Science

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Science Technology

Faster Than The Speed Of Light

How fast does light travel? Scientists have known for a long time that light always travels at the same speed: 299,792,458 metres per second.

The speed of light is the fastest speed that all energy, matter and information in the universe can travel.

The speed of light is very important in science. Because it is always the same – it is a known constant – it defines many things, including the length of a metre.

Using the speed of light scientists calculate many things. The speed of light is part of Einstein’s famous theory of relativity, E=mc2.

That is why there was such a shock within the scientific community this week when it was announced that a group of scientists has been recording some particles going faster than the speed of light.

Albino hummingbird; Image: Judith Anne Smith
Animals Lighter

Rare Albino Hummingbird Seen In Colorado

A rare albino hummingbird may have been spotted in Colorado.

Albino hummingbirds have a genetic condition that prevents their body from producing a natural chemical called “melanin.” Melanin is a chemical that gives most birds their beautiful colours.

Because Albino hummingbirds aren’t coloured, their feathers are white. They have pink bill and whitish or pink legs and feet. They may either have red or pink eyes.

The pink or red colour is caused by the red of their blood vessels.

LEGO minifigs in space
Lighter Science

LEGO Figures In Space

In August, a rocket was sent to deliver a space probe, called Juno, to Jupiter to study the planet.

The probe carried three unique stowaways.

Three special LEGO figures, made of aluminum, are accompanying Juno on its five-year mission. The figures look like the Roman god Jupiter, his sister Juno and the Italian astronomer Galileo.

Jupiter carries a lightning bolt. Juno has a magnifying glass to help her search for truth. And Galileo carries a telescope and a model of the planet Jupiter.

People at NASA approached LEGO and asked them to design the special minifigs, which cost about $5,000 each. They had to build them very carefully so they didn’t interfere with any of the probe’s sensitive instruments.

Bornean Rainbow Toad; image: Indraneil Das/AP
Animals Environment Science

“Extinct” Rainbow Toad Found In Borneo

A colourful, spindly-legged toad was recently spotted by scientists in Borneo.

The last time anyone had seen it was 1924, when it was reported by European explorers.

The bright green, purple and red toad is known as the Sambas Stream Toad, or the Borneo Rainbow Toad.

Many people had assumed it was extinct.

In July, three of the toads were found on three separate trees in Borneo, Indonesia which is an island off the coast of Southeast Asia. Borneo is the third-largest island in the world.

A professor at the Sarawak Malaysia University led the expedition to look for the toads.

Queen of the Lakes schooner; image: shipwreckworld.com
Science

100-Year-Old Shipwreck Found In Lake Ontario

In 1906, a ship carrying 480 tons of coal sank in Lake Ontario.
The ship was a schooner, with three huge masts, and it was called Queen of the Lakes.

The ship ran into bad weather near Lake Ontario’s southern shore, and started to leak. It sank quickly.
The six crew members abandoned the ship and rowed safely to shore.

Some people, whose hobby is looking for sunken ships, located the in 2009 using a sonar machine.
The Queen of the Lakes was in water that was too deep for divers to reach her.

Elephant Toronto Zoo; Image by Scott Greenwood
Animals

Toronto Elephants Packing Their Trunks

Toka, Thika and Iringa are the last three elephants living at the Toronto Zoo. They will soon be moving to a new home, but they don’t know where yet.

They are waiting for the zoo to decide the best place for them.

For many years, the elephants have been one of the most popular attractions at the Toronto Zoo.

However, since 1984 seven elephants have died at the zoo and now the last three are getting old. The zoo has decided to send them somewhere else to live out their remaining years.

Titanic captain's private bathtub; Image AP, RMS Titanic Inc., Mail online
News Science

Judge Looks At New 3-D Images Of Titanic

Four kilometres below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean lies the most famous shipwreck in the world.

The Titanic sank on its maiden voyage on April 12, 1912, about 650 kilometres off the coast of Newfoundland.

More than 1,500 passengers and crew died after the supposedly “unsinkable” ocean liner hit an iceberg and sank.

In 2010, scientists used sophisticated equipment to take very detailed photographs of the Titanic and the wreck site.

The photos were “stitched together” to provide an incredible visual record of every centimeter of the outside of the ship. Many of the photos will eventually be shown to the public.

Moon-landing map; Image: NASA
News Science

Scientists Discover Water On The Moon

Scientists recently found out there is 100 times more water on the moon than they thought there was.

Scientists discovered the water when they looked at some pieces of moon rock.

They found water in tiny samples of magma, which was trapped in crystal. Magma is a rock made from cooled lava.

Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield told Teaching Kids the News that the water is a very valuable discovery.

“It’s like finding diamonds or gold in a remote frontier,” Hadfield said.

Vesta asteroid/planet/protoplanet
Science

The Vesta Asteroid… Er, Planet… Er, Object?

When you want to know more about something, you check it out, right? That’s exactly what scientists at NASA are doing.

They want to know more about an object in space they call Vesta. Is it an asteroid? A planet? What exactly is it?

Two months ago, they launched the Dawn spacecraft. Its job is to orbit and observe Vesta.

Vesta is officially listed by NASA as a “minor planet,” which means that it is an object orbiting around the sun.

But Vesta isn’t really a planet at all. It’s simply an object in space.

It has also been called an asteroid, a dwarf planet (a tiny planet), and a protoplanet, which is an object that started the same way as other planets, like Venus and Mercury, but never fully developed.

Marshall Zhang image Andrew Wallace Toronto Star
Health Science

High School Student Working On Cystic Fibrosis

Thousands of young students across Canada take part in science projects to learn about the world around them.

Marshall Zhang, 16, in grade 11 in Richmond Hill, Ont., earned first place in a national science competition this year. He discovered something amazing while doing research on a disease called cystic fibrosis.

Marshall used a supercomputer network called SCINET. He had never used the network before, but quickly learned how to use it because he was already good at using computers.

“Marshall applied his interest and skills in computer graphics, which he developed while in Grade 5 and 6, to solve problems presented by cystic fibrosis,” said Tony Legault, the Toronto co-ordinator for the Sanofi-Aventis BioTalent Challenge science competition.