A ‘blue bang’ sparks an unusual type of lightning in the upper atmospher. The International Space Station spotted an exotic type of upside-down lightning called a blue jet (illustrated) zipping up from a thundercloud into the stratosphere in 2019.
Immunity to COVID-19 may persist six months or more
Evidence is emerging that the coronavirus sparks potentially lasting protection in some people
How new technologies and equipment in medicine save lives?
A photon’s journey through a hydrogen molecule is the shortest event ever timed
The time it takes for a single particle of light to pass through a hydrogen molecule is now the shortest duration ever measured.
If bacteria band together, they can survive for years in space
Dead outer microbes protect inner ones in clumps attached to the International Space Station
Outer space is not friendly to life. Extreme temperatures, low pressure and radiation can quickly degrade cell membranes, destroy DNA and kill any life-forms that somehow find themselves in the void.
The quantum Hall effect continues to reveal its secrets to mathematicians and physicists
A transformative experiment is yielding fresh insights 40 years after the effect’s discovery — and energizing transdisciplinary collaborations.
At a lecture in 1939, Paul Dirac said that “pure mathematics and physics are becoming ever more closely connected”. He went on to say that the two subjects might unify, with “every branch of pure mathematics then having its physical application”.
A giant underground motion sensor in Germany tracks Earth’s wobbles
A giant underground motion sensor in Germany has taken its first measurements of Earth’s spin and tilt. The machine’s measurements could help ensure the accuracy of GPS navigation. Although researchers are still getting the machine’s accuracy up to snuff, their observations could someday keep GPS navigation working reliably on devices like smartphones.
What theatre and educational Nowruz gain and lose from online format
More than 700 participants from 33 regions, 135 hours of classes — the organizers of Nowruz forum summed up the results
This weird quantum state of matter was made in orbit for the first time
Scientists created weird quantum matter in orbit with the Cold Atom Lab, delivered to the International Space Station in 2018 by the Cygnus spacecraft. Bose-Einstein condensates in space could reach temperatures lower than any known in the universe.
Supporting the chemistry community
The Chemists’ Community Fund – formerly the Benevolent Fund – has been helping people for 100 years.
Even before the full implications of the Covid-19 outbreak were being felt in Europe, Chemists’ Community Fund manager Anna Dearden had begun to reach out to members in south-east Asia. Now the pandemic is global, it’s clear that there will be serious long and short term impacts on many members.
Astronomers Make Incredibly Rare Detection of Earth-Like Planet 25,000 Light-Years Away
There may be multitudes of Earth-like planets sprinkled throughout the Milky Way galaxy, but they are not so easy to find. To date, only around a third of the over 4,000 exoplanets found and confirmed are rocky - and most of those are within a few thousand light-years of Earth.
The sun is less magnetically active than similar stars. Why our star seems so different from its stellar kin is a mysteryA census of stars similar to the sun shows that our own star is less magnetically active than others of its kind, astrophysicists report in the May 1 Science. The result could support the idea that the sun is in a “midlife crisis,” transitioning into a quieter phase of life. Or, alternatively, it could mean that the sun has capacity for much more magnetic oomph than it’s shown in the past.
Methane Levels Reach an All-Time High
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) analyzed highlights an alarming trend; experts call for curbing pollution from oil and gas wells. A preliminary estimate from NOAA finds that levels of atmospheric methane, a potent heat-trapping gas, have hit an all-time high.
Just breathing or talking may be enough to spread COVID-19 after all
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 may spread through the air in tiny particles that infected people exhale during normal breathing and speech. Experts had said that the virus spreads only through large droplets from a cough or sneeze before.
Artificial intelligence decodes the facial expressions of mice
Neuroscientists also uncover neural circuitry whose activity correlates with particular emotions.
Researchers have used a machine-learning algorithm to decipher the seemingly inscrutable facial expressions of laboratory mice. The work could have implications for pinpointing neurons in the human brain that encode particular expressions.