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Pollution particles fuel large storms, research shows

Pollution particles fuel large storms, research shows

Science
Jan. 26 (UPI) -- New research suggests scientists have underestimated the importance of particulate matter as a driver of storm size and intensity.Scientists have previously proven that aerosols, particles suspended in the atmosphere, can influence weather and climate. With their latest study -- published this week in the journal Science -- researchers with the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory showed the smallest particles can encourage the formation and increase the intensity of storms."We showed that the presence of these particles is one reason why some storms become so strong and produce so much rain," PNNL researcher Jiwen Fan, lead author of the new study, said in a news release. "In a warm and humid area where atmospheric conditions are otherwise very cle...
How to see the 'super blue blood moon'

How to see the 'super blue blood moon'

Science
Jan. 26 (UPI) -- January is set to close with a unique full moon -- a "super blue blood moon."The special pre-dawn full moon will rise on Jan. 31.The full moon is the third of three super moons, the name given to full moons occurring during the moon's perigee, its closest approach to Earth. The moon will appear 14 percent larger than the average full moon.It's also a blue moon, as it's the second full moon to appear this month -- a rarity, hints the phrase "once in a blue moon."While everyone has a chance to see the super blue moon, only those in the Western United States, Alaska and Hawaii will see the super blue blood moon.West Coast viewers have a chance to see a full lunar eclipse. As the moon passes through the shadow of the Earth, it takes on a unique red tint."Weather permitting, th...
Ariane rocket suffers rare launch anomaly

Ariane rocket suffers rare launch anomaly

Science
Europe's normally highly dependable rocket, the Ariane 5, experienced an anomaly during its latest launch.Telemetry from the vehicle was lost about nine minutes into its flight from French Guiana, shortly after its upper-stage began the final push for orbit.Uncertainty then followed as controllers tried to determine the status of Ariane and the satellites it was carrying.Eventually, though, radio signals from the spacecraft were picked up.It seems the rocket did do its job - but beyond the sight of controllers on the ground.However, it is also clear the Ariane 5 left the satellites in a less than perfect orbit.Arianespace, the company that operates the rocket from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana, issued a statement explaining that a tracking station located in Natal, Brazil, failed t...
Fossil found in Israel suggests Homo sapiens left Africa 180,000 years ago

Fossil found in Israel suggests Homo sapiens left Africa 180,000 years ago

Science
Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Scientists believe an ancient human jawbone found in Israel belonged to a Homo sapien. The fossil, dated between 177,000 and 194,000 years old, suggests humans left Africa 50,000 years earlier than previously thought.Last year, scientists found a 300,000-year-old Homo sapien fossil in Morocco. Previously, scientists thought Homo sapiens first emerged 200,000 years ago in East Africa.Until recently, scientists thought modern humans left Africa in a mass exodus around 60,000 years ago, spreading out across Eurasia. Over the last decade, scientists have uncovered evidence that suggests the mass exodus was preceded by earlier, smaller migrations out of Africa, some as far back as 120,000 years ago.The latest discovery -- detailed this week in the journal Science Advances -- pu...
How to escape from a lion or cheetah – the science

How to escape from a lion or cheetah – the science

Science
The antelope can never out-run the cheetah, but it can survive the chase if it twists and turns sharply at the last minute.That's the finding of a study that tracks the dance of death between the fastest land animal and its prey.Researchers have been analysing how zebra and antelope escape from lions and cheetahs on the African savannah.They say hunting at lower speed favours prey, as it offers them the best chance of out-manoeuvring the predator."In the final stages of a hunt, it isn't about high speed," said Alan Wilson of the Royal Veterinary College, University of London, UK."If the prey tries to run away at speed, it is a very bad move because the predator is faster and can accelerate more quickly, so that plays into the predator's hands. "The optimum tactics of the prey is to run rel...