fnc/science

Great white shark lair in Pacific Ocean discovered by scientists

Researchers from Monterey bay Aquarium and Stanford University have discovered,  between California and Hawaii, an area the size of Colorado that appears to be a “White Shark Café” — but it is unclear if the sharks are there for food or sex. The San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday authorities are trying to determine why these sharks spend months on an annual pilgrimage, in winter and spring, to the deep sea. Scientists say that it appears the sharks are out there to feast on the abundant amount of squid and small fish in the region. “They are telling us this incredible story about the mid-water, and there is this whole secret life that we need to know about,” Salvador Jorgensen, a research scientist for the Monterey Bay Aquarium and one of the expedition’s leaders, told the paper. The ...

Scientists find great white shark lair in Pacific Ocean: report

Researchers from Monterey bay Aquarium and Stanford University discovered an area the size of Colorado between California and Hawaii that appears to be a “White Shark Café,” but it is unclear if the sharks are there for food or sex. The San Francisco Chronicle reported on Monday that authorities are trying to determine why these sharks spend months on an annual pilgrimage in winter and spring to the deep sea. Scientists say that it appears the sharks are out there to feast on the abundant amount of squid and small fish in the region. “They are telling us this incredible story about the mid-water, and there is this whole secret life that we need to know about,” Salvador Jorgensen, a research scientist for the Monterey Bay Aquarium and one of the expedition’s leaders, told the paper. The are...

New Mexico observatory set to reopen after temporary closure over undisclosed security issue

A New Mexico observatory that was temporarily shut down over an undisclosed security issue is set to reopen Monday after its closure sparked wide-ranging theories, officials said. The Sunspot Solar Observatory, located near the Sacramento Mountains, no longer faces a security threat to staff, the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) said in a statement Sunday. The facility had been closed since Sept. 6. “Given the significant amount of publicity the temporary closure has generated, and the consequent expectation of an unusual number of visitors to the site, we are temporarily engaging a security service while the facility returns to a normal working environment,” the statement said. It’s unclear what the security threat to the observatory was. The FBI referred all q...

NASA starts 45-day clock to contact Mars Rover Opportunity as dust storm wanes

Tracks from NASA’s Opportunity rover on Mars are visible on the Martian surface in this image taken in June 2017. After months of silence from Opportunity due to a dust storm on Mars, NASA has begun a 45-day campaign to reestablish contact with the rover.  (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State Univ.) The planet-enveloping dust storm on Mars has settled enough for NASA to start a 45-day active-listening period in which the agency hopes to make contact with the rover Opportunity after three months of silence, NASA announced yesterday (Sept. 11). So, for the next 45 days, NASA engineers will nudge the spacecraft several times a day, rather than the three times a week that had been the procedure. That schedule is based on the hope that the rover is now harvesting enough solar power to ...

As Hurricane Florence lashes North Carolina coastline, zoos prepare for the worst

“It gives me peace of mind. It comforts me, makes me know that my animals are safe and that’s all you can ask for,” senior bird keeper Sarah Faugno said.  (Fox News) A room on the first floor of North Carolina Zoo’s animal hospital has been converted to an indoor aviary, with parrots and cockatoos squawking and flying in enclosures designed to keep them safe. The siamangs, which normally swing from branch to branch in their leafy compound, are being ushered to an underground enclosure that withstands strong winds and flooding. Flamingos are being shepherded to open rooms in the animal hospital, which is above ground.  Zoos all across the Carolinas are preparing for a monster storm that on Thursday began lashing the East Coast with tropical-force winds. Employees have been securing loose it...

WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO: 9 lionesses brutally attack lion in front of horrified visitors at West Midlands Safari Park

This is the moment nine lionesses brutally attacked a lion in front of horrified visitors in Worcestershire, England. Shocking footage shows the pack of females tearing their teeth into the leader of the pride’s flesh at West Midlands Safari Park. The lionesses then drag him from the rocks into the water where he is seen helplessly roaring in pain. Safari workers at the enclosure in Bewdley, Worcs., had to step in and spray fire extinguishers at the beasts to break up the ferocious attack after the male was left covered in blood. It is conceivable the lionesses were trying to kill their leader because he was too old to run the pride. However, Mya Beverstock, who caught the attack on film, said the females may have pounced on him after a dispute over food. She said: “It pretty m...

