Science news


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Two space station astronauts have floated outside on Christmas Eve in hopes of wrapping up urgent cooling system repairs.

It's only the second Christmas Eve spacewalk in NASA history. The first was 14 years ago. And it's the second spacewalk in four days for U.S. astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Michael Hopkins.

Mastracchio and Hopkins removed a faulty ammonia pump at the International Space Station during Saturday's outing. On Tuesday, they'll work to install a new pump 260 miles above the planet.

The first humans to catch a glimpse of the Earth rising over the moon nearly missed seeing it at all, let alone capturing the snapshot that became one of the most iconic photos of the 20th century.

NASA has released an animation commemorating the 45th anniversary of Apollo 8, the first manned mission to orbit the moon. The famous "Earthrise" photo was taken on Christmas Eve 1968.

Researchers with the Florida Geological Survey are developing a color-coded map displaying sinkhole vulnerability across the state.

Phil Roeder / Flickr

From Christmas to "Festivus," what makes this time of year the holiday season?

Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament / Facebook

Researchers at Jacksonville University’s Marine Science Research Institute are stepping up their study of the diet and migration patterns of king mackerel thanks to a small grant from the Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament.

At least 10 pilot whales are dead and dozens stranded in the shallows off Florida's southwest coast, as wildlife workers struggle to redirect them back out to deep water.

Blair Mase, the marine mammal stranding network coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, says four of the whales had to be euthanized on Wednesday, and six others had already died since the stranding was first identified on Tuesday.

Jeff Huffman

Cold air continues to pour in to much of Florida in the wake of last night’s front, and temperatures are likely to drop to the lowest values this season (so far) by Thanksgiving morning.  The National Weather Service has issued a Freeze Warning for all inland counties, along with the inland areas of a few coastal counties including Nassau and Duval.  Freezing temperatures are expected in the areas shaded on the map in blue, where lows of 30 to 32 will be possible and subfreezing conditions will last approximately two hours.

Tech Tuesday: The Science Behind ISON And The Star of Bethlehem

Nov 19, 2013

Scientists will likely take a break while Black Friday shopping this year to catch a glimpse of a comet hurtling close to the sun that will be visible to the naked eye.

If not for its patchwork of different shades of asphalt, you would never imagine the stretch of State Road A1A along Fort Lauderdale Beach was all underwater a year ago.

Last November, Tropical Storm Sandy and small storms that followed washed out a four-block section of A1A, north of Sunrise Boulevard. Sandy wasn’t a big storm, so the uncharacteristic destruction it brought has been explained by sea-level rise, which can cause increasingly harmful storm surges.

Image Editor / Flickr

One of the researchers who worked to discover the so-called "God particle" will be at the University of North Florida tonight for what is being billed as "a night of high energy physics."

Climate scientists largely agree that sea level is rising. The extent of the change is a far more complicated matter.

The United Nations General Assembly may approve a plan soon for the world's space agencies to defend the Earth against asteroids.

Kaare Iverson / U.S. Grological Survey

Good news for some of Florida’s oldest residents: The number of endangered green sea-turtle nests across the state this year more than doubled the previous record high.

There were more than 25,000 nests located in 2013, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission says a majority of them had eggs that hatched. 

Twenty-five years ago, less than 500 nests were found in the entire state.

FWC Biologist Robbin Trindell credits conservation efforts by Floridians for much of the success.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Sightings of giant tiger prawn are growing more numerous along the coastlines of Duval and St. Johns Counties.

The prawns, also known as Black or Asian Tiger Shrimp, can grow longer than a foot and weigh as much as a pound-and-a-half.

The fact that the shrimp aren’t native to the U.S. concerns ecologists, according to Carli Segelson with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Peter Higgs and Francois Englert have been jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for their theory of how particles acquire mass, the Swedish committee announced Tuesday.

The prize was given "for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider."