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Sailors out at sea would sometimes see a bluish glow seeming to shoot out of the ends of the masts of ships at night. The light wasn't hot and wouldn't burn anything on board. They took it to be a good omen and called it St Elmo's fire.
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It has been getting a little warm lately. In November 2015, Brits experienced the hottest November days ever recorded in the UK. That was shortly followed by news from the World Meteorological Organization that 2015 is likely to be the hottest year since records began.
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If an alien managed to visit our Universe from a parallel reality, there is a high chance they would not even notice we exist. In a way that's obvious: the Universe is enormous and our planet is but a small, pale blue dot. But it's worse than that: the aliens…
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Atoms are small. Really, really small. You’ll probably have heard that matter is made of bundles of these tiny things. You’ll likely also know that you can’t see them with the naked eye. We are told to take on trust the idea that atoms are there, interacting with each other…
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Light is what allows us to understand the world we live in. Our language reflects this: after groping in the dark, we see the light and understanding dawns. Yet light is one of those things that we don't tend to understand. If you were to zoom in on a ray…
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In 1983, archaeologists in southern Germany discovered a mass grave containing 34 skeletons. They included 9 adult males, 7 adult females and 16 children. All of the skeletons showed signs of fatal trauma, including head wounds. None of them showed any signs of defensive wounds, suggesting they were killed whilst…
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Космическата сонда "Розета" приключи историческата си мисия в петък, разбивайки се в кометата Чурюмов-Герасименко, след като прекара 12 години в Космоса, търсейки данни, които да помогнат за изследване на ранните години и еволюцията на Слънчевата система. Европейската космическа агенция (EКА) направляваше сблъсъка на апарата, който измина над 6 млрд. км…
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Humans have been all over the Earth. We've conquered the lands, flown through the air and dived to the deepest trenches in the ocean. We've even been to the Moon. But we've never been to the planet's core. We haven't even come close. The central point of the Earth is…
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Kanzi has good taste. He likes oranges, cherries and grapes. He points to what he wants on a lexigram, a computerised touchscreen device on which each symbol represents a word. Kanzi can use 500 words and when he is talked to, he can understand a few thousand. We once viewed…
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In 1981, mountain gorillas were at rock-bottom. Confined to a small mountain range in central Africa, with humans encroaching on their habitat bringing poaching and civil war, their population was estimated at just 254. They would all have fitted into a single Boeing 747. Today things look a little better.…