SpaceX Plans to Send Tourists Farther into Space

SpaceX will work with space tourism company Space Adventures to send up to four people into space onboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft. The mission will send tourists to “twice the altitude of any prior civilian astronaut mission or space station visitor".

Coral Habitats May Nearly Be Gone by 2100

Scientists project 70 to 90 percent of coral reefs will disappear over the next 20 years as a result of climate change and pollution. What's more, rising sea surface temperatures and acidic waters could eliminate nearly all existing coral reef habitats by 2100.

NASA's possible planetary missions

NASA has selected four possible planetary science missions for further evaluation, two focused on Venus, one on Jupiter's volcanic moon Io and one on Neptune's icy moon Triton. Final selections will be made next year.

Dramatic Melting of Antarctica

On February 6, 2020, weather stations recorded the hottest temperature on record for Antarctica. Thermometers reached 18.3 C (64.9 F). During the warming event, around 1.5 square km of snowpack became saturated with melt water.

Sitting is linked to increased risk of depression in adolescents

Too much time sitting still  is linked to an increased risk of depressive symptoms in adolescents, finds a new study. The study found that an additional 60 minutes of light activity daily was associated with a 10% reduction in depressive symptoms.

The use of jargon kills people's interest in science

In a new study, people exposed to jargon when reading about subjects like self-driving cars and surgical robots later said they were less interested in science than others who read about the same topics, but without the use of specialized terms.

Babies breathing polluted air: brain changes

A new study suggests that significant early childhood exposure to traffic-related air pollution is associated with structural changes in the brain at the age of 12. Specifically reductions in gray matter volume and cortical thickness.

Earth's oldest asteroid strike linked to 'big thaw'

Scientists have discovered Earth's oldest asteroid strike occurred at Yarrabubba, in outback Western Australia 2,2 billion years ago, and coincided with the end of a global deep freeze known as a Snowball Earth. 

Simple, solar-powered water desalination

A completely passive solar-powered desalination system could provide more than 5,5 liters of fresh drinking water per hour. Such systems could potentially serve off-grid arid coastal areas to provide an efficient, low-cost water source.

Large amounts of O2 in ancient star's atmosphere

Astronomers have detected large amounts of oxygen in the atmosphere of one of the oldest and most elementally depleted stars known. This finding provides an important clue on how oxygen was produced in the first generations of stars.

The European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter launched

A NASA-supplied Atlas 5 rocket launched the European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter spacecraft 9 February, kicking off an innovative mission to study the Sun in unprecedented detail, complementing close-in observations by NASA’s Parker Solar Probe.

A Huge Iceberg Has Broken Off in Antarctica

A huge chunk of ice more than three times the size of Paris has broken off one of Earth's most critical ice shelves, Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica. This has leading scientists concerned that the glacier could soon completely break down.

We're worse with food waste than we think

Every person in the world is wasting about 500 calories of food a day, according to a new study. Without waste, we could feed five people instead of four. Reducing food waste is a key challenge in fighting climate change.

Pluto's icy heart makes winds blow

During the day, a thin layer of nitrogen ice warms and turns into vapor. At night, the vapor condenses and once again forms ice. Each sequence is like a heartbeat, pumping nitrogen winds around the dwarf planet.

Spitzer's 16 years of scanning the cosmos

Spitzer has fundamentally changed astronomy textbooks. Recently the telescope batteries reached the end of their lives. The Spitzer team at NASA and the California Institute of Technology has no choice but to bid the spacecraft farewell.