Science Feed

Mars Rover Finds Gale Crater was Once a Big Lake : Discovery News

About the time that life was taking hold on Earth, Mars not only had the ingredients for life as well, but long-lived lakes that could support it, new research from NASA’s Curiosity rover team shows.

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Trace looks at the top theories for how Mars could be terraformed. Just don't expect for there to be a nice new red planet to move to before the next Super Bowl.

Analysis of sediments and geologic features found in the rover’s Gale Crater landing site show that the basin periodically filled with water that lasted for hundreds or even thousands of years. Previously, the rover discovered evidence of an ancient shallow lake and streams.

PHOTOS: Watching the Sunsets of Mars Through Robot Eyes

“You have a deep hole, filled with water that is stable,” which indicates that Mars must have had a denser atmosphere at that point in its history than can be explained by current computer models, geologist John Grotzinger, with the California Institute of Technology, told Discovery News.

“It also means that other places were wet as well,” he added.


NASA's big news: Mars mystery solved - CBS News

For over a century, the search for life on Mars has been one of humanity's biggest mysteries. For a planet perceived as having too hostile an environment to support any form of life, public perception of Mars seemed rooted less in reality and more in fantasy.

But the public's perception of Mars could soon be much different, reports CBS News correspondent Elaine Quijano.

Later today, NASA may unveil a scientific breakthrough that could solve what it's calling "the Mars mystery." The announcement comes three days after the space agency announced that a "major scientific finding had been made" and "Mars mystery solved" on Twitter.


Supermoon Lunar Eclipse Rises Tonight: Watch It Live in Slooh Webcast

In a total lunar eclipse this Sunday (Sept. 27), the surface of the moon will appear to be a deep crimson color, and people around the world will be able to watch the celestial spectacle online.

The so-called supermoon lunar eclipse will be visible in most of North America, South America, Europe, Africa, western Asia and the eastern Pacific Ocean. But wherever you are, you can watch the eclipse live via a webcast by the Slooh Community Observatory. The Slooh broadcast begins at 8 p.m. EDT (midnight GMT), and will provide views of the eclipse from three different countries, including a stream of the eclipse rising over Stonehenge in England, as well as expert commentary.

You can also watch the lunar eclipse webcast on, courtesy of Slooh. [Tonight's Total Lunar Eclipse: When and How to See It]


Your Body Is Surrounded by Clouds of Skin and Fart Bacteria | WIRED

Everywhere you go, in everything you do, you are surrounded by an aura of microbes. They drift down from your hair when you scratch your head, they fly off your hand when you wave to your friend, they spew out of your mouth when you talk. Even when you sit around doing nothing, you’re sitting in your own, personal microbial bubble.

Made up of millions, billions, trillions of bacteria, yeast, cells, and cell parts, this bubble is actually more like a cloud—a cloud, new research suggests, that is unique to you. And as gross as it is to imagine everyone around you shedding microbial bits and pieces into the air, studying those clouds can be useful for people like doctors tracking down disease outbreaks and cops tracking down criminals.


Mass grave of new human relative discovered in South Africa, claim scientists | Fox News

Scientists in South Africa working at Moropeng, the site located just outside of Johannesburg and known as the "Cradle of Humankind," have discovered a mass underground grave containing the remains of hundreds of individuals from what they say is an entirely new species of the human family.

“I give you a new species of human - ‘homo naledi,’” said Professor Lee Berger, head of the paleontology team at University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and leader of the discovery team. 

The species' brains were a third of the size of today’s humans but they stood like us, and had similar feet and hands, although their fingers were elegantly curved. This new species, Berger said, should be placed as an early humanoid just before the time of homo sapiens. The species could date back as far as 2.8 million years, according to experts.


Found: Preserved dinosaur cells -

(CNN) The science behind the Jurassic Park films always seemed far-fetched, even before the latest instalment, Jurassic World, introduced the idea of genetically engineered super-dinosaurs.

For one thing, finding mosquitoes that had drunk the blood of dinosaurs and then been preserved in amber for hundreds of millions of years is incredibly unlikely. But there's another more important reason: proteins such as DNA degrade fast after a creature's death. They are almost never found preserved in bones older than a few thousand years. This has been the dogma for many years.


'Mary Lee' a great white shark, found roaming Jersey coast - The Morning Call

There's a curvy lady named Mary Lee cruising off the coast of the Jersey shore.

Mary Lee's a great white shark, arguably the most feared and most misunderstood animal on the planet, and just after 8 a.m. Thursday, the electronic tag that's been tracking her since 2012 "pinged" about 10 miles off the coast of Cape May County, between North Wildwood and Stone Harbor.

At 1:04 p.m., Mary Lee pinged again, this time about 12 miles off the coast a little further north, right on the border of Avalon and Sea Isle City.


Pocket shark discovery is only the second ever seen |

A pocket shark—the rarest of sharks with only one specimen ever seen before—has been discovered by scientists, and in the most unusual way.

A male pocket shark measuring 5.5 inches long was collected during a 2010 midwater trawl survey 190 miles south of Louisiana by NOAA/NMFS Southeast Fisheries Science Center while studying prey of sperm whales.

The dead specimen was collected with other sea creatures, bagged up and stored in a giant freezer at NOAA’s lab in Pascagoula, Mississippi, until they could be identified, according to the Associated Press.

NOAA fisheries biologist Mark Grace, lead author on a just released study, has spent more than 30 years going through bags of fish to identify them. It took him three years before coming across the pocket shark.

Associated Press called it a small miracle that the pocket shark hadn’t been tossed out after NOAA’s freezer lost power a couple of times.