Science news from the Guardian

The Guardian newspaper publishes an excellent science section, the feed of which is syndicated here.

Science | The Guardian

Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2020

Latest Science news, comment and analysis from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice

Last feed update: Monday June 1st, 2020 07:13:38 PM

Covid-19 expert Karl Friston: 'Germany may have more immunological “dark matter”'

Sunday May 31st, 2020 10:00:10 AM Laura Spinney
The neuroscientist who advises Independent Sage on Covid-19 discusses the predictive power of his mathematical modelling and the risk of a second waveCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageNeuroscientist Karl Friston, of University College London, builds mathematical models of human brain function. Lately, he’s been applying his modelling to Covid-19, and using what he learns to advise Independent Sage, the committee set up as an alternative to the UK government’s official pandemic advice body, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage). How do the models you use differ from the conventional ones epidemiologists rely on to advise governments in this pandemic?Conventional models essentially fit curves to historical data and then extrapolate those curves into the future. They look at the surface of the phenomenon – the observable part, or data. Our approach, which borrows from physics and in particular the work of Richard Feynman, goes under the bonnet. It attempts to capture the mathematical structure of the phenomenon – in this case, the pandemic – and to understand the causes of what is observed. Since we don’t know all the causes, we have to infer them. But that inference, and implicit uncertainty, is built into the models. That’s why we call them generative models, because they contain everything you need to know to generate the data. As more data comes in, you adjust your beliefs about the causes, until your model simulates the data as accurately and as simply as possible. Continue reading...

Coronavirus test and trace system ‘creating false sense of security’

Sunday May 31st, 2020 07:41:06 AM Michael Savage, James Tapper and Sonia Sodha
Ministers accused by city leaders and local councils of launching operation before it is ready to contain local outbreaks Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageMinisters have been accused of creating a “false sense of security” by launching a test and trace system that is not yet capable of controlling local outbreaks.A series of concerns have been raised over the gaps in the system launched last week, with local health chiefs warning that they have not been given the time, powers or data to prepare for outbreaks in their area. They said that they were given details of their roles just four working days before Matt Hancock, the health secretary, launched test and trace last week. Continue reading...

Starwatch: a subtle shadow on the face of the moon

Sunday May 31st, 2020 08:30:21 PM Stuart Clark
Less spectacular than a total eclipse but no less interesting, the penumbral lunar eclipse to be seen on Friday will be well worth watchingThis week’s astronomical event will be easy to see but hardly anyone will notice it. On 5 June, the full moon will clip the outer portion of Earth’s shadow, creating a penumbral lunar eclipse. This is much subtler than a total lunar eclipse, in which the moon appears to turn red as it passes through the darkest part of Earth’s shadow, situated right behind our planet. Penumbral lunar eclipses are difficult to discern by eye because only a portion of the sun’s light is blocked from reaching the moon. Continue reading...

Asymptomatic coronavirus: how common is it and can its spread be contained?

Friday May 29th, 2020 08:00:25 PM Melissa Davey
Though they display less viral shedding, asymptomatic people can still spread Covid-19Since the Covid-19 outbreak began, many have been concerned about asymptomatic spread – that is, people who have the virus but show no symptoms, so therefore don’t take measures to quarantine themselves.As the virus spreads throughout the world more research can be gathered, and scientists are learning more about asymptomatic spread and its prevalence. Findings published in the BMJ Journal Thorax on Thursday found asymptomatic cases of Covid-19 meant the prevalence of the virus was likely to be significantly underestimated on cruise ships. Australian researchers led by Prof Alvin Ing from Macquarie University in Sydney analysed tests from all 217 passengers and crew on board a ship that departed from Argentina for a 21-day cruise of the Antarctic Peninsula in mid-March, after the World Health Organisation declared a pandemic. They found more than 80% of the 128 people who tested positive for Covid-19 had no symptoms. Continue reading...

