NASA and ESA team up for historic planetary defense test

Two space agencies plan missions to deflect an asteroid.

ESA's Hera mission above asteroid 65803 Didymos. Credit: ESA/ScienceOffice.org
  • NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are working together on missions to a binary asteroid system.
  • The DART and Hera missions will attempt to deflect and study the asteroid Didymoon.
  • A planetary defense system is important in preventing large-scale catastrophes.
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2018 was the fourth hottest year on record, say both NASA and NOAA

Experts say global warming is no longer some future worry. It's already here.

(Photo: Oli Scarff / Getty Images)
  • President Trump and other politicians have routinely dismissed climate change as a hoax.
  • Data from NASA and NOAA show 2018 was the fourth hottest year on record.
  • Collectively, the last five years have represented the hottest in the 139-year record.
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As the climate warms, there may be a slight increase in male newborns

"Slight," applied to large populations, could still mean thousands of more boys.

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  • Scientists have long theorized that temperature has some effect on the sex ratios of populations.
  • Recent research shows links between rising temperatures and increases in the ratio of male newborns.
  • Nobody can say exactly whether temperature causes changes in sex ratio, however it's likely that climate change will force humans to adapt in ways we can't yet anticipate.
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The meteor shower that brought Tunguska is due in June

That disastrous rock may now looks to have been a Beta Taurid passenger

(unknown)
  • Analysis of the Tunguska tree-fall patters suggests a familiar source for the asteroid that caused it
  • Its timing also fits perfectly with a late June annual meteor shower
  • Nonetheless, it's more interesting than dangerous. Put down that helmet.
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Why natural disasters make men take more risks

Looking at the 2011 earthquake in Japan, researchers found that natural disasters make men — but not women — more fond of taking risks.

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  • The 2011 earthquake in Japan was among the most intense earthquakes to occur in recorded history.
  • Thanks to regularly distributed surveys, however, it also became a unique research opportunity to compare civilians' behaviors from before the earthquake with their behavior after.
  • Now, researchers have found data that suggests being exposed to a natural disaster tends to make men more prone to engage in risky behavior, like gambling and drinking, over the long term.
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