To be successful Mars colonists, future astronauts will need to know both the potential hazard and utility of the soil. One unusual compound that has garnered quite a bit of attention is called perchlorate; it has the potential to be both a blessing and a curse for future explorers.
From the debut of the world's largest solar plant to Comet ISON, zombified bees to the physics of sailing — it's been another year of diverse storytelling from the KQED Science team. Here's a round-up of our top 10 stories (based on page views) that you've enjoyed in 2013.
Maybe a week before it passes closest to the sun, the dark side of Comet ISON is expected to begin turning into the sunlight. The sudden exposure to the intense radiation could cause a strong outburst of gases into the coma--like a celestial popcorn kernel suddenly bursting.
UC Davis is acquiring a chunk of meteorite that landed in Northern California last year. The meteorite's age makes it rare and valuable. It contains dust from ancient stars that exploded, the same stuff that eventually formed our solar system.