SpaceX successfully launches Nasa astronauts into orbit

Saturday May 30th, 2020 08:18:46 PM Richard Luscombe in Miami and Ian Sample science editor
Donald Trump and Mike Pence witness launch in FloridaFirst attempt was cancelled minutes from blast-offA rocketship named Dragon breathed new fire into America’s human spaceflight programme on Saturday, carrying two astronauts on a much-anticipated adventure. Related: Trump wants America looking at the stars as he drags it through the gutter Continue reading...

Science Weekly in the pandemic: 'Every day you wake up to a discovery'

Saturday May 30th, 2020 11:00:41 AM Madeleine Finlay and Nicola Davis, as told to Sophie Zeldin-O'Neill
The team behind our popular podcast reflect on how the threat of Covid-19 has galvanised the scientific communityNicola Davis is one of Science Weekly’s presenters, alongside Ian Sample and Hannah Devlin. Madeleine Finlay is one of its regular producers, alongside Max Sanderson and David Waters   Continue reading...

Covid-19: are pandemics becoming more common? – podcast

Tuesday May 19th, 2020 04:00:47 AM Presented by Ian Sampleproduced by David Waters and Madeleine Finlay
Ian Sample talks to Prof Kate Jones about whether the current coronavirus pandemic is part of a wider picture of increasing animal-to-human virus transmission. Are we are looking at a future where outbreaks of new infectious diseases become more common? Continue reading...

Hydroxychloroquine and coronavirus: a guide to the scientific studies so far

Friday April 24th, 2020 07:19:15 PM Julia Carrie Wong in San Francisco
The drug – now a partisan wedge issue – has fueled hype and hope, but evidence of its effectiveness remains limitedCoronavirus – live US updatesLive global updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageWith endorsements from a controversial French physician, Fox News and Donald Trump, hydroxychloroquine – an old anti-malarial drug that is today more commonly used to treat lupus – has received a disproportionate amount of attention as a potential treatment for Covid-19.It has also become another partisan political wedge issue in the US: conservative politicians and media figures have hyped studies that support the theory that the drug is a potential treatment. And on Wednesday, Rick Bright, the head of a US government agency charged with investing in treatments and responses for pandemics, said he was forced out of his job over his resistance to the administration’s “misguided directives” promoting “broad use” of the drug, which he said “clearly lack scientific merit”. Continue reading...

UK minister hails 'game-changing' coronavirus immunity test

Thursday May 14th, 2020 08:15:25 AM Rowena Mason and Sarah Boseley
Edward Argar says antibody test has been approved but none have been purchased yet Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageA health minister has hailed the UK’s approval of an immunity test for coronavirus as a game changer that could allow more people to go to work with confidence, although the government has not yet managed to buy any of the tests.Edward Argar said the test developed by Roche “appears to be extremely reliable and it’s got the green light from Public Health England testers”. Continue reading...

Italian doctors find link between Covid-19 and inflammatory disorder

Wednesday May 13th, 2020 10:30:53 PM Ian Sample Science editor
The disorder has required some children to undergo life-saving treatment in intensive care units Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageDoctors in Italy have reported the first clear evidence of a link between Covid-19 and a rare but serious inflammatory disorder that has required some children to undergo life-saving treatment in intensive care units.The mysterious condition emerged last month when NHS bosses issued an alert to doctors after hospitals admitted a number of children with a mix of toxic shock and symptoms seen in an inflammatory disorder known as Kawasaki disease. Continue reading...

Cutting edge: Japanese paper art inspires a non-slip shoe

Monday June 1st, 2020 04:42:14 PM Nicola Davis
Scientists use kirigami techniques to create a sole with pop-up, high-friction spikesThe Japanese art of paper cutting and folding, or kirigami, has led to mind-bending 3D structures from 2D sheets, including spectacular pop-up designs. But now researchers have been getting to grips with the technique for a very down-to-earth reason: creating non-slip shoes.Scientists have revealed they have developed a kirigami-inspired sole, where tiny spikes pop up from its surface as the shoe is bent during walking. The team found the spikes enhance grip, which could help prevent potentially fatal falls. Continue reading...

