A Satellite in Orbit Spies Another Satellite Being Launched Into Orbit

An Atlas V rocket with the Landsat 9 satellite onboard roared off the launchpad on Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The Landsat 9 satellite is a joint NASA/U.S. Geological Survey mission that will continue the legacy of monitoring Earth’s land and coastal regions. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls) For 50 years, […]

Ivory-Billed Woodpecker and 22 Other Species Declared Extinct

Some conservationists have held out hope for species like the ivory-billed woodpecker, which was last spotted in 1944. National Gallery of Art The ivory-billed woodpecker and 22 other species have been declared extinct, according to an announcement by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on September 29. The list includes 11 birds, eight freshwater mussels, […]

The Surprising Artistic Life of Ancient Sparta

Illustration by Tracy Walker King Agesilaus II—who led the Spartan Army at the peak of its power in the fourth century B.C.—proclaimed that one of Sparta’s greatest strengths was its citizens’ “contempt of pleasure.” Nonsense. Spartans were devoted to all kinds of pleasurable pursuits, particularly the arts: It is widely believed that there were more […]

Sparta Was Much More Than an Army of Super Warriors

A monument in Thermopylae to King Leonidas. Bridgeman Images Ancient Sparta has been held up for the last two and a half millennia as the unmatched warrior city-state, where every male was raised from infancy to fight to the death. This view, as ingrained as it is alluring, is almost entirely false. The myth of […]

This Winged Electronic Device Was Inspired by Wind-Dispersed Seeds

Inspired by the fluttering seeds, researchers designed a tiny, winged microchip that is powerful enough to monitor environmental contamination, biohazards, and airborne disease. Here it is shown next to a lady bug for scale.   Northwestern University When a breeze whips through a bigleaf maple, paper-thin, wing-like seeds called samaras, whirl into action and gently spin […]

How Science Conquered Diphtheria, the Plague Among Children

By Perri Klass Author, A Good Time to Be Born: How Science and Public Health Gave Children a Future Even Noah Webster, that master of words, did not have a name for the terrible sickness. “In May 1735,” he wrote in A Brief History of Epidemic and Pestilential Diseases, “in a wet cold season, appeared at […]

Inside the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Jackie Mansky I was worried that the long-awaited, $482 million Academy Museum of Motion Pictures would break my heart.  Years behind schedule, the 300,000-square-foot complex designed by the Pritzker prize-winning architect Renzo Piano had, as the joke goes, spent longer in development than Cleopatra. The state-of-the-art institution at long last opens its doors on a […]

Display of 100 Renaissance Portraits Underscores Humans’ Enduring Desire to Be Remembered

“Remember Me,” now on view at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, unites more than 100 European Renaissance portraits. Pictured here is Albrecht Dürer’s 1508 chalk sketch of an unidentified African man. Albertine Dijkema / Rijksmuseum Portraits, particularly the commissioned likenesses that were all the rage in Renaissance Europe, open windows into the most intimate desires, fears and […]