World Topics

NASA's Messenger orbiter slams into Mercury

May 1, 2015

NASA's Messenger orbiter slams into Mercury

NASA’s pioneering Messenger spacecraft ended its four-year study of the planet Mercury on Thursday by crashing into the planet’s surface, scientists said. Flight controllers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland earlier estimated that Messenger, traveling at more than 8,700 mph ...

Spacecraft spots possible Pluto polar cap

Apr 30, 2015

Spacecraft spots possible Pluto polar cap

NASA’s Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft has spotted surface features on the icy world, including a possible polar cap, images released on Wednesday show. With 60 million miles (97 million km) left to go before its July 14 encounter, New Horizons already has been able ...

Winged dino sets science world aflutter

Apr 30, 2015

Winged dino sets science world aflutter

The discovery of a pigeon-sized dinosaur with bat-like wings has exposed bizarre twists in the early evolution of birds, said scientists in China Wednesday whose conclusions were immediately challenged. Named Yi qi, for “Strange Wing” in Mandarin, the creature was an odd and unexpected ...

Apr 30, 2015

California backs 40% emissions cut

California would aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 under a plan announced Wednesday that steps up the state’s previously established target, which has cut emissions partly by forcing companies to pay for their carbon pollution. Gov. Jerry Brown’s executive order is loftier than ...

Russia's space cargo capsule declared total loss

Apr 30, 2015

Russia's space cargo capsule declared total loss

A Russian supply capsule that went into an uncontrollable spin after launch was declared a total loss Wednesday, but astronauts at the International Space Station said they will get by without the delivery of fresh food, water, clothes and equipment. “We should be OK,” ...

Apr 30, 2015

Scientists find chemical clues on obesity in urine samples

Scientists have identified chemical markers in urine that are linked to body mass, offering clues about why people who are obese are more likely to develop illnesses such as cancer, stroke, diabetes and heart disease. The findings may also help researchers identify people who ...

Apr 30, 2015

Rubella is gone from the Americas: global health authorities

Improved vaccine campaigns have led to the elimination of rubella — an infectious disease that can cause birth defects — from North, Central and South America, global health authorities said Wednesday. The virus, sometimes known as German measles, was formally declared eradicated after five ...

NASA orbiter to slam into Mercury on Thursday

Apr 30, 2015

NASA orbiter to slam into Mercury on Thursday

NASA’s Mercury-orbiting spacecraft, Messenger, is going out with a bang this week, adding a hefty crater to the little planet closest to the sun. The first spacecraft to circle Mercury, Messenger is expected to slip out of orbit and slam into Mercury on Thursday ...

Drones and dogs in guacamole-saving battle

Apr 29, 2015

Drones and dogs in guacamole-saving battle

by Tamara Lush

With the killers hiding in the trees, heat-sensing drones are launched into the air. When their whereabouts are narrowed, the dogs are sent in. When it comes to protecting the world’s supply of guacamole, no weapon can be spared. On subtropical farmland in South ...

T. rex's vegetarian cousin puzzles scientists

Apr 29, 2015

T. rex's vegetarian cousin puzzles scientists

Tyrannosaurus rex, one of history’s most dreaded carnivores, had an odd-looking vegetarian cousin with a tiny head, long neck and stubby fingers, scientists said Monday, admitting its anatomy had them puzzled. Chilesaurus diegosuarezi had a birdlike beak with leaf-shaped teeth, evidence that it feasted ...