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The Register - Science

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Copyright: Copyright 2017, Situation Publishing

Scientists are counting atoms to figure out when Mars last had volcanoes

Fri, 26 May 2017 12:41:12 GMT

Astroboffin-in-training makes dating breakthrough

Astroboffins have figured out a new way of dating planets and meteorites by counting individual atoms in rock samples snatched from the depths of space.…

Japanese lab's 'value-aware' SSDs last longer, recognise images faster

Fri, 26 May 2017 06:36:54 GMT

Special error correction techniques work around degrading drives' dying cells

Japan's Takeuchi Lab has proposed a “value-aware” solid state drive that it says can recognise images faster than rivals, while also extending drives' working life.…

Juno's first data causing boffins to rewrite the text books on Jupiter

Thu, 25 May 2017 23:45:05 GMT

Sadly no black monolith found

Scientists were expecting a lot of new data from the Juno space probe orbiting Jupiter, and they haven't been disappointed. The most massive planet in the Solar System is turning out to have a lot of surprises.…

Astroboffins spot a new type of galaxy bursting with stars

Thu, 25 May 2017 20:12:15 GMT

Star formation rate is a hundred times faster than our Milky Way

A team of astronomers has stumbled across a new kind of galaxy that may be the missing piece of the puzzle regarding how ancient galaxies grew to such massive sizes.…

DARPA orders spaceplane capable of 10 launches in 10 days

Thu, 25 May 2017 07:00:09 GMT

Boeing to build 'Phantom Express' on heir to Space Shuttle's main engine

The United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has commissioned Boeing to build a spaceplane capable of 10 launches in 10 days.…

Orbital boffins cut four years off NASA mission to shiniest object in the Solar System

Thu, 25 May 2017 06:00:12 GMT

16 Psyche mission takes a great leap forward

NASA has come up with a cunning plan that will allow it to shave four years of flight time off its mission to the biggest chunk of visible iron in the Solar System, and will use souped-up solar power to get there.…

Schiaparelli probe crash caused by excessive spin, report concludes

Wed, 24 May 2017 20:49:51 GMT

Lander exercise was 'very close' to a success

The Schiaparelli probe suffered a botched landing on the Martian surface as it briefly spun out of control, confusing the computer systems onboard, an official report concluded today.…

Britain's on the brink of a small-scale nuclear reactor revolution

Wed, 24 May 2017 09:02:11 GMT

Sure, there are hurdles, but no £18bn hole on the other side like Hinkley Point

For the first time ever in April, the UK's data centres and clouds ran on electricity generated without burning coal.…

Particle boffins calculate new constraints for probability of finding dark matter

Tue, 23 May 2017 23:13:42 GMT

Axions still a no-show over at CERN Axion Telescope

The hunt for axions – a potential dark matter candidate – at the CERN Axion Solar Telescope has been fruitless. But scientists refuse to give up as they set a new limit that calculates the probability of finding these elusive particles.…

Mouse sperm kept frozen in SPAAAAACE yields healthy pups

Tue, 23 May 2017 06:30:12 GMT

Astronaut reproduction could be possible one day, boffins reckon

Japanese scientists say reproducing in space could be possible one day, after preserved mouse spermatozoa kept on the International Space Station resulted in healthy offspring.…

'Tabby's Star' intrigues astro-boffins with brief 'dimming event'

Tue, 23 May 2017 02:15:12 GMT

Is it comets? Or aliens? Astronomers want your help to figure out this cosmic riddle

Astronomers worldwide are scrambling a worldwide effort to capture as many images of the famous “Tabby's Star” (also known as Boyajian's Star), which has abruptly entered a dimming phase.…

Gravitational waves permanently change spacetime, say astroboffins

Mon, 22 May 2017 19:59:23 GMT

'Orphan memory' could unlock more secrets hidden in our universe

A team of physicists has proposed a new idea about gravitational waves that will allow other researchers to find more exotic objects in space.…

