Below is a summary of current science news.
New analysis reveals dynamic volcanism on Venus
A new analysis of radar images taken more than three decades ago has uncovered new evidence suggesting that Venus, Earth's neighboring planet, is currently volcanically active — a dynamic world of eruptions and lava flows. Researchers said Wednesday that radar images taken by NASA's Magellan spacecraft showed a volcanic vent about 1 mile (1.6 km) wide on the surface of Venus expanding and changing shape over a period of eight months in 1991. The vent is on Maat Mons, the highest volcano on earth and the second highest mountain.
OneWeb “moves” from Soyuz-stranded satellites as its network nears completion
OneWeb, which is nearing completion of its Internet-from-space network, has largely abandoned an attempt to recover $50 million worth of satellites in a Ukraine-related dispute, the chief executive said of the satellite operator this week. The company will launch the final satellites needed to complete its global network from India on March 26 and expects to begin global service to new government and corporate customers shortly thereafter.
Brazilian researchers find ‘terrifying' plastic rocks on remote island
The geology of Brazil's volcanic Trindade Island has fascinated scientists for years, but the discovery of rocks made from plastic waste in this remote turtle sanctuary is causing alarm. Molten plastic has intertwined with rocks on the island, which is 1,140 km (708 miles) from the southeastern state of Espirito Santo, which researchers say is evidence of the growing human influence on the Earth's geological cycles.
Blue Origin expects the New Shepard rocket to return to flight in late 2023
Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin expects to get its New Shepard rocket back in flight by the end of 2023 after the vehicle suffered an in-flight failure in September, a sales executive for the company said on Wednesday. “We aim to fly New Shepard again by the end of this year,” Ariane Cornell, vice president of commercial and international sales, said at a conference in Washington.
NASA introduces a new space suit specifically tailored for lunar clothing
The big, baggy white moon suits worn by Neil Armstrong and his fellow apollo astronauts half a century ago are out of fashion. Lunar Haute Couture is now calling for something more form fitting and appropriate for men and women alike. NASA on Wednesday unveiled the first prototype of a redesigned next-generation space suit, specifically tailored and outfitted for the first astronauts expected to venture to the lunar surface in the next few years.
Study explains mealtime for the minke whale, the ocean's smallest giant
The smallest of the group of baleen whales, which also includes the blue whales – filter-eating giants of the marine kingdom – the Antarctic minke whale can be aptly described as the smallest giant. Due to its remote and frigid domain, it was also one of the most enigmatic of baleen whales. New research provides a fuller understanding of this species, focusing on a foraging behavior called longe-feeding that it shares with the other members of its cetacean group, the rorqual whales. With a maximum length of about 8 meters, the Antarctic minke whale was shown to be the smallest possible body size to capture enough prey to survive using this feeding strategy.
(With agency contributions.)