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Tag: Science (Page 1 of 125)

A new LEGO set honors the women of NASA—and it looks pretty awesome

Enlarge / Margaret Hamilton holds a LEGO figure of ... herself. (credit: LEGO)

A new playset from LEGO will honor four key women in NASA history—astronomer Nancy Grace Roman, computer scientist Margaret Hamilton, and pioneering astronauts Sally Ride and Mae Jemison. The 231-piece set will be released on Nov. 1, with a recommended selling price of $24.99.

First proposed in July, 2016 by the deputy editor of MIT News, science writer Maia Weinstock, on the LEGO Ideas website, the project reached 10,000 supporters in just 15 days. "The set clearly touched and inspired many," Weinstock said. In addition to the historical minifigures, the set includes three builds that put the work of each woman into historical context.


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Google Maps goes interplanetary, adds Pluto, Venus, and a bunch of moons

google maps planets

When it comes to maps, Google has already conquered Earth. Whether you need a bird's eye view of your neighborhood or a street-level glimpse at a storefront half the world away, Google can deliver it in seconds. So it's no wonder that after doing pretty much everything it possibly can to map our home planet, it set its sights skyward, and today the company announced it has added a total of 12 new worlds to Google Maps.

The all-new destinations include a whole host of moons scattered around our Solar System, including Europa, Titan, and the frigid Enceladus. Also on the list are the nearby Venus and the once-planet Pluto, and you can explore all of them with nearly the same freedom as the more remote areas of the Earth. You'll have to excuse the lack of Street View support for now, but Google is probably working on that as we speak.

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Desert discovery: Lost temple of Ramses II uncovered by archaeologists

Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered the remains of an ancient temple belonging to King Ramses II.

Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities says that the discovery was made by an Egyptian-Czech mission in the village of Abusir southwest of Cairo. The excavation site is near the famous step pyramid of Saqqara.

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Researchers craft an LED just two atoms thick

Enlarge / Hexagonal boron nitride, one of the materials used here. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Modern computers are, in many ways, limited by their energy consumption and cooling requirements. Some of that comes from the process of performing calculations. But often, the majority of energy use comes from simply getting data to the point where calculations are ready to be performed. Memory, storage, data transfer systems, and more all create power draws that, collectively, typically end up using more power than the processor itself.

Light-based communications offers the possibility of dropping power consumption while boosting the speed of connections. In most cases, designs have focused on situations where a single external laser supplies the light, which is divided and sent to the parts of the system that need it. But a new paper in Nature Nanotechnology suggests an alternate possibility: individual light sources on the chip itself. To demonstrate this possibility, the team put together an LED just two atoms thick and integrated it with a silicon chip. Better still, the same material can act as a photodetector, providing a way of building all the needed hardware using a single process.


The work relied on two different atomically thin materials. These materials consist of a planar sheet of atoms chemically linked to each other. While their study was pioneered using graphene, a sheet of carbon atoms, they developed a variety of other materials with similar structures. The materials being used here are molybdenum ditelluride (MoTe2), a semiconductor, and hexagonal boron nitride.

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Video: Scott Kelly stopped by and we got to ask him a few questions

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Former astronaut Scott Kelly spent most of 2015 and a bit of 2016 in low-Earth orbit aboard the International Space Station, functioning as a human guinea pig to test the effects of long-duration exposure to microgravity. He’s currently on a tour promoting the book he wrote about the experience, and as part of that tour he stopped by the Condé Nast offices in New York to do some press stuff.

We were able to squeeze in a quick video shoot and ask some questions of the seasoned space traveler, though we had to keep it short due to time constraints.

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