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Facts of the Matter

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Twice-yearly solstice marks sun’s switch in direction

The December solstice occurs at 12:44 a.m. Hawaii time Wednesday. At this instant the sun will reach its southernmost point on the ecliptic and start northward again. Read More

Many factors affect moon’s trip around Earth

Just about everyone knows that the moon orbits Earth once every month. What we do not commonly know is that the moon’s orbit is not circular; it is elliptical. Read More

Trendy LEDs are created with ‘doped’ materials

The hottest lights on the market today are cool light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. LEDs are made from semiconductors, which differ from conductors in the way their crystal structure holds electrons. Read More

Fermentation plays key role in muscles, variety of foods

It’s nearly certain that each of us consumes some fermented food or beverage daily. Bread, cheese, yogurt, beer, cured salami, cocoa and pickled foods such assauerkraut and kim chee are some examples of fermented products. Read More
 

Gravitational waves noted from ancient crash in space

According to general relativity, gravity is not a force that pulls on matter through empty space. Read More
 

CRISPR gene editing offers promise for treating defects

A new gene editing technique called CRISPR-Cas9 has turned the biology world upside down and will have an immeasurable effect on genetic and molecular biology research in the coming years. Read More

Magnetic field helps guard Earth and guides travelers

Using nothing but a compass as a navigational tool, ancient mariners from China to Sumer navigated the world’s oceans. Even in the modern age of GPS, the magnetic compass is anunfaltering navigational tool for seagoing vessels, airplanes and hikers on the ground. Read More

7-day week has been around since the late Roman Empire

If you do not like the seven-day week, blame it on Constantine the Great, first Christian emperor of the Holy Roman Empire from A.D. 306 to 337, who officially adopted it in 321. Read More
 

No, we need not be present for a falling tree to be loud

When a tree falls and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound? It depends on what you mean by sound. We think we know what it means because our perception of sound is second in importance only to sight. Read More

As timekeeping advanced, accuracy greatly improved

The earliest clocks relied on the movements of the sun and stars. A sundial consists of a stick or gnomon that casts a shadow on a flat surface with numbers to represent hours or other measures of time. Read More

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