You might see science as splashy headlines and a barrage of new results—but in the background are people with emotions and ambitions, politics, and a system that promotes publishing novel findings above all. A new paper on eel navigation highlights some of these systemic troubles.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory just released a stunning video showing a pair of magnetic fields as they duel for supremacy on the surface of the sun.
From our perch here on Earth, the sun seems pretty uniform from day to day. But a closer look in this new magnetic map reveals that it’s teeming with activity—and with some intriguing bright spots.
Some animals are capable of magnetoreception—an added sense that helps them detect magnetic fields. European scientists have now learned that the molecule responsible for this trait is also found in the eyes of dogs and some primates, which suggests they too might be capable of seeing magnetic fields.
A rather massive coronal hole was recently spotted on the Sun by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. The region—the size of 50 Earths—is spewing material into space at tremendous speeds. It may look terrifying, but astronomers say it’s nothing to worry about.
Astronomers from Wesleyan University have detected the shock waves produced by a high-speed “hot Jupiter” exoplanet caught in a tight orbit around its host star. It’s a potential indication of an incredibly powerful magnetic field around the planet.
Scientists working with the Planck Satellite have produced a new polarization map of the Milky Way in microwaves, providing an unprecedented view of a rather dramatic electromagnetic loop discovered over a half-century ago.
More than a hundred years ago, physicists discovered that heat is simply the energy stored in the vibrations of atoms. This meant that heat and sound are related. Now, for the first time ever, scientists have experimentally shown that these atomic vibrations have magnetic properties, too.
Earth's magnetic field is constantly shifting, and roughly every 200,000 to 300,000 years it flips north and south completely. We're currently overdue for a switcheroo—and scientists now say it could happen in a time as short as 100 years, potentially altering life in unexpected ways.
This image may look like a cloudy sunset reflected over the ocean — it's actually a shot of the Milky Way, as seen by the ESA's Planck Satellite. The unique perspective reveals previously unseen characteristics of our galaxy. And it may provide crucial insights into how the universe was born.
Finding food can be especially tough in winter, when the snow is deep and the prey is hidden. So foxes have developed a special technique: they dive headfirst through three feet of snow to find their unseen prey. Amazingly, this works — but only when the fox is facing northeast or southwest.
Ever wonder why dogs need to get themselves into just the right position to do their business? As it turns out, dogs align their body axis according to Earth's magnetic field when they squat to poop—a behavior that changes when the magnetic field is unstable. But why do they do it?
The dead core of a once massive star is producing one of the most powerful magnetic fields ever recorded by scientists. Measuring a mere 12 miles across, the "magnetar" is exerting a force 20 trillion times stronger than a fridge magnet.
Remember how awesome it was to hold up a magnet to an old CRT display, and then watch it degauss in a colorful, rainbow seizure? Well you probably don't have any CRTs on hand anymore, but German artist Carsten Nicolai has an installation that makes use of those same magnetic deformations, and it's still fun to watch.
The North and South magnetic poles swap places every 300,000 years, in a process that takes as much as 5,000 years. But evidence from an ancient lava flow suggests the poles were once moving 53 degrees per year.
So, that's another one the birds have on us. In addition to flight and colorful plumage, they're also equipped with magnetometer beaks that can sense magnetic fields and use them as a map. Yes, even chickens.
Are our oceans magnetic - and, if so, are they dragging Earth's magnetic fields around with them when they move? That's a theory proposed by one American scientist... and described as "garbage" by others.
If you've ever wondered why the air seems thinner at either of Earth's poles, then the answer may have something to do with our planet's magnetic field, and the fact that it just may be stealing our oxygen.
Click to viewOne of the many mysteries of Mars is how the planet lost its magnetic field 4 billion years ago. Evidence suggests the planet once had a magnetic field just like Earth's, created by a churning molten dynamo in the planetary core. But what could have caused that core to stop spinning, and stop generating a…