More science beyond this page
June 26th, 2013
04:33 PM ET

More science beyond this page


Dear Light Years followers,

This blog burst onto the scene when the last NASA shuttle launched in July 2011. There were only three people involved in CNN Light Years at that time – myself, former CNNer Sophia Dengo and former CNN.com U.S. editor Audrey Irvine.

The shuttle program was ending, but a new era for science and space coverage on CNN.com had dawned. We quickly figured out what you, our audience, would want to read: The latest discoveries, the coolest research, weird animals, random geekiness. We gave it to you in an accurate and easy-to-understand format. And we'll keep doing that – just not on this blog.

Today we are closing CNN Light Years as a blog, but we will have the same high-caliber science reporting elsewhere on CNN.com. In our U.S., World, Health and Technology sections, we will continue to lead - as we've done in the past - with stories about new planets, climate change, prehistoric marvels and more.

We hope that you will visit CNN.com to learn something new every day, and keep participating in the conversations that we have around this marvelous universe in which we live.

With fondness,
Elizabeth Landau
Writer/Producer, CNN Light Years

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Filed under: In Space • News • On Earth
Giant Jim Morrison lizard and climate change
June 5th, 2013
04:39 AM ET

Giant Jim Morrison lizard and climate change

By Ben Brumfield, CNN

To get through the long, tedious hours sitting in the fossil archives at the University of California-Berkeley, Jason Head would listen to the hypnotic sounds of The Doors.

So when he happened upon one of the biggest lizards that ever walked on land, he found it fitting to name it after the band's frontman, Jim Morrison - the original Lizard King.

But that's not what makes this find interesting. It's what the existence of the "Bearded King Morrison" tells us about the effects of climate change that's intriguing.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Climate • Discoveries • Global Warming • News • On Earth • Science Seat
Sex is doctor's life's work
June 3rd, 2013
06:35 AM ET

Sex is doctor's life's work

Dr. Irwin Goldstein isn't squeamish about describing operations on private parts. He remembers, for instance, that he performed his first penile implant on a patient in 1976. "I just did one yesterday," he added.

Goldstein, 63, director of San Diego Sexual Medicine and director of sexual medicine at Alvarado Hospital, has had a long career providing medical help to those with sexual problems. He has worked on understanding the physiology of the male erection, and has played key roles in the development of drugs for both male and female sexual dysfunction.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: News • On Earth • Science Seat
Large asteroid zipping past Earth towing moon
May 31st, 2013
05:06 AM ET

Large asteroid zipping past Earth towing moon

An asteroid is whizzing past Earth on Friday - and it's traveling with its own moon in tow.

1998 QE2, as NASA has named it, will not come anywhere near enough to collide with our world.

The closest it will come is about 3.6 million miles away - that's over 15 times the distance to our moon. It will reach that point just before 5 p.m. ET.

But it's giving astronomers the "best look at this asteroid ever," NASA said.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Discoveries • In Space • News • Science Friday
May 31st, 2013
04:52 AM ET

Will mammoths be cloned?

Remember when woolly mammoths roamed the planet? No? Well don't worry if you missed the last ice age - scientists have moved one step closer to possibly bringing the beasts back to life with the discovery of liquid blood in a well-preserved mammoth carcass in Siberia.

Researchers from the Northeast Federal University in Yakutsk found the 10,000-year-old female mammoth buried in ice on the Lyakhovsky Islands off the coast of northeast Russia.

Scientists say they poked the frozen creature with a pick and dark liquid blood flowed out.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Discoveries • News • On Earth • Science Friday
New dinosaur is a primitive bird
May 30th, 2013
04:29 AM ET

New dinosaur is a primitive bird

A dinosaur from the Middle-Late Jurassic period, found in China, gives scientists new understandings of how birds evolved, according to a Wednesday report from the journal Nature.

The newly discovered species is called Aurornis xui. "Aurora" is Latin for "daybreak" or "dawn." Ornis is Greek for "bird." The last part of the name, xui, honors paleontologist Xu Xing.

The dinosaur lived about 150 million years ago, said Pascal Godefroit, lead author and researcher at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Dinosaurs • Discoveries • News • On Earth
Fresh crew docks to space station
May 28th, 2013
11:18 PM ET

Fresh crew docks to space station

A Russian rocket docked late Tuesday with the International Space Station, bringing two space veterans and a rookie astronaut one step closer to a long stay orbiting the Earth.

The three - Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, American astronaut Karen Nyberg and Italian Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency - will spend the next six months at the space station until their scheduled departure in mid-November.

FULL STORY

Filed under: News
May 20th, 2013
09:59 AM ET

Bright explosion on moon visible from Earth, NASA says

By Jason Moon, CNN

A meteoroid struck the surface of the moon recently, causing an explosion that was visible on Earth without the aid of a telescope, NASA reported Friday. But don't be alarmed if you didn't see it; it only lasted about a second.

"It exploded in a flash nearly 10 times as bright as anything we've ever seen before," said Bill Cooke, of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office.

NASA astronomers have been monitoring the moon for the past eight years, looking for explosions caused by meteoroids hitting the lunar surface. It's part of a program to find new fields of space debris that could hit Earth. NASA says it sees hundreds of detectable lunar meteoroid impacts a year.

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Filed under: In Space • News • the Moon
What's the matter with antimatter?
This illustration shows what might happen when matter and antimatter annihilate each other.
May 2nd, 2013
04:13 AM ET

What's the matter with antimatter?

By Ben Brumfield, CNN

Nuclear scientists in Switzerland recently dropped some antimatter. The world didn't blow up, but there were some tiny explosions.

Scientists are hoping the experiment will teach them more about how the universe developed after the Big Bang.

Physicists with ALPHA Collaboration research group are trying to figure out how antimatter interacts with gravity, and if it produces "antigravity," says the group's founder, Jeffrey Hangst.

Their experiment mirrors the way Sir Isaac Newton came up with the law of gravity in the late 17th century.

Legend has it that an apple fell off a tree and hit the English nobleman on the head.

Newton got to thinking how gravity made the apple speed up as it fell.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Discoveries • News • On Earth • Particle physics
Glowing lambs born in Uruguay
April 30th, 2013
09:33 AM ET

Glowing lambs born in Uruguay

By Elizabeth Landau, CNN

Scientists in Uruguay announced that they had genetically modified sheep such that the animals glow green in ultraviolet light. Click through the gallery above to learn more!

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Filed under: News
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Contributors

  • Elizabeth LandauElizabeth Landau
    Writer/Producer
  • Sophia DengoSophia Dengo
    Senior Designer