Archive for April, 2017:

Cassini radio signal from Saturn picked up after dive

Image copyright NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI Image caption Raw images: The first gap-run pictures of the atmosphere. They will need full processing The Cassini spacecraft is sending data back to Earth after diving in between Saturn’s rings and cloudtops. The probe executed the daredevil manoeuvre on Wednesday – the first of 22 plunges planned over the next five

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Government bid to delay air pollution plan fails

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Air pollution has been described as a “public health emergency” The UK Government has lost a court bid to delay publication of its air pollution strategy, and must now release it before the June election. Courts had given the government until Monday 24 April to set out draft guidelines

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Builders ‘behind UK flooding risk’

Image copyright Getty Images New housing developments that contribute to the risk of flooding are still being built, MPs say. House builders are supposed to create housing schemes that catch water with features like green roofs and porous road surfaces. The government has frequently said it’s committed to reducing flood risk. But the Commons Environment

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Baby humpback whales ‘whisper’ to mums to avoid predators

Image copyright Fredrik Christiansen Image caption Humpback whale calf swimming with its mother The humpback whale is known for its loud haunting songs, which can be heard 20 miles away. However, new recordings show mothers and calves “whisper” to each other, seemingly to avoid attracting predators. The quiet grunts and squeaks can be heard only

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Nasa waits on Cassini radio contact from Saturn

Image copyright NASA/JPL-CALTECH Image caption Artwork: Cassini will run the gap between the planet and the rings on 22 occasions Controllers and scientists must wait until Thursday to hear from Cassini. The probe was due early on Wednesday to make the first of 22 dives in between Saturn’s cloudtops and the inner edge of its

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‘World’s oldest fungus’ raises evolution questions

Image copyright Stefan Bengtson Image caption The fossil life forms were inside a bubble of lava 0.8mm in diameter Fungus-like life forms have been found in rocks dating back 2.4 billion years. The fossils, drilled from rocks that were once beneath the seafloor, resemble living fungi. Scientists say the discovery could push back the date

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Iceberg ‘doodles’ trace climate history

Image copyright Atlas of Submarine Glacial Landforms Image caption Ploughmarks formed by unusually flat-bottomed icebergs in the central Barents Sea (Red is 240m water depth; purple is 248m) It is as if a child has been doodling with large coloured crayons. What you see are actually the great gouge marks left on the seafloor when

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Family tree of dogs reveals secret history of canines

Image copyright SPL Image caption Dog breeds evolved to fill certain roles The largest family tree of dogs ever assembled shows how canines evolved into more than 150 modern breeds. Dogs were first selected and bred for their ability to perform tasks such as herding goats or cattle, say scientists. Later, they were selected for

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Road verges ‘last refuge’ for plants

Image copyright Tim Pankhurst Image caption Fen ragwort: It grows naturally only by a roadside in Cambridgeshire Roadside verges are becoming the last refuge for some of the rarest wild flowers and plants in the UK, according to a conservation charity. Plantlife is calling for better management of grassy verges to preserve a wealth of

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Munch inspired by ‘screaming clouds’

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Edvard Munch’s The Scream: One of the world’s most famous works of art Norwegian scientists have put forward a new theory to explain the inspiration behind one of the most famous works of art ever produced. The Scream (1892), by Edvard Munch, depicts a figure holding its face, which

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© Warren Fyfe
CyberChimps