Science

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Meteorite Lands In Russia

Hundreds of people can walk by your front door every day.

The only time you may notice someone, however, is when they knock. Last week, the universe knocked on Earth’s door.

Thousands of asteroids and meteoroids streak pass planet Earth every year. Some of them enter Earth’s atmosphere where most of them simply burn up—those are called meteors. Any that land on Earth are called meteorites.

When a meteorite landed in the city of Chelyabinsk, Russia last Friday, the world took notice. That’s because it was a particularly large meteorite; one chunk was about the size of a van.

Environment News Science

City Services Gearing Up To Battle Climate Change

Cities need to watch the weather closely in the future to make sure that city services are always in good working order, according to a new report being studied by the City of Toronto.

That’s because the changing climate–including severe weather and warmer temperatures–may affect cities’ infrastructure. In this case, “infrastructure” refers to services that support the city, such as roads, public transit and energy plants.

The report, requested by the Toronto Environment Office, summed up the past 10 years of serious weather events in and around Toronto.

In the last decade, several records were broken due to the weather. For instance, there was one day in which there was an unusually high demand for power during a very hot summer. This kind of high demand can put a strain on the city’s ability to provide power.

An all-time record 409 mm (millimetres) of rainfall was set at Trent University during this time. Four hundred and nine millimetres is equivalent to 14 billion litres of water in five hours.

Also, in the past 10 years, Toronto had its earliest ever official heat wave.

These kinds of weather events will likely continue and could affect the infrastructure of Toronto and other cities.

News Science

Astronaut Chris Hadfield Debuts Song From Space

Before he left for the International Space Station, Hadfield wrote a song with singer Ed Robertson.

It’s called I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing?). ISS can also stand for “International Space Station,” which is fitting since the song is about what it’s like to leave the Earth and go into space.

Hadfield has done some incredible things during his time on the ISS. He has made his experience in space accessible to the people on Earth.

He has tweeted messages, conducted live media conferences, sent photos and kept people up-to-date on what the astronauts on the Space Station are doing.

What Hadfield is doing is unique. No astronaut has ever brought space so close to Earth before.

Image: Calbear22
Animals Science

Underwater Dolphin Rescue Caught On Video

Keller Laros is a professional scuba instructor who lives in Hawaii.

The shores of Kailua-Kona, on The Big Island of Hawaii, host some of the world’s most diverse and interesting aquatic life.

Laros estimates he has made more than 10,000 dives in his career.

On Jan. 11, he led a group of videographers and divers on a “Manta Ray Night Dive.”

However, the tour would be unlike any other trip he had ever been on before.

Environment News Science Technology

Hadfield Brings Space Life Down To Earth

When Chris Hadfield was nine years old, he watched Apollo 11 land on the moon and decided he wanted to become an astronaut.

That was in 1969, and about half a billion people around the world watched the same grainy images of the moon landing on TV.

It seems incredible, but with today’s technology and social media websites, people can see and hear what the astronauts are doing on the International Space Station every day.

We can watch videos of them, check out the view of Earth from the space station, and even have casual “conversations” with the astronauts.

Environment News Science

Scientists Criticize Iron-Dumping Experiment

Scientists around the world have criticized a group of Canadians for dumping more than 100 tonnes of iron dust into the Pacific Ocean last summer.

The group, called the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation, is supported by the village of Old Massett, British Columbia.

About 700 people live in the village, which is located on the Haida Gwaii islands.

They used to make their living by fishing for salmon, but now there are not enough salmon and 70 per cent of the villagers don’t have jobs.

Last July, the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation paid $2.5 million to an American businessman named Russ George to dump a mixture of iron sulphate and iron oxide dust into the ocean about 370 kilometres west of the islands.

They hoped the iron would cause more plankton to grow in that part of the Pacific.

They believed that more plankton would help increase the number of salmon in the area.

News Science

Canadian Astronaut To Take Charge Of Space Station

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield will soon become the first Canadian to command the International Space Station.

Hadfield and two other astronauts – Tom Mashburn from the United States and Roman Romanenko from Russia – docked at the ISS on Dec. 21, 2012.

Their Soyuz spacecraft was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Dec. 19.

It took them two days to reach the space station.

The space station is a satellite which orbits the Earth. The size of the crew varies from three to six astronauts at a time.

The crews stay on the space station for up to six months and then are replaced by other astronauts.

Hadfield and his crew will stay for five months.

This mission is Hadfield’s third trip into space and his second visit to the space station.

When he takes over command of the ISS in March, he will become the first Canadian ever to command a spacecraft.

Hadfield can already claim several “firsts” in space.

In 1995, Hadfield was the first Canadian to serve as “mission specialist” on a space shuttle.

He was also the first Canadian to operate the Canadarm while in orbit, and the first Canadian to board the Russian space station, Mir.

Lonesome George
Animals News

Lonesome George May Not Have Been The Last Of His Kind

When the giant tortoise known as Lonesome George died last summer, people thought he was the last of his kind.

Lonesome George lived on Pinta Island, one of a group of islands called the Galapagos, in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of South America.

He belonged to a species called Chelonoidis abingdoni, which was native to that island and not found anywhere else in the world.

When he died, scientists believed the species became extinct.

Now a group of researchers has found giant tortoises, who may be related to Lonesome George, living on another Galapagos island.

These scientists studied the DNA of a group of giant tortoises living on Isabella Island, about 60 kilometres away from Lonesome George’s home.

They found 17 tortoises that had some DNA from the same Pinta Island species as Lonesome George.

These tortoises also had DNA from a different species, which means they had ancestors from both species.

Image: UCSD Jacobs
Arts Science

Scientists Find Hidden Mural By Leonardo Da Vinci

Researchers were investigating a mural painted by Italian artist Vasari in Florence, Italy last year.

They had a hunch that on a wall behind Vasari’s mural, another mural might be lurking — one painted by the famous Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci.

The researchers were right.

They put a probe with a camera on it through the first mural.

Underneath, they found the Leonardo painting, The Battle of Anghiari.

The research team was led by scientist Maurizio Seracini and included specialists from the National Geographic Society, several universities and the City of Florence.

Superb Fairy Wrens; Image: Benjamint444
Animals News Science

Baby Superb Fairy-Wren Sings For Its Supper

If a baby Fairy-Wren wants food, he has to give the password first.

He’ll know it off by heart—because he learned it before he was hatched, while he was still inside his egg.

The Superb Fairy-Wren (its scientific name is Malurus cyaneus) is an Australia bird.

It teaches its babies a single note, even before the baby is hatched.

The mother wren sings the note over and over to her unhatched eggs.

The mother teaches the note to the father wren so he can sing it to the eggs, too.