Science

Saturn.  Photograph from Cassini, taken on October 2004. Image: NASA
News Science

Cassini Spacecraft Begins Last Stage Of 20-Year Mission

In October 1997, a spacecraft called the Cassini orbiter was launched on a mission to explore Saturn and its moons.
Now, after nearly 20 years in space, Cassini’s mission is coming to an end. Cassini is running out of fuel. Scientists expect it to burn up in Saturn’s atmosphere in September.
But before that happens, the spacecraft will make a series of dives between Saturn and its rings, sending photographs and other information back to Earth.

Image: Swissôtel Le Plaza Basel
Health News Science

Researchers Pay People To Stay In Bed

Getting paid to stay in bed all day sounds pretty good. But what if someone offered you $23,000 to stay in bed for two months? That’s the deal that a medical research team in Toulouse, France, is offering to 24 volunteers.
Researchers at MEDES, the Institute of Space Medicine and Physiology, are looking for volunteers to help them study the effects of weightlessness on the human body by spending 60 days lying down. Lying in bed isn’t exactly the same as being weightless, but the effects on the human body are similar.

Photo by Adrianna McQuaid
Animals Lighter News

Toronto Cafe Offers More Than Coffee

Coco, Latte and Leo are hanging out at a cafe in Toronto. But they’re not humans–they’re cats. Meow Cat Cafe is one of four locations in the Canadian city where cat lovers can indulge in two of their favourite things: drinking coffee and playing with cats.

“Petting the cats is very healing. It calms people,” said Erica Yun, the owner of the cafe.

While Yun and her daughter, Helen, serve up coffee, customers get their feline fix.

The decrease in sea ice in the Arctic is seen in this image, which compares 2012 sea ice levels with the yellow outline, which shows the average sea ice level from 1979 through 2010. Image: NASA
Environment News Science

Scientists Working To Save Arctic Ice Cap

A team of scientists has come up with a plan they say could help rebuild the Arctic ice cap. The ice cap is a huge area of sea ice that covers most of the Arctic Ocean all year round.
Usually, the sea ice gets thicker and spreads further each winter, but this hasn’t happened for the past few years.
Last month, the ice cap had shrunk to its smallest size since scientists began keeping records of it 38 years ago. The weather in the Arctic has been unusually warm this winter. Some days, temperatures have been 20 degrees Celsius higher than is normal for this time of year. This month, the temperature was above 0°C at least one day.

NASA capture seven planets. Image: NASA
News Science

NASA Discovery: 7 Earth-Sized Planets

Scientists from NASA announced on February 22 that they have discovered seven planets orbiting a nearby star. The planets are all about the same size as Earth, and three of them are in what scientists call the “habitable zone.”

(The habitable zone is the area of space around a star where a planet is most likely to have liquid water on its surface. Scientists believe water is necessary for anything to live on a planet.)

The Ultimaker 3D Printer, which is different than the one used on the ISS. Image: Maurizio Pesce
News Science Technology

Astronauts Will Turn Trash Into Tools

Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) may soon be able to turn their used forks and knives into tools and satellite parts.
Tethers Unlimited Inc., an aerospace technology company, has developed a system that combines a waste recycling machine with a 3D printer.
Astronauts will put waste items made of plastic into the recycling machine, called the Positrusion Recycler. When they press a button, the Recycler will sterilize and melt down the plastic and turn it into 3D filament.

Hurricane Matthew. Image: NASA
News Science

Hurricane Matthew Downgraded To Category 1

Hurricane Matthew has been downgraded to a Category 1 Hurricane, according to The Weather Channel’s website.

That means that weather experts believe that much of its destructive power is lessening.

That’s good news for more than a million people in Florida, Georgia and North and South Carolina, who were forced to flee the storm.