Science

Mars
Environment News Science

No Signs Of Life On Mars… Yet

Scientists have not found any signs of life on Mars yet, but they say a robotic vehicle called “Curiosity” is helping them learn a lot about the planet’s history and climate.

Curiosity landed on Mars in August 2012 after travelling through space for more than eight months.

It was sent to Mars by scientists from NASA in the United States.

Curiosity is a motorized vehicle called a “rover” which is controlled by scientists back on Earth.

It is about the size of a car and has six wheels that allow it to travel across the planet’s surface and climb over sand and rocks.

It also has a robotic arm, cameras, and instruments such as a scoop, drill and microscope that allow it to examine things it finds on the surface.

Then it transmits the information back to Earth.

The main purpose of Curiosity’s mission is to find out if anything could live on Mars, either now or in the past.

On Nov. 2, NASA scientists held a press conference to discuss what Curiosity had found in its first two months on Mars.

New York marathon on Verrazano bridge
Environment News

NYC Marathon Cancelled In Aftermath Of Superstorm Sandy

Two days before this year’s New York City Marathon was to take place, it was cancelled.

The marathon is one of the largest in the world, with more than 47,500 runners, most of whom travel from out of town to the city for the 42.2-kilometre run.

The run was to have been held on Sunday.

New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg cancelled the event because New York was still trying to clean up after having been hit by a devastating storm.

Superstorm Sandy hit the Caribbean and the eastern coast of Canada and the United States last week.

It came onto land in New Jersey on the east coast of the U.S., on Monday, Oct. 29.

Family Portrait
Environment News

The “Average Canadian Family” Has Changed

Do you think you live in an average family?

According to the latest Census of Population, published by Statistics Canada, “average” has changed.

Every five years, Canadians are asked questions about their families and their life.

For instance, “How many people live here?” and “What are their ages?”

Some new information from the 2011 was recently published.

That census counted 9.4 million families in Canada, up 5.5 per cent from 2006.

The other thing a census tells us is what Canadian families look like.

For instance, in 1961 (according to that census) the average family comprised 3.9 people.

In 2011 (according to the most recent census) the average family comprises 2.9 people.

Neil Armstrong
Environment News Science

Neil Armstrong, First Man On The Moon, Will Long Be Remembered

Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, has died. He was 82 years old.

Armstrong was an American astronaut and the commander of the Apollo 11 spacecraft on its mission to put men on the moon.

Apollo 11 was launched on July 16, 1969, and began orbiting the moon three days later. On July 20, Armstrong and his co-pilot, astronaut Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin, took off from Apollo 11 in a small landing craft called Eagle. A third astronaut, Michael Collins, remained in the main ship, orbiting the moon until they returned.

Hundreds of millions of people around the world watched on TV as the Eagle landed on the moon. When Armstrong stepped out of the ship and onto the moon’s surface, he said, “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.”*

Armstrong and Aldrin explored the moon for more than two hours and collected about 50 pounds of moon rocks. They left behind a plaque which said: “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon. July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.”

The Eagle remained on the moon for about 21 hours and then rejoined Apollo 11 for the return trip to Earth. Once the astronauts were back on Earth, they spent 16 days in quarantine to make sure they had not brought back any germs from space.

A North Atlantic Right Whale and its calf
Animals Environment News

Endangered Right Whale Population is Growing

North Atlantic Right Whales are one of the most endangered whale species in the world.

But now their numbers are growing again, thanks to a plan to keep large ships away from the whales’ nursery and feeding grounds.

For many years the whales were hunted for their oil. Hunting was banned in 1937, but by the 1990s there were only a few hundred North Atlantic Right Whales left.

The whales live in the Atlantic Ocean, off the eastern coast of Canada and the United States. They spend the winters in warm southern waters, where most calves are born, then migrate north in the spring.

Many Right Whales spend each summer and fall in the Bay of Fundy, a large inlet of the Atlantic Ocean between the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The water there has large amounts of plankton – tiny organisms that are an important part of the whales’ diet.

Cameras have gotten smaller and smaller over the years, but the ubi-camera might be one of the smallest yet. Image: Bruno Corrêa
Science Technology

Take Pictures Without A Camera

Put your pointer fingers and thumbs together so they form a rectangle.

Now go “click!”

You just took a picture.

Can you imagine it? That’s what it will be like to take a picture with the Ubi-Camera, now being developed by a group of researchers at the Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences, a university in Japan.

The Ubi-Camera is a tiny rectangular box that fits over your thumb.

For the viewfinder (the thing you would normally look through on a camera to see what you want to take a picture of) you simply form a rectangle with your fingers and thumbs.

To take a picture, you press down on the box. Click! You’ve taken a photo—without a “camera.”

Corn
Environment News Science

Scientists Discovers Corn Plants Make A Noise

Most people know that plants react to light.

For instance, if a houseplant is near a window it will start to grow towards the light.

But what about sound?

New research shows that plants not only react to sound, but even produce sounds themselves.

Dr. Monica Gagliano is a researcher at The University of Western Australia. One day she was working in her herb garden and she started to wonder if plants were sensitive to sounds. Since she’s a scientist, she decided to find out.

She and some other researchers discovered something amazing. They found out that the roots of corn seedlings (very young corn plants) make clicking sounds.

Image: Environment Canada
Environment News Science

Ontario, Quebec Experiencing Heat Wave

It’s hot outside. But just how hot? It’s “heat-wave” hot.

That’s according to Environment Canada, the official source for weather information in Canada, particularly for severe weather watches and warnings.

A heat wave is when the temperature outside reaches 32-degrees Celsius or higher for three or more days in a row.

Southern Ontario and Quebec are experiencing temperatures in the mid-30s. With the high humidity the provinces are also experiencing, the temperature outside feels more like 42 degrees.

I'll Have Another and Lava Man at the 2012 Preakness Stakes
Animals News Sports

Canadian-Owned “I’ll Have Another” Retires

Canadian-owned I’ll Have Another was a favourite to win the Belmont Stakes horse race this year.

The race was held last Saturday.

If he’d won, he would also have won all three of the major horse races and become the U.S. Triple Crown winner, every horse-owner’s dream.

However, it wasn’t to be.

Just before the big race, his trainer announced that the horse had tendonitis in his left front leg and would not be able to race. The owner decided to retire the colt from racing.

The good news is that I’ll Have Another will recover from his injury and will be fine. It’s likely that the horse will become a stud, which means that he will father other colts which may go on to become excellent race horses themselves. In that way, I’ll Have Another’s legacy will live on.

Image: Bruno Sanchez-Andrade Nuño
Science Technology

World’s First Private Spacecraft Makes Successful Trip To International Space Station

Governments from just a handful of countries have flown into space.

But never has a private company successfully sent a spacecraft into space.

Not only is it extremely expensive, but it’s incredibly risky. There are a million things that can go wrong.

Last month an American company called Space Exploration Technologies – better known as SpaceX – made history by sending its unmanned Dragon spacecraft into space.