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James Webb Space Telescope finds the faintest galaxy ever detected at the dawn of the universe
7 June 2023 - he James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has identified one of the most distant galaxies ever seen -- an ancient, nearly invisible star cluster so remote that its light is the faintest scientists have ever detected. Called JD1, the galaxy -- whose light traveled for roughly 13.3 billion years to reach us -- was born just a few million years after the Big Bang. (more)

Vermeer exhibition Amsterdam museum's most successful ever
7 June 2023 - The blockbuster exhibition of paintings by Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer closed its doors for the final time on Sunday [4 June], with the art and history national museum of the Netherlands hailing the show as its most successful ever. The Rijksmuseum said the exhibition that drew on collections around the world to bring together 28 of the 37 paintings generally ascribed to Vermeer attracted 650,000 visitors from 113 countries during its 16-week run that started in early February. (more)

Plenty abuzz on World Bee Day
6 June 2023 - Beekeepers around the world earn their livelihoods from the golden honey their bees produce, but they also play a critical role in pollinating 87 of 115 leading food crops worldwide. World Bee Day, observed on Saturday [20 May], is abuzz with promoting their sustainable agricultural practices and respecting the role these pollinators play in nature. (more)

UK's Princess of Wales dons veil and boots to mark World Bee Day
6 June 2023 - Buckingham Palace issued a photograph of Kate, the wife of heir to the British throne Prince William, on Saturday [20 May] to mark World Bee Day. ...World Bee Day aims to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development. (more)

Texas farmers experiment with ancient farming styles
5 June 2023 - A study is under way in the water-scarce Rio Grande Valley region to see if commodity farmers can use the regenerative technique of cover cropping as a way to adapt to rapidly changing weather conditions. In one of the toughest growing regions in the US, commercial farmers like Frank Machac are experimenting with a style of ancient agriculture more known for soil health than profit. (more)

Meet the 14-year-old who won the Scripps National Spelling Bee with 'psammophile'
4 June 2023 - Soft-spoken but brimming with confidence, Dev Shah asked precise questions about obscure Greek roots, rushed through his second-to-last word, and rolled to the National Spelling Bee title Thursday night. ...The winner's haul is more than $50,000 in cash and prizes. [Runner-up Charlotte Walsh gets $25,000.] Dev is the 22nd champion in the past 24 years with South Asian heritage. His father, Deval, a software engineer, immigrated to the United States from India 29 years ago to get his master's degree in electrical engineering. Dev's older brother, Neil, is a rising junior at Yale. (more)

US: Florida teen Dev Shah wins 95th Scripps National Spelling Bee
4 June 2023 - The Scripps National Spelling Bee has a new champion: 14-year-old Dev Shah of Largo, Florida. The teen beat out his final opponent, eighth-grader Charlotte Walsh of Arlington, Virginia, by correctly spelling the word, 'psammophile,' which is defined by Merriam-Webster as 'an organism that prefers or thrives in sandy soils or areas.' (more)

'It healed me': the Indigenous forager reconnecting Native Americans with their roots
3 June 2023 - Twila Cassadore hopes teaching Western Apache traditional foodways can aid mental, emotional and spiritual health Foraged food accounted for up to 50 percent of the Western Apache diet in pre-reservation times. ...Along with foraging, Cassadore has interviewed more than 100 elders to help identify more than 200 wild edible plants and hundreds of traditional recipes, like acorn soup and agave pie with crust made from foraged seeds. (more)

A compelling new theory of Stonehenge
3 June 2023 - New research into the prehistoric site's acoustical properties is revealing that the stone circle may have been used for exclusive ceremonies. (more)

Scientists discover mysterious cosmic threads in Milky Way
3 June 2023 - Horizontal structures, up to 10 light years in length, appear to point in direction of galaxy's black hole. Astronomers have discovered hundreds of mysterious cosmic threads that point towards the supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way, after a survey of the galaxy. The strange filaments, each of which stretches five to 10 light years through space, resemble the dots and dashes of morse code on a vast scale. They spread out from the galactic centre 25,000 light years from Earth like fragmented spokes on an enormous wheel. (more)

UK: Norfolk charity joins June project to connect people with nature
2 June 2023 - People who connect with nature are more resilient and have better all-round health, according to a new project. The Wildlife Trusts, in collaboration with the NHS, have launched the 30 Days Wild initiative to encourage more people to get out and about. The month-long project -- throughout June -- will ask volunteers to 'take a random act of wildness'. Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) said it was a chance to reconnect with nature and aid well-being. (more)

