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Arecibo spared the axe: Iconic observatory vital to science lives on

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 14:12:12 GMT

NSF approves plan to keep Puerto Rico facility operational after hurricane trashed it

The US National Science Foundation (NSF) has approved a plan to keep the famous Arecibo Observatory running after it was severely damaged by Hurricane Maria.…




'It's back to the drawing board...' Innocent axions found not guilty of dark matter crimes

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 08:02:12 GMT

Boffins look on the bright side of detecting basically nothing

Physicists have ruled out the existence of axions once considered possible dark matter candidates.…




Rocky Ross 128 b might harbour ALIENS – and it's headed right for us

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 14:32:12 GMT

In 71,000 years, it'll be closer than disappointing dustball Proxima Centauri b

A new study to appear in Astronomy & Astrophysics has detected what could be our closest exoplanet that is not only rocky, but also orbits a star with a low amount of solar activity that could help an atmosphere survive – Ross 128 b.…




576-megapixel 'Zwicky Transient Facility' telescope sees first light

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 05:29:09 GMT

Astroboffins prepare for cosmic data deluge starting in February 2018

A sky survey destined to add yet another firehose of data to astronomy saw first light in early November.…




Boffins on alert: Brace yourselves for huge gravitational wave coming within a decade

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 23:54:25 GMT

When supermassive black holes collide, we'll feel it

The most violent gravitational waves in the universe from supermassive black hole prangs will be detected to within ten years, according to research published on Monday.…




Teensy weensy space shuttle flies and lands

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 01:36:08 GMT

'Dream Chaser' is signed up for ISS re-supply six missions

Sierra Nevada Corporation's “Dream Chaser” automated spaceplane has successfully flown and landed.…




Greenhouse gas-sniffing satellite to be built and tested in Britain

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 16:05:15 GMT

By a multinational... But, er, RULE BRITANNIA!

The UK Space Agency has made a deal with Thales Alenia Space to assemble and test a carbon-measuring satellite, the British government announced yesterday.…




NASA reconfirms 2019 will see first launch of Space Launch System

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 02:29:10 GMT

If nothing goes wrong with biggest rocket ever, which is only a little over budget

Vid NASA has reconfirmed it hopes to stage the first flight of its Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft in December 2019, but also conceded such a big build could run late.…




Astronomers find bizarre 'zombie supernova' that just won't die

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 23:35:19 GMT

Boffins baffled by slow burn supernova that glows and dims

Astrophysicists have discovered one of the weirdest stars yet in the universe: one that refuses to die, exploding as a supernova multiple times over fifty years.…




Our oldest mammalian ancestor named after British pub landlord

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 06:03:06 GMT

145 million year fossil reveals our rat-like relatives

Researchers have discovered fossils of our oldest mammalian ancestors yet found – along the coastline of Dorset in southeast England.…




Scientists think they've found primordial goop whence life first sprang

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 13:29:06 GMT

It also makes for great fertiliser

A speculative new study suggests that nucleic acids, proteins and cell membranes – precursors to life Earth – first grew from a single kickstarting molecule named diamidophosphate.…




Imagine the candles on its birthday cake: Astro-eggheads detect galaxy born in universe's first billion years

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 07:03:07 GMT

Earth-based 'scope clocks one of this simulation's first wonders

A large international team of astronomers has detected one of the oldest galaxies in the universe we've seen to date – born within a billion years after the Big Bang.…




Post-Brexit economy SAVED: Posh-nosh truffle thrives in Wales

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 14:32:12 GMT

Climate apocalypse, you say? Meh, at least we have truffles

The Périgord black truffle has survived UK weather and grown in Wales*.…




Boffins: Sun's red dwarf neighbour is looking a little thick around the middle

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 09:01:12 GMT

Proxima Centauri... more like Pulverea Centauri, amirite?*

New research suggests that a dust belt may be circling the closest star to the Sun, a red dwarf named Proxima Centauri.…




Giza geezers' muon-geyser visor reveals Great Pyramid's hidden void surpriser

Thu, 02 Nov 2017 20:22:34 GMT

Pharaoh-nominal science breakthrough

Scientists have uncovered a hidden void in the largest pyramid in Giza, Egypt, using muons – a particle typically produced by cosmic rays, according to new research published today.…




Atto, boy! Eggheads fire laser for 43 attoseconds, fastest Man-made spurt

Thu, 02 Nov 2017 07:00:05 GMT

Not as fast as your first time, though, let's be honest

Physicists have whittled down the world’s shortest laser pulse to just 43 attoseconds (4.3 x 10-17 seconds), fast enough to observe electrons moving during chemical reactions in slow motion for the first time.…




NASA reveals Curiosity 2020's 23-camera payload

Wed, 01 Nov 2017 06:02:16 GMT

Probe to carry cams named SHERLOC and WATSON, plus chute-cam and selfie-snappers

NASA's revealed its Curiosity 2020 mission will pack 23 cameras.…




Astroboffins spot a fat 'monster' ALIEN planet terrorizing tiny dwarf

Tue, 31 Oct 2017 23:42:12 GMT

It's the biggest faraway world found compared to the size of its parent

Pic Scientists have discovered a new “monster” alien world that challenges today's theories about planet formation due to its sheer size.…




Health quango: Booze 'evidence' not Puritan enough, do us another

Tue, 31 Oct 2017 12:35:11 GMT

FoI request reveals researchers pressured to tweak base case

Updated Academics at the UK's leading alcohol research centre tweaked their model to help the government introduce more Puritanical booze advice.…




IBM's Phase Change Memory computer can tell you if it's raining

Tue, 31 Oct 2017 09:02:07 GMT

Wait! A PCM chip that computes as well as stores?!

