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Blog Profile / Cosmic Log


URL :http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/
Filed Under:Academics / Astronomy
Posts on Regator:2674
Posts / Week:9.8
Archived Since:June 30, 2009

Blog Post Archive

Cosmic Log is on the move

Cosmic Log has been switched to a new format as part of NBC News' Science coverage. To get right to Alan Boyle's Cosmic Log items, just bookmark

Beetles to blame for Colorado's fires? Blame climate change instead

Tiny, winged bark beetles have been the ecological bad guys of the West for more than a decade, and rightfully so. They've killed off millions of acres' worth of trees in Colorado. Now all those dead trees are feeding the flames across tens of thousands of acres in the southern p …

Zombies roam the animal kingdom — and some of them may be after us

The zombies in "World War Z" are just actors — but in the animal world, zombies are a fact of life. Evolution can come up with some fiendish twists: For example, there are some species that bend other creatures to their will to keep their bizarre life cycles going. Or …

Suborbital rocket sends experiments — and ashes — into space and back

A suborbital sounding rocket launched seven space-technology experiments — plus some unusual commercial payloads — from New Mexico's Spaceport America on Friday. The 20-foot-tall (6-meter-tall) UP Aerospace SpaceLoft XL rocket rose into the sky just before 8 …

'Human pollination'? Sting operation uses social media to benefit bees

Have you heard about the corporation that plans to make a quick buck from the global disappearance of honeybees? "A future without honeybees means a future of human pollination," according to a promotional video from BeABee Inc. "That's right: people trying to pollinate plants fl …

Happy Supermoon! Celebrate lunar largeness as a planetary holiday

The biggest, brightest full moon of the year shines in the sky this weekend, which makes this the perfect time to take in the wonders of the night sky — whether or not you're swept up in the "supermoon" hype. Some say the supermoon ranks as "one of the biggest celestial eve …

Bits of Arthur C. Clarke and 'Star Trek' celebs will sail in deep space

When the Sunjammer solar sail is launched for a deep-space test next year, small samples from sci-fi guru Arthur C. Clarke and three pioneers of the "Star Trek" TV series will be going along for the ride. And you can send a message as well. It's all part of a memorial spacef …

UFO over Stonehenge? Britain releases its last big batch of X-Files

Britain's Ministry of Defense finished up its release of almost 60 years' worth of UFO sighting reports with a bang: a 4,300-page cache of documents that describe strange sights over Stonehenge and Parliament, and lay out the reason why the ministry shut down its UFO desk three a …

Go to Mars! Neil Armstrong's moonshot crewmates sound the call

Nearly a year after his death, first moonwalker Neil Armstrong's crewmates declared on Thursday that future missions to Mars should serve as part of the Apollo program's legacy. The other moonwalker on 1969's Apollo 11 mission, Buzz Aldrin, paraphrased President John F. Kennedy a …

Take a billion-pixel tour of Curiosity rover's surroundings on Mars

Fans of extraterrestrial anomalies will have a field day with the billion-pixel view of the Curiosity rover's surroundings at a place called Rocknest on Mars. The 360-degree clickable panorama lets you zoom in on an eerie Martian "bird," a weird series of holes, or a shiny object …

Bill Nye the Science Guy brings his smarts to your smartphone

When "Bill Nye the Science Guy" went on the air in 1993, one of the smartest smartphones around was an $899 brick-sized contraption called the Simon Personal Communicator. Today, Simon is ancient history — but Bill Nye's smarts are still circulating, on video, on the Web, a …

House GOP: Don't grab an asteroid — let's put bases on moon and Mars

House Republican leaders want to push for outposts on the moon and Mars — and they want to push NASA's plan to snare an asteroid into the dustbin, according to a discussion draft of their space spending plan. "It is the policy of the United States that the development of ca …

Sally Ride and Neil Armstrong: Space icons get new round of remembrance

NASA is paying renewed tribute this week to Sally Ride, America's first woman in space, as well as to Neil Armstrong, the first human to walk on the moon, almost a year after their deaths. Ride's latest day in the spotlight came on Tuesday, for a simple reason: It's been 30 year …

Space station crew opens Europe's Einstein cargo ship after fungus flap

It doesn't take an Einstein to see that international differences can still crop up on the final frontier: Take the case of the European Space Agency's Einstein cargo craft, for example. Russian concerns about some potentially moldy cargo bags caused a holdup in the schedule for …

NASA wants you ... to join Grand Challenge to hunt down asteroids

NASA's latest "Grand Challenge" is a biggie: Can you think of better ways to find potentially threatening near-Earth asteroids and do something about those threats? Your ideas could become part of the space agency's vision for the next decade. The Asteroid Grand Challenge was ann …

Laser scans flesh out the saga of Cambodia's 1,200-year-old lost city

Laser-scanning technology reveals that the Cambodian lost city of Mahendraparvata, dating back to a time before Angkor Wat, was much more extensive than previously thought. The latest word about the high-tech hunt for hidden ruins came over the weekend in an on-the-scene report f …

How duct tape patched up the world – and why we're still sticking with it

Over the past half a century, duct tape has been keeping NASA's astronauts alive, putting airplanes back together, making race cars speedier and patching up millions of fix-it projects. It's even been used to remove warts. But the makers of duct tape aren't resting on their stick …

This is your brain on fatherhood: Dads experience hormonal changes too, research shows

The trick to fatherhood has a lot to do with the brain — and how close a dad gets to his kids. At least that's the message from a mounting pile of research into the neurological and hormonal cues that translate into fatherly nurturing. And what better time to keep tha …

Asteroid 1998 QE2 gets a close look from the world's widest radio dish

The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico has captured the most detailed radar images yet of asteroid 1998 QE2 and its newly discovered moon. A sequence of pictures released on Friday shows the 1.9-mile-wide (3-kilometer-wide) asteroid rotating in outer space while its 2,500-foot-lo …

From Superman saga to real-life science: It's not an impossible leap

No one expects the Superman saga to serve as a scientific treatise — but the back story for "Man of Steel," the latest reboot of the 75-year-old tale, does play off some of the latest discoveries on the final frontier. And the saga could serve as the leaping-off point …

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