NASA duo plan Tuesday ISS spacewalk to replace the mux that sux

Mon, 22 May 2017 06:02:12 GMT

All hail Peggy Whitson, hands-on sysadmin – IN SPAAACE

An external comms box on the International Space Station has failed, leading NASA to schedule its first unscheduled spacewalk since 2015.…

And finally, monsieur, a wafer-thin hologram ... Sir, it is only wafer thin

Fri, 19 May 2017 06:27:09 GMT

'World’s thinnest hologram' touted by boffins

A group of scientists has developed the “world’s thinnest hologram” – a thousand times thinner than a human hair, they claim.…

Nukes tests caused space weather, say NASA boffins

Thu, 18 May 2017 06:28:09 GMT

Artificial Van Allen belts, auroras, geomagnetic storms, just another day in the Cold War

Space weather is usually driven by the Sun – but a bunch of data about Cold War nuclear tests has given NASA boffins the chance to measure whether humans can affect what goes on in Earth's neighbourhood.…

Vigorous tiny vibrations help our universe swell, say particle boffins

Tue, 16 May 2017 06:10:05 GMT

Quantum fluctuations may be key to explaining why we're all drifting apart

Not only is our universe is expanding, its expansion is accelerating. How and why this is happening remains one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in science.…

NASA nixes Trump's moonshot plan

Mon, 15 May 2017 07:03:05 GMT

First flight of Orion capsule atop Space Launch System slips from 2018 to 2019

NASA will miss its deadline for the first flight of the Orion capsule and the Space Launch System, with the launch moved from 2018 to 2019.…

Japanese researchers spin up toilet paper gyroscopes for science

Mon, 15 May 2017 02:12:36 GMT

The way you spin the loo paper roll exposes your business

Japanese boffins have measured the spin-speed of toilet rolls to work out who's on the loo.…

Warm, wet, mysterious... sound familiar? Ah, yes, you've heard of this second Neptune, too

Sat, 13 May 2017 07:34:08 GMT

Boffins share findings of strange alien world 440 light years away

A strange, distant planet HAT-P-26b has an atmosphere full of water vapor, hydrogen and helium – and could change how scientists think of planet formation.…

CERN ready to test an EVEN BIGGER gun

Wed, 10 May 2017 05:05:08 GMT

Linac 4 will pump more energy into LHC's proton smasher

A 10-year construction project in CERN's Swiss/French mountain lair has come to an end – and a few years of testing and integration are about to begin.…

Comet 67P's oxygen could be a breath of fresh air

Tue, 09 May 2017 07:33:07 GMT

Maybe the comet's surprise molecules aren't billions of years old after all

One of the big surprises in the Rosetta probe's visit to Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko was the 2015 announcement that the rock was surrounded by a thin cloud of molecular oxygen.…

America's mystery X-37B space drone lands after two years in orbit

Mon, 08 May 2017 17:20:10 GMT

Mysterious craft likely to be surveillance testbed

Pic The US Air Force’s mysterious X-37B space drone has landed – a mere two years after it took off.…

Curiosity Rover's drill is ill. But chill: we can dig Martian sand instead of rocking hard

Fri, 05 May 2017 04:00:29 GMT

Take than, cowardly LGMs! We have a few grams of your grains

The Curiosity Rover's drill is in trouble.…

RF pulses from dust collisions could be killing satellites

Thu, 04 May 2017 05:05:09 GMT

Tiny impacts don't smash sats, but the energy they produce might break electronics

Space scientists have long known that impacts too small to pierce a craft's skin can still damage the electronics inside, by creating electromagnetic pulses. Why those pulses happen, however, is still not well understood.…

Boffins gently wake the Large Hadron Collider from annual hibernation

Tue, 02 May 2017 06:31:13 GMT

Winter upgrade boosted 'inverse femtobarns' for more accurate stuff-spotting

CERN says the restart process for the Large Hadron Collider is complete and the proton-smasher is ready to start its 2017 science program.…