Fishermen haul in monstrous skull and antlers of extinct Irish elk

Fishermen caught quite the catch with this enormous skull and antlers from an extinct Irish elk. Credit: Pat Grimes/Ardboe Heritage Fishermen in Northern Ireland pulled in the catch of a lifetime on Wednesday (Sept. 5), when they caught an enormous Irish elk skull that’s estimated to be more than 10,500 years old. The impressive specimen is about 6 feet (1.8 meters) across and is almost fully intact.  Raymond McElroy and his assistant, Charlie Coyle, caught the massive antlers in their fishing net in the northwest region of Lough Neagh, a large freshwater lake. The men were fishing in water no more than 20 feet (6 meters) deep, about a half mile from shore, said Pat Grimes, a local historian who shared his photos of the impressive discovery. “I was shocked to begin with when I ...

What is the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale?

Hurricane Florence is now a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds estimated at 75 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.  (NOAA) Hurricanes are categorized using what’s known as the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) explains online that it “is a 1 to 5 rating based on a hurricane’s sustained wind speed.”  Florence regained hurricane strength Sunday, and is expected to “rapidly intensify” into a major storm in the next few days as it continues its path toward the East Coast where residents are preparing for the worst.  Florence was a Category 4 hurricane last week, the first of the 2018 Atlantic season. It later weakened to a tropical storm after encountering strong wind shears and cooler waters. Read on to see what each category in t...

North Carolina UPS driver’s 3-word failed delivery note becomes viral hit

A North Carolina woman said a bear prevented her from getting her package on time.  (iStock) A North Carolina woman was expecting to find a package on her doorstep last week — but instead, she found an unusual note from a UPS driver in her mailbox. The driver left Marcy Lanier a failed delivery notice, explaining that a “bear in driveway” prevented him or her from leaving the package. Lanier couldn’t help but laugh while reading the message. In fact, the Asheville resident found the situation so hilarious, she decided to share it with friends on Facebook. ALABAMA SCHOOL’S HILARIOUS ‘OPT OUT’ FUNDRAISING LETTER GOES VIRAL “Like I say. Only in Asheville!” Lanier wrote, posting a photo of the slip. The photo went viral, garnering more than 2,200...

Entire Arctic expedition perished, but not because of lead

In a Sept. 9, 2014 image provided by Parks Canada, HMS Erebus is pictured on a sonar scan in the Queen Maud Gulf in Nunavut.  (Parks Canada/The Canadian Press via AP) In 1845, Sir John Franklin set sail from England in the hopes of discovering and successfully navigating the Northwest Passage. Instead, all 128 crew members aboard the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror ended up dead. Nearly all of them actually survived until April 1848, when they fled ships that had been ice bound and sought help on foot, only to perish on King William Island. Both shipwrecks were uncovered in the past four years, and Gizmodo reports “well-preserved bodies” of some of the dead sailors have been located in graves. But what felled them all remained unknown though there was a theory: lead poisoning. Now, a...

Glowing NASA map shows huge dust clouds swirling across Earth

Credit: NASA Earth Observatory We live our whole lives wandering from one cloud of dust to the next. The air is full of the stuff: salt wafting in from the sea, black carbon soot from wildfires and all sorts of dusty emissions from heavy industry. Usually, all that aerosolized gunk is invisible to us — but not to NASA’s satellites and ground sensors. In a stunning new illustration, shown above, NASA’s Earth Observatory reveals the invisible, tiny particles swirling around us. NASA combined data from multiple sensors on satellites such as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors on Aqua and Terra, as well as ground based sensors, to create a colorized image of the aerosol plumes. [Earth Pictures: Iconic Images of Earth from Space] Some of these dust clou...

16-foot great white shark comes within ‘arm’s length’ of underwater photographer

File photo of a great white shark.  (Discovery Channel via AP)) An underwater photographer had a terrifying — yet breathtaking — view of a 16-foot great white shark in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Massachusetts this week. Photographer Keith Ellenbogen was freediving in the ocean, roughly 25 miles out from Boston, while capturing images of marine life for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration when a very large guest paid him a surprise visit. Initially, Ellenbogen and his camera were reportedly focused on a humpback whale swimming nearby. But suddenly, he spotted a large shadow swimming toward him. He turned, and shot footage of what he soon found out was a great white shark. GREAT WHITE SHARK KILLS DOLPHIN, LOSES MEAL TO EVEN BIGGER SHARK “I ...