Remembrance Week Pays Tribute to NASA’s Three Fallen Astronaut Crews

NASA pays tribute to the crews of Apollo 1 and space shuttles Challenger and Columbia

NASA pays tribute to the crews of Apollo 1 and space shuttles Challenger and Columbia

Today, Feb. 1, concludes the most somber week in NASA history as we remember the fallen astronauts who gave their lives exploring space so that others could reach to the stars – venturing further than ever before!

In the span of a week three crews of American astronauts made the ultimate sacrifice and have perished since 1967. They believed that the exploration of space was worth risking their lives for the benefit of all mankind.(…)
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© Ken Kremer for Universe Today, 2015. |
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Songbirds Carry on Dinosaurs’ Predatory Legacy

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I now see more clearly the fearsome predator that is the Chestnut-backed Chickadee. His terrifying manner connects him all the way from falcons recently to eagles earlier, and — much earlier — to Tyrannosaurus rex. His terror is subtler than that of T. rex, with a multitude of insects taking on the role of cowering prey once played by Stegosaurus.

Chestnut-backed Chickadees, like all songbirds, have a long evolutionary history linked to apex predators like hawks, and later, falcons. Photo by Steve Zack ©WCS.

A recent publication by 105(!) authors provides the first whole-genome analysis of key bird families representing all living Orders, and with it a more fully fleshed-out sense of the origins and timing of the evolution of modern birds. The bird family tree, informed by the connectedness of near relatives and distant relations, including previously hard to place groups, is now resolved (and can be viewed here).

There is much to digest. Here are some highlights:

Birds are dinosaurs, as most (but not all!) scientists agree.

All but the avian line of dinosaurs died out after the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction linked to an asteroid impact some 66 million years ago. Birds, placental mammals, crocodiles, sea —> Read More Here

The 2015 Super Bowl Commercials You Need To See

For the not-so-sports-obsessed people out there, Super Bowl XLIX is as much about the newest buzz-worthy commercials as it is about the Patriots and the Seahawks.

But for those of you who use those breaks from the game to, you know, eat wings or deal with non-football-related responsibilities, we’ve compiled the 2015 Super Bowl commercials you need to see.

As is common practice in the age of the Internet, many companies released their spots in the days and weeks leading up to the game. We’ll continue to add to what we’ve already assembled below as the new never-before-seen ads air Sunday night.

Happy commercial-viewing, and, uh, go team!

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