Saving the Webb Space Telescope

Fearing budget cuts, N.A.S.A. chief Charlie Bolden told Congress that the next-generation space telescope has greater potential for discovery than the iconic Hubble Space Telescope.

What's the Latest Development?

The House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees N.A.S.A. has proposed a 2012 spending bill that would give the space agency just $16.8 billion, $1.6 billion less than last year. The new budget would eliminate funding for the James Webb Space Telescope (J.W.S.T.), the space agency's long-anticipated follow-up to the Hubble Space Telescope. But N.A.S.A. chief Charlie Bolden, in his testimony before Congress, said the agency can deliver J.W.S.T. to space for about the same price as Hubble—and the science returns would be even greater.

What's the Big Idea? 

The $6.5 billion J.W.S.T., named after a former N.A.S.A. administrator, is billed as the agency's muscular successor to Hubble, which launched back in 1990 and is still going strong. J.W.S.T. is an infrared observatory designed to peer further back into the universe's early days than ever before. "I have tried to explain what I think is the importance of James Webb, in terms of opening new horizons far greater than we got from Hubble," Bolden told members of the House Science, Space and Technology committee Tuesday. "I would only say that for about the same cost as Hubble in real-year dollars, we'll bring James Webb into operation."

Archaeologists unearth dozens of mummified cats in Egypt

Dozens of mummified cats were dug up this week. This isn't as shocking as you might think.

Culture & Religion
  • Archaeologists in Egypt have found dozens of mummified cats in the tomb of a royal offical.
  • The cats will join the ranks of hundreds of thousands of previously discovered ancient kitties.
  • While the cats are nothing special, the tomb also held well preserved beetles.
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Men obsessed with building muscle mass have higher mental health risks

They're at a higher risk for depression, weekend binge drinking, and unnecessary dieting.

Palestinian participants flex their muscles during a bodybuilding competition in Gaza city on October 28, 2016. / AFP / MOHAMMED ABED (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)
Mind & Brain
  • Body dysmorphia is not limited to women, a new study from Norway and Cambridge shows.
  • Young men that focus on building muscle are at risk for a host of mental and physical health problems.
  • Selfie culture is not helping the growing number of teens that are anxious and depressed.
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A.I. turns 57 million crop fields into stunning abstract art

Detailed (and beautiful) information on 57 million crop fields across the U.S. and Europe are now available online.

Image: OneSoil
Strange Maps
  • Using satellite images and artificial intelligence, OneSoil wants to make 'precision farming' available to the world.
  • The start-up from Belarus has already processed the U.S. and Europe, and aims for global coverage by 2020.
  • The map is practical, and more — browse 'Random Beautiful Fields' at the touch of a button.
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