Top Science Stories This Week

Posted: Aug 13 2016, 4:57pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News


Top Science Stories This Week
A new type of fire that burns completely blue: Credit: University of Maryland

A New Type of Fire Discovered by Scientists 

Scientists have discovered a new type of fire that is safer and eco-friendly. The new fire, named ‘blue whirl’ lacks distinctive yellow color seen in the normal fire. It’s an indication that the fire is rich in oxygen and results in complete combustion without leaving any soot or dark carbon particles that are produced by incomplete burning of the fuels. That’s is why this fire can be a better option for cleaning up oil spills and can help reduce carbon emissions.  

The new fire is smaller, stable and produces swirling flame. Its color is entirely blue.

Solar Storm Almost Triggered Nuclear War in 1967

A new research reveals that a massive solar storm in 1967 almost led to the nuclear war between United States and then Soviet Union. 

On May 23, 1967, Ballistic Missiles Early Warning Systems on three sites of United States suddenly stopped working and it appeared that they are being jammed. Since it was the height of the cold war, sudden interference in warning systems raised the possibility of a Soviet attack. 

But before something devastating happens, forecasters working for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, were able to convince the chain of command that the jamming of radars is caused by a powerful solar storm not by Soviet Union and averted a possible nuclear war that could lead to a large scale devastation. 

Venus Could have Once Been Habitable

About 715 million years ago, Venus was likely a much more pleasant place than today. It could have had liquid water ocean, moderate temperatures and other necessary ingredients to support human life on its surface, according to a new computer model from NASA.

This picture is very different from what we know about Venus today. Venus is now heating up to a scorching 864 degrees Fahrenheit. Its atmosphere is filled with carbon dioxide and nitrogen and is many times thicker than our planet. In short, the planet is no longer a habitable planet or a place to live in.

Researchers used the similar computer model to simulate ancient Venus climate which has been used to predict Earth’s future climate.

Study Reveals the Culprit Behind Famous Piltdown Man Hoax

The culprit behind one of the most famous hoaxes of all time has been finally revealed.

In 1912, an amateur British archeologist named Charles Dawson claimed to find a human-like skull at a place called Piltdown in Sussex that was the supposedly the long sought missing link between ape and the human. The find drew a lot of attention but turned out to be the greatest scientific fraud ever committed in UK as the fossil was an amalgamation of orangutan and two ancient humans. Now, a research reveals only one man is to be blamed for the hoax and it was the Charles Dawson, the discoverer himself.

400-Year Old Greenland Shark is the Oldest Vertebrate Animal on Earth 

Researchers have found that Greenland sharks that could live for 400 years, are likely the oldest vertebrate animal ever. The shark does not even reach sexual maturity until age 150.

To arrive at the conclusion, researchers performed carbon dating on the eyes of 28 female sharks that had been caught by fishing boats in Greenland. Researchers found that Greenland sharks have an average lifespan of 272 but one  specimen was over 400 years old, making it the oldest vertebrate animal on Earth.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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