Top Science Stories This Week

Posted: Oct 29 2016, 10:27pm CDT | by , Updated: Oct 29 2016, 10:32pm CDT , in Latest Science News


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Top Science Stories This Week
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft. Credit: NASA

Saturn’s Hexagon is Changing its Color

Recent images taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft reveal that Saturn’s hexagon has changed a lot between 2012 and 2016. Hexagon has turned gold and researchers are investigating the potential causes for this change in color of the structure.

Hexagon is a unique six-sided structure located at the north polar region of Saturn. When Cassini took the images of planet’s north polar region back in November 2012, it appeared blue and the images taken last month shows that hexagon has changed mysteriously from blue to gold. Researchers suspect that seasonal changes on planet are likely responsible for the change in hexagon’s color.

World Wildlife has Declined by Nearly 60 Percent Since 1970, WWF Reports

New WWF report reveals the impact of human activities on world wildlife populations. According to the report, global wildlife populations have dropped by 58% in the past 40 years and if something has not done to reverse this trend, wildlife could plunge to 67% by the end of 2020.

The report is based on scientific data from 14,152 populations of 3,706 vertebrate species, including mammals, birds, fishes, amphibians, reptiles around the world and shows a considerable decline in the populations of each category. According to the report, humans are the major driving force behind this decline and their widespread modifications are depriving species from their habitats, which eventually leads to unprecedented changes in ecosystems.

Iran Unveils ‘Suicide Drone’ to Target Enemies

Iran’s navy has claimed to have develop a ‘suicide drone,” capable of carrying explosives and deliberately crashing into targets both on land and at sea.

The unmanned aerial system can reportedly fly as low as 2 feet above the water with a maximum speed of around 160mph while it can reach a maximum altitude of 3,000 feet.

Iranian officials say that the primary purpose of the drone is maritime surveillance and it has not been designed to be armed with missiles. But it can be used to hold payloads of explosive materials for combat missions, colliding with the target and destroying it.

NASA is Celebrating 10 Years Looking into the Sun

In October 2006, NASA has launched a solar observation mission named STEREO. The mission has given us unprecedented views of the Sun and also helped create the first ever fully 3D view of the entire object. STEREO has just completed its tenth year of orbiting the sun and peering into its surface.

NASA’s STEREO mission consists of two spacecrafts – STEREO A and STEREO B, each equip with a variety of instruments to view the sun in different angles. Both spacecrafts are still looking into the sun and are providing remarkable details of its solar activities that may exist in different time periods of its 11-year cycle.

NASA’s Pluto Probe Transmits Final Data from Historic Flyby

NASA’s New Horizon spacecraft has finally finished beaming back all of its data gathered during its epic July 2015 flyby of Pluto.

The last bits of data, consisting of infrared scan of Pluto and its largest moon Charon, reached on Earth on Tuesday morning (October 25).

Overall, New Horizons spacecraft made more than 400 observations while most of them were done on July 14 flyby last year when the spacecraft made its closest approach to the Pluto. New Horizons is now heading towards a new destination beyond Pluto for more scientific researches.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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