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Deborah Netburn
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Deborah Netburn

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The mystery of Mercury's excessively dark surface may have just been solved.

A team of researchers working at Brown University say the planet's inky appearance may be the result of a near constant rain of impacts from tiny specks of cometary dust that "painted" the planet black over billions of years. 
The mystery of ;Mercury's excessively dark surface ;may have just been solved.
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Deborah Netburn

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At a news conference Wednesday, agency officials said they had revised their original plan to capture an asteroid and drag it into deep lunar orbit.

The new plan calls for a spacecraft with two robotic arms to remove a boulder of up to 12 feet in length from the surface of an asteroid and bring that into orbit around the moon instead. 
NASA 's next marquee mission might be described as the great asteroid boulder pluck.
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Every March 14, math enthusiasts around the world celebrate the mathematical constant known as pi, often written simply as 3.14.

Pi describes the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, and it represents an infinite string of numbers. Computers have calculated pi out to 10 trillion digits, but the first 10 go like this: 3.141592653 

What makes 3/14/15 so special for pi fans is that it is the only day this century that will have the first five digits of pi -- 3.1415. Since the next digits are 92653, most people have chosen 9:26 p.m. to mark the ultimate pi moment. (Sticklers can wait for the clock to read 53 seconds.)
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It's fitting to celebrate pi day on 3/14/15, because pi is an irrational number, and 3/14/15 is an irrational way to write dates
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Paleontologists working in Morocco have found a fossil of a bizarre sea creature that could grow up to seven feet in length and gathered plankton like a whale.

The newly discovered animal, dubbed Aegirocassis benmoulae, is an early member of the arthropod family tree, making it an ancient ancestor of cockroaches, butterflies and shrimp. It lived about 480 million years ago in a shallow sea that once covered part of the Sahara Desert.

"It is one of the biggest arthropods that ever existed, far bigger than any arthropod today," said Peter Van Roy, a paleobiologist at Yale University who helped uncover some of specimens of the extinct animal.
Paleontologists working in Morocco have found a fossil of ;a bizarre sea creature that could grow up to seven feet ;in length and gathered ;plankton like a whale.
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The signal arrived at 5:36 a.m. PST on Friday: NASA's Dawn spacecraft had successfully entered into orbit around Ceres, becoming the first NASA mission to visit a dwarf planet, and the first mission to visit two distinct bodies in the solar system. 

Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and the final stop on Dawn's journey in the solar system. The 4.5-foot-long spacecraft blasted off from Earth in 2007 and spent 14 months exploring the mega-asteroid Vesta in 2011 and 2012. It is scheduled to stay at Ceres through June 2016.
The signal arrived at 5:36 a.m. PST on Friday: NASA 's Dawn spacecraft had successfully entered into orbit around Ceres, becoming the first NASA mission to visit a dwarf planet, and the first mission to visit two distinct bodies in the solar system. ;
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Woot!
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Now you can enjoy your third daily cup of coffee and feel healthy while you do it: According to a new study, that third cup of joe may be good for your heart.

Researchers found that people who drink between three and five cups of coffee a day are likely to have less coronary artery calcium (CAC) than those who drink no coffee at all.
Now you can enjoy your ;third daily cup of coffee and feel ;healthy ;while you do it: According to a new study, that third cup of joe ;may be ;good for your heart.
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Scientists have found 30 never-before-seen species of flies buzzing about in the city of Los Angeles.  

The discovery suggests that we know less about the diversity of our winged neighbors than was previously thought. 
Scientists have found 30 never-before-seen species of flies buzzing about in the city of Los Angeles. ;
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There's a total solar eclipse coming in the wee hours of Friday morning and you can watch it live, right here.

The show begins at 1:30 a.m. Friday when the astronomy website Slooh.com will start to live stream images of the total eclipse from the Faroe Islands, a small archipelago that lies northwest of Scotland, between Norway and Iceland.

The live broadcast, which you can see above, will last for 2 1/2 hours. The moment of total eclipse should last just a little more than 2 minutes. You will also get to see the moon's shadow creeping across the face of the sun.
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Astronomers have found the most conclusive evidence yet that a large watery ocean lies beneath the surface of Jupiter's moon Ganymede.

Scientists have suspected for decades that a subterranean ocean might slosh between the rocky mantle and icy crust of the largest moon in our solar system, but they had not been able to prove it definitively until now.
Astronomers ;have found the most conclusive evidence yet that a ;large watery ocean lies beneath the surface of Jupiter's moon Ganymede.
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If I'm correct Hubble has instruments that can detect different chemicals. 
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If you don't want to raise a narcissistic brat, consider taking a hard look at your parenting style. 

A new study found that parents who believe their kids are better, more special, and deserve more than other kids can pass that point of view on to their children, creating young narcissists who feel superior to others, and entitled to privileges.

"Loving your child is healthy and good, but thinking your child is better than other children can lead to narcissism, and there is nothing healthy about narcissism," said Brad Bushman, a professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University.
If you don't want to raise a narcissistic brat, consider taking a hard look at your parenting style. ;
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Atronomers have discovered a giant planet with four suns just 125 light-years from Earth.

The planet is at least 10 times as big as Jupiter and scientists say it probably has no actual surface to stand on. But, if you could fly a spacecraft into its atmosphere and look up, you would see one primary sun, a bright red dot, and another star shining more brightly than Venus does in our night sky. 
Astronomers have discovered a giant planet with four suns just 125 light-years from Earth.
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If you can't stop thinking about the divisive dress that appears blue and black to some and white and gold to others, you are not alone: Scientists who study visual illusions have been dazzled by it too.

"The whole field was discussing it on Facebook this morning," said Arthur Shapiro, director of the Collaborative for Applied Perceptual Research & Innovation at American University in Washington, D.C. "For all it's pop culture glory, I think it is actually pretty interesting."
If you can't stop thinking about the divisive dress that appears blue and black to some and white and gold to others, you are not alone: Scientists who study visual illusions have been dazzled by it ;too.
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Have her in circles
1,182 people
Jenni Johnson's profile photo
rogerio fioravante's profile photo
durella damilare's profile photo
Галина Забузова's profile photo
Vijay Sahu's profile photo
VISU SHAHI THAKURI's profile photo
glenn romero's profile photo
Mick Cossairt's profile photo
Mike Gray's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Science Reporter
Employment
  • Los Angeles Times
    Science Reporter, 2013 - present
  • Los Angeles Times
    Tech Reporter, 2011 - 2013
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Female
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Science writer!
Introduction
Deborah Netburn is a science reporter at the Los Angeles Times. 
Education
  • Wesleyan University
    Religion, 1995 - 1999