Science Behind the Photo #42

The Giant’s Causeway: World Heritage site, celebrity of ‘Visit Ireland’ publicity campaigns, subject of myth and legend Its beautiful, sculpted steps are iconic, but it may shock people to realise the lavas which formed this stunning landscape are only 60 million years old, produced in what’s known as the Paleogene period. To give an idea […]

Dinosaur fossil was a scrapper

Any kid who watched Jurassic Park through their fingers will be pleased to hear those Raptors sometimes got what was coming to them! The claw-like ‘toes’ on the Velociraptor contributed to it’s menacing demeanour, yet up until now their function was a mystery. After the discovery of a new species of Raptor in Utah, Scientists […]

A Gem of a Discovery

Like an oyster in the ocean, opening to reveal a pearl, new research has discovered stars can be stripped apart to reveal diamonds. Nicknamed “The Dish”, the Australian CSIRO Parkes telescope stumbled on the discovery whilst searching for pulsars, as part of the “High Time Resolution Universe” survey. Pulsar J1719-1438 had a peculiar signal and […]

The world’s smallest Etch-a-Sketch

Etch-a-sketch is a classic childhood toy. In fact, it’s so well-   known it even makes a cameo in Toy Story. Now, 50 years on, it’s hard to see how you could re-invent this art pad, but some researchers at the London Centre for Nanotechnology may have done just that, on an nano-scale at least. […]

Dolphin Wisdom to be Revealed

According to a friend, people think we’ll be able to talk with dolphins within 5 years. After questioning his drinking habits (and a quick Google), it turns out he was right. Research has shown that once we get the basics of the ‘click click’ language of dolphin’s down, we’ll be able to hold full conversations […]

Not-so-happy feet

If a human stopped feeding their child for 5 months it would soon be a matter of national news and public outcry. However, it seems King Penguins don’t mind if their children go hungry, in fact, they leave them for months on end. New research from the University of Strasbourg has shown that King Penguin […]

Natural mathematicians nonplussed by negative numbers from an early age

Ai is 35 years old and lives with her son, Ayumu. They both work together in a computer lab in Kyoto, Japan. Ai and Ayumu caused a riot in 2008 when they proved they could win at any standard (albeit math based) computer game. Using their faster-than-average ability to remember numbers in sequence they would […]

“It’s molecular, my dear Watson.”

As the third most abundant element in the Universe, you would think finding two atoms joined together wouldn’t be Astronomy’s version of a detective mystery. However, up until now definitive evidence of molecular oxygen (O2), a necessary molecule for life, has eluded scientists. This month the solar system’s best private investigator’s will publish their results […]

Is this the end for space travel?

Atlantis, the Space Shuttle, landed for the final time last week and ended thirty years of routine space flight. NASA has since been fighting to prove it’s not given up on space exploration, and that there are plenty more missions to make with new, better technology. “The things that you’ve done will set us up […]