When astronomers spotted Comet ISON in 2012, some christened it the "Comet of the Century." It initially failed to live up to the hype. But this month, ISON blazed brighter and sprouted several tails. Astronomers like Andrew Fraknoi are following the comet as it scrapes past the sun, where it could be destroyed--or emerge, even more spectacular than before.
In the Leidenfrost Effect, a water droplet will float on a layer of its own vapor if heated to a certain temperature. This common cooking phenomenon takes center stage in a series of playful experiments by physicists at England's University of Bath, who discovered new and fun means to manipulate the movement of water.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Those of us of a certain age can remember exactly what we were doing on a Friday this hour 50 years ago when we heard the news. President Kennedy's assassination horrified and transfixed the nation. It was murder in plain sight, seemingly the easiest kind of crime to solve. But 50 years later the basic facts of the case are still debated.
A new kind of telescope buried deep beneath the ice of Antarctica has, for the first time, seen a signal from distant, violent events. In doing so, it is beginning to paint a picture of a part of our cosmos that has never been observed before.
Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 1:20 pm
By Barbara J. King
Most of us — scientists and animal lovers alike — agree by now that chimpanzees and elephants, birds and bunnies, dolphins and dogs may all feel love and joy and grief.
When stories of animal emotion go viral, as recently happened with two inseparable dog brothers, one of whom acts as a seeing-eye dog for the other, we share them not because we're knocked out with surprise by what animals feel but because we're touched and uplifted.
Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 3:02 pm
Back in 2002, french fry lovers around the world received a nasty bit of news: Those crunchy, fried strips of potato contained a known carcinogen. Now, all these years later, a new warning from the Food and Drug Administration has consumers once again puzzling over whether to fear the chemical acrylamide.