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Articles filed under Science

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  • Comet craft starts drilling; location still sought Nov 14, 2014 9:15 AM
    A European probe has begun drilling into a comet to collect scientific data, but mission controllers said Friday that battery issues may make it impossible — at least for now — to access that information. The Philae lander on Wednesday became the first spacecraft to touch down on a comet and has since sent its first images from the surface of the body. But two harpoons that should have anchored the washing machine-sized Philae to the surface did not properly deploy when it hit the comet.

  • Island Lake fatal crash cited as Illinois no-tolerance DUI pot law is challenged Nov 14, 2014 5:23 AM
    Some argue Illinois' zero-tolerance law deeming a driver impaired if any amount of marijuana is detected is archaic. The state bar association has submitted legislation to change it. But prosecutors and other law enforcement officials stand firmly behind the so-called "trace" law. Absent a medical marijuana card "and we take a blood test and it's in your system, you're going to go to jail,” said Limey Nargelenas, deputy director of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.

  • Comet photos awaken wonder at space exploration Nov 13, 2014 11:37 AM
    It took a set of retro-looking images to reawaken the world’s sense of wonder about space exploration. The black-and-white pictures of a rocky surface sent back from a comet hundreds of millions of miles away are the product of an astonishing feat of science and some sophisticated imaging technology. But for millions gazing at them with excited awe, the response that the dusty gray rocks and pitch-dark shadows provoke is almost primal.

  • Cosmic 1st: European spacecraft lands on comet Nov 12, 2014 2:57 PM
    Hundreds of millions of miles from Earth, a European spacecraft made history Wednesday by successfully landing on the icy, dusty surface of a speeding comet — an audacious first designed to answer big questions about the universe.

  • Europe ready to land 1st probe on streaking comet Nov 11, 2014 6:41 PM
    The final countdown is approaching for one of the most audacious space adventures ever — the European Space Agency’s attempt to land a robot on a comet. The maneuver marks the climax of the unmanned Rosetta space probe’s decade-long journey to study comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

  • Back to Antarctica, a little delayed, for NIU scientists Nov 10, 2014 5:07 AM
    Two NIU professors from Elburn are happy their research on what's happening beneath Antarctica's ice sheets and shelves is back on track this year, after the federal government shutdown last fall threw a big monkey wrench in their plans.

  • NASA: Comet showered Mars sky with meteors Nov 7, 2014 5:19 PM
    The core of the spinning comet moved by Mars at more than 125,000 mph and could have been as large as 1.2 miles wide, astronomers said. It was not only big, but the dust assault was far larger than NASA anticipated, Green said.

  • SpaceShipTwo pilot’s survival ‘no minor miracle’ Nov 7, 2014 5:06 PM
    How Peter Siebold got out of SpaceShipTwo is unknown, according to National Transportation Safety Board Acting Chairman Christopher Hart, who said the pilot hadn’t been interviewed because he’s recovering from injuries originally characterized as moderate to major.

  • Elk Grove-based American Academy of Pediatrics gets federal grant Nov 7, 2014 5:00 PM
    The American Academy of Pediatrics in Elk Grove Village has received a federal grant to support evidence-based childhood obesity treatment and improve access and systems of care, officials said.

  • Nurse who survived Ebola reunited with dog Nov 1, 2014 6:10 PM
    Earlier this year, authorities in Madrid, Spain, caused a public uproar when they euthanized a dog belonging to a nursing assistant sickened by Ebola. “Bentley is alive and well in the city of Dallas,” Mayor Mike Rawlings said, adding that he even kissed the dog Saturday. “There were a lot of human beings that spent a lot of time making sure this dog was safe.”

  • Virgin Galactic spaceship crashes Oct 31, 2014 2:54 PM
    A Virgin Galactic space tourism rocket exploded Friday after taking off on a test flight, killing one person aboard and seriously injuring another while scattering wreckage in Southern California’s Mojave Desert, witnesses and officials said.The company founded by British billionaire Richard Branson would not say what happened other that it was working with authorities to determine the cause of the “accident.”

  • Ebola nurse first quarantine, not happy Oct 25, 2014 7:16 PM
    Doctors Without Borders executive director Sophie Delaunay complained Saturday about the “notable lack of clarity” from state officials about the quarantine policies, and an American Civil Liberties Union official in New Jersey said the state must provide more information on how it determined that mandatory quarantines were necessary.

  • Constable: Teens eclipse expectations for observatory Oct 21, 2014 5:44 AM
    The Henize Observatory at Harper College will offer unique views of Thursday afternoon's partial solar eclipse. But it also features plenty of Saturday night opportunities for star-gazing thanks to a team of teenagers.

  • Harper observatory open for partial solar eclipse Oct 17, 2014 1:56 PM
    The Karl G. Henize Observatory at Harper College will host a free community viewing of the upcoming partial solar eclipse from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23. “We don’t get many solar eclipses that are visible in the Chicago area, so they’re always exciting,” Astronomy Outreach Coordinator Joe Kabbes said.

  • Top-secret space plane lands on California coast Oct 17, 2014 7:36 PM
    The X-37B program has been an orphan of sorts, bouncing since its inception in 1999 between several federal agencies, NASA among them. It now resides under the Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office. The plane that landed Friday is one of two built by Boeing.

  • Once in million years: Comet buzzing Mars on Sun Oct 16, 2014 4:09 PM
    The heavens are hosting an event this weekend that occurs once in a million years or so. A comet as hefty as a small mountain will pass mind-bogglingly close to Mars on Sunday.

  • Feds: Don’t expect winter to be polar vortex redux Oct 16, 2014 2:27 PM
    If you thought last winter was a horror show, with cold blasts from the polar vortex and a lack of California rain, here’s some good news: No sequel is expected this year, federal forecasters say.

  • Harper College hosts prime-time viewing of partial solar eclipse Oct 9, 2014 5:47 PM
    So you overslept and missed that hoopla over the blood moon? The next spectacle in the skies comes later this month, and Harper College will provide prime viewing.

  • Constable: Maine South grad’s work links sense of smell, death Oct 7, 2014 8:37 AM
    The predictor of when you will die isn’t right under your nose. It is your nose. “The sense of smell is like the canary in the coal mine,” says Dr. Jayant Pinto, a 1988 graduate of Maine South High School and the lead author of a University of Chicago study that made recent headlines around the globe by finding a distinct relationship between the ability to smell and the likelihood of death among older people. “The sense of smell is really important to people’s health.”

  • First womb-transplant baby born; two more on the way Oct 7, 2014 11:31 AM
    The world’s first baby born from a transplanted womb is soon to have company. Two more women who became pregnant after having womb transplants are due to deliver in the next few weeks — and that could be the start of a new wave of babies born this way, say the Swedish doctors who pioneered the technique. “It means a lot to me that we are able to help patients who have tried for so long to have families,” said Dr. Mats Brannstrom.

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