What’s happening to Jupiter’s Great Red Spot?

The Great Red Spot on Jupiter is a vast storm that has been raging for at least 150 years, and new analysis shows that its winds are changing. The storm is an anticyclone big enough to swallow our entire planet, with massive, crimson-coloured clouds spinning in an anticlockwise direction. The winds raging on the outer … Continue reading What’s happening to Jupiter’s Great Red Spot?

Incredible ancient footprints are oldest trace of people in North America

They say that children are the future but this time they’re also the past. Researchers have found ancient footprints in New Mexico, US, that may be the oldest traces of people in the Americas – and they may have belonged to children and teenagers. The footprints were embedded in what was once a muddy lakeshore … Continue reading Incredible ancient footprints are oldest trace of people in North America

Black holes exert ‘quantum pressure’ on their environment

Black holes aren’t as single-minded as we thought. It turns out their quantum behaviour adds a new, recalcitrant dimension to their monstrous character. In a first-of-its-kind discovery, UK physicists have found that black holes exert quantum pressure on their environment. We know black holes are voracious cosmic monsters that operate at nature’s very extremes. They … Continue reading Black holes exert ‘quantum pressure’ on their environment

Spotted: Ghost surface polaritons

For the first time, an international research team has demonstrated the existence of ghost hyperbolic surface polaritons, and it’s just about as mind-bending as you think. “Polaritonics is the science and technology of exploiting strong interactions of light with matter, and it has revolutionised optical sciences in the past few years,” explains Andrea Alù, co-author … Continue reading Spotted: Ghost surface polaritons

Battered skulls of ancient farmers reveal violent conflicts

Three thousand years ago, in one of the driest deserts in the world, farmers came to blows and fought to the death, often smashing each other’s skulls in, according to a new discovery in Chile’s Atacama Desert. Graves reveal grave violence Researchers, led by Vivien Standen of the University of Tarapacá, Chile, found scores of … Continue reading Battered skulls of ancient farmers reveal violent conflicts

Gonorrhoea doomsday: how will science stop it from evolving further?

The sexually transmitted infection (STI) gonorrhoea has been on the rise, and is the subject of sustained public health concerns. This is all thanks to the superbug Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a strain of the bacterium that’s resistant to antimicrobial drugs. In a new paper in the journal mBio, researchers from Flinders University and the Australian National … Continue reading Gonorrhoea doomsday: how will science stop it from evolving further?

Ancient lava reveals secrets of Earth’s magnetic field cycle

A study from the University of Liverpool has added to the growing corpus of evidence that Earth’s magnetic field is subject to a roughly 200-million-year-long cycle of highs and lows. The researchers used a suite of techniques from the field of palaeomagnetism – the study of past variations in Earth’s fluxing magnetic field – to … Continue reading Ancient lava reveals secrets of Earth’s magnetic field cycle