Science

Science
10:24 am
Fri March 1, 2013

SpaceX Reports Problem With Dragon Capsule

The Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket lifts off from at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Friday.
John Raoux Associated Press

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 7:24 pm

Update at 8:10 p.m. ET: Problem Fixed, Arrival Delayed

SpaceX says the problem with its unmanned craft carrying supplies for the International Space Station has been fixed.

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Science
10:23 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Scientists Trace Origin Of Destructive Russia Meteor

A circular hole in the ice of Chebarkul Lake, where the Chelyabinsk meteor reportedly struck on Feb. 15.
Uncredited Associated Press

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 9:52 am

Scientists from Colombia believe they have pinpointed the origin of the giant meteor that smashed into a remote region of Russia earlier this month, injuring more than 1,000 people.

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Science
8:19 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Attack By Chondrite: Scientists ID Russian Meteor

Researchers who studied pieces of the meteor collected near Lake Cherbarkul say it was a common chondrite meteor. The largest of the 53 fragments was one centimeter in diameter. Photo provided by the Urals Federal University Press Service.
Alexander Khlopotov AP

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 4:41 pm

The meteor that caused at least 1,000 injuries in Russia after a startling and powerful daytime explosion one week ago has been identified as a chondrite. Russian scientists who analyzed fragments of the meteor, whose large size and well-documented impact made it a rarity, say that its composition makes it the most common type of meteor we encounter here on Earth.

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Technology
1:52 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

What Google’s Driverless Car is Doing in Austin

Google's driverless car, parked outside of the Hilton Austin.
Wells Dunbar, KUT News

A Texas Department of Transportation conference wouldn’t normally attract much attention. But invite a robot car to your meeting, and everything changes.

Google and its self-driving car were on hand at the Texas Transportation Forum today. The car – which relies on technology like radar and cameras to pilot itself – was the star of a panel on transportation and technology this morning.

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Science
5:35 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Bill Gates to Speak at UT Computer Science Building Opening

Conceptual rendering of UT's new computer science building, which opens in March. Bill Gates will speak at the grand opening.
Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

Tickets for Microsoft founder Bill Gates' talk at UT are now available online at eventbrite, but for UT computer science students only.

On March 6, Bill Gates will be speaking at UT-Austin to help break in the brand new, $140 million Bill & Melinda Gates Computer Science Complex and Dell Computer Science Hall.  The talk is part of the event ">goto_GDC", which is the grand opening event of the new building.

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science
6:37 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Watch: University Profs Awarded National Medal of Science

The National Medal of Science is the country's highest honor for American scientists
KUT News

President Barack Obama honored two University of Texas professors with the National Medal of Science in Washington D.C. today.

Dr. John Goodenough is a professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering. He developed materials used worldwide in lithium-batteries.

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Science
6:22 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

UT Professor Wins Chemistry Prize

C. Grant Willson helped develop key semiconductor technology in the 1970s.
University of Texas at Austin

A University of Texas chemist has been honored with a $500,000 prize for inventing a key technology used to produce virtually all modern computer chips. The Japan Prize is awarded annually to people who make major contributions to the fields of science and technology. 

C. Grant Willson, along with a colleague and a grad student, figured out how to print complex computer circuits on silicon wafers. Chris Mack, an expert in lithography, says Willson’s work is everywhere.

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University of Texas
5:44 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Two UT Professors Win National Medals of Science

Allen Bard is a professor at the University of Texas.
University of Texas

Two professors at the University of Texas have won the National Medal of Science, the highest award given to scientists, engineers and inventors by the U.S. government. They are only the fourth and fifth UT faculty members to win the prize since 1962.

Doctor Allen Bard, a professor in the Chemistry Department at UT, received the award for his outstanding achievement in electrochemistry. He developed an electrochemical microscope that analyzes the chemical makeup of very small surfaces.

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Science
12:16 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

This Should Be a Hit in Texas: Oil Turns Into a Christmas Tree

YouTube

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 8:41 am

We start with a pool of oil. We turn on a magnet. The oil travels up a superstructure and blossoms into a tree. Turn off the magnet, the branches, the needles, the tree melt away. It's a puddle again.

The perfect tree for an oil billionaire, no?

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Technology
11:33 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Group Of Internet Trolls Claims Thousands Of Tumblr Blogs Infected By Worm

A screenshot of the Tumblr homepage.
Tumblr

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 11:32 am

A notorious group of Internet trolls says it has unleashed a worm that has littered Tumblr blogs with inflammatory and racist posts.

According to the technology site The Verge, GNNA, whose full name we can't print in a family blog, says the worm has infected more than 8,000 accounts. The worm spread when users were logged into Tumblr and clicked on a viral — in more ways than one — post that asked for all Tumblr users to "drink bleach and die."

