Science

Internal Emails Show NASA Employees Agonizing Over James Webb’s Homophobic History
Science

Internal Emails Show NASA Employees Agonizing Over James Webb’s Homophobic History

"I think you will find this paragraph to be troubling." The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is almost certainly the most advanced orbital observatory in human history, and it’s just now starting to trickle out amazing images of the cosmos. Haunting its success, though, have been consistent complaints from members of the astronomy community who have pointed out that its namesake, James Webb, was the head of NASA during a period when the agency was overtly discriminatory toward queer employees. “As someone in management, Webb bore responsibility for policies enacted under his leadership, including homophobic ones that were in place when he became NASA administrator,” wrote a group of scientists in Scientific American last year. “Some argue that if Webb was complicit, so was e...
How did cockroaches survive the asteroid that led to the extinction of dinosaurs?
Science

How did cockroaches survive the asteroid that led to the extinction of dinosaurs?

How did cockroaches survive the asteroid that led to the extinction of dinosaurs? – Kinjal, age 11, Delhi, India When the rock now known as the Chicxulub impactor plummeted from outer space and slammed into the Earth 66 million years ago, cockroaches were there. The impact caused a massive earthquake, and scientists think it also triggered volcanic eruptions thousands of miles from the impact site. Three-quarters of plants and animals on Earth died, including all dinosaurs, except for some species that were ancestors of today’s birds. How could roaches a couple of inches long survive when so many powerful animals went extinct? It turns out that they were nicely equipped to live through a meteoric catastrophe. If you’ve ever seen a cockroach, you’ve p...