category_outlined / Science


December 2019

Discover Magazine will amaze you, enlighten you, and open your eyes to the awe and wonder of science and technology. Discover reveals secrets, solves mysteries, and debunks old myths. Discover shares new findings and shows you what makes our universe tick.

United States
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
Read Morekeyboard_arrow_down
10 Issues


access_time2 min.
what’s so cute?

I remember, as a 7-year-old in the 1970s, playing in my room for hours with a foldout Holly Hobbie gazebo made of heavy bookboard. The small doll was so cute, in her patchwork dress and bonnet, hanging out in the various watercolor worlds that spilled from the white gazebo in the middle. But then along came Hello Kitty. The classic, simple line drawing of her oversized head, button nose and wide-set round black eyes exemplified cute. In my 9-year-old brain, Hello Kitty ruled, and I cherished the pencils, notepaper, stickers and especially a wee vinyl bag. Forty years later, Hello Kitty and her cute parade endure — my 7-year-old niece is a big fan. She’s drawn to the character, and many others like her, for likely the same reasons I was. There’s…

access_time1 min.

BECKY LANG Editor In Chief DAN BISHOP Design Director EDITORIAL GEMMA TARLACH Senior Editor BILL ANDREWS Senior Associate Editor ELISA R. NECKAR Production Editor ANNA GROVES Associate Editor JENNIFER WALTER Assistant Editor MCLEAN BENNETT Copy Editor HAILEY MCLAUGHLIN Editorial Assistant Contributing Editors TIM FOLGER, JONATHON KEATS, LINDA MARSA, KENNETH MILLER, STEVE NADIS, COREY S. POWELL, JULIE REHMEYER, STEVE VOLK, PAMELA WEINTRAUB, DARLENE CAVALIER (special projects) ART ALISON MACKEY Associate Art Director DISCOVERMAGAZINE.COM ERIC BETZ Digital Editor NATHANIEL SCHARPING Associate Editor MEGAN SCHMIDT Digital Content Coordinator Bloggers ERIK KLEMETTI, NEUROSKEPTIC, COREY S. POWELL, SCISTARTER, TOM YULSMAN Contributors BRIDGET ALEX, KOREY HAYNES ADVERTISING SCOTT REDMOND Advertising Sales Director 888 558 1544, ext. 533 sredmond@kalmbach.com Rummel Media Connections KRISTI RUMMEL Consulting and Media Sales 608 435 6220 kristi@rummelmedia.com MELANIE DECARLI Marketing Architect BOB RATTNER Research DARYL PAGEL Advertising Services KALMBACH MEDIA DAN HICKEY Chief Executive Officer CHRISTINE METCALF Senior Vice President, Finance NICOLE MCGUIRE Senior Vice President, Consumer Marketing STEPHEN C. GEORGE Vice President, Content BRIAN J.…

access_time1 min.

EVER CAUGHT A GLIMPSE of the man in the moon? Then you’ve experienced pareidolia — the tendency to perceive patterns where there are none. Faces are the most common shape people see, likely because mugs matter so much in our social species. But the phenomenon, pronounced “parr-i-DOH-lee-uh,” goes beyond faces. We humans can spot just about any shape in nearly anything: Maybe you see a deformed version of your state in your latte foam, or perhaps those clouds are two dinosaurs duking it out. Pareidolia even extends to auditory stimuli, when people misinterpret arbitrary sounds and noises as something meaningful, like voices or music.…

access_time1 min.
bar exam

NGC 7773, captured here in a recent Hubble Space Telescope photo, might just be the ideal example of what astronomers call a barred spiral galaxy. Its tendril-like arms spiral out from the center, a star-filled rectangular smudge, or “bar.” Astronomers have observed these central features more often in older galaxies (like our own Milky Way) than in younger ones, so they suspect the formations develop as the star systems age. Over time, the gaseous materials that create stars migrate in from the spirals and converge in the central bar, powering new stellar birth.…

access_time1 min.
quick takes

Hop, Skip, Go: How the Mobility Revolution Is Transforming Our Lives By John Rossant and Stephen Baker Getting from Point A to Point B has always been a matter of time, space and budget. Urban mobility expert Rossant and tech writer Baker break down the promise — and potential pitfalls — of how we’ll do it in the future. Are Men Animals? How Modern Masculinity Sells Men Short By Matthew Gutmann Anthropologist Gutmann tackles myths and misunderstandings about testosterone, gender, violence and a host of other topics that crop up in conversations about the nature of roughly half the population. On Trial for Reason: Science, Religion, and Culture in the Galileo Affair By Maurice A. Finocchiaro Galileo scholar Finocchiaro immerses the reader in the dominant schools of thought during the trial of the century — the 17th century,…

access_time1 min.
the ocular highway

In any creature with eyes, optic fibers serve as speedways of information between the retina and the brain. To take this photo of the ocular highway in a healthy mouse, scientists at the National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research in San Diego used a laser scanning microscope, capturing the colors of cellular components stained with vibrant dyes. Optic nerve fibers (red) form the ocular roads, glial cells (green) wrap around them for protection and blood vessels (blue) bring them oxygen and other nutrients. Images like this help researchers understand how tumors can affect these tissues, and how best to fight the unwanted growths.…