Anthropology, Archaeology, News

Earliest specimen from the human family discovered in Ethiopia

homo habilis ancestor

A broken jaw unearthed in Ethiopia pushes back the origin of the homo linage – of which homo sapiens sapiens are the only surviving members – by 400,000 years. The finding might prove important in explaining how our ancestors diverged from more apelike relatives, like Australopithecus, to big brained beings, filling a blank spot two to tree millions years ago

Archaeology, News

Ancient Egyptian tomb of Amenhotep found in Luxor

The tomb of Amenhotep has been discovered in Luxor.(Egypt Antiquities Ministry)

An ancient tomb possibly belonging to Amenhotep, the second Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Egypt. Photographs distributed by the ministry show a tomb with bright green and brown paintings with hieroglyphics and is one of the most spectacular findings in recent years. “The tomb contains many stunning scenes with bright colours painted on plaster,” Antiquities Minister Mamdouh Eldamaty said in a

News, Space

NASA’s Curiosity Rover rendered armless after a shortcircuit

This raw-color view from Curiosity's Mastcam shows the rover's drill just after finishing a drilling operation at "Telegraph Peak" on Feb. 24, 2015. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is expected to remain stationary for at least a couple of days after a shortcircuit has rendered its arm useless for the time being. The engineering problem occurred on February 27 as the rover was preparing to start drilling in the Martian soil.

News, Space

NASA will launch mini-satellites in space with drone glider

NASA SpaceX

NASA’s Towed Glider Air-Launch System will launch small payloads, like mini-satellites, into space more efficiently and at a fraction it currently costs, according to officials. In a spree of ingenuity, researchers have devised a launch system comprised of a double piggyback of sorts. First, a drone will fly off the ground and into the upper atmosphere, carrying a glider. The glider in turn carries a rocket, which ultimately carries the payload meant for Earth’s orbit. Once the drone reaches 40,000 feet, it decouples the glider which immediately turns on its on-board booster. Once, again, high enough, the glider will decouple the rocket which fires for the final climb into space.

News, Space

ISS Astronauts Successfully Complete Five-Hour Spacewalk

Astronaut Terry Virts completes boom and antenna installation work on the Port 3 Truss. Image Credit: NASA TV

There’s something so eerily exciting about spacewalks… the idea of walking into outer space with only a cable connection you to a ship rotating at 7 km/s some 400 km above the Earth is just… out of this world – literally! Now, two astronauts have completed ISS upgrades is what can only be described as a picture perfect spacewalk. This entire spacewalk took one hour less than planned for.

Pollution

Scientists find direct evidence that CO2 heats the Earth’s crust

CO2 pollution warms the Earth's crust - directly. Image via Pixabay.

When we’re talking about CO2 emissions and global warming, we generally mean atmospheric CO2 – where the gas is spewed and generates the greenhouse effect, warming our atmosphere and subsequently, our planet. But a new study conducted by US researchers found that CO2 actually warms the Earth’s crust directly; the more CO2 we emit, the hotter our planet will get.

Feature Post, Great Pics

Places on Earth that actually look like Hell

"On the lava field" - photo credits Денис Будьков (Denis Buldakov)

The orange molten rocks beneath Kamchatka’s volcanic landscape looks surreally out of this world. It looks like a gateway to hell, or even yet, like Mordor. The Kamchatka peninsula, located in eastern Russia, is riddled with 160 volcanoes, including 29 active ones. The highest volcano is Klyuchevskaya Sopka (4,750 m or 15,584 ft), the largest active volcano in the Northern Hemisphere, while the Kronotsky is

Biology, Genetics

Carnivorous plant lacks junk DNA, shows evolution takes place at a genetic level

tb-Utricularia-gibba-01

The carnivorous bladderwort (Utricularia gibba) a carnivorous plant which occurs fresh water and wet soil. Recently, they took biologists by surprise by having a huge number of genes, despite a fairly small genome. The plant is six times smaller than the grape for example, but has 28,500 genes, compared to the 26,300 of the grape.

AstroPicture

AstroPictures of the Day: Pictures from the moon, by the Chinese Rover Chang’e

a0jCjDE

Chang’e are a series of Chinese lunar-orbiting spacecrafts and rovers, part of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program. Here are just a few of the pictures taken during the mission. The Chang’e 1 mission had four major goals: to obtain a 3D image of landforms and geological structures of the lunar surface, so as to provide a reference for planned future soft

Biology, News

Madagascar cave is a graveyard for extinct giant lemurs

madagascar cave

Paleontologists diving beneath the surface of a water-filled cave in Madagascar made a monumental find: a graveyard filled with the bones of a wide variety of species,some very rare, other extinct for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Some of the remains that dot the bottom of the Aven Cave in Tsimanampetsotse National Park include those of the extinct elephant bird, a flightless giant similar to an ostrich, but most bones belong to the long-lost giant lemurs.