Weather

Black snow falls in Siberia – and it’s toxic and dangerous to the people who live there.

In early 2019, black snow fell from the sky in several towns in the Siberian region of Kuzbass. About million people live in the area. Most work in the area’s coal fields which are the world’s largest. Scientists say the snow is tainted with black coal dust that has been released from the area’s coal pits – and this isn’t the first time black snow fell from the sky. In fact, it’s a common occurrence in the area. One resident told reporters: “It’s harder to find white snow than black snow during the winter. There is a lot of coal dust in the air all the time. When snow falls, it just becomes visible. You can’t see it the rest of the year, but it…
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Weather

This company is trying to solve climate change by using giant machines to suck CO2 out of the air.

As we consume oil (by driving cars) and coal (by generating electricity) that we extracted from the ground, it releases large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which causes our planet to heat up. Kids around the world say the same thing – “Let’s just remove all the carbon dioxide from the air and put it back into the ground where it came from.” Meanwhile, scientists pooh-poohed the “silly idea” saying, “They’re just kids! What do they know!” Well today kids can triumphantly raise their fists in the air and shout “We told you so!” A company out of British Columbia has created a machine that can suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and put it back into the ground! The company is…
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Animal Kingdom

Why malaria-spreading mosquitoes are so hard to kill – and how scientists found a way to kill them without impacting the environment or other living creatures.

Almost half of the people in the world live in an area where malaria parasites can infect and kill them. Malaria parasites enter the body via a mosquito. The parasites travel to the liver where they it can remain undetected for as long as a year. While in the liver, malaria parasites develop and release toxic substances that infect red blood cells. These toxins are dumped into the bloodstream and distributed throughout the body. This is when symptoms begin to show. Symptoms of someone infected with malaria include fever, chills, headache, vomiting, sweating, cough, and chest, stomach, and muscle pain. Often these symptoms appear in waves or “attacks” that come and go. Fighting the mosquitoes that transfer malaria to humans has been difficult. Mosquitoes have…
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Weather

Let’s be #ClimateHeroes! Here’s what you can do to battle climate change and be the generation that literally saves the world!

Science will help reverse climate damage but there are still lots of things you can do to battle climate change while we wait. Together we can beat climate change and become the generation that literally saves the world! Let's become #ClimateHeroes! Here's how: Can we beat climate change? Humans have overcome insurmountable odds in the past. There's no reason to believe we can't do it again and crush the climate change problem. It will of course, require sacrifice, money, and hard work. The single most important goal will be to limit the use of fossil fuels such as oil, carbon, and natural gas and replace them with renewable energy sources such as wind generation and solar energy. Here are other ways you can help battle…
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Space

NASA announces its next mission “Dragonfly” – will explore Saturn’s moon Titan with a drone-like lander.

As part of NASA’s New Frontiers program, they have selected their next mission – a drone-like lander that will explore the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan. The Dragonfly mission will send a dual-quadcopter to the surface of Titan. About every 16 days it will fly tens of miles above the surface for about an hour before stopping to rest and recharge. During these “hops”, Dragonfly will sample the moon’s surface material and observe its weather patterns. The Huygens probe (carried by Cassini) was the first to give us a good view of the moon’s surface. It was found that Titan had a thick atmosphere and liquid methane coverings its surface. This interested NASA scientists who have been longing to send a lander to the moon…
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Other fun stuff

Here’s a fun trick – but be forewarned – it’s gonna freak you out.

