Joe Palca

Joe Palca appears in the following:

Citizen Scientists Comb Images To Find An 'Overexcited Planet'

Thursday, June 01, 2017

In a crowdsourced search for celestial objects, four volunteers helped scientists identify a brown dwarf by studying images taken over the years by a NASA satellite.


Activists Build Human Rights Abuse Cases With Help From Cellphone Videos

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A human rights group finds itself with an interesting problem — an overwhelming number of videos to catalog as it builds legal cases. Computer scientists are creating tools to analyze the videos.


Juno Spacecraft Reveals Spectacular Cyclones At Jupiter's Poles

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The NASA has spotted enormous cyclones at the gas giant's north and south poles. The probe has also returned other data that have project scientists scratching their heads.


March For Science Organizers Work To Maintain Non-Partisan Position

Friday, April 21, 2017

A March for Science will be held Saturday in Washington, D.C., and hundreds of other cities in the U.S. Organizers say the march is a non-partisan celebration of science. It's meant to both encourage political leaders to fund science and rely on scientific evidence when making policy decisions. Critics worry the march will turn into an anti-Trump rally and paint scientists as just another interest group.


Have Spare Time? Try To Discover A Planet

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Astronomers think there's an undiscovered planet lurking in the far reaches of the solar system, and they're asking the public's help to find it.


While Others Saw Refugees, This German Professor Saw Human Potential

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Carmen Bachmann, a professor in Leipzig, is building an online network to help political refugees who are scientists or social scientists connect with professional peers in Germany — their new home.


Travel Ban Keeps Scientists Out Of The Lab

Sunday, February 05, 2017

The Trump administration's travel ban is preventing some researchers from returning to the U.S. Scientists fear this could negatively impact collaborations and international scientific meetings.


Dust To Dust: Scientists Find DNA Of Human Ancestors In Cave Floor Dirt

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Anthropologists in Germany say they may not need old bones to recover ancient DNA. They just analyze dust from the floor of caves where Neanderthals and other now-extinct human relatives once resided.


Learning German In The Name Of Science And Cross-Cultural Collaboration

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Ninety young Syrian refugees are teaming up with neuroscientists in Leipzig to figure out the quickest and best way to teach German as a second language. Vocabulary first, or grammar early on, too?


Astronomers Seeking Planet 9 Hope To Soon Catch A Glimpse

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Scientists will search the sky Thursday for an undiscovered planet in the outer solar system — they're pretty sure it's out there, and computer models tell them where to look.


Adding A Funny Form Of Carbon To Silly Putty Creates A Heart Monitor

Friday, December 09, 2016

Graphene comes in sheets barely an atom thick and is extremely good at conducting electricity. By adding the unusual form of carbon to Silly Putty, scientists created flexible sensors.


Some Assembly Required: New Space Telescope Will Take Shape After Launch

Monday, November 28, 2016

The James Webb Space Telescope is undergoing its final series of tests in NASA workshops. It's designed to take even grander images than the Hubble telescope. But deploying it will be a major feat.


NASA's New 'Intruder Alert' System Spots An Incoming Asteroid

Sunday, October 30, 2016

A space rock zipped by Earth on Sunday night. Astronomers knew it didn't pose a threat, in part thanks to a new automated warning program called Scout.


A Friend For Pluto: Astronomers Find New Dwarf Planet In Our Solar System

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The object known for now as 2014 UZ224 is only about 330 miles across and takes 1,100 years to orbit the sun. But one of the most interesting things about it is the way researchers found it.


This Scientist Is Trying To Unravel What Sugar Does To The Brain

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Molecular biologist Monica Dus is studying fruit flies to understand how a high sugar diet affects the brain and leads to overeating and obesity. And she just won a big grant to dig deeper.


A Revolution That Didn't Happen: Personal Rapid Transit

Monday, October 03, 2016

In 1975, the Personal Rapid Transit in Morgantown, W.Va., was expected to usher in a new age of public transit nationally. It didn't. Still, the aging system is getting a $100-million upgrade.


A Teen Might Pick The Landing Site For NASA's Next Mars Rover

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Alex Longo hopes to be the first person to walk on Mars. In the meantime, the Raleigh, N.C., sophomore has suggested a landing site for the next rover mission. His pick is one of four finalists.


NASA Probe Takes First-Ever Close-Up Images Of Jupiter's North Pole

Friday, September 02, 2016

"It's bluer in color up there than other parts of the planet, and there are a lot of storms," a Juno mission leader says of the gas giant's northern reaches.


Astronomers Are On A Celestial Treasure Hunt. The Prize? Planet Nine

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Earlier this year, a pair of scientists predicted the existence of a ninth planet based on computer modeling of the solar system. This fall, the race is on to be the first to spot it in a telescope.


Young Inventors Work On Secret Proteins To Thwart Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Many of the most powerful antibiotics have lost their punch. Some Stanford students think they've found a different way to attack bacteria that the germs can't overcome.