A potentially habitable planet about the size of Earth is orbiting the star that is nearest our solar system, according to scientists who describe the find Wednesday in the journal Nature.
Alt: Proxima Centauri Just Became Our Gateway to the Cosmos
Alt: Discovery of potentially Earth-like planet Proxima b raises hopes for life
Breakthrough Starshot is one of the more exciting scientific ideas that has popped up in the past decade, with its promise to deliver hardware to the nearest star in time for many people currently alive to see it. While the idea would work on paper as an extrapolation of existing technology, there are a lot of details that need to be thoroughly checked out, because it’s possible that one of them could present a show-stopper.
When you’re travelling at one-fifth the speed of light, even a small collision can hurt. Now we know exactly how much. A team working on a project to send tiny spacecraft to the stars have calculated the damage that hitting just a speck of dust could do.
Breakthrough Starshot is an ambitious plan to launch probes weighing little more than a few grams at interstellar speeds using lasers.
We have all likely used music to help us relax, to distract us, or even to help pump us up at the gym. But how far does our mind’s connection to music go? Can it make us smarter or even heal faster after surgery?
Music can have important effects on the cooperative spirits of those exposed to music, researchers report. A new article describes two studies they conducted to test the effect of different types of music on the cooperative behavior of individuals working as a team.
Compared to other apes and indeed all other mammals, humans are practically bald, and this may have allowed our species to thrive
Unlike hairy chimpanzees and bonobos – and all other primates – most of our skin is on display. We have evolved this way, even though fur is beneficial
Believe it or not, there are upsides to getting older.
Yes, your physical health is likely to decline as you age. And unfortunately, your cognitive abilities like learning new skills and remembering things is likely to suffer too.
It’s not very often we get to talk about a revolution in understanding and treating depression and yet now doctors are talking about “one of the strongest discoveries in psychiatry for the last 20 years”.
It is based around the idea that some people are being betrayed by their fiercest protector. That their immune system is altering their brain.
Drug addicts and non-addicts may have more in common than ever thought, according to a researcher at Texas A&M University who found that to some degree, everyone’s brain is “wired” to become addicted.
A small study of the illegal drug has found eye- and mind-opening results
Lysergic acid dyethylamide, which you probably know as LSD, has been put to various uses since its discovery in the 1930s: scientists have tried to treat mental illness; the CIA attempted to control minds; and recreational users, well, trip out. But the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 officially prohibited LSD, and scientific inquiries into its capabilities all but disappeared. Until recently.
Literary fiction by the likes of Salman Rushdie, Harper Lee and Toni Morrison helps improve readers’ understanding of other people’s emotions, according to new research – but genre writing, from authors including Danielle Steel and Clive Cussler, does not.
A ceramic fragment dating back to 5,000 BC with what might be “the world’s oldest writing” has been discovered in a previously unknown Chalcolithic (Aeneolithic, Copper Age) settlement found underneath the Ancient Roman road station Ad Putea near the town of Riben, Dolma Mitropoliya Municipality, Pleven District, in Northern Bulgaria.
It was a powerful and sophisticated ancient Italian civilisation that had threatened to squash the fledgling Roman state just as it was starting to emerge.
But little now remains of the Etruscan civilisation that had flourished across much of Italy between 800BC and 500BC before it was defeated and absorbed by Rome.
To the modern stargazer, the planet Venus is just another point of light in the night sky. But for the ancient Maya, the brilliant light of Venus was an omen of war that guided ritual activity, prompted great battles, and was even used as shorthand for “total destruction.”
Archaeologists have long assumed that Maya tools like obsidian blades, bone needles and even stingray tails found in ritual contexts were used for bloodletting rituals. The problem is, it’s hard to be sure. Researchers find obsidian blades all over the place, and many of them appear to have been used simply as kitchen knives.
A small building in Mexico tells the violent history of treachery and conquest at the great Aztec city of Cholulu – but for hundreds of years, a secret lay beneath its floors.
Hiding under the grass, trees and soil sits the Great Pyramid of Cholula, deemed the largest monument ever built on Earth, with a base four times the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Something really drastic must have happened to end the Classic Maya Period in the 9th Century. Within a short period of time, this advanced civilisation in Central America went from flourishing to collapsing – the population dwindling rapidly and monumental stone structures, like the ones built at Yucatán, were no longer being constructed.