SpaceX’s last Starlink launch of 2022 is a bit of a mystery

In a strange twist, SpaceX says that its next Starlink mission will launch 54 satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO), implying that they’re roughly the same size as the V1.5 satellites it’s already launching – not the larger V2 ...

Is Mining in Space Socially Acceptable?

Traditional mining has been subject to a negative stigma for some time. People, especially in developed countries, have a relatively negative view of this necessary economic activity. Primarily that is due to its environmental impacts – greenhouse gas emissions ...

“Mad honey”: The rare hallucinogen from the mountains of Nepal

This article was first published on Big Think in April 2021. It was updated in December 2022. On the mountainsides of Nepal and Turkey, bees produce a strange and dangerous concoction: mad honey. It’s a rare variety of the ...

Fred Hogge

Fred Hogge is a historian and filmmaker who has collaborated on or ghost-written books on a wide variety of subjects from the history of cocktails to martial arts. He is British by birth and lives in Thailand.

The history of ice, one of the first luxuries

The first recorded icehouse dates to Year 13 of the rule of Shulgi, King of all Sumer and Akkad, builder of the Great Ziggurat of Ur, a date which would, by our reckoning, fall somewhere around 2081 b.c.e. We ...

Astronomy 2023: Top Sky Watching Highlights for the Coming Year

Astronomy 2023 highlights include two fine solar eclipses, the Sun heading towards solar maximum, a series of spectacular lunar occultations and much more. Been out enjoying the sky in 2022? The past year saw two fine total lunar eclipses, ...

Are humans wired for conflict? Charles Darwin vs. "Lord of the Flies" - Big Think

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What was the biggest explosion in the Universe?

The Universe, everywhere we look, is full of cataclysmic events and transient outbursts. A combination of X-ray, optical, and infrared data reveal the central pulsar at the core of the Crab Nebula, including the winds and outflows that the ...

Canada takes boldest stance on electric vehicles yet

Canada recently released the first details of its flagship policy to achieve one of its most ambitious climate goals to date — by 2035, every new car sold in the country must be emissions-free. While ambitious, Canada may very ...

Despite the low air Pressure, Wind Turbines Might Actually Work on Mars

Mars might not be the first place you would think of when thinking about where wind power might be useful. It has dust storms similar in scale to anything that the Earth can muster, and they’ve been responsible for ...

NASA Makes Asteroid Defense a Priority, Moving its NEO Surveyor Mission Into the Development Phase

There’s an old adage in the engineering field – what gets funded gets built. So it’s sure to be a happy time over at the Planetary Society, as NEO Surveyor, the project the organization has primarily supported over the ...

Lightweight Picogram-Scale Probes Could be the Best way to Explore Other Star Systems

Inspiration for space exploration can come from all corners. One of the most inspiring, or terrifying, sources of inspiration for some in space exploration came from computer science expert John von Neumann, who laid out a framework for self-replicating ...

World’s biggest cultivated meat factory is being built in the U.S.

Israeli startup Believer Meats has begun construction on the world’s biggest cultivated meat factory — and once it’s up and running, the US-based facility will be able to produce at least 22 million pounds of meat annually. The challenge: ...

Ndidi Akahara

Ndidi Akahara is a Writer/Researcher interested in Literature, History, and Economics. She has an MSc in African studies from the University of Oxford and a BA in economics from Baylor University. She was previously Research Director at the Toyin ...

What will your Christmas dinner look like in 2050?

In the Charles Dickens novel A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge’s final transformation from miser to philanthropist is marked by the big juicy turkey that he orders for the struggling Cratchit family – and which has inspired Christmas menus across ...

Lessons from 5 great books that will change your life

Great books offer readers a unique experience to develop themselves by experiencing the world through other people’s stories. They prompt deep reflection and serve as cautionary tales, which can be powerful if the lessons we learn from them are ...

The Universe is Brighter Than we Thought

Over seven years ago, the New Horizons mission made history when it became the first spacecraft to conduct a flyby of Pluto. In the leadup to this encounter, the spacecraft provided updated data and images of many objects in ...

New “future-proof” drug can fight COVID and the common cold

University of British Columbia researchers have identified a coronavirus antiviral candidate, which in lab experiments halted infection by multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2 and a totally different coronavirus — one of the culprits behind the common cold. Their compound is ...

Dogs can smell people’s stress – new study

Dogs have a long history alongside humans, giving them an amazing ability to read human cues. Dogs also possess an incredible sense of smell, which enables them to detect diseases, such as COVID and lung cancer, in humans from ...

Is the Milky Way… Normal?

Studying the large-scale structure of our galaxy isn’t easy. We don’t have a clear view of the Milky Way’s shape and features like we do of other galaxies, largely because we live within it. But we do have some ...

