Fossil footprints puzzle scientists: Bear or ancient human?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Prehistoric footprints that have puzzled scientists since the 1970s are getting a second look: Were they left by extinct animals or by human ancestors? When famed paleontologist Mary Leakey first uncovered the footprints in Tanzania 40 years ago, the evidence was ambiguous. Leakey focused her attention instead on other fossil footprints that… Continue reading Fossil footprints puzzle scientists: Bear or ancient human?

Siberian Cave Yields Oldest Fossils Belonging to Enigmatic Human Species

The entrance to Denisova Cave in Sibera. Image: IAET, Siberian Branch Russian Academy of Sciences The Denisovans, a mysterious group of extinct hominins closely related to Neanderthals, didn’t leave much fossil evidence behind. A fresh dig at their former stomping grounds in Siberia has now yielded three new fossils—the oldest yet found of this species.… Continue reading Siberian Cave Yields Oldest Fossils Belonging to Enigmatic Human Species

The Comet Leonard, the Christmas Star, and Other Things to See in December’s Night Sky

Photo: Ylenia Cancelli (Shutterstock) There’s a lot going on in the night sky in December, from the spectacular Geminids meteor shower to Venus at its brightest. Here are some of December’s most impressive star-gazing highlights to mark on your calendar. Venus will be at its brightest on Dec. 3 Venus is December’s planet of the… Continue reading The Comet Leonard, the Christmas Star, and Other Things to See in December’s Night Sky

Three Decades Of Space Exploration As NASA Builds A Telescope

Illustration: NASA GSFC/CIL/Adriana Manrique Gutierrez In less than three weeks, NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency will finally launch the James Webb Space Telescope into orbit. And it’s been a long time coming. The new observatory has been created as a successor to the aging Hubble Space Telescope and will be… Continue reading Three Decades Of Space Exploration As NASA Builds A Telescope

Saga of Tiny Drill Hole in the ISS Continues as Russia Sends Investigation to Police

The International Space Station.Image: ESA The results of a Roscosmos investigation into a hole in the International Space Station have been handed over to “law enforcement authorities,” Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti claims. The incident happened three years ago, when a leaky drill hole was detected in the Russian Soyuz MS-09 module. Further information… Continue reading Saga of Tiny Drill Hole in the ISS Continues as Russia Sends Investigation to Police

Russian media says US rocket to come as close as 5km to ISS • The Register

Russian news agency TASS has reported that a chunk of a US Pegasus carrier rocket is due to whizz past the International Space Station (ISS) at a minimum distance of 5.4km this week. In a report that entirely failed to mention the debris cloud created by a Russian Anti-Satellite Test a few weeks ago, space… Continue reading Russian media says US rocket to come as close as 5km to ISS • The Register

NASA says huge, ‘potentially hazardous’ asteroid will break into Earth’s orbit next week

An asteroid the size of the Eiffel Tower is heading towards Earth this month and it’s considered an especially unique piece of rock by scientists. The asteroid 4660 Nereus is classified as a “potentially hazardous” piece of rock because of its proximity to Earth. On Dec. 11, NASA expects it to be at its closest… Continue reading NASA says huge, ‘potentially hazardous’ asteroid will break into Earth’s orbit next week

Living Robots Called Xenobots Can Now Reproduce, Scientists Say

Scientists who created the first living robots have revealed that the organisms, known as xenobots, can now reproduce, according to their study. Created using stem cells from the African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis), xenobots are less than one millimetre wide and can move, work together as a group and even self-heal. But now, the scientists… Continue reading Living Robots Called Xenobots Can Now Reproduce, Scientists Say

This Dinosaur Found in Chile Had a Battle Ax for a Tail

It’s not every day you find a dinosaur that defended itself from predators with a completely unique weapon. In a study published Wednesday in Nature, Chilean researchers announced the discovery of a new species of ankylosaur, a family of dinosaurs known for their heavy armor, from subantarctic Chile. The animal, which they named Stegouros elengassen,… Continue reading This Dinosaur Found in Chile Had a Battle Ax for a Tail

Comet Leonard will light up the sky this month — here’s how to see it

It is unusual to see a comet at its best: Most comets are brightest nearest the sun, just when they’re most difficult to spot against the sun’s glare or hidden below the horizon.  Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard) is, alas, no exception. But it should be visible in small telescopes and binoculars and quite possibly even… Continue reading Comet Leonard will light up the sky this month — here’s how to see it