In October 2017, astrobiologist Karen J. Meech got the call every astronomer waits for: NASA had spotted the very first visitor from another star system. The interstellar comet -- a half-mile-long object eventually named `Oumuamua, from the Hawaiian for "scout" or "messenger" -- raised intriguing questions: Was it a chunk of rocky debris from a new star system, shredded material from a supernova explosion, evidence of alien technology or something else altogether? In this riveting talk, Meech tells the story of how her team raced against the clock to find answers about this unexpected gift from afar. This talk was presented at an official TED conference Astronomy 

Oumuamua: Asteroid from Another Star System

In October 2017, astrobiologist Karen J. Meech got the call every astronomer waits for: NASA had spotted the very first visitor from another star system. The interstellar comet — a half-mile-long object eventually named `Oumuamua, from the Hawaiian for “scout” or “messenger” — raised intriguing questions: Was it a chunk of rocky debris from a new star system, shredded material from a supernova explosion, evidence of alien technology or something else altogether? In this riveting talk, Meech tells the story of how her team raced against the clock to find…

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Science with Sophie: Tears and Snot: Why do we make tears? Biology Chemistry Education Videos 

Science with Sophie: Tears and Snot

To do the science experiment with Sophie, you’ll need: Borax (find it in the laundry aisle of a grocery store) Water Equal parts clear school glue and water (for example, 1 cup glue and 1 cup water) Food coloring 2 bowls 1 Spoon Your hands   About Science With Sophie Science With Sophie is an interactive science comedy series for all ages. This fast-paced show invites viewers to explore science all around them and remember that they are brave, curious, funny, smart scientists every day. Hosted by science educator/actor/comedian Sophie…

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This artist’s impression shows the first interstellar object discovered in the Solar System, `Oumuamua. Observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and others show that the object is moving faster than predicted while leaving the Solar System. Researchers assume that venting material from its surface due to solar heating is responsible for this behaviour. This outgassing can be seen in this artist’s impression as a subtle cloud being ejected from the side of the object facing the Sun. As outgassing is a behaviour typical for comets, the team thinks that `Oumuamua’s previous classification as an interstellar asteroid has to be corrected. Astronomy 

This Interstellar Asteroid Is Accelerating

By Steven Spence @TheStevenSpence First asteroid of its kind In October 2017, Oumuamua—or 1I/2017 U1—became the first interstellar asteroid detected by humans. It also changed how comets and asteroids are named. Comets’ technical names begin with the letter C, while asteroids have the letter A. Following Oumuamua’s discovery, the International Astronomical Union introduced the letter I to designate interstellar objects. What do we know about Oumuamua? Oumuamua, which means “a messenger from afar arriving first” in Hawaiian, was discovered on October 19, 2017, by the University of Hawaii’s Pan-STARRS1 telescope.…

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Citizen Science Technology 

Citizen Science Games Mix Design with Discovery

By Shayna Keyles @shaynakeyles Citizen science is a collaborative scientific process in which scientists and members of the greater public both participate. This happens in many ways: scientists design an experiment for the greater public to complete, for example, or scientists and the public work side by side to accomplish a goal. (For a detailed introduction to citizen science, read our white paper, “Citizen Science: A Tool for Conservation.”) At GotScience Magazine, we’ve looked at a wide range of citizen science projects, from using crowdsourcing to track auroras to using…

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Education Physics Videos 

Science with Sophie: Potholes!

About Science With Sophie Science With Sophie is an interactive science comedy series for all ages. This fast-paced show invites viewers to explore science all around them and remember that they are brave, curious, funny, smart scientists every day. Hosted by science educator/actor/comedian Sophie Shrand, the cast of wacky characters – all played by Sophie – educate and entertain while showcasing how diverse careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) can be. The series is Sophie’s upbeat solution to the serious problem of inequity in STEM fields and underrepresentation…

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What the Tech Industry Can Teach Academia Opinion Technology 

What the Tech Industry Can Teach Academia

OPINION By Sami Benchekroun Without taking risks and challenging the status quo, the majority of the world’s biggest scientific breakthroughs would not have been possible. That’s why it’s all the more surprising that academia itself is often reluctant to embrace new ways of working and sharing results. Scientists work on their research in secrecy for months or years and then wait an average of 100 days from the moment they submit their paper until it is published in a journal. Early-stage findings are hidden, failures are rarely shared, and the…

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Fortune Favors Bold Lizards Animals Environment 

Fortune Favors Bold Lizards

By Kate Stone It has been said that the brave don’t live as long, but the timid don’t live at all, so this one is for the brave. Bold lizards, regardless of size or sex, have the most success finding mates. Ecologists have found a valuable life lesson to be learned from lizards: a bold personality—not body size or sex—correlates with the mating success of yellow-spotted monitor lizards roaming the remote Oombulgurri floodplains of tropical Western Australia. But boldness has a cost: bold individuals expose themselves to a much higher…

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Depression May Speed up Brain Aging Health 

Depression May Speed up Brain Ageing

By Kate Stone Psychologists at the University of Sussex have found a strong correlation between depression and the speed at which the brain ages. Although scientists have previously found that people with depression or anxiety have an increased risk of dementia later in life, this is the first study that provides comprehensive evidence for the effect of depression on the decline in overall cognitive function (also referred to as cognitive state). The researchers behind this new study are hoping that their work will lead to greater public awareness of the…

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Another Early Toothed Bird Raises Its Head Animals Paleontology 

Another Early Toothed Bird Raises Its Head

By Kate Stone @GotScienceOrg Sometimes what you seek is right under your nose. Using fossils found in the 1870s, paleontologists have pieced together the skull of a toothed bird that represents a pivotal moment in the transition from dinosaurs to modern birds. “Right under our noses this whole time was an amazing, transitional bird.” Ichthyornis dispar is a key member of the evolutionary lineage that leads from dinosaurian species to today’s birds. It lived nearly 100 million years ago in North America and looked like a toothy seabird—like a gull…

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Technology Design to Step up Your Game Technology Videos 

Technology Design to Step up Your Game

Accessibility is critical to extend the advantages of technology to as a large number of people as possible. Microsoft estimates that there are over a billion people with disabilities around the world, many of whom like to game. Hence, three years ago, the XBox Accessibility team started working on a new type of controller. They collaborated with occupational therapy groups and nonprofits to build the controller that people with disabilities needed. How does it work? What are its features? Watch this video from the Endgadget series. With smooth, rounded edges and…

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