K number: what is the coronavirus metric that could be crucial as lockdown eases?

Monday June 1st, 2020 01:38:42 PM Nicola Davis
The K value sheds light on how the transmission rate varies and can help identify clusters Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageWhen deciding how and when lockdown restrictions will be lifted across the UK, the government has said the R value, denoting how many people on average one infected person will themselves infect, is crucial. But experts say another metric is becoming increasingly important: K. Continue reading...

Millions in UK miss cancer screenings, tests and treatments due to Covid-19

Monday June 1st, 2020 01:21:07 PM Denis Campbell Health policy editor
More than 24,000 cases of cancer have gone undiagnosed according to Cancer Research UKAlmost 2.5 million Britons have not been screened, tested or treated for cancer because the Covid-19 pandemic has led to “enormous disruption” of NHS care for the disease, experts have warned.More than 24,000 cases of cancer have gone undiagnosed as a result of the suspension of normal services while delays in treatment mean some people’s disease is now inoperable, Cancer Research UK (CRUK) says. Continue reading...

Could Covid-19 have reached the UK earlier than thought?

Monday June 1st, 2020 12:00:03 PM Frances Perraudin and Matthew Weaver
WHO is urging countries to investigate any suspicious deaths so virus can be better understoodCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageA day before the first confirmed fatality from coronavirus outside mainland China was reported on 2 February this year, the death of the influential guitarist and musician Andy Gill was announced. The 64-year-old, who fronted the post-punk band Gang of Four, died of pneumonia after two weeks in St Thomas’ hospital in London.The trajectory of Gill’s illness, which took medics looking after him in January by surprise, is now familiar – sudden deterioration, low oxygen levels and organ failure. He had fallen sick after his band returned from a trip to China in late November. A short time later, his 26-year-old tour manager was taken to hospital in Leeds with a severe respiratory infection. Continue reading...

Spanish PM seeks final extension to state of emergency – as it happened

Sunday May 31st, 2020 11:10:32 PM Clea Skopeliti (now), Caroline Davies, Ben Quinn and Helen Sullivan (earlier)
US sends Brazil 2m doses of hydroxychloroquine, despite safety fears; pressure builds on South African president. This blog is now closed please follow our continuing live coverage belowCoronavirus live coverage 12.37am BST We are closing this blog now but you can stay up to date on all of our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at our new global blog below. https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/jun/01/coronavirus-live-news-brazil-passes-500000-covid-19-cases-as-india-extends-lockdown-in-high-risk-zones 12.10am BST That’s all from me, Clea Skopeliti, for today. Many thanks to everyone who wrote in. I’m handing over to my colleague Alison Rourke in Sydney. Continue reading...

'Shielding' people voice fears over lockdown easing in England

Sunday May 31st, 2020 05:08:30 PM Helen Pidd
Many opt for caution amid concerns restrictions are being loosened too quicklyCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageFor the last 10 weeks, Graham Bell has been sleeping in a hotel near the Devon hospital where he works as an intensive care nurse, away from his wife and toddler triplets. His wife, Hannah Gallagher-Bell, another nurse, is shielding because of diabetes and other underlying health conditions. The triplets – William, Benjamin and Florence, who are two and a half – were born prematurely and are vulnerable to lung infections. This prompted the couple to take the agonising decision for Graham to stay out of the house in case he picked up Covid-19 on the ward and infected the rest of the family.Hannah, who has not been able to work during the crisis because of her health vulnerabilities, has not left their house in Barnstaple since Graham packed his bags and went to a hotel on 22 March, the day before Boris Johnson put the UK into lockdown. She will not be going anywhere soon, she said: “The thought of it absolutely petrifies me.” Continue reading...