IBM boffins have unveiled new work in-memory computing: doing processing inside Phase Change Memory with no external CPU.…




Jupiter flashes pulsating southern pole, boffins understandably baffled

Tue, 31 Oct 2017 06:01:11 GMT

Misbehaving gas giant's ends light up independently

Jupiter’s vivid northern and southern lights flash independently from each other, a discovery that has surprised scientists.…




Comet 67-P farted just as Rosetta probe flew through the gas plume

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 08:01:11 GMT

Nasty but nice: gaseous comet innards included water ice!

On July 3rd, 2016 something unusual happened on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko: a fountain of dust erupted out of a hole and spewed all sorts of stuff into space.…




India to launch moon mission in March 2018

Sun, 29 Oct 2017 22:07:11 GMT

Chandrayaan-2 will send a rover and an orbiter to Luna

India's space agency ISRO has announced its intention to launch a mission to the moon in 2018.…




Chinese whispers: China shows off magnetic propulsion engine for ultra-silent subs, ships

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 19:33:11 GMT

Inshert Hunt for Red October jokesh here

The Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China this week reported the first successful test of a magnetohydrodynamic drive that could let ships and submarines sneak around almost totally silently.…




Li-ion batteries blow up because they breed nanowire crystals

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 06:04:12 GMT

Boffins think 'dendrites' are the inevitable result of re-charges, which is awkward

Video For the first time a group of scientists has captured close-up images of mysterious finger-like growths known as dendrites that can lead to short circuits and fires in the lithium-ion batteries that power hordes of smartphones, laptops and other gadgetries.…




Interstellar space rock screams through Solar System

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 05:03:12 GMT

Astro-boffins have waited decades to see something with such an odd orbit

Astronomers have spotted an object that they believe came from another star system.…




Canucks have beef with Soylent as to whether or not it's a real meal deal

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 06:06:07 GMT

Canadians will have to smuggle in their milky goop after ban

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has banned the importation of Soylent on the grounds that it isn't a proper meal substitute.…




Curiosity rover gives Mars the middle finger, prepares to get drilling

Tue, 24 Oct 2017 05:04:13 GMT

Robot arm to penetrate surface, get alien world's rocks off for analysis

Pics After an extensive summer of long, long, long-distance remote support by NASA engineers on Earth, it looks as though Curiosity on Mars is back in the drilling game.…




Let's make the coppers wear cameras! That'll make the ba... Oh. No sodding difference

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 14:31:06 GMT

Large-scale randomised US trial: 'Recalibrate’ expectations

Police forces have been told to temper their expectations of body-worn cameras, as a randomised study involving almost 2,500 US cops throws up little evidence of purported benefits.…




Jeff Bezos fires off a blue dart, singes Elon Musk and SpaceX

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 07:02:10 GMT

Blue Origin's new and rather large rocket engine fires on first full test

Amazon supremo Jeff Bezos' rocket company Blue Origin has successfully tested its main engine for the first time.…




Boffins trapped antiprotons for days, still can't say why they survived the Big Bang

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 06:02:09 GMT

Matter/antimatter distribution looks equal, which should have nixed the universe at birth

One of the outstanding questions in physics is why matter and antimatter didn't wipe each other out at the Big Bang?” A new, hyper-accurate measurement of an antiproton characteristic at CERN leaves that difficult question entirely intact.…




Once more, with feeling: Dawn to take a closer look at Ceres

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 01:58:06 GMT

Meanwhile on Mars, we've found a twisted tail

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has received another reprieve, with its mission to dwarf planet Ceres extended for another, closer, flyby.…




Plants in SPAAAAAAACE are good for you

Sat, 21 Oct 2017 08:12:07 GMT

A splash of green stops astronauts feeling blue

Living in space is grueling. The repetitiveness of daily exercise, experiments, crappy food, and claustrophobia can chip away at an astronaut’s psychological well-being, but scientists have suggested a preventative measure: plants.…




The case of the disappearing insect. Boffin tells Reg: We don't know why... but we must act

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 11:55:08 GMT

'It's more dramatic than climate change'

"Insects are at the bottom of the ecosystem," the lead author of a study into a massive decrease in collected insects told The Reg. Their loss, he added, is "likely to collapse the entire pyramid".…




Red (Planet) alert: Future astro-heroes face shocking adventures on Martian moon Phobos

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 05:02:13 GMT

You may want to resist current plans to discharge a base on the surface

Vid Strong solar eruptions may be blasting the Martian moon Phobos with an avalanche of electrically charged particles, charging parts of it to hundreds of volts, and hampering attempts to land on and study the alien landscape.…




