Science Hobby

Hydrogen fuel cells are a greener way to power vehicles. But they have also been cost-prohibitive. Now that’s starting to change – last week, German passengers boarded the world’s first hydrogen-powered trains.   “Sure, buying a hydrogen train is somewhat more expensive than a diesel train,” said Stefan Schrank, a project manager at locomotive company
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Elon Musk has provided several new, rare, and telling glimpses into how his rocket company, SpaceX, is building a spacecraft to reach Mars. On September 17, Musk announced that SpaceX would fly Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa around the moon on the company’s Big Falcon Rocket or BFR. During that event, Musk showed off new renderings of the launch system,
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According to the Big Bang cosmological model, our Universe began 13.8 billion years ago when all the matter and energy in the cosmos began expanding. This period of “cosmic inflation” is believed to be what accounts for the large-scale structure of the Universe and why space and the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) appear to be largely uniform in all
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Inexpensive clean energy sounds like a pipe dream. Scientists have long thought that nuclear fusion, the type of reaction that powers stars like the Sun, could be one way to make it happen, but the reaction has been too difficult to maintain.    Now, we’re closer than ever before to making it happen — physicists from the University
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Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, the nation’s largest protected area, stretches over half-a-million square miles of sea and land in Hawaii. It also includes wonderfully odd and stretchy critters, as a research team aboard the exploration vessel Nautilus observed Thursday.   The Nautilus, operated by the nonprofit Ocean Exploration Trust, has been streaming excursions online since 2012. (The Nautilus
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We know that plastic pollution is a major problem for the world’s oceans, but scientists just discovered a new way that discarded microplastics are making their way out of the water and into other food chains – through mosquitoes.   What’s happening is mosquito larvae are ingesting microplastics as water-dwelling larvae, and those plastic particles
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Scientists in Japan made progress recently in the quest to combat infertility, creating the precursor to a human egg cell in a dish from nothing but a woman’s blood cells. The research is an important step toward what scientists call a “game-changing” technology that has the potential to transform reproduction.   The primitive reproductive cell
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NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has only been on the job less than two months, and already it’s ponying up the planet goods. The exoplanet-hunting space telescope has found two candidate planets, and there are plenty more on the horizon.   The two candidate planets are called Pi Mensae c, orbiting bright yellow dwarf
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It’s been in the pipeline for years: a sprawling, technological mass surveillance network the likes of which the world has never seen. And it’s already been switched on. China’s “Social Credit System” – which is expected to be fully operational by 2020 – doesn’t just monitor the nation’s almost 1.4 billion citizens. It’s also designed
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Early on the night of May 5, a team of scientists snuck out onto the white beaches of south Florida to attach a transmitter in the shell of a nesting leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea).   They nicknamed her Isla, and for months, members of the non-profit organisation Florida Leatherbacks, Inc. have been following this turtle
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For hundreds of years, geologists have thought the modern-day British mainland was formed by the collision of two ancient land masses, Avalonia and Laurentia. Now, new research suggests a third continent was involved – Armorica, which today makes up the northwestern region of France.   That’s according to some geological detective work that considers, among
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In coming weeks, long after Hurricane Florence’s winds and rains have faded, its aftermath will still pose life-threatening hazards: snakes, submerged sharp objects, bacterial infections and disease-carrying mosquitoes.   People are trapped by floodwaters and facing dwindling supplies of medicines, food and drinking water. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a danger as people crank up portable
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It was called the Storegga Slide: a massive underwater landslide off the coast of Norway, which generated a towering 20-metre-high (66 ft) tsunami sweeping across the UK’s Shetland Islands.   Luckily, that ancient wave of destruction – which also struck mainland Scotland, Norway, and Greenland – happened over 8,000 years ago, leading scientists to think
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Personality tests are hugely popular, though if you ask working psychologists, they’ll tell you the results are little better than astrological signs. But a new study, based on huge sets of personality data representing 1.5 million people, has persuaded one of the staunchest critics of personality tests to conclude that maybe distinct personality types exist,
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