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Your search has returned 138 articles:
  • Frigate birds spend months without landing

    Even the famous pilot Amelia Earhart couldn’t compete with the great frigate bird. Earhart flew nonstop across the United States for 19 hours in 1932. The frigate bird can stay aloft up to two months without landing, a new study finds. The seabird uses large-scale movements in the air to save energy on its flights across the ocean. By hitching a ride on favorable winds, the bird can spend more...

    07:00 AM, July 27, 2016 Animals, Physics
    Readability Score: 6.3
  • Falling through Earth might be a long and fruitless trip

    The Earth is largely solid or molten rock that’s hot enough to melt iron. So you could never build a tunnel through its diameter. But let’s play a mind game and imagine that you could burrow from one side of the planet through to the other. Physicists play this game all of the time. And falling down a hole through the center of the Earth would be rough, they note. Indeed, some now conclude, it...

    07:00 AM, July 26, 2016 Physics, Earth
    Readability Score: 6.4
  • Why the knuckleball takes such a knucklehead path

    Knuckleballs baffle baseball hitters. These balls seem to swerve along their path unpredictably. A new study suggests a possible cause of the pitch’s erratic flight. It suggests that the ball experiences sudden changes in air resistance — or the force of drag — on a ball. The scientists describe this as a “drag crisis.”

    Scientists described their finding July 13 in the New Journal of...

    07:00 AM, July 21, 2016 Physics
    Readability Score: 7.1
  • Snout goo may help sharks sense prey

    Sharks appear to have a sixth sense that helps them locate prey in murky ocean waters. These fish rely on special electricity-sensing pores on their heads and snouts. The pores were first described in 1678. Even now, however, scientists aren’t quite sure how they work. But new data have just brought them a step closer.

    These pores are known as ampullae (AM-puh-lay) of Lorenzini. They...

    07:00 AM, June 30, 2016 Animals, Physics
    Readability Score: 6.3
  • Gravity waves are seen again

    For the second time in roughly four months, scientists have glimpsed elusive ripples vibrating through the fabric of space. Scientists announced the new observation of gravitational waves — also known as gravity waves — on June 15. Being able to detect these waves, potentially on a regular basis, opens a new window through which to observe the universe, the scientists said.

    Gravity waves...

    07:00 AM, June 20, 2016 Astronomy, Physics
    Readability Score: 8.0
  • Cool Jobs: Solar sleuthing

    In 1859, a massive burst of energy from the sun slammed into Earth. It caused telegraph wires to explode in sparks, which gave some telegraph operators electric shocks. People could see auroras — the northern lights — as far south as Cuba and Hawaii.

    If such a powerful burst, called a solar flare, were to hit our planet today, it could disrupt modern civilization. The energy could zap...

    07:15 AM, June 16, 2016 Astronomy, Space, Physics
    Readability Score: 6.5
  • Famous physics cat now alive, dead and in two boxes at once

    Physicist Erwin Schrödinger’s cat can’t seem to catch a break. The fictitious feline is famous for being alive and dead at the same time, as long as it remains hidden inside a box. Scientists think about Schrödinger’s cat in this way so that they can study quantum mechanics. This is the science of the very small — and the way that matter behaves and interacts with energy. Now, in a new study,...

    07:00 AM, June 14, 2016 Physics, Light & Radiation
    Readability Score: 8.4
  • Zapping clouds with lasers could alter Earth’s climate

    Laser blasts might one day help scientists tweak Earth’s temperature. To do that, the lasers would be aimed at thin, wispy cirrus clouds. By shattering the ice crystals in them, those laser zaps might help cool the ground-level climate.

    It’s a clever idea, although not ready for prime time. It also has its critics.

    Explainer: Global warming and the greenhouse effect

    In the new study...

    07:00 AM, June 12, 2016 Weather & Climate, Physics
    Readability Score: 7.2
  • Spinning black holes may ‘sing’ during a collision

    SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — When black holes collide, they create gravitational waves. These gravity waves aren’t exactly like waves of water or light. They are instead tiny ripples in the fabric of space. Astronomers expect to record these ripples as a kind of “chirp,” similar to the sound a bird might make. But not all colliding black holes chirp, scientists now say. Some may prefer to sing.

    07:00 AM, June 5, 2016 Astronomy, Physics
    Readability Score: 8.0
  • Snot may be key to dolphins’ tracking of prey

    In hunting down lunch, Flipper may have a secret weapon: snot.

    Dolphins employ the animal equivalent of sonar to find and track their prey. To do this, they emit a series of quick, high-frequency sounds. Biologists suspect the marine mammals make these chirp-like clicks by forcing air over tissues in their nasal passages. “It’s kind of like making a raspberry,” explains Aaron Thode. He...

    12:14 PM, May 25, 2016 Animals, Physics
    Readability Score: 7.9

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