Highway traffic has slowed to a minimum. And fewer and fewer people can be found milling about outside. Global containment measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus have seemingly made the world much quieter. Scientists are noticing it, too. Around the world, seismologists are observing a lot less…

Elusive ‘missing link’ black hole discovered by Hubble

Elusive ‘missing link’ black hole discovered by Hubble

Astronomers have long studied supermassive black holes and smaller black holes that form when massive stars implode, but they have searched for intermediate-mass black holes for years. Now, thanks to observations by the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have found their “missing link” to understand how black holes evolve. They were able to confirm the observation…

Ecuador’s largest waterfall has disappeared

The largest waterfall in Ecuador has seemingly vanished after a sinkhole swallowed part of its water source. San Rafael Waterfall on the Coca River was a prominent tourist attraction for the country, and according to NASA, drew tens of thousands of people every year. The water dropped 150 feet into a crater-like opening on the…

Male bottlenose dolphins form gangs to get a mate

Male bottlenose dolphins form gangs to get a mate

If you’ve ever seen a production of “West Side Story,” you’ll be familiar with gangs of males, clicking their fingers in synch while seeing off rivals or prowling for a mate. Up until now, scientists believed that humans were the only animals that worked together, synchronizing their actions and noises with their friends. But some…

Evidence of ancient rainforests found in Antarctica

Evidence of ancient rainforests found in Antarctica

When dinosaurs roamed the Earth 90 million years ago, the planet was much warmer, including Antarctica at the South Pole. But in a surprising twist, researchers have discovered evidence that Antarctica also supported a swampy rainforest at the time, according to a new study. Researchers captured a slice of the seafloor using a drill rig…

In Panama, coronavirus lockdown means separating men and women

In Panama, coronavirus lockdown means separating men and women

Panama is taking a new — if somewhat unorthodox — measure to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus: separation of the sexes. Starting on Wednesday, only women will be able to leave their homes to buy necessities on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Men in Panama will be allowed to venture outside to run errands…

Scientists have recorded the first ever heat wave in this part of Antarctica

Scientists have recorded the first ever heat wave in this part of Antarctica

Climate scientists have recorded the first heat wave at a research base in East Antarctica, warning that such “unprecedented” temperatures could impact animals and plantlife in the region. Researchers from the Australian Antarctic Program recorded the heat wave at the Casey Research Station — located on the northern part of Bailey Peninsula on the Budd…

Moon bases could be built using astronaut urine

Moon bases could be built using astronaut urine

When NASA astronauts return to the moon in 2024, they’ll need a lunar base that allows them to stay on the surface. And the astronauts may build their base using something readily available: their urine. As part of NASA’s Artemis program, the first woman and next man on the moon will be landing at the…

The moral calculus of sanctions amid coronavirus crisis

Never let a crisis go to waste. It’s a cynical maxim in politics, but one the Trump administration appears to be following now as it maintains pressure on Iran and Venezuela: Refuse to relax economic stress amid the destabilizing effect of the coronavirus pandemic, in hopes of splintering enemy regimes. Humanitarian supplies are technically exempt…

Meteorites reveal that Martian water came from different sources

Meteorites reveal that Martian water came from different sources

One of the biggest mysteries in piecing together the story of Mars’ past is a key question: Where did the water come from? Researchers may have found a large clue in tiny slices from Martian meteorites that fell to Earth, according to a new study. Mars was likely a warm, wet planet billions of years…

Plastic-eating bacteria could be small step toward tackling world’s pollution crisis

Plastic-eating bacteria could be small step toward tackling world’s pollution crisis

Plastic products made with polyurethane, a synthetic chemical compound, typically end up buried in a landfill. Now scientists discovered a strain of bacteria, the first of its kind, that can degrade the harmful compounds in polyurethane products — a positive step toward reducing the amount of plastic pollution in the environment. The findings were published…