Shock horror: US military sticks jump leads on human brains to teach them a lesson

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 05:28:05 GMT

DARPA's current thinking for potential future bright sparks

The boffinry nerve center of the US military is working with seven American universities to see if electrically stimulating the brain will increase the ability to learn new skills.…

NASA's Cassini snaps pic inside Saturn's ring – peace among the stars

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 19:33:03 GMT

Probe plunges deep into dark cosmic hole

Photo NASA's Cassini probe has made its first dive inside Saturn's rings, skimming about 1,900 miles (3,000KM) over the surface of the gas giant's stormy atmosphere.…

Ewe, get a womb! Docs grow baby lambs in shrink-wrap plastic bags

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 05:02:13 GMT


Video Scientists in Philadelphia have created a plastic womb that has successfully incubated eight premature lambs – and the doctors behind the project say they will be ready for human trials within three years.…

Colliders, containers, dark matter: The CERN atom smasher's careful cloud revolution

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 08:36:31 GMT

No downtime till 2018

CERN made headlines with the discovery by physicists in 2012 of the Higgs boson, paving the way to a breakthrough in our understanding of how fundamental particles interact.…

New MH370 analysis again says we looked in the wrong places

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 04:20:07 GMT

Drift tests on actual 777 part show plane probably hit ocean north of search area

Australian scientists have released a new analysis of debris from missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 and again asserted that the search for the Boeing 777 was conducted in the wrong place.…

China successfully launches its first robot space truck

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 01:20:49 GMT

Tianzhou-1 will now refuel the Tiangong-2 orbital lab as China prepares a proper space station

China's ambition to launch a permanently-crewed space station is a little closer today after the nation successfully launched its first robot space truck.…

Opportunity rover gets bored of spot it's explored since 2014

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 05:29:06 GMT

NASA moving to 'Perseverance Valley' where we can see Martian erosion in action

The thirteen year-old Opportunity rover is moving on from the region of Mars it's been exploring since 2014.…

PACK YOUR BAGS! Boffins spot Earth-size planet most likeliest yet to harbor alien life

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 17:01:12 GMT

Water, check. Low radiation, check. Possible to get to... oh wait, darn

Scientists have spotted a planet slightly larger than Earth orbiting a distant star that looks to be the best contender yet for hosting life as we know it.…

New satellites could cause catastrophic space junk collisions

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 13:05:07 GMT

Brit scientist warns of increased hazards from new constellations

Broadband satellites could lead to an explosion in the volume of space junk, a British scientist has said.…

Feel guilty for scoffing Easter chocolate? Good news: Scientists have made NEGATIVE mass

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 08:02:04 GMT

Vanish that flab using lasers to warp laws of physics

A team of physicists from around the world have created a fluid they claim has negative mass.…

NASA agent faces heat for 'degrading' moon rock sting during which grandmother wet herself

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 02:09:12 GMT

Retiree grilled after trying to flog heirlooms to foot medical bills

A NASA agent can be sued for allegedly subjecting a 74-year-old granny to a "degrading" two-hour interrogation over a sliver of moon rock.…

Astro-boffinry breakthrough: Loads of ingredients for life found on Saturn's Enceladus

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 23:08:16 GMT

And Jupiter's Europa is looking sweet, too

Pics Tantalizing new evidence of hydrothermal vents on Enceladus and liquid water on Europa have reignited hopes that alien life may exist in our Solar System, NASA announced today.…

Far out: Dark matter bridges millions of light-years long spotted between galaxies

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 05:01:07 GMT

Threads of elusive particles form cosmic cobwebs

Pic Astrophysicists have for the first time spotted filaments of dark matter forming bridges between galaxies tens of millions of light-years apart.…

Blighty's £1.2bn space industry could lend itself to tourism – report

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 07:04:08 GMT

That'll be Beardy Branson's mob, then

The British aerospace industry could carve itself a niche in “space tourism,” according to a new report.…