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Science
12:26 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

UT Scientists Measure Most Massive Black Hole Yet

Image of lenticular galaxy NGC 1277 taken with Hubble Space Telescope.
NASA/ESA/Andrew C. Fabian

Scientists at the University of Texas say they’ve discovered the most massive black hole ever identified.

It sits in the center of a galaxy called NGC 1277. It has a mass equivalent to about 17 billion suns.

Doctor Karl Gebhardt is an astrophysicist at UT, and a member of the team that made the discovery. He says their finding could help us better understand the way galaxies are formed.

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Science
1:52 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

UT Joins Forces With NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab

Could the red planet go burnt orange? The NASA team leading robotic space discovery has signed a research deal with the University of Texas.
NASA Mars Science Laboratory

The University of Texas has inked a deal with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to work together in areas such as robotics, miniature satellites and high-precision mapping. The director of UT’s Center for Space Research, Byron Tapley says it will ultimately help to advance space exploration.

“The activities we’re talking about here are built more about the unmanned, or the robotic exploration programs, both of the earth and of the planets themselves," said Tapley. "I would say the excitement of that is every bit, if you look at the excitement generated with the recent landing of the Mars science laboratory.”

The project manager of the team that landed that Curiosity Rover was a graduate of UT.  

The head of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Charles Elachi says the new partnership with UT is a logical extension of JPL’s existing relationship with the university.

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Science
9:40 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Video: A Skydive From the Edge of Space

Pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria and technical project director Art Thompson celebrate after Baumgartner completed a skydive from the stratosphere Sunday.
Joerg Mitter AP

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:51 am

In case you missed it this weekend, here is harrowing video of the Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner stepping off a capsule at the edge space. He then plummets toward Earth at :

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Science
2:03 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

UT Asks For Permission To Wreak Mobile Havoc. Then Promises It Won't.

flickr.com/popoever/

Over the weekend, some University of Texas email users that read their mail on certain mobile devices received a puzzling pop-up notification. Users on Google Android tablets, or iPads with an older iOS, were asked to sacrifice some privacy features.

When users opened their email app they were not allowed to read their mail until they gave permission for UT to erase data at will, disable cameras, set storage encryption, lock the screen, and monitor log-in attempts. The message looked like this:

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Science
9:48 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Mars Rover Pulls Off High-Wire Landing

An artist's rendering shows a rocket-powered descent stage lowering the one-ton Curiosity rover to the Mars surface.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 5:26 am

The best place to stand in the entire solar system at 1:14 a.m. ET Monday was about 150 million miles away, at the bottom of Gale Crater near the equator of the Red Planet.

Looking west around mid-afternoon local time, a Martian bystander would have seen a rocket-powered alien spacecraft approach and then hover about 60 feet over the rock-strewn plain between the crater walls and the towering slopes of nearby Mount Sharp.

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Science
4:43 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Astronaut Sally Ride Dies

Astronaut Ride, aboard the Challenger in 1983.
NASA

Sally Ride – the first American woman in space – has passed away at the age of 61.

Ride rocketed into space aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1983. As NPR notes in its eulogy, Ride died in  La Jolla, California, following a 17-month fight with pancreatic cancer.

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Science
10:57 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Rare Transit of Venus 'a Beautiful Event'

Venus passes between Earth and the sun during its last transit on June 8, 2004, as seen from Manila, Philippines. The next transit of Venus will be in 2117.
Bullit Marquez AP

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 11:11 am

A rare astronomical event will take place Tuesday evening: The planet Venus will pass between Earth and the sun, appearing as a small black dot moving across the sun's bright disk. It's known as the transit of Venus, and it won't happen again for more than 100 years.

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Science
11:44 am
Fri May 18, 2012

At International Science Fair, Austin Whiz Kids Shine

The floor of the Intel ISEF, held in Pittsburg.
Photo courtesy societyforscience.org

Today is the final day of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest pre-college science and engineering competition, with more than $3 million in awards and prizes.

Austin was well-represented at the Pittsburg-held ISEF, with several teens from area high schools vying for honors. KUT News talked to Michael Mann, an 18 year-old senior at Austin’s Westwood High School – and ISEF 2012 winner.

Mann’s project investigates the effects of the fungus Piriformospora indica on the water content and biomass of plant roots – or more simply, whether the fungus will cause a plant to grow more roots, enabling it to take in more nutrients and grow bigger and faster.

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Science
12:22 pm
Sat May 5, 2012

Look Up: Tonight, 'Supermoon' Is Closer To Earth

The statue of Freedom, atop of the U.S. Capitol Building, is pictured against a "supermoon" on March 19, 2011.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:49 am

Head outside at sunset tonight and look up at the sky. If the full moon seems a tad larger than normal to you, that means one of two things: You are exceptionally perceptive, or you were already expecting to be dazzled, after hearing some of the buzz about this year's "supermoon."

It turns out that all full moons are not created equal. That's because the moon's orbit around the Earth isn't a perfect circle — it's an ellipse. And tonight, we're in luck.

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