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UK astronaut Tim Peake prepares for return to Earth

UK astronaut Tim Peake prepares for return to Earth

Image copyright Esa Image caption In six months on the ISS, Major Peake performed a spacewalk and ran the London Marathon UK astronaut Tim Peake is preparing to return to Earth after an historic six-month mission to the space station. During his stay, he made the first spacewalk by a UK astronaut, remotely steered a […]

Melt ponds suggest no Arctic sea-ice record this year

Melt ponds suggest no Arctic sea-ice record this year

Image copyright NASA Image caption Melt ponds are part of a feedback process that promotes melting Arctic sea-ice extent is unlikely to see a new record this summer, claim polar experts at Reading University, UK. The floes have experienced much reduced winter coverage and go into the warmest months tracking below the all time satellite […]

Study unlocks surprising behaviour of soil bacteria

Study unlocks surprising behaviour of soil bacteria

Image caption Different land management systems could alter the behaviour of important soil bacteria Newly sequenced genomes of soil bacteria have raised questions about how differing land management affects the organisms’ behaviour. UK scientists found one strain locked nitrogen in the soil, while another released a potent greenhouse gas. The findings came to light after […]

UK-funded ice breaker in ‘elite’ Arctic tourism row

UK-funded ice breaker in ‘elite’ Arctic tourism row

Image copyright BAS Image caption RRS Ernest Shackleton is normally used for logistics and scientific work in the Antarctic Concerns have been raised about the participation of a UK science vessel in an Arctic tourist voyage. Funded by the UK government, the RRS Ernest Shackleton normally carries out support work for the British Antarctic Survey […]

Tree planting at ‘an all time low’

Tree planting at ‘an all time low’

Image copyright WTML\JudithParry Image caption The Woodland Trust says only around a million and a half trees were planted – the target was around 10 million. Official figures released today by the Forestry Commission show that the government is falling far short of its own tree-planting targets. The Woodland Trust says that the “drastic decline” […]

European Space Agency still backing Mars rover project

European Space Agency still backing Mars rover project

Image copyright ESA Image caption Artist’s impression: The robot rover will aim to drill below Mars’ surface Member states of the European Space Agency have reaffirmed their commitment to launch a rover to Mars in 2020. Meeting in Paris, delegations agreed to put the project, which has experienced serial delays, on to a fresh schedule. […]

More gravitational waves detected

More gravitational waves detected

Image copyright NSF/LIGO Image caption The LIGO labs fire lasers through long tunnels to sense passing gravitational waves Scientists have collected a second burst of gravitational waves sweeping through the Earth. The warping of space-time was sensed on Christmas Day in the US at the Advanced LIGO laboratories – the same facilities that made the […]

‘Fossil’ meteorite was from asteroid smash-up

‘Fossil’ meteorite was from asteroid smash-up

Image copyright Birger Schmitz et al Image caption The chemistry of the meteorite is distinct from anything in the catalogues Scientists have identified a completely new type of meteorite. The 8cm space rock is said to be chemically distinct from any of the 50,000 other such objects held in collections. Called Österplana 65, it was […]

‘Biblical’ moth influx threatens to devastate crops

Media captionDiamondback moths are resistant to some common insecticides, as Pallab Ghosh reports Scientists have learned that cabbage and cauliflower crops could potentially be “devastated” by a species of moth arriving from continental Europe. BBC News understands that tens of millions of diamondback moths are thought to have come to the UK in the past […]

Unique meteorite from asteroid smash-up

Unique meteorite from asteroid smash-up

Image copyright Birger Schmitz et al Image caption The chemistry of the meteorite is distinct from anything in the catalogues Scientists have identified a completely new type of meteorite. The 8cm space rock is said to be chemically distinct from any of the 50,000 other such objects held in collections. Called Österplana 65, it was […]