Science news

It’s cold and lifeless and smaller than Earth’s moon, it’s three billion miles away, but tiny Pluto is Page 1 news. As Jim Ash reports, NASA scientists are crossing their fingers ahead of Tuesday’s close encounter by the New Horizons spacecraft.

Scientists have found a "new" horned dinosaur that lived about 79 million years ago — and they say the discovery helps them understand the early evolution of the family that includes Triceratops.

The new dinosaur, which was named Wendiceratops pinhornensis after a famous fossil hunter who discovered the bone bed in Canada where these fossils were buried, is one of the oldest known horned dinosaurs.

thalling55 / Flickr

Florida has joined a multi-state lawsuit against a new federal water-pollution rule.

Industry groups support the suit — which refers to the rule as a “significant overreach” by the Environmental Protection Agency.

shark on board ship

A great white shark named Mary Lee was recorded off the coast of Jacksonville last week.

Ocean researchers who are part of an organization called OCEARCH, are following her and other great whites to learn their traveling patterns.

Coast Guard Monitoring Rocket Debris

Jun 29, 2015

The Coast Guard is monitoring the debris field of a rocket that exploded during take-off on Sunday.

The debris from is floating north more than 150 miles off the coast of Florida, and it is not expected to impact beaches over July Fourth weekend.

St Johns County spokeswoman Sarah Hand says while it’s not likely debris will land along the first coast, beach-goers should keep their eyes open.  

“It’s best to stay away from any debris or any perceived debris and immediately call SpaceX or the Coast Guard,” she said.

Updated at 4:55 p.m. ET

An unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket experienced what the private space launch company calls "some type of anomaly in first-stage flight" about two and a half minutes into its flight.

NASA commentator George Diller confirmed that "the vehicle has broken up."

Pieces could be seen raining down on the Atlantic Ocean over the rocket's intended trajectory. More than 5,200 pounds of cargo, including the first docking port designed for NASA's next-generation crew capsule, were aboard.

Stig Nygaard / Flickr

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, will be in Jacksonville on Monday protesting against SeaWorld.

The protest will take the form of an interactive exhibit on a downtown street corner.

Jennifer Dougherty

A class of Jacksonville University students is traveling the Atlantic Ocean by tracking a floating buoy.

The oceanography students are using the simple device to learn where water ends up when it leaves the St. Johns River.

North Florida Land Trust

A North Florida nonprofit group is working on a toolkit to help conservation groups across the country respond to climate change.

North Florida Land Trust is creating a database with information about rising sea levels in different parts of the country.

During an appearance on WJCT's “First Coast Connect,” Marc Hudson, Land Protection Director for the North Florida Land Trust talked about the group’s work.

A rare Galápagos tortoise, known affectionately as "Speed," has died at the San Diego Zoo — his home of more than eight decades. He was (approximately) 150.

Gregory Todaro / WJCT News

“If all the ice melts — and that’ll happening if we keep doing what we’re doing — the oceans come up 75 meters. That’s about 250 feet,” Dennis Bushnell, chief scientist at NASA’s Langley Research Center, told the crowd Friday morning.

“This’ll convert downtown Jacksonville skyscrapers into hazards to navigation,” he said.

Bushnell gave a lecture about the consequences of sea level rise on the First Coast Friday morning at the UNF Adam W. Herbert University Center.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

A Jacksonville Museum of Science and History exhibit shows Florida’s springs are changing.

On the third floor of MOSH a series of photos stand in big metal frames. All of them show Florida’s springs. But they’re not just pretty art. The pictures show the waterways before they were in distress and now.

Shannon Blankinship, outreach director for the St. Johns Riverkeeper, says she loves the springs.

Jessica Palombo / WJCT

Florida Recycle Today, a recycling association, will soon hold its annual conference and exhibition for environmental industry professionals.

Florida Recycle Today provides a public forum for education and discussion concerning new recycling initiatives. During an appearance on WJCT's First Coast Connect, Florida Recycle Today Executive Director Heather Armstrong discussed some of the ways businesses can adapt so their practices are more sustainable.

Terence Faircloth / Flickr

It’s been 13 years since Sue the Tyrannosaurus rex was spotted in Gainesville, but the dinosaur is back at the Florida Museum of Natural History — and this time, things are getting interactive.

It’s been 67 million years since Sue the T. rex took her last breath, but this summer’s exhibit at the Florida Museum of Natural History is giving visitors a chance to get up close and personal with the largest Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered.

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