Japan finds long, deep tunnel on the Moon

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 01:57:09 GMT

With fewer meteors, lower radiation and better weather, this is a nice place for a colony

Japan's lunar orbiter has found a long, deep tunnel under the Moon's surface.…




Hate to break it to you, but billions of people can see Uranus tonight

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 21:51:16 GMT

Some may even glimpse the ring

Attention, inhabitants of the northern hemisphere of our fragile home world. You're about to get one of the best peeks at Uranus in years – because the strange alien planet will reach opposition with the Sun and be at the closest point in its orbit to Earth.…




Neutron stars shower gold on universe in big bang, felt on Earth as 100-second grav wave

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 21:00:43 GMT

LIGO boffins pinpoint space prang 130m light years away

Barely two years after it came online, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) has scored a double success. Last week, the instrument earned its creators a Nobel Prize – and this week we're told it helped spot the first neutron star collision from both its gravitational wave and radiation emissions.…




Elon Musk says Harry Potter and Bob the Builder will get SpaceX flying to Mars

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 07:31:08 GMT

Reddit AMA says Raptor rocket will be safer and more reliable than commercial aircraft

SpaceX, Tesla and Boring Company CEO Elon Musk has suggested Bob the Builder and Harry Potter will help his space exploration efforts.…




Beardy Branson chucks cash at His Muskiness' Hyperloop idea

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 13:28:13 GMT

Firm built round improbable concept now to be known as Virgin Hyperloop One

Richard Branson, the billionaire behind the Virgin brand, has reportedly invested an undisclosed sum in Elon Musk’s barmy Hyperloop supersonic tube train project, seemingly competing with the billionaire ideas man's own firm.…




Top of the radio charts: Jodrell Bank goes for UNESCO World Heritage status

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 12:11:05 GMT

UN, you had better say yes...

Jodrell Bank is going forward for nomination as a World Heritage Site early in 2018.…




Look! Over there! Intel's cooked a 17-qubit chip quantum package

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 04:15:06 GMT

Have you tried collapsing the waveform and polarizing a photon again?

Intel reckons it's stolen a base in the race to build quantum chippery, by shipping a cryogenically-cooled 17-qubit chip to Netherlands-based QuTech.…




Someone liked dwarf planet Haumea so much they put a ring on it

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 03:31:40 GMT

We've not seen orbital bling out this far before

VIDEO Back in January, a Spanish-led group of astroboffins turned telescopes skywards to watch an occultation of dwarf planet Haumea, and got a surprise.…




They've only gone and made a chemical-threat-detecting ring

Wed, 11 Oct 2017 14:05:53 GMT

Oo, what's that you've got on? Chanel No. 5? Anthrax? This trendy wearable would know

Smartwatches and Fitbits might be the cool wearables du jour, but they're hardly able to tell you if you're standing in a cloud of noxious chemicals. However, a team of boffins hopes to some day fill this, er, gap in the market with their hip prototype, the broad goal of which is to help keep you alive.…




NASA readies its asteroid warning system for harmless flyby

Wed, 11 Oct 2017 04:56:10 GMT

Reminder: amateur astronomers, watch out for 2012 TC4, you might get lucky

With asteroid 2012 TC4 about to pass between Earth and the moon, NASA is gearing up for its much-anticipated live test of its warning system.…




Three words: Synthetic gene circuit. Self-assembling bacteria build pressure sensor

Tue, 10 Oct 2017 09:05:11 GMT

Because 3D printers are sooo 2006

Beware, 3D printers. Self-assembling bacteria are coming for your jobs. Specially designed bacteria can organise themselves to make a three-dimensional pressure sensor, new research shows.…




Boffins' bonkers fibre demo: 53 Tbps down ONE piece of glass

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 22:56:09 GMT

Japan's NICT looks to data centres of the future

If you've always wanted to pump more than 50 Tbps down a data centre fibre, good news: it can be done. The bad news is that right now, it needs a fair whack of boffinry and equipment.…




What does the Moon 4bn years ago and Yahoo! towers this week have in common? Both had an awful atmosphere

Sat, 07 Oct 2017 07:35:09 GMT

Huge explosions belched foul gases, but enough about Y!...

Our Moon had an atmosphere visible from space almost four billion years ago – thanks to volcanic eruptions on its surface spewing a concoction of gases at a rate faster than they could escape the heavenly body.…




After seven-hour operation, the ISS has a new 'hand'

Fri, 06 Oct 2017 03:56:11 GMT

Get a grip, it's just another spacewalk

NASA commander Randy Bresnik and astronaut Mark Vande Hei have spent seven hours upgrading one of the International Space Station's robot arms.…




In current affairs news: Teen boffin with lots of potential crafts electric honeycombs out of oil

Fri, 06 Oct 2017 02:56:12 GMT

He'd teach you about ions and mysterious structures but he'd have to charge

A teenager studying electrically charged particles has captured the formation of an ill-understood electric honeycomb structure called the Rose window.…