Covid-19 tests exceed 200,000 a day target, government claims

Sunday May 31st, 2020 04:33:54 PM Hannah Devlin Science correspondent
Testing capacity hit 205,634 on Saturday but full figures for tests carried out not releasedCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe government claims to have exceeded its goal of a daily Covid-19 test capacity of 200,000 by the end of May.Boris Johnson set a target 200,000 tests a day earlier this month, but aides later said this referred to operational capacity rather than tests performed. On Saturday, 205,634 tests were available, meeting the target a day early, the government said. It did not release figures for the number of tests carried out. Continue reading...

SpaceX successfully launches manned rocket into orbit – video

Sunday May 31st, 2020 11:35:04 AM
A rocket ship named Dragon breathed new fire into the US’s human spaceflight programme on Saturday, carrying two astronauts on a much-anticipated mission. The launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon crew capsule from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center to the International Space Station was the first time since 2011 that humans had blasted off into orbit from US soil.It also heralded a new direction for crewed spaceflight, as entrepreneur Elon Musk’s company SpaceX became the first commercial operator to carry astronauts into space under a public-private partnership set up by Nasa in 2010SpaceX successfully launches Nasa astronauts into orbit Continue reading...

Covid-19: the role of vitamin D – podcast

Wednesday May 27th, 2020 04:00:20 AM Presented by Sarah Boseleyand produced by David Watersand Madeleine Finlay
Sarah Boseley talks to Prof Susan Lanham-New about vitamin D and whether it could play a role in protecting us against Covid-19 Continue reading...

Covid-19: How do you calculate herd immunity? | podcast

Friday May 22nd, 2020 06:22:12 PM Presented by Ian Sample and produced by Madeleine Finlay
Herd immunity represents the percentage of people in a population who need to be immune to a disease in order to protect those who aren’t. Early on in the pandemic, researchers estimated the herd immunity threshold for Covid-19 to be 60%. Following a question from a listener, Ian Sample speaks to Rachel Thomas to explore the maths and find out exactly how herd immunity is calculated Continue reading...

The emotional rollercoaster of adolescent dogs – podcast

Thursday May 21st, 2020 04:00:45 AM Presented by Nicola Davis and produced by Madeleine Finlay
It’s an experience many dog owners have been through – their adolescent pooches appear to be more moody and rebellious. Now researchers have shown that dogs really do mimic human teenagers’ behaviour, becoming less responsive to instructions from their carer. To find out more about the difficult teenage doggy-years, Nicola Davis talks to Dr Lucy Asher about the study Continue reading...

Covid-19: can we compare different countries? – podcast

Wednesday May 20th, 2020 04:00:16 AM Presented by Nicola Davis and produced by Madeleine Finlay and David Waters
Nicola Davis asks mathematician Kit Yates how useful global comparisons are when it comes to the coronavirus outbreak, given the huge differences in demographics and public health responses. And, as per a question from a listener, what the best metric is when doing such comparisons? Continue reading...

Sustaining power of faith and folk tales | Brief letters

Monday June 1st, 2020 05:23:04 PM Letters
Reopening places of worship | Anagram origins | Stars | Margaret Meek Spencer | Uses for tights I do not to go to church much (save for inter-faith events), but I totally support calls from the clergy for places of worship to open in a way compatible with social distancing and other safety measures. If supermarkets can operate to feed our bodies, and bookshops to nourish our minds, then religious buildings can surely do the same to sustain hearts and souls.Rabbi Dr Jonathan RomainMaidenhead Synagogue• I suppose John Deval (Letters, 31 May) may be living in a parallel universe where he stumbled upon that anagram by himself, but I suspect it is more likely he saw it on the Twitter-net, where most posters are attributing it to Telegraph crossword setter Tim King (AKA Encota). Direct where direct is due…Michael CrapperWhitchurch, Hampshire Continue reading...

Will Covid-19 mutate into a more dangerous virus?