Icy moon of Saturn spews massive water plume
2 June 2023 - Astronomers have detected a huge plume of water vapor spurting out into space from Enceladus, an icy moon of Saturn. The 504km-wide (313 miles) moon is well known for its geysers, but this is a particularly big one. The water stream spans some 9,600km -- a distance equivalent to that of flying from the UK to Japan. ...The new super-plume was spied by the James Webb Space Telescope. (more)

Webb telescope spies massive plume erupting from Saturn's moon Enceladus
1 June 2023 - A record-breaking water plume erupted from Saturn's moon Enceladus, and the James Webb Space Telescope was watching when it occurred. Beneath the thick, icy crust of Enceladus is a global saltwater ocean. Previous missions like Cassini have spied plumes jetting for hundreds of miles between cracks -- dubbed 'tiger stripes' by scientists -- in the ocean world's surface. The geyser-like plumes release water vapor, organic chemicals, and ice particles into space. (more)

Heads up! Stunning birds are all around us, even in dense cities
31 May 2023 - This time of year, there are a lot of seasonal visitors to our nation's capital -- the avian kind, that is. Washington, D.C., is rated as having the nation's best city park system, and migratory birds flock here on their journey north, many of them having traveled thousands of miles to nest and breed. (more)

India: Rural hospitals and clinics find reliable power in rooftop solar
30 May 2023 - In the searing heat that often envelops Raichur, an ancient town in southern India, a ceiling fan that spins without interruption brings sweet relief for the newborn babies and their mothers at the Government Maternity Hospital. But such respite wasn't always guaranteed where frequent power cuts to India's overmatched electrical grid can last hours. It wasn't until the hospital installed rooftop solar panels a year ago that it could depend on constant electricity that keeps the lights on, patients and staff comfortable, and vaccines and medicines safely refrigerated. (more)

NASA released stunning new space images from James Webb Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory
29 May 2023 - NASA has shared more dazzling images of the universe. Four new images, released last week, provide a peek at two galaxies, a nebula, and a star cluster. The images were made possible by data collected from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, the James Webb Space Telescope, and the Hubble Space Telescope. (more)

Why birds and their songs are good for our mental health
28 May 2023 - Two studies published last year in Scientific Reports said that seeing or hearing birds could be good for our mental well-being. ...Research has consistently shown that more contact and interaction with nature are associated with better body and brain health. (more)

Supermassive black hole at heart of ancient galaxy 'far larger than expected'
27 May 2023 - A supermassive black hole discovered at the heart of an ancient galaxy is five times larger than expected for the number of stars it contains, astronomers say. Discovery of GS-9209, one of the furthest from the Milky Way, adds to evidence that large black holes prevent star formation, astronomers say. (more)

US: Birding soars in popularity, especially in the Northwest
26 May 2023 - Birdwatching has spiked in popularity since the start of the pandemic, expanding the number of Americans who have taken up the hobby to 60 million. ...Studies show birding improves hobbyists' well-being for up to eight hours. So the more birds you see, the better you feel. ...Merlin is a free app designed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It offers three ways to help you identify birds, by taking a picture, describing the bird, or recording the sounds around you and showing what birds are singing nearby. (more)

Investment in solar power to outstrip oil for first time, says IEA
25 May 2023 - Investment in clean energy will extend its lead over spending on fossil fuels in 2023, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said Thursday [25 May], with solar projects expected to outpace outlays on oil production for the first time. (more)

How Toronto's Don River, once declared dead, is roaring back to life
25 May 2023 - After decades of illness, including a cholera scare and bouts of malaria, Toronto's Don River succumbed to mounting neglect and was pronounced dead in 1969. After more than half a century, however, the river has roared back to life. Wildlife is gingerly returning to areas that were once the site of heavy industry. (more)

Italy's Enel to build $1 billion solar panel plant at Tulsa Port of Inola
25 May 2023 - An international green energy company will build a solar panel manufacturing facility at the Tulsa Port of Inola in what is being called the largest economic development project in state history. Enel North America picked Oklahoma to be the home of one of the largest solar cell and panel manufacturing plants in the nation, the company and its affiliate, 3Sun USA LLC, announced in a Monday [22 May] news release. (more)

New York breaks solar generation record
25 May 2023 - The state of New York generated approximately 20 percent of its electricity demand for a brief time. 'It's clear that solar energy generation is an important part of New York's energy future,' according to NYISO President and CEO Rich Dewey. 'This new record is reflective of growing investments and the innovative design of our markets.' (more)

Hundreds of new species discovered in the greater Mekong region in Asia
24 May 2023 - Researchers have discovered hundreds of new animal and plant species in remote parts of the world previously inaccessible to humans, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Hundreds of scientists from universities, conservation organizations, and research institutes around the world discovered 290 plants, 19 fishes, 24 amphibians, 46 reptiles, and one mammal in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam, according to WWF. (more)

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