Ancient Solar Storm Reveals Vikings Were In North America Exactly 1,000 Years Ago
Most estimates of when the first Europeans set foot on American soil have relied heavily on information gleaned from Icelandic sagas – but a new study has pinpointed the Viking presence in North America to 1021 CE. This date now stands as the earliest known crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. It all comes down to a massive solar storm that occurred in 992 CE, leaving an uplift in radiocarbon production in wooden artifacts.
First Crab Found In Amber Still Fabulous At 100 Million Years Old
The first-ever true crab from the age of dinosaurs has been found preserved in amber. The crustacean, Cretapsara athanata, is around 100 million years, with the anatomy of its gills still intact. Their structure indicates that this crab enjoyed an amphibious or freshwater lifestyle, an evolutionary departure from its marine-dwelling ancestors. The amber was in a batch of commercial “raw” amber pieces gathered by Burmese miners and sold to a gemstone vendor at a fair in 2015.
Genetically Engineered Pig Kidney Successfully Transplanted Into Human In World First
In a world-first, US surgeons have successfully transferred a kidney taken from a pig into a braindead human patient with the permission of her family. This is a major step towards using animal organs in human transplantations. The team used an organ from a pig that had been genetically engineered in order to remove a sugar molecule known to play a significant role in rejection. It was not rejected by the host and functioned normally.
Oldest Depiction Of A Ghost Discovered – With Exorcism Instructions Included
A 3.500-year-old tablet has been revealed as depicting a ghost, with instructions for how to avoid the spirits of the dead hanging around making trouble for the living. In the right light, and from an appropriate angle, the tablet reveals the outline of two figures, one with hands bound and on a lead. The back of the tablet carries instructions on removing a ghost who; “seizes hold of a person and pursues him and cannot be loosed.”
Astronomers Catch White Dwarf "Switching On And Off" For First Time
Astronomers have for the first time caught a star brightening before dimming again over the space of 30 minutes. The white dwarf has a companion from which it siphons hydrogen and helium. When it is actively accreting, the white dwarf is "on", becoming brighter. Then suddenly the accretion stops, and the white dwarf accretion turns off. Other white dwarf stars steal material and brighten over days or months – but for TW Pictoris this happens in just minutes.
IFLScience Meets: Professor Brian Cox On Filming BBC Earth's "Universe"
Professor Brian Cox, physicist and former musician, is at the helm of the BBC’s brand new space series, Universe. Cox hopes to guide viewers towards their understanding of one thing: “What does it mean to live a finite, fragile life in an infinite eternal universe?” IFLScience spoke to the Prof about highlights from the series, the science that inspired it, what it's like filming during a pandemic, and his tips for effective science communication.