Excerpts from science, technology, environment and health reports from around the web.
ISS spacewalk aborted when water begins to fill astronaut’s suit
American Chris Cassidy and Italian Luca Parmitano were forced to call off this morning's planned spacewalk outside the International Space Station when Parmitano suddenly reported that there was water inside of his suit helmet." My head is really wet and I have a feeling it's increasing," he radioed about an hour into the spacewalk.
The EVA, designated EVA-23, was one of the ones that Ars watched astronauts Cassidy and Parmitano train for late last year. That was during our visit to NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, the giant swimming pool where NASA simulates spacewalks in microgravity. According to NASASpaceFlight's recounting of events, Parmitano was in the process of running data cabling to connect the as-yet-unlaunched Russian Nauka module when the water began to make itself apparent.
Scaling the heights of Eiffel Tower
Since its construction in 1889, more than 250 million people have visited Paris’ iconic Eiffel Tower. The highest monument in the world for more than 40 years (today that title is held by Burj Khalifa in Dubai), the Eiffel Tower remains the most visited monument globally. But not everyone has been or can hope to go—until now. If you’ve ever wondered what the view is like from above the City of Light or wanted to learn more about the Tower’s history, now’s your chance to find out.
Earth’s gold came form colliding dead stars
We value gold for many reasons: its beauty, its usefulness as jewelry, and its rarity. Gold is rare on Earth in part because it's also rare in the universe. Unlike elements like carbon or iron, it cannot be created within a star. Instead, it must be born in a more cataclysmic event—like one that occurred last month known as a short gamma-ray burst (GRB). Observations of this GRB provide evidence that it resulted from the collision of two neutron stars—the dead cores of stars that previously exploded as supernovae. Moreover, a unique glow that persisted for days at the GRB location potentially signifies the creation of substantial amounts of heavy elements—including gold.
Strange new dinosaur discovered in Utah
An unusual dinosaur from Utah’s Cretaceous period has been categorized as a new genus, offering a new portrait of two distinct dinosaur communities in what is now the western United States.
Described in a study published in the current issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Nasutoceratops titusi, or "big-nose, horn-face," is named for its most significant features: the two enormous horns protruding from its head and its prodigious snout. It the first from the group of short-frilled, horned dinosaurs to have been found in the American south, revising previous theories that those dinosaurs lived only in the north.
Bangladesh pollution, told in colours and smells
On the worst days, the toxic stench wafting through the Genda Government Primary School is almost suffocating. Teachers struggle to concentrate, as if they were choking on air. Students often become lightheaded and dizzy. A few boys fainted in late April. Another retched in class.
The odor rises off the polluted canal — behind the schoolhouse — where nearby factories dump their wastewater. Most of the factories are garment operations, textile mills and dyeing plants in the supply chain that exports clothing to Europe and the United States. Students can see what colors are in fashion by looking at the canal.
Campaign wants to send tiny satellites out of Earth orbit
A mini-satellite, no bigger than a loaf of bread, could push itself out of Earth’s orbit as soon as next year if a crowdfunding campaign to support development of a diminutive propulsion system succeeds. If such small spacecraft can be made to operate far from Earth, they could one day make inexpensive expeditions to asteroids, Mars, and beyond.
New study finds it’s too soon to tell if ice sheet loss is accelerating
Although the general outlines of climate change are a matter of basic physics, many of the details rely on a complex interplay of factors—some of which are still not thoroughly understood. For example, it's clear that a warmer world will mean larger sea levels. The oceans expand with heat, and land-based glaciers and ice sheets melt, dumping their water into the seas. But the exact rate of sea level rise and its ultimate end-point remain active areas of research.
Compiled by Vasudevan Mukunth