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Interactive Map Color-Codes Race of Every Single American

It sounds somewhat implausible, but a University of Virginia academic has designed an interactive map that color-codes the geographic distribution of every single American, drawing on the last census. The Racial Dot Map uses 308,745,538 blue, green, red, and other colored dots to represent the race of every American in the place that person lives.…

Guests Across The Globe: Six Months of 2013 NG Weekend Interviews

We’re halfway through the year and what better way to map our progress than to, well, map the many guests we’ve had on National Geographic Weekend since the ball dropped back in January?

New Dark Matter Map Solving Galactic Puzzle?

One of the brilliant things about astrophysics is being able to take pictures of invisible stuff. Infrared telescopes, for example, allow astronomers to see “dark” nebulas (picture), clouds of dust and gas that weakly reflect light from nearby stars, glowing mostly in thermal emissions. Similarly, high-energy x-rays and gamma rays let scientists “see” black holes,…

Last Chance to Vote for Discovery’s Wakeup Songs

The space shuttle Discovery is slated to launch on its final mission this week, and that means voting will soon close on NASA’s Space Rock contest. —Image courtesy NASA As we reported back in August, it’s been a tradition since the Apollo program to rouse slumbering astronauts with music selected either by flight controllers or…

Pac-Man on the Moon

Saturn’s moon Mimas must be a fan of 1980s pop culture. Not satisfied with being labeled the “Death Star moon,” Mimas has now decided to host an interplanetary game of Pac-Man. paku-paku, paku-paku Scientists working with NASA’s Cassini orbiter yesterday released the highest resolution heat map to date of daytime temperatures on the icy moon.…

Will the Real “First Moon Mapper” Please Stand Up?

Building on the Hubble-Slipher smackdown from last week, a group of historians at the Royal Astronomical Society in the U.K. is aiming to give credit where it’s due to the man who drew the first maps of the moon using a telescope. Popular thought pegs Italian scientist Galileo Galilei with this feat—in fact, the International…

Searching For Other Earths? Send a Flower Into Space

Imagine trying to spot a moth flying around the rim of a searchlight. If the light is a few feet from you, there’s a chance you would catch the occasional flicker of motion, but the moth would be largely hidden by the glare. Now imagine the spotlight shines as bright as the sun and is…

“Invisible” Auroras Mapped on Mars

Earth isn’t the only planet that puts on a flashy light show. Last week Saturn was the exhibitionist, showing off a vibrant blue aurora around its northern polar hexagon. And Jupiter made the crowds cheer in 2007 with a shot of its “hyper-auroras” lighting up both poles. —Photo by Bruce Dale/NGS Not to be outdone,…

One of These Days, Chandrayaan …

Bang! Zoom! Straight to tha moon! That’s what officials at the Indian Space Research Organization hope will happen early tomorrow, when India sends up its first ever mission to the moon: Chandrayaan-1. Starting at 5:50 a.m. local Indian time, you can watch a live webcast of Chandrayaan-1 lifting off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre on…

Venus Express Maps a Mighty Wind

If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, should we space-loving chicks be annoyed that the red planet gets so much more money and attention than its “feminine” counterpart? Yeah, Mars is cool and all, what with its tantalizing geologic features and strong potential as a relatively recent host for liquid water. By…

Elephants’ Legendary Memories May Be Key to Their Survival

Since I was a boy growing up in Africa I have heard that elephants “never forget.” Their reputation for remembering may be based in part on their habit of visiting and seemingly mourning the dried bones of their relatives. Elephants have long been known to teach their young the ancient knowledge they received from their…