Anti-Helium Generated in the Large Hadron Collider can Help in the Search for Dark Matter

For decades, astrophysicists have theorized that the majority of matter in our Universe is made up of a mysterious invisible mass known as “Dark Matter” (DM). While scientists have not yet found any direct evidence of this invisible mass ...

New battery is cheaper than lithium-ion with four times the capacity

A new type of low-cost battery could help solve the renewable energy storage problem, giving us a better way to bank solar and wind energy for when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. The challenge: A ...

No, Christmas is not a stolen pagan festival. There are 3 problems with that argument

This Christmas, I can rely on three things. First, the turkey will be overcooked and dry. Second, my brother will utterly ignore my Christmas list and buy me some ridiculous miscellany of weirdness. And, third, my dad will go ...

Webb’s New Image Reveals a Galaxy Awash in Star Formation

When a spiral galaxy presents itself just right, observations reveal more detail. That’s the case with NGC 7469, a spiral galaxy about 220 million light-years away. It’s face-on towards us, and the James Webb Space Telescope captured its revealing ...

Should you bring a kid into this world? - Big Think

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Ask Ethan: Could SETI detect an Earth-like civilization?

Someday, if nature is kind to us, we’ll make the grandest discovery of all: that we aren’t alone in the Universe. While various observatories and space missions might someday soon find life on other worlds, our ultimate ambition is ...

SpaceX wins Sentinel 6B radar satellite launch contract

SpaceX has won a contract to launch the joint US-European Sentinel 6B radar satellite as early as November 2025. Five years ago, NASA also chose SpaceX to launch Sentinel 6A, the first of two identical satellites designed to use ...

Scientists Investigate Potential Regolith Origin on Uranus’ Moon, Miranda

In a recent study published in The Planetary Science Journal, a pair of researchers led by The Carl Sagan Center at the SETI Institute in California investigated the potential origin for the thick regolith deposits on Uranus’ moon, Miranda. ...

What made Ada Lovelace so brilliant

Ada Lovelace, known as the first computer programmer, was born on Dec. 10, 1815, more than a century before digital electronic computers were developed. Lovelace has been hailed as a model for girls in science, technology, engineering and math ...

A Star Came too Close to a Black Hole. It Didn’t End Well

Black holes are confounding objects that stretch physics to its limits. The most massive ones lurk in the centers of large galaxies like ours. They dominate the galactic center, and when a star gets too close, the black hole’s ...

Perseverance Places its First Sample on the Surface of Mars. One Day This Will be in the Hands of Scientists on Earth

In the not-too-distant future, a planetary scientist will open up a tube of rocks that came from Mars. Thanks to the Perseverance rover, there are at least 17 of these rock and regolith samples, just waiting for analysis on ...

Humans can be both geniuses and astonishing jerks. I think I know why

As 2022 comes to a close, now is a good time to look back and ask how we, as a species, are doing. After all, this is the season of peace and goodwill to everyone. A quick review shows ...

How Amazon made $200 billion a year in pure profit

In 1994, a successful but relatively unknown businessman named Jeff Bezos resigned from his position as senior vice-president of the Wall Street-based hedge fund D.E. Shaw & Co. when he learned that World Wide Web usage was growing at ...

Sleep duration clearly divides adult lifespan into 3 phases

A massive new study shows that adult lifespan can be divided into three distinct phases based on sleep duration. The research, published in the journal Nature Communications, also shows a relationship between sleep duration and cognitive performance in later ...

Weather forecasts have radically improved. Have you noticed?

People routinely make snide jokes about the inaccuracy of weather forecasts. It’s a status quo that irks MIT Professor Emeritus Kerry A. Emanuel and Penn State Professors Richard Alley and Fuqing Zhang, because, as the trio of experts in ...

The real reasons we turn on “airplane mode” when we fly

We all know the routine by heart: “Please ensure your seats are in the upright position, tray tables stowed, window shades are up, laptops are stored in the overhead bins and electronic devices are set to flight mode”. Now, ...

The 4 fundamental meanings of “nothing” in science

The Universe, as we see it today, sure is full of “stuff.” Everything we see, feel, and interact with is made of subatomic particles at the most fundamental level, and they’ve assembled into large structures — humans, planets, stars, ...

SpaceX might launch first Starlink Gen2 satellites next week

SpaceX has told the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that it plans to begin launching its first next-generation Starlink Gen2 satellites before the end of 2022. The FCC only just granted SpaceX partial approval of its Starlink Gen2 constellation, which ...

NASA Just Tested a new Engine That Will Launch Artemis V and Beyond

On November 16th, NASA launched the first mission of the Artemis Program (Artemis I), which splashed down three and a half weeks later. This uncrewed mission saw the Space Launch System (SLS) send an Orion spacecraft far beyond the ...

This Will Probably Be InSight’s Last Picture Before it Runs Out of Power Forever

The InSight lander might have transmitted its last picture from the surface of Mars. It looks like the lander is succumbing to Mars’ dusty conditions, as its ability to generate energy from its solar panels has been declining in ...

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