Friday May 22nd, 2020 12:35:47 PM Ian Sample and Nicola Davis
What do we know about the way coronavirus is evolving? Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageAs the coronavirus spreads around the world, there are concerns that it will mutate into a form that is more transmissible, more dangerous or both, potentially making the global health crisis even worse. What do we know about the way the virus is evolving? Continue reading...

Science and politics: a complicated formula | Letters

Monday June 1st, 2020 05:26:00 PM Letters
Prof Ravi Mahajan and Alan Walker respond to Richard Horton’s article in which he questions how scientists can stand by this government. Plus Philip Barber wonders why we are being led by science, while simultaneously disregarding itRichard Horton is correct to highlight the vital need for medical leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic (How can any scientists stand by this government now?, 27 May)(. Unsurprisingly, medical leadership is not only about critiquing the government’s actions during this extraordinary situation. It’s also about questioning and working collaboratively to proactively deliver effective and timely solutions to challenges.The Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA), which represents the largest single hospital-based medical specialty, continuously engages and communicates with senior political and healthcare leaders on behalf of its anaesthetist members on issues such as personal protective equipment stocks, testing, the wellbeing of healthcare workers and drug supplies. As with other medical royal colleges, the RCoA has communicated the first-hand experiences of medical staff on the Covid-19 frontline so that decision-makers can learn from their insights. Continue reading...

The eyes have it: communication and face masks

Saturday May 30th, 2020 04:00:47 PM Kamin Mohammadi
As more of us wear face masks and rely on eye contact, how will it change the way we relate to each otherA conversation with a girlfriend when I was in Italy a few weeks ago got me thinking about the latest new norm of the post-coronavirus society: enhanced eye contact. She had told me how, standing in the endless queue for the supermarket, wearing her mask, she had caught the eye of a handsome man in another loop of the queue and found herself engaged in a wordless flirtation carried out just with the eyes from a distance. After this, she had taken to piling on extra eyeliner and mascara.“What I am saving in not buying lipstick I am spending on those full-volume mascaras,” she said, laughing. Continue reading...

When there’s an app that can save lives, there will be no need to download it out of a sense of duty

Sunday May 31st, 2020 07:00:06 AM Stephanie Hare
The NHS test and trace app fails on several counts; no wonder ministers are resorting to peer pressure to encourage uptake Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe NHS Covid-19 alert app will be available nationwide in June. It’s voluntary, so those of us with smartphones must decide: should we download the app?The health secretary, Matt Hancock, thinks we should, claiming that we would be “doing our duty and helping to save lives”. Continue reading...

The Observer view on the premature relaxation of the lockdown

Sunday May 31st, 2020 05:00:03 AM Observer editorial
Boris Johnson’s lack of transparency suggests he is more concerned with a political crisis than a health oneCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThroughout this pandemic, Boris Johnson has claimed to have been “following the science”. By parroting this epistemological nonsense, ministers are encouraging us to believe that they are only doing what the scientists tell them. It is but a short step from there to blaming the government’s scientific advisers for the UK’s terrible death toll. This lends added significance to the roll call of prominent scientists – including some senior members of the government’s scientific advisory committee for emergencies (Sage) – who have this weekend publicly made clear their concerns that the government is relaxing the lockdown in England too early.The decision about when and how to relax the lockdown is political. It can only ever be informed, not dictated, by the uncertain science, and must also weigh the risks and costs imposed by the lockdown itself. This is why it is critical that politicians are unfailingly transparent about the basis on which they are making their decisions – not just the scientific advice, but the other assumptions and value judgments that are informing their decisions. Continue reading...

