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Science & Technology

New Horizons Spacecraft Makes New Year’s Day Flyby of Ultima Thule, the Farthest Rendezvous Ever

LAUREL, Md. — Wow, what a way to ring in the new year. As the world celebrated the start of 2019, scientists with NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft partied with them. But the bigger celebration came just over 30 minutes later, when New Horizons made history with the flyby of Ultima Thule, …

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Is my drinking normal, or could I be an alcoholic?

This post has been updated. The trouble with alcohol is that it’s everywhere. We don’t treat any other drug the way we treat alcohol, marijuana included, and in part that’s because we mostly don’t think of it as a drug. It’s what you down a shot of to loosen up …

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Trailblazing Hubble astronomer Nancy Roman dies at 93

Nancy Roman

Nancy Roman, a groundbreaking astronomer known as the “Mother of Hubble,” died on December 25 at the age of 93. As NASA’s first Chief of Astronomy, Roman oversaw the early planning and development of the Hubble Space Telescope (SN: 10/10/64, p. 231) as well as other space observatories and satellites. …

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Science News From Around the Planet

Credit: Getty Images A few brief reports about international science and technology from German to Rwanda, including one on the discovery of the world’s oldest known brewery, discovered in Israel. Hi, I’m Scientific American podcast editor Steve Mirsky. And here’s a short piece from the December 2018 issue of the …

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The mummified penguins that hold the secrets of Antarctica’s past

Antarctica’s Adélie penguins nest on the well-preserved remains of their ancestors. All it takes is a trowel and a strong stomach to dig into their climate history By Claire Ainsworth AS EUREKA moments go, it wasn’t the most dignified. David Lambert lost his footing and face-planted into a patch of …

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‘The Orville’ Season 2 Launches Tonight! Here’s What to Expect Straight from the Cast.

Science fiction is back in vogue, there’s no doubt about that. And about time too, quite frankly. In the first few weeks of 2019, sci-fi fans will be able to enjoy the second season of both “Star Trek: Discovery” and “The Orville.” Plus we have season two of “Lost …

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What happens in the minds of daredevils

↑ Jane E. Joseph, neuroscience professor at Medical University of South Carolina As a cognitive neuroscientist, I study how the brain processes thoughts and emotions. I used to focus on sensation-seeking behavior, which involves people pursuing risky activities to get a thrilling reward. In 2015, a journalist heard about my …

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This Year SpaceX Made Us All Believe in Reusable Rockets

At the beginning of 2018, Elon Musk predicted that SpaceX would pull off 30 launches. The goal seemed far-fetched; among other reasons, some of those flights were planned for the Falcon Heavy, which at the time had yet to fly. Indeed, the company didn’t hit that figure. But the 21 …

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Live updates on New Horizons’ flyby of Ultima Thule

New Horizons trajectory

Editor’s note: This story will be updated December 31–January 1 with dispatches from astronomy writer Lisa Grossman, who will be at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., with the New Horizons team. You can also see her updates on Twitter (@astrolisa) and on Science News’ Instagram feed …

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