Always dreamed of flying? On these moons, you can.

There are places in our solar system where you can fly.

  • Both the moon and Mars have a weaker surface gravity than the Earth does. The result? You don't weigh as much on either celestial body as you do here.
  • On a moon called Titan that orbits Saturn, the gravity isn't as strong as Earth's, but the atmosphere is much thicker. In this world, it would be possible to strap wings to your arms and fly around.
  • On a low-gravity moon called Miranda, just off the space coast of Uranus, there are cliffs that are many miles high. It would be possible to jump off a cliff here and fall very gently to the bottom.
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  • There is no way to shield astronauts on earth from the effects of gravity.
  • Astronauts train for space by going on an airplane that flies high at an arc so that the force lifts them in the air. However, we can only achieve about a minute's worth of weightlessness this way.
  • NASA researchers have nicknamed this plane the "Vomit Comet."
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Bird-friendly buildings on the rise

Humans blame cats for killing birds, but our buildings are far worse.

The Jacob Javits Center in New York City, 2003. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images)
  • Nearly a billion birds are killed every year after flying into windows.
  • The American Bird Conservancy published an extensive guide to incorporating bird-friendly design into buildings.
  • Over twenty cities have programs to help reduce the number of avian deaths.
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Technology & Innovation

Are birds using quantum entanglement to navigate?

Sounds wild, but it may well be so.

(MattiaATH/Shutterstock)
  • Birds' navigation using Earth's very faint magnetic fields suggests an incredible level of sensitivity.
  • There's reason to think that sensitivity may be based on quantum entanglement in cryptochrome in their eyes.
  • Identifying the role of quantum physics in biology could lead, well, who knows where?
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Surprising Science

A new study proves parachutes are useless

A new study flies in the face of anecdotal evidence and raises questions about how we read data.

Yeh et al.
  • Scientists working at medical schools across the United States discovered that parachutes don't lower the death rate of people jumping out of airplanes.
  • The study flies in the face of decades of anecdotal evidence.
  • The findings should be carefully applied, due to "minor caveats" with the experimental structure.
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Surprising Science