The Guardian view on Downing Street briefings: time to change a broken system | Editorial

Friday May 29th, 2020 05:30:20 PM Editorial
When they first started in March the No 10 daily briefings helped people understand the pandemic. Now they are being used to browbeat the publicBoris Johnson’s government began daily Downing Street briefings about the Covid-19 pandemic in the second half of March. Back then, the briefings tried to do two things at once. They addressed an urgent public need for reliable information about the advance of the coronavirus. They also tried to shape the way the public should respond to the health, lifestyle and economic threats that it carried. The structure of the briefings evolved on the hoof. They were far from perfect in a number of ways. Nevertheless, in the absence of parliament, which went into recess until 21 April, the briefings performed a useful public information and advice function for an anxious nation in lockdown.Ten weeks on, that is quite simply no longer true. The gap between the public’s caution and the government’s desire to lift lockdown restrictions is stark. Mr Johnson has also been badly damaged by the Cummings affair. The daily updates have become increasingly tendentious and uninformative. Objectivity has fought a losing battle against the government’s increasingly beleaguered mishandling of the pandemic. It is therefore now time to end the briefings in their current form. Continue reading...

The problem with 'shielding' people from coronavirus? It's almost impossible | Devi Sridhar and Yasmin Rafiei

Friday May 29th, 2020 02:03:16 PM Devi Sridhar and Yasmin Rafiei
Testing and tracing is the answer to protecting our most vulnerable – not trying in vain to ‘cocoon’ them awayCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageIn the last UK government report on coronavirus policy, the word “shielding” is mentioned 36 times. The UK, Sweden and the Netherlands have all shown much interest in this strategy of cocooning vulnerable groups in their homes or shelters while attempting to reopen economies outside.To date, shielding has meant asking those who are clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus not to leave home, to avoid any face-to-face interaction, and to restrict human contact to the digital realm. What goes unsaid is that this strategy of shielding is distinctly western, and has not proven particularly effective at protecting these individuals.  Continue reading...

Test and trace is no laughing matter, so don't turn it into a farce | Zoe Williams

Friday May 29th, 2020 12:27:31 PM Zoe Williams
Matt Hancock may want to make a joke out it, but if the new measures are to be taken seriously, the health secretary has to act accordinglyHas there ever been a more unsettling sight than Matt Hancock, laughing? Nominally, it was because Kay Burley had asked him why test and trace was being rolled out so fast, when it didn’t appear to be ready. One minute we were calling him too slow, he wheezed. And the next we were calling him too fast! HAHAHAHA. Oh, my sides. Whatever it was coursing through his noisy face, it definitely wasn’t mirth. He looked as if he had been taught to laugh by the goats that had unaccountably raised him, and was trying it out for the first time. But that isn’t the question. “Will test and trace be ready?” isn’t even the question, since given any opportunity to outsource a complex and vital process to a monolithic and incompetent services company, the government will take it, and we have to make our peace with that.  Continue reading...

Did you solve it? The Zoom puzzle

Monday June 1st, 2020 04:00:47 PM Alex Bellos
The solution to today’s puzzlesEarlier today I set you three puzzles.1) Deduce the Zoom algorithm for placing four faces, using the three screengrabs below taken from three different people’s computers during the same meeting. For those who have never used Zoom before, the yellow outline tells you who is speaking, and doesn’t affect the positions. The fourth screengrab from the same meeting is above, but you can solve the problem without it. Continue reading...

Can you solve it? The Zoom puzzle

Monday June 1st, 2020 06:10:33 AM Alex Bellos
How the ubiquitous app places our facesUPDATE: Solutions now up here.Today’s first puzzle concerns Zoom. For those of you who have been hiding under a stone all lockdown, it is a video-conferencing app.1) Deduce the Zoom algorithm for placing four faces, using the three screengrabs below taken from three different people’s computers during the same meeting. For those who have never used Zoom before, the yellow outline tells you who is speaking, and doesn’t affect the positions. The fourth screengrab from the same meeting is above, but you can solve the problem without it. Continue reading...

Did you solve it? Sudoku as spectator sport is unlikely lockdown hit

Monday May 18th, 2020 04:00:32 PM Alex Bellos
The solutions to today’s puzzlesEarlier today I set you three sudokus: an anti-knight sudoku, a non-consecutive sudoku and the Miracle sudoku. To read more about these puzzles click here, and to go to a printable page click here. The solutions are below:Anti-knight: Continue reading...

