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Showing posts from September 5, 2015

Making Mars Exploration 'Smart and Cool': NASA and 'The Martian'

At a recent media event that previewed NASA's "Journey to Mars" and the Ridley Scott film opening in theaters on Oct. 2, the director of the U.S. space agency's planetary science division integrated images from the movie into his talk about NASA's real missions to the Red Planet, subtly blurring the line between reality and imagination. "As a filmmaker, [Scott] wanted to make ["The Martian"] realistic, and I really appreciated pulling together teams of people and answering the questions that he asked," stated NASA's Jim Green while describing his interaction with the movie's director. "Because it does indeed look very realistic, there are a lot of realistic elements in it, and it is very much appreciated from a NASA perspective," he said.


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Right Place, Right Time: See Mercury in the Night Sky This Week

Mercury is a very challenging planet to view, but this week, skywatchers have a good chance to see it, especially in the Southern Hemisphere —on Friday, Sept. 4, the planet travels as far east of the sun as it can go, its greatest elongation. Here, we see the planet as we might from space —for example, on the International Space Station or with the Hubble Space Telescope. The red line is Mercury's orbit, which you can see is tilted quite a bit compared to the ecliptic.


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Sorry, Cat Lovers: Felix Doesn't Need You

Dogs have owners, cats have staff. That doesn't mean people's feline friends don't bond with them, said Daniel Mills, a veterinary behavioral medicine researcher at the University of Lincoln in England. "This is not about whether cats love their owners," Mills told Live Science.

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An Arachnid Dracula? Rare, Red-Fanged Spider Is Uncovered

The funnel-web spider (Atrax sutherlandi) does not actually vant to suck your blood, however. "As far as we know, only the males wander around, and we think they locate the females by pheromone cues, not visual searching," he said.


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8-Foot-Long Bull Shark Pulled from Potomac River

Think sharks live only in the ocean? An 8-foot-long (2.4 meters) bull shark was pulled from the Potomac River, along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States, by a group of Maryland fishermen yesterday (Sept. 3). Sharks do roam the open sea, but certain species, including the bull shark, also live in brackish (low-salinity) water and freshwater.

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