Science

5:48am

Sat June 16, 2012
Science

A Flicker Of Inspiration Brings Cave Drawings To Life

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 12:22 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Before Pixar or Walt Disney, was there Paleolithic Man?

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: The Chauvet prehistoric cave paintings in France have always glimmered with a mystery: why do the depictions of ancient animals seem to show beasts with several heads and multiple limbs? Are the multi-headed creature figures from mythology, folk art, or some kind of lost world?

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2:07am

Fri June 15, 2012
Humans

Famous Cave Paintings Might Not Be From Humans

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 7:33 am

The Panel of Hands in the Cave of El Castillo in Spain. New dating methods suggest the paintings could have been drawn by Neanderthals, not humans, as previously thought.
Pedro Saura AAAS/Science

The famous paintings on the walls of caves in Europe mark the beginning of figurative art and a great leap forward for human culture.

But now a novel method of determining the age of some of those cave paintings questions their provenance. Not that they're fakes — only that it might not have been modern humans who made them.

The first European cave paintings are thought to have been made over 30,000 years ago. Most depict animals and hunters. Some of the eeriest are stencils of human hands, apparently made by blowing a spray of pigment over a hand held up to a wall.

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12:54pm

Thu June 14, 2012
Wildfire Science

What's So Great About Red Slurry?

Fire retardant slurry shoots out of a C-130 Hercules aircraft over a fire in California.
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Master Sgt. Dennis Martin US Forest Service/Public Domain
  • KUNC's Nathan Heffel interviews Bernie Post, technical representative with Phos-Check of Ontario, California.

As of 6pm Wednesday, air tankers flying out of the JeffCo tanker base had dropped 58,557 gallons of retardant on the High Park Fire. So what is the red stuff falling out of the planes? How does it work?

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4:50pm

Wed June 13, 2012
The Two-Way

An Unexpected Discovery: A Tropical Methane Lake On Saturn's Titan

Scientists said it was an "unexpected" discovery: There's a liquid methane filled lake near the equator of Saturn's moon Titan.

Scientists had seen lakes on Titan before, but they didn't expect them near the equator because they believed the intensity of the sun at those latitudes would evaporate the liquid.

"This discovery was completely unexpected because lakes are not stable at tropical latitudes," planetary scientist Caitlin Griffith of the University of Arizona, who led the discovery team, told the AP.

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3:02pm

Wed June 13, 2012
The Two-Way

VIDEO: Airborne Launch Sends X-Ray Observatory Into Earth Orbit

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 7:30 pm

This artist's illustration shows what NuSTAR should look like in orbit after its 30-foot-long mast deployed.
JPL-Caltech NASA

A NASA mission aimed at surveying black holes and supernovae, among other things, launched successfully today at noon ET from beneath the belly of a wide-body jet flying approximately 40,000 feet above a darkened Pacific Ocean.

The 772-pound NuSTAR X-ray observatory was carried into an equatorial orbit about 400 miles above the Earth by a Pegasus rocket, which fired its three-stage motor for 13 minutes after being dropped by the L-1011 jet.

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