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In an age when the size of the observable universe is known to a few decimal places, today's Transit of Venus offers a good opportunity to reflect on just how far we've come.

(For viewing information, click here.)

Less than 250 years ago, the brightest minds of the Enlightenment were stumped over how far the Earth is from the sun. The transits of the 1760s helped answer that question, providing a virtual yardstick for the universe.

Imagine how tough life would be if raindrops weighed 3 tons apiece as they fell out of the sky at 20 mph. That's how raindrops look to a mosquito, yet a raindrop weighing 50 times more than one can hit the insect and the mosquito will survive.

How?

Put yourself in a mosquito's shoes — or rain boots — for a moment and step outside into a downpour of seemingly gigantic raindrops.

Rare Transit Of Venus 'A Beautiful Event'

Jun 5, 2012

A rare astronomical event will take place Tuesday evening: The planet Venus will pass between Earth and the sun, appearing as a small black dot moving across the sun's bright disk. It's known as the transit of Venus, and it won't happen again for more than 100 years.

The Venus Transit: Who Cares?

Jun 4, 2012

A few hundred years ago Venus passing in transit across the face of the sun was a big scientific deal. In 1769, for example, astronomers around the planet coordinated their observations of a transit and used it to accurately measure the distance from Earth to the sun. Back in the day, that was the equivalent of a mission to Mars . But now we can nail Earth-sun distance with a precision of meters.

Beset With Bedbugs? Don't Bother With Bug Bombs

Jun 4, 2012

Bedbug infestations can be maddening. So readily available bug bombs that fill the house with a pesticide fog are understandably tempting. But research shows they're not likely to work.

Writing in the Journal of Economic Entomology, researchers from Ohio State University say they tested three popular bug bomb products on five different populations of bedbugs, collected "in the wild" from homes around Ohio. All three products failed miserably.

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