Seasons on Earth are determined by how and when our big blue world is tilted towards the Sun. The Sun then, as it is at the center of this process, could not possibly have seasons of its own. Now new research has revealed that this is not necessarily true, for the star actually undergoes predictable swings between times of relative calm and times of intense solar activity.
No, scientists won't be asking you to age Mars off the top of your head, but they will be asking for your help in work that could settle how exactly old the Red Planet's current surface is once and for all.
It no secret that some pet food can achieve higher quality standards than some fast food or processed deli meats. However, that's only true if you believe what's put on the label. A new study has proven that many European pet food companies 'lie,' and they do it more than you'd think.
Treasure seekers have found the haul of a lifetime, but it wasn't in some ancient temple or mysterious island. Instead, it was in the sky. Researchers using two of the European Space Agency's (ESA) impressive space telescopes have successfully identified what they are calling a "treasure chest" of ancient galaxy clusters, which could help explain how the Universe came to be the way it is today.
Time and time again, Mother Nature finds a way to prove just how inadequate human technology is compared to her own mysterious tools. New research has found compelling evidence that wild animals know when an earthquake is coming long before humans and their gadgets get the heads up. Now experts hope to make use of that ability, taking cues from nature to keep citizens safe.
For anyone even halfway familiar with climate change, they are probably growing tired of hearing it - but all the same, it should be said: Antarctica's exceptionally important ice shelves are crumbling away at increasingly worrying rates, and we have climate change to blame.
Unlike a great many other first-world environmental agencies, the UK's Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) remains fairly uncertain about neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides commonly called "neonics." Officials frequently cite one large-scale study in particular to argue that these chemicals are mostly harmless. Now, however, one researcher has set out to tell DEFRA that they've been wrongly interpreting that key study for the last two years.
We certainly know how long our own day is, and Mars is not much longer (24 hours and 40 min). The closest planet to the Sun, Mercury's own incredibly long day lasts more than 1,407 hours. What's interesting, however, is that astronomers know all this with near certainty. That's not the case for Saturn, on the other hand, whose day length has remained something of an enigma.
For the most part, evolution seems a lot like a lottery of mutations. The winners get to survive, reproduce, and eventually evolve. The losers disappear from all but the fossil record. Now new research has revealed that a small group of microbes and viruses are apparently cheating the system, systematically picking and choosing what mutates to help them live in some hostile environments.
If you've ever taken an evening hike, you may have seen them: mushrooms that are a little brighter than they should be in the failing light. Thousands of years ago, Greek philosophers called this "cold fire" as the light emanated from decaying wood, but today's scientists know better. It's bioluminescence, and researchers are revealing how and why exactly some mushrooms have it.
Do you frequently bite your nails? Twirl or pull your hair? Maybe pick at your skin? New research has determined that this repetitive behavior is triggered not only when you are nervous, but when you are bored or frustrated as well. What's more, this kind of behavior may be a sign that you are, in some small way, a perfectionist.
Two years ago, an object the size of a small boulder slammed into the surface of Earth's Moon with immense force, creating a flash of light nearly 10 times brighter than anything lunar impact ever recorded. Like many impacts before it, the collision changed the face of our moon forever, adding several new craters and altering old ones. Now NASA experts are working to distinguish the new from the old - identifying the Moon's freshest craters to help them better understand these kinds of impacts.
Imagine you've come across a slug-like worm just inching along, minding its own business. This little guy isn't exactly intimidating, so you take the time to sit and watch him as he makes his way across the floor. A cricket wanders onto the scene, and you wonder if they are friends... and then suddenly this unassuming worm is firing two jets of slime straight at his 'friend.' The cricket, covered in sticky goo, has nowhere to run, and the once relaxed pace of this worm takes on a foreboding nature - a leisurely stroll to a crunchy cricket dinner.
Imagine you have a pond of fish and you feed them the same amount of food every day. Suddenly you're tasked with making these fish more plentiful, or at least larger, without affecting how much they are fed. This may sound like a problem that can be solved only with a biblical miracle, but a team of researchers has managed pull it off, and without using chemicals, hormones, or other modern "cheats."
They may be tiny, but fruit flies actually sleep for up to half their short adult lives. Now, researchers are finding that access to the occasional midnight snack may actually disrupt this important rest cycle, potentially harming their tiny little hearts.