Can you solve it? Sudoku as spectator sport is unlikely lockdown hit

Monday May 18th, 2020 06:10:20 AM Alex Bellos
Millions tune in to watch British puzzlers solve the Miracle and other spectacular gridsUPDATE: Solutions are now up here.It may not be as hair-raising as Formula 1, nor as dramatic as Premier League football, but Sudoku solving is acquiring a niche following as a spectator sport.It’s surprisingly thrilling, believe me. Just ask fans of the puzzle-solving YouTube channel Cracking the Cryptic, which has seen its viewing figures shoot up over the last two months. Its top Sudoku video has had more than 3 million views. Continue reading...

Cracking the Cryptic: sudoku solvers become unlikely YouTube sensation – video

Friday May 22nd, 2020 01:59:05 PM
A YouTube channel dedicated to solving tricky sudoku puzzles has become an unlikely viral hit. Cracking the Cryptic has become a lockdown fixture for millions who tune in to watch Simon Anthony and Mark Goodliffe work through seemingly impossible puzzles. The channel's latest hit is The Miracle Sudoku, a strangely compelling 25-minute video in which Anthony takes on what he believes to be an impossible gridPuzzled men become internet sensation with sudoku channel Continue reading...

Tasmanian tiger: newly released footage captures last-known vision of thylacine – video

Tuesday May 19th, 2020 06:34:59 AM
Newly released footage captures the last known moving images of the evasive thylacine (Tasmanian tiger). Shot in 1935, the footage has been released to the public after it was digitally restored by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. Unseen for 85 years, the 21 seconds come from a 1935 travelogue, Tasmania the Wonderland, believed to be shot by Sidney Cook. The vision captures 'Benjamin', the last-known surviving thylacine at Beaumaris Zoo in Hobart. Confirmation the video was shot in 1935 makes it the most recent moving images of the animal, after the previous last-confirmed footage was shot in December 1933. 'Benjamin' died in 1937, 18 months after this footage was captured Continue reading...

Eta Aquarids meteor shower May 2020: comet dust puts on a show – in pictures

Wednesday May 6th, 2020 03:40:04 AM
Australian photographer Christian Bowman from Queensland was among Australians waking up before the sun rose to capture images of the Eta Aquarids meteor showerAustralians told to look to the skies early Wednesday for best views Continue reading...

April pink full moon: readers' photos of the supermoon

Thursday April 9th, 2020 04:14:27 AM
A supermoon happens when the moon reaches the closest point to Earth in its 27-day orbit and it happens to be full, which usually occurs once a year. We asked you to share your shots of April’s lunar spectacular. Here’s a selection of our favourites Continue reading...

'Bigger and brighter' supermoon graces night sky – video

Wednesday April 8th, 2020 07:16:34 AM
The largest, brightest full moon in nearly seven decades started to show on Tuesday evening over Europe, Latin America, the US and the Middle East. This year, the supermoon was expected to come nearer to Earth than at any time since 1948, astronomers have said. A supermoon occurs when the timing of a full moon overlaps with the point in the moon's 28-day orbit that is closest to Earth, and about every 14th full moon is a supermoon. If skies are clear, this time the full moon will appear up to 14% bigger and 30% brighter than usual, according to Nasa Continue reading...

No TV, no sat nav, no internet: how to fix space's junk problem – video

Wednesday April 1st, 2020 09:12:15 AM Ian Anderson, Joseph Pierce, Ryan Baxter and Paul Boyd
As Elon Musk's Starlink and Jeff Bezos's Project Kuiper race to create high-speed internet using satellites orbiting Earth, there's a small problem that could get in the way: debris. From dead spacecraft that have been around since the dawn of the space age to flecks of paint smashing windows on the International Space Station, rubbish is clogging up our orbits. And with objects moving as fast as 15,500mph (25,000 kmph), the satellite services we've come to depend on are at constant risk of collision. So how to fix the problem with junk in space? Ian Anderson investigates Continue reading...






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