Science/Nature

Grace mission launches to weigh Earth's water

Image copyright SpaceX A joint US-German mission has gone into orbit to weigh the water on Earth. The Grace satellites are replacing a pair of highly successful spacecraft that stopped working last year. Like their predecessors, the new duo will circle the globe and sense tiny variations in the pull of gravity that result from […]

Science/Nature

'Rare' birth of live reindeer twins in Cairngorms

Image copyright The Cairngorm Reindeer Herd Image caption Reindeer Lulu and her twins Britain’s only free-roaming herd of reindeer has seen the birth of its first live twins. Previously, twins in The Cairngorms Reindeer Herd have been stillborn or died shortly after birth. The owners of the herd said live twins were “extremely rare” and […]

Science/Nature

Clean air plan 'ambitious but vague'

Image copyright Reuters The number of people exposed to high particle pollution will be halved by 2025 if government plans are realised. There will be an attempt to curb smoke from solid fuel fires and wood-burners; pollution from diesel machinery will be reduced. Farmers, who have largely evaded pollution controls so far, will be told […]

Science/Nature

Malaria genetics: study shows how disease became deadly

Image copyright Science Photo Library The secrets of how malaria became a deadly human-killer have been revealed by a genetic study. The work, led by researchers from Wellcome Sanger Institute in Cambridge, compared seven types of malaria – tracing the parasite’s family tree. This revealed that, about 50,000 years ago, the parasites diverged, with one […]

Science/Nature

China launch will prep for Moon landing

Image copyright AFP China has launched a relay satellite to prepare for a lunar rover mission planned for later in the year. The Queqiao spacecraft will establish a communications link between Earth and the landing mission, which looks set to launch in the next six months. The satellite was launched at 22:28 BST on Sunday […]

Science/Nature

'Permanent' interstellar visitor found

Image copyright Science Photo Library An asteroid in Jupiter’s orbit may have come from outside our Solar System, according to a new study. Unlike Oumuamua, the interstellar object which briefly visited the Solar System earlier this year, 2015 BZ509 (affectionately known as BZ) seems to have been here for 4.5 billion years. This makes it […]