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Hotter than the Sun: JET – Earth’s biggest fusion reactor, in Culham

5 hours 7 min ago
A star performer producing fusion-free plasma power

Geek's Guide to Britain  I’m in a room that, in normal circumstances, is not fit for human habitation. It features a number of big red buttons surrounded by illuminated yellow rings – just in case. “Push button to switch off Jet. Press only in case of extreme emergency,” the signs read, informatively.…

Don't panic, but.. ALIEN galaxies are slamming Earth with ultra-high-energy cosmic rays

8 hours 7 min ago
Photon streams unlikely to come from within the Milky Way

The most energetic cosmic rays bombarding Earth originate from outside our Milky Way Galaxy, according to research published just before the weekend.…

Hurricane Maria leaves Arecibo radio telescope damaged and dark

12 hours 58 min ago
Feed antenna collapses, dropping debris onto main dish

In the midst of the humanitarian disaster unfolding after Puerto Rico was battered by Hurricane Maria, astronomers working at the Arecibo radio telescope have reported damage that will leave it unable to operate for months.…

Sputnik-1 replica used to test the real thing goes under the hammer

14 hours 7 min ago
If you've got a lazy US$100k to $150k, a piece of history can be yours on Wednesday

A replica of Sputnik-1 used to test the real thing's performance goes to auction this week.…

NASA, wait, wait lemme put my drink down... NASA, you need to be searching for vanadium

Fri, 2017-09-22 06:02
Bio-boffins urge Red Planet life search to hunt for weird metal

Scientists hoping to discover evidence of life on Mars should search for vanadium, a metallic element, according to a paper published in Astrobiology this month.…

Ducks ding dongs in face of stiff competition

Thu, 2017-09-21 06:04
Alternative title for this science paper: Seven-inch bullies humiliate unsuspecting birds

Waterfowl situation... Some alpha ducks bully smaller ducks so much when competing for mates that the beta birds' undercarriages barely take off, so to speak, a new study has found.…

Boffins discover tightest black hole binary system – and it's supermassive

Wed, 2017-09-20 06:02
Sitting less than one light year apart in spiral galaxy NGC 7674

Scientists have discovered the closest-ever supermassive black hole binary system. It's in the spiral galaxy NGC 7674, and the pair of voids are separated by a distance of less than one light year.…

NASA Earthonauts emerge from eight-month isolation in simulated Mars visit

Mon, 2017-09-18 22:26
'Hang on, Trump has done what??!?'

Video  Six would-be Mars colonists have emerged from eight months of isolation on top of a Hawaiian volcano as part of preparations for an eventual manned mission to the Red Planet.…

Fancy that! Craft which float over everything on a cushion of air

Fri, 2017-09-15 23:58
A hidden British engineering gem: The Hovercraft Museum

Geeks' Guide to Britain  Did you know that the word “hovercraft” was once patented? And did you know that Great Britain is a world leader in the design and manufacture of the floaty transporters, and has been for half a century?…

Mad scientist zaps himself to determine the power of electric eel shocks

Fri, 2017-09-15 23:52
Electrophorus electricus is not something to be messed with

One man has calculated the power of electric shocks emitted from electric eels on the human arm - his in fact - all in the name of science.…

Rise Of the Tiny Machines: Boffins cook up autonomous DNA sorting robot

Fri, 2017-09-15 11:04
It's coming for your jobs, very, very slowly

ROTM  It's the most eco-friendly DNA walker I know, computer scientist Damien Woods told The Register.…

Farewell Cassini! NASA's Saturnian spacecraft waves goodbye for its Grand Finale

Fri, 2017-09-15 10:32
But the mission is far from over, say scientists

Cassini, one of NASA’s flagship spacecraft, is poised to meet its fiery end today as it plunges down into Saturn’s atmosphere at a speed of 123,000kph (77,000mph) per hour, where it will soon vaporise.…

Boffin wins (Ig) Nobel prize asking if cats can be liquid

Fri, 2017-09-15 06:57
Why people hate cheese and speaker worn in the vagina also score 'make you laugh, then make you think' awards

2017's Ig Nobel prizes have been awarded, again with the aim of shining a light on science that first makes you laugh and then makes you think.…

Hubble catches a glimpse WASP-12b, an almost pitch-black exoplanet

Thu, 2017-09-14 22:51
Black planet, black world

Scientists studying WASP-12b, an exoplanet 871 light years from Earth, have determined that it reflects almost no light, making it one of the darkest planets in space.…

Scientists produce a map marking water hotspots on the Moon

Thu, 2017-09-14 07:29
Just landed on the Moon and fancy a drink? Step on up

Scientists have created the first map that traces the water content on the surface of the Moon, in the hopes that it may come in handy for astronauts searching for drinking water or fuel.…

New Horizons probe awakens to receive software upgrade

Thu, 2017-09-14 06:01
Kuiper-belt-bound craft needs a few weeks of tweaks to prepare for Space Duck 2.0

The New Horizons probe has successfully ended its five-month hibernation and resumed chats with its mission controllers.…

Signs of ground ice found on ancient protoplanet asteroid Vesta

Wed, 2017-09-13 22:44
Scientists reignite the idea of water-bearing asteroids bringing oceans to Earth

Scientists have found evidence that there may be ground ice on Vesta, the brightest asteroid visible from Earth.…

Weird white dwarf pulsar baffles boffins as its pulsating pattern changes over decades

Wed, 2017-09-13 20:04
AR Scorpii was the first white dwarf pulsar to be found

Scientists trying to crack the mystery behind the fastest-pulsating white dwarf have found that its brightness levels change over a timescale of decades.…

Cassini probe's death dive to send data at just 27 kilobits per second

Wed, 2017-09-13 08:03
Which is why its cameras will stop snapping a day before it smacks into Saturn

Space is nasty and sending data across 83 light-minutes of it isn't easy, so the Cassini probe's death dive into the clouds of Saturn will be an instruments-only affair undocumented by photographs.…

Boffins find a new way to catch the 'tails' of quasars in massive galaxies

Wed, 2017-09-13 01:07
Radio jets beamed from gigantic black holes are still a mystery

Physicists have managed to analyze the hidden "tails" swirling around quasars in supermassive black holes by using a combination of radio telescopes and the Gaia space observatory.…