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11 easy ways you can help save the planet this Earth Day

Little changes can make a big difference It's not too late. DepositPhotos Back in 2016, Gina McCarthy—the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency at the time—sat down with PopSci to talk about why Earth Day still matters. When the holiday first took place on April 22, 1970, pollution was a visible threat (in fact, you can…

Here’s an amazing new picture of the Lagoon Nebula to celebrate Hubble’s 28th birthday

Happy birthday to the best space telescope ever! Love, PopSci. A visible light image of the Lagoon Nebula (aka Messier 8 or M8) with the bright star Herschel 36 at the center. NASA, ESA, and STScI On a clear summer night in the northern hemisphere you can go out to your backyard with a pair of…

Something weird is happening to the Gulf Stream current

And that could mean trouble. We know that at the end of the last major ice age, rapid fluctuations in the circulation led to extreme climate shifts on a global scale. Natalie Renier/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Author provided The ocean currents that help warm the Atlantic coasts of Europe and North America have significantly slowed since the 1800s and are at their weakest in 1,600 years, according to new research my colleagues and I have...

One dinosaur footprint is worth a thousand words

Dinosaurs stomped all over this remote Scottish island and left the prints to prove it. A sauropod footprint found on Skye. Paige dePolo Amidst the wild sloping hills and picturesque lochs that dominate the landscape on Scotland’s Isle of Skye, the lichen-encrusted divots in rocky tide pools are easily overlooked.

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A Chinese space station is probably falling out of the sky this weekend. Here's everything you need to know.

Happy Easter! Don't freak out, but do look up. DepositPhotos Back in the fall of 2017, outlets started reporting that a defunct Chinese space station—Tiangong-1—was set to return to Earth in an uncontrolled crash at any time.

What are the smartest animals in the world and how do we know?

There are many members of the animal kingdom that rival our own wits. No other member of the animal kingdom can ace an algebra test or write an A+ essay. But that doesn’t mean other species aren’t highly intelligent.

With Operation Popeye, the U.S. government made weather an instrument of war

As geo-engineering projects soar, the declassified project is newly relevant. Troops wade through a river in Vietnam. Wikimedia Commons It was a seasonably chilly afternoon in 1974 when Senators Claiborne Pell, a Democrat from Rhode Island, and Clifford Case, a Republican from New Jersey, strode into the chambers of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations for a classified briefing.

Why we still haven’t figured out what Stonehenge was for

What do we actually know about ancient astronomy? How did Egyptians know how to build the pyramids? Ricardo Liberato/wikimedia, CC BY-ND Ever since humans could look up to see the sky, we have been amazed by its beauty and untold mysteries.

Here's where we're actually looking for intelligent life

Because it sure isn't here. ... no way to tell until they finally hail us. All we know is how far our strongest signals could travel. Here’s where we’re searching—and where we fall short. Don't blink To keep an eye out for distant lasers ...

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It’s not your imagination, we really are getting more blizzards

And we might be in for another one. ... the East with wet snow and power outages. It turns out that having three storms so close together isn’t that unusual—it happened just a few years ago—but we are having more storms these days. If you were ...

What does brain size have to do with intelligence?

Very little—even if it's very big. Size isn't everything. Radio Researchers used to think brain-to-body-size ratio revealed intelligence because it showed how a species devoted energy to its cranium. They were utterly wrong.

The people of Cape Town are running out of water—and they’re not alone

The whole world is drying up. Cape Town's water reservoirs are drying up. NASA Earth Observatory Day Zero: that’s the ominous label officials in Cape Town have bestowed on the day that water will run out.

Weird winter weather has scientists looking to the North Pole

Temperatures in the Arctic could help drive extreme weather in the United States. Can we blame it on the Arctic? PJ Hanse via Flickr Last October, experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted a fairly mild winter for the United States.

Why so many diamonds are making science headlines this week

They're windows into the heart of the Earth. ... of the planet. Petra Diamonds Diamonds have been in the news quite a lot this week, and not because of any celebrity engagement news. Instead, it’s what’s inside that counts. In separate studies, published ...

Now's your chance to send your name hurtling into the Sun's atmosphere

Meanwhile in space: dusty donuts, 50 launches, and pizza storms on Jupiter. An artist's illustration of the Parker Solar Probe near the Sun. Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Send your name to the Sun You’re probably not going to go to space any time soon.

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