Top Science Stories This Week

Posted: Apr 2 2017, 6:08am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Top Science Stories This Week
Artist's impression of skyscraper hanging from an asteroid. Credit: Clouds Architecture Office

World’s Largest Dinosaur Footprints Discovered in Australia

Paleontologists have discovered 21 different types of dinosaur footprints in the coastline of Western Australia. The footprints range from as small as 8 inches to as large as 6 feet, making them the most diverse collection of dinosaur footprints discovered yet.

The dinosaur tracks date back to around 140 million years and are embedded in the rocks of Kimberly region. Among the footprints, six belong to sauropods, four belong to herbivorous ornithopods and remaining six belonged to the armored dinosaurs. One of those tracks has been identified as the footprint of long-necked herbivore stegosaurs. This particular footprint measures nearly 5 feet 9 inches and believed to be the largest dino track ever found. This is also the only confirmed evidence for stegosaurs’ existence in Australia.

New York Architect Plans to Hang Skyscraper from an Asteroid

A New York based firm has unveiled an extremely unusual design for a skyscraper. Called Analemma Tower, the skyscraper wouldn't be built on the ground. It would hang from cables attached to an asteroid and remain suspended in the midair.

Since the fanciful building would not touch the ground, it would swing between the northern and southern hemisphere and return to the same point once a day. Analemma would be an eco-friendly project which will be powered by solar panels and use recycled water. If constructed, it would be the tallest skyscraper in the world and will beat the current tallest building Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.

Peggy Whitson Breaks Spacewalk Record for Female Astronaut

NASA's Peggy Whitson sets a new spacewalking record for any women in space this week as the veteran astronaut and its fellow Shane Kimbrough ventured out of the International Space Station and did a repair job. It was the eighth spacewalk of Peggy’s career, most by any women astronaut.

Peggy Whitson spent almost 7 hours working outside the orbiting lab alongside her fellow astronaut. The duration was long enough to let her surpass the record for most cumulative spacewalking time by a female astronaut. The previous record was held by NASA astronaut Suni Williams who walked outside the space station for a total of 50 hours and 40 minutes. Peggy racked up a total of 53 hours and 22 minutes in her recent trip.

Southern California Beaches could Erode Away by 2100

More than half of the iconic Southern California beaches will disappear by the end of the century under the curretn sea level trend. The rise in sea level allows waves to penetrate further inland and accelerates the removal of sand on shoreline.

Using a new computer model, researchers have analyzed both the sand dragged to sea and sea level rise in Southern California beaches. If the sea level continues to rise at an alarming rate, up to 67 percent of the Southern California beaches could vanish over the next few decades. Researchers believe that human intervention is necessary if we want to perverse these beautiful beaches.

NASA Mars Orbiter Completes 50,000 Orbits around Mars

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has completed its 50,000 orbits around the Red Planet. The 50,000th orbit of Mars was completed on Monday, March 27, making it the only Martian orbiter to achieve the milestone.

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter arrived at Mars orbit in March 2006 and has been beaming back a vast amount of scientific data ever since. Over the course of around 11 years, the orbiter has covered 99.1 percent of Mars. That is equivalent to the land area of Earth.

Currently, the orbiter is in the midst of its second extinction beginning in 2010.

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