A Personal Roundup – First Week with Science Recorder

My posting on Sword of Science has been delayed this week, but for good reason: I’ve been conducting a trial week as a contributor for Science Recorder! I’m responsible for producing two short science articles for that site four days a week, which has taken much of the time I’ve previously assigned to this blog. While I intend to continue Sword of Science, posting discussions and reviews of topics I find personally interesting, my schedule may become slightly more irregular. I encourage you to check out the work I’ve been doing on Science Recorder, the first crop of which is summarized below!

The path of the “Penguin Eclipse,” one of the topics I covered in my first week with Science Recorder. Courtesy of Wired.

Online telescope provides rare glimpse of Antarctic solar eclipse: An annular solar eclipse, the first of this year, took place last Tuesday over Antarctica. An online telescope operated by the Slooh Community Observatory gave viewers around the world a chance to see it.

Year’s first solar eclipse wows Australian astronomers: Australian stargazers battled cloudy skies to view that previously mentioned solar eclipse. The country won’t experience another solar eclipse for nearly a decade.

Ancient caribou hunters leave traces underneath Lake Huron: Scientists dove to the bottom of Lake Huron to uncover evidence of ancient caribou hunting. The elaborate structures and tool flakes point to a concentration of aboriginal activity in the area around 9,000 years ago.

Industrial nations’ greenhouse gas emissions dropping, but not by enough: According to recent United Nations data, greenhouse gas emissions fell across over 40 industrial countries in 2012. However, scientists warn that these reductions may be insufficient to stop the effects of global warming.

Astronomers measure day on distant exoplanet: Astronomers from Leiden University and the Netherlands Institute for Space Research calculated the length of a day on Beta Pictoris b, an exoplanet located 63 light-years from Earth. This finding represents the first measurement of day length on a planet outside the solar system.

Neanderthals and humans close in intelligence, say researchers: A new review of the archeological record finds that Neanderthals and humans were evenly matched in terms of intelligence. Researchers say that ancient cultural sites and artifacts point to sophisticated behavior among humanity’s “dimwitted” ancestor.

Deep-sea viruses and bacteria battle beneath the waves: Bacteria living near inhospitable hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor are challenged by infection by viruses, say University of Michigan researchers. The viruses hijack the molecular machinery of the bacteria for their own rapid reproduction.

Western US droughts leave long-lasting evidence in tree rings: Droughts in the western U.S. have been far worse than even current parched conditions, suggests new research. Results drawn from the thicknesses of tree rings show that the longest drought in the area lasted 16 years.


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