On Tuesday, November 3, 2020, Americans will decide whether President Donald Trump or Democratic-nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden will lead the country for the next four years. While voter turnout is expected to be amongst the highest in over a century, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a record number of voters to mail their ballots. Experts believe this could delay the outcome of the election by several days, or even weeks.
Scientists scrambling to find a cure for COVID-19 may have some help from an unexpected source — 14-year-old Anika Chebrolu. The youngster from Frisco, Texas, was named the winner of the 3M Young Scientist Challenge in a virtual event held on October 12 - 13, 2020, for her groundbreaking research that could lead to a cure for the coronavirus.
On October 6, 2020, an anonymous buyer paid an astounding $27.5 million ($31.8 million with fees and costs) to own Stan, one of the world's largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex (T. rex) skeletons. The price far surpasses the previous record holder, Sue — the largest and most complete T. rex skeleton — which was auctioned to Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History for $8.36 million in 1997.
It's been only a week since October began, and skywatchers have already been treated to a gorgeous, full Harvest Moon and the opportunity to observe Mars at its brightest since 2003. As it turns out, the two events were only a precursor to the other thrilling celestial treats in store for us for the rest of the month. They include two meteor showers, a rare chance to see the Red Planet in opposition, and a "Blue Moon."
Though it has been retired since 2018, the observations made by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope during its decade-long mission continue to allow researchers to identify new worlds in our galaxy. The latest to make headlines is an Earth-sized exoplanet that rotates around its dwarf star in just 3.14 days. The similarity to the close approximation of the mathematical constant pi — the ratio between a circle's circumference and its diameter — has earned the alien world the nickname "Pi planet."
Columbus Day, which is commemorated annually on the second Monday in October, has been a US federal holiday since 1934. However, the celebration, honoring Christopher Columbus's arrival to the Americas, has always been somewhat controversial due to the European settlers' brutal treatment of the Native American people. It has also been argued that the indigenous people had already "discovered" America by the time Columbus landed onto the Bahamian island he named San Salvador on October 12, 1492.
Killer whales, or orcas, are the largest members of the oceanic dolphin family. While the intelligent mammals, which hunt in large pods, are known for their orchestrated attacks on unsuspecting marine animals, they have never posed a threat to humans. However, since late July, the normally social animals have been intentionally attacking sailboats off the coasts of Spain and Portugal. The unusual hostility is puzzling scientists worldwide.
Human hair is about 50 times softer than a razor blade, which is made using heat-hardened stainless steel and often reinforced with diamond-like carbon. Yet, a few wisps of hair are powerful enough to dull a blade's sharpness within a few weeks of use. To understand how this impressive feat occurs, a team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) decided to take a closer look at what happens when the sharp edge of a blade slices through human hair.