How's that for a remote login? NASA puts New Horizons probe to sleep 3.5 billion miles away

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 21:06:46 GMT

Nap time for spacecraft as it heads out to ice-rock belt

Pic NASA's New Horizons spacecraft – right now 3.5 billion miles (5.6 billion kilometres) from Earth – has been powered down by boffins as it heads out to the icy wastes of the Kuiper Belt.…

Dieting cannibals: At last, a scientist has calculated calories for human body parts

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 05:03:11 GMT

All in the name of archeology, he says

Imagine this: You’re trapped on a desert island. You’ve eaten nothing for 20 days and as you grow increasingly delirious, your friend who is also stuck in this godforsaken place begins to look appetizing... which part of the body should you eat first?…

Riddle of cannibal black hole pairs solved ... nearly: Astroboffins explain all to El Reg

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 07:29:07 GMT

Stargazers perform grav wave 'paleontology' in simulations

Astrophysicists are one step closer to understanding how pairs of merging black holes form in the far reaches of the cosmos.…

We know what you're thinking: Where the hell is all the antimatter?

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 05:01:04 GMT

Discovery could be key to cracking universe's baffling particle drought puzzle

The mystery behind why there is an imbalance between matter and antimatter in the universe could be one step closer to being solved.…

Goodbye, cruel world! NASA's Cassini preps for kamikaze Saturn dive

Wed, 05 Apr 2017 06:00:05 GMT

Only 22 orbits to go before it burns up in glory

Video NASA's Cassini spacecraft will enter the final stages of its mission by nosediving between Saturn’s rings on April 26, before it rams into the planet's atmosphere and vaporizes.…

Steppe thugs pacified by the love of stone age women

Tue, 04 Apr 2017 11:00:09 GMT

'Can you take the bins out, Ugg?'

It happens to the best of us: one minute you're raiding and pillaging on the Pontic-Caspian steppe, the next you're settled down with a stone age woman, have a mortgage on the hut and 2.4 kids.…

Boeing details 'Deep Space Gateway' for Mars mission staging

Tue, 04 Apr 2017 07:29:05 GMT

Aerospace outfit says just four launches could build a base in Lunar space by the early 2020s

Aerospace outfit Boeing has detailed the hardware it thinks humanity will need to stage a piloted mission to Mars.…

Mediaeval Yorkshirefolk mutilated, burned t'dead to prevent reanimation

Mon, 03 Apr 2017 11:19:01 GMT

Likely not cannibalism issue, as knifemarks not near the meat. Er, OK

Archaeologists investigating human bones excavated from the deserted mediaeval village of Wharram Percy in North Yorkshire have suggested that the villagers burned and mutilated corpses to prevent the dead from rising from their graves to terrorise the living.…

Lochs, rifle stocks and two EPIC sea gates: Thomas Telford's Highland waterway

Mon, 03 Apr 2017 09:02:14 GMT

Feats of engineering, projections busted - the Caledonian Canal

GEEK'S GUIDE TO BRITAIN The Highlands are home to spectacular hills and mountains. You'll also find dotted around some fairly unusual engineering projects that have endeavoured to conquer them.…

Wet, wild Mars stripped off by hot young star, left barren and red faced

Fri, 31 Mar 2017 05:02:05 GMT

And they dare call El Reg The Sun of science and technology – the nerve!

Powerful solar wind and radiation have stripped away most of the Martian atmosphere, transforming the planet from one that could have been wet and with the potential to harbor life, to the barren dusty place it is today.…

How hard will it be to measure Planet Nine?

Fri, 31 Mar 2017 02:57:08 GMT

First, find it, which is hard. Second, see if it occludes stars, which is really, really hard

Planet 9 will be easier to find if we know what we're looking for, so a French astronomer has set himself the task of trying to wrap the enigma in some parameters.…