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Blog Profile / Cosmic Log


URL :http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/
Filed Under:Academics / Astronomy
Posts on Regator:2674
Posts / Week:9.6
Archived Since:June 30, 2009

Blog Post Archive

Storming sun sets the skies aglow

A slight solar storm ejected from a powerful sunspot brightened skies as far south as Colorado on Friday night — and there should be more to come. The heightened geomagnetic activity was sparked by a burst of electrically charged particles thrown off from an active spo …

Scientists respond to planet hunter's plight with pointers – and poetry

NASA is getting plenty of advice — and sympathy — as it assesses whether its Kepler planet-hunting telescope can be revived after the failure of its reaction-control system. The reactions from scientists and engineers range from repair tips to an Audenesque …

Buggy hordes of cicadas sighted in Virginia ... but New York? Not yet

There's been a groundswell of 17-year cicadas in Virginia and other southern states, as revealed by a fresh wave of photos and eyewitness reports. In some areas, the outbreak has been accompanied by the insects' loud chorus call. And that's music to the ears of University of Conn …

Virgin birth or hanky-panky? Anteater mom sparks a scientific debate

Is it a case of anteater virgin birth, a hormonal quirk or just some desperate hanky-panky? Whatever it is, Armani the anteater's surprising pregnancy has sparked a debate over what animals are capable of when it comes to sex. The story unfolded at the LEO Zoological Conservation …

'Star Trek' stars go ga-ga over real astronauts during video hangout

You'd think that traveling at warp speed to the planet Nibiru would be the coolest thing in outer space, but for the Hollywood types who made "Star Trek Into Darkness," talking with a real astronaut on the International Space Station was way more awesome. "I'll just act like this …

Wheel fails on NASA's Kepler probe, halting its search for alien planets

NASA's planet-hunting Kepler space telescope suffered a second failure in its reaction-wheel control system, forcing a suspension of its search for alien planets while the space agency determines whether the four-year mission is truly finished. "It's certainly not good news," Cha …

'Ciudad Blanca' found? Scientists share images of lost city in Honduras

A high-tech team of scientists and filmmakers shared pictures of what appears to have been a centuries-old civilization in Honduras, one year after they used laser-mapping technology to identify traces of structures in the thick jungle. The square-shaped and rounded structures, s …

'The World at Night' can be brightly beautiful – but there's a dark side, too

Are the images featured in The World at Night's annual "Earth and Sky" photography contest meant to celebrate the wonders of the night sky, or draw attention to the worries about the night sky? They're meant to do both, says astrophotographer Babak Tafreshi. For example, consider …

In Dan Brown's 'Inferno,' numeric riddles and controversial science mix

Dan Brown's "Inferno," the latest thriller from the author of "The Da Vinci Code," is another globe-trotting, world-saving adventure — and a chance for readers to ponder a new set of mathematical and scientific puzzles. In "The Da Vinci Code," Robert Langdon, the world …

Chris Hadfield's 'Space Oddity' is a hit: What's next for space superstar?

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield finished out his five-month flurry of songs, snapshots and social media from outer space with a real doozy: a rendition of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” that even Bowie is retweeting. The music video was months in the making: Wit …

'Art of Science' exhibit makes the connection between truth and beauty

Worms are a source of wonder in this year's crop of aesthetically pleasing scientific images, served up by Princeton University's Art of Science Competition. "C. instagram," one of the contest's top photos, features a wriggling network of C. elegans worms on an agar plate covered …

17-year-old cicadas are kicking off 'Swarmageddon' in North Carolina

People are getting all twitchy about the bugs that are coming out in New York and New Jersey after a 17-year buildup, but when it comes to cicadas, Billy Tesh is seeing the real deal in North Carolina. "I was so excited," Tesh told NBC News from Greensboro, where he runs a compan …

Time-lapse map chronicles decades of global change as seen from space

Satellite imagery can serve as a time machine, revealing dramatic change in just a few seconds — but can you imagine documenting almost three decades' worth of all that change, across most of our planet's land mass? A team of imaging experts, computer scientists and j …

Can't get to Australia? Get an online look at the 'ring of fire' solar eclipse

If you can't make it to the South Pacific's eclipse zone in time to watch the sun turn into a "ring of fire" on Thursday, you can still get in on the spectacle online. The annular solar eclipse begins at 6:33 p.m. ET (22:33 GMT) with the touchdown of the moon's shadow in western …

15-year-old Astronaut Abby fuels her outreach mission with social media

"Astronaut Abby" is at the controls of a social-media machine that is launching the 15-year-old from Minnesota to Kazakhstan this month for the liftoff of the International Space Station's next crew — and if Facebook and Twitter count for anything, it just might get her to …

Engage! Astronomers need your assistance to detect space warps

Think you can find space warps? Astronomers have recruited thousands of citizen scientists to look for exoplanets, galaxies, moon craters and other cosmic curiosities — and now they need your help to go after one of the weirdest phenomena in space-time: gravitational lenses …

Last winter was a real killer for the honeybees — and here's why

Almost a third of America's honeybee colonies bit the dust last winter, according to a bellwether survey of bee health. But the losses didn't fit the typical pattern for colony collapse disorder, the mysterious malady that wipes out bunches of bees all at once. Instead, researche …

All Europeans are related if you go back just 1,000 years, scientists say

A genetic survey concludes that all Europeans living today are descended from the same set of ancestors who lived 1,000 years ago. And you wouldn't have to go back much farther to find that everyone in the world is related to each other. "We find it remarkable because it's count …

How plants respond to positive vibes: 'Talking' mechanism is a mystery

Studies show that basil gives a boost to chili peppers, while fennel is a real bummer. The effect has been seen even when the plants are sealed off from each other with sheets of black plastic. So does that mean that the plants are "talking" to each other through subtle vibration …

Curiosity's 'hand' outstretched on Mars: Will humans ever shake it?

NASA's Curiosity rover is back at work in Yellowknife Bay, a rocky area inside Mars' Gale Crater — and if it takes good care of itself, it just might be around when humans hit the Red Planet. At least that's the sentiment voiced by Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NAS …

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