Stare at the red dot on the woman's nose for 30 seconds. Then look at a blank wall and blink repeatedly. Whoa! Sit back down and calm your heart. It's only science (see explanation below). This optical illusion uses a negative image of a woman's head. If you stare at the dots for about 15 seconds, then look at a blank wall, you'll see a full-color image of the same picture (well, at least most people will see it. Those with cosmic superhero eyes will just see right through the wall). Why does this happen? This illusion is known as a negative afterimage. Our eyes have cone cells called ganglion cells that help us see pairs of primary colors. We have channels in our eyes…
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Physics and math

Listen up. Scientist create sound so loud, it instantly boils water

Bang your head! Scientists at Stanford University created a sound that measures a whopping 270 decibels. The sound was created underwater and is believed to be the limit of how loud a sound can be. Ready to put on a pair of earplugs and give the sound a listen? Not so fast. Scientists say earplugs would do no good. The sound is so loud, eardrums, heart, lungs, and other internal organs would instantly rupture.
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Science Resources

Reeko’s list of animal classes for each phylum of the animal kingdom

Unknown phylum Micrognathozoa Acanthocephala (thorny-headed worms) Archiacanthocephala Eoacanthocephala Palaeacanthocephala (ancient thornheads) Acoelomorpha (simple soft-bodied flatworms) Acoela Nemertodermatida Annelida (segmented worms) Aelosomata Clitellata (earthworms) Myzostomida Polychaeta (bristle worms) Echiura (spoon worms) Sipuncula (peanut worms) Arthropoda (arthropods: insects, crustaceans, arachnids, centipedes, and millipedes) Chelicerata Arachnida (spiders, scorpions, and kin) Xiphosura (horseshoe crabs; only 4 extant species) Pycnogonida (sea spiders) Crustacea Branchiopoda (fairy shrimp, tadpole shrimp, water fleas, and clam shrimp) Cephalocarida (horseshoe shrimp; only 12 described species) Malacostraca (crabs, lobsters, crayfish, krill, various shrimp, woodlice, and kin) Maxillopoda (barnacles, copepods, fish lice, and other groups) Ostracoda (seed shrimp) Remipedia Hexapoda Entognatha (coneheads, two-pronged bristletails and springtails) Insecta (insects) Myriapoda Chilopoda (centipedes) Diplopoda (millipedes) Pauropoda Symphyla (pseudocentipedes) Brachiopoda ("lamp shells") Craniforma Rhynchonellata Bryozoa (moss animals) Gymnolaemata Phylactolaemata Stenolaemata Chaetognatha (arrow worms) Archisagittoidea Sagittoidea Chordata (vertebrates, tunicates, and lancelets) Cephalochordata Leptocardii (lancelet) Tunicata Appendicularia (larvaceans) Ascidiacea (sea squirts) Sorberacea Thaliacea (salps, pyrosomes, and doliolids) Vertebrata Agnatha Cyclostomata Myxini (hagfish) Petromyzontida (lamprey) Gnathostomata…
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Space

For the first time, scientists have captured a picture of a black hole in space and it’s amazing!

Astronomers have done what was thought to be impossible – they captured the unseeable, a picture of a black hole, an object so dense, nothing, not even light, can escape it. The photo was taken by scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The picture of the black hole shows a lopsided ring of light surrounding a dark circle – the black hole itself. The black hole is in a galaxy known as Messier 87 in the constellation Virgo. The black hole is 55 million light years away from earth. That is so far, if you hopped a ride on the Space Shuttle, it would take you 20,450,000 years to reach it. Here's what messier 87 looks like through a telescope. To capture the image…
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Physics and math

Why do grapes in a microwave burst into brilliant, violent, white flames? It’s plasma, baby!

Cut a grape in half but leave the skin of one side intact, Place the grape in the microwave and crank up the microwave radiation. Viola, the grape bursts into a brilliant, white-hot flame. The same effect occurs with two grapes in a microwave that touch each other. The flame you see is plasma – a hot mixture of electrons and electrically charged atoms, or ions. Scientists only recently discovered why the grapes burst into flames. They used to think grapes acted like antennas, collecting microwaves. Now they understand that grapes in a microwave act as resonators, not antennas. Like a musical instrument that resonant sound waves, a grape in a microwave resonates microwave radiation. In other words, the waves of radiation get trapped inside…
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