Scientists said it was an "unexpected" discovery: There's a liquid methane filled lake near the equator of Saturn's moon Titan.
Scientists had seen lakes on Titan before, but they didn't expect them near the equator because they believed the intensity of the sun at those latitudes would evaporate the liquid.
"This discovery was completely unexpected because lakes are not stable at tropical latitudes," planetary scientist Caitlin Griffith of the University of Arizona, who led the discovery team, told the AP.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block. There's news today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, or USADA, has brought formal doping charges against seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. USADA is the body that fights performance-enhancing drug use in Olympic sports.
A NASA mission aimed at surveying black holes and supernovae, among other things, launched successfully today at noon ET from beneath the belly of a wide-body jet flying approximately 40,000 feet above a darkened Pacific Ocean.
The 772-pound NuSTAR X-ray observatory was carried into an equatorial orbit about 400 miles above the Earth by a Pegasus rocket, which fired its three-stage motor for 13 minutes after being dropped by the L-1011 jet.
We know that women, like men, are "not some monolithic bloc," to quote the current occupant of the White House.
But as a group they are reliably influential voters, more risk-averse than men, and — pollsters tell us — generally more likely than the opposite sex to vote for Democrats, oppose the use of military force and support government programs.
In 2008, unmarried women, one of the nation's fastest-growing demographic groups, were a key to Barack Obama's presidential win.
French surgeon Pierre Foldes in his Paris office in 2004. Foldes performs reconstructive surgery on women who have undergone genital mutilation. He recently authored a study on the long-term effects of the surgery.
French President Francois Hollande's companion, Valerie Trierweiler (left), has sparked a political uproar in France, with a tweet in support of a candidate running against Segolene Royal (right), Hollande's former partner and the mother of his four children.
Credit Philippe Desmazes / AFP/Getty Images
French President Francois Hollande (right) with his companion, Valerie Trierweiler, in Tulle, southwestern France, on June 9. Hollande campaigned as a down-to-earth politician, the opposite of his scandal-prone predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy.
Europe may be in major financial and political turmoil, but in France, it's a tweet that has the country in an uproar.
The political storm erupted Tuesday when first lady Valerie Trierweiler tweeted her support for a candidate running in Sunday's parliamentary elections.
That may sound harmless, but the candidate she encouraged is running to unseat prominent politician Segolene Royal, the former partner of President Francois Hollande and the mother of his four children.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott is defending his effort to prevent non-U.S. citizens from voting in his state after the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to stop him on Tuesday.
Scott told NPR's Michel Martin on Tell Me More Wednesday that after learning his state didn't verify the citizenship status of registered voters, he's trying to ensure that the ballots of U.S. citizens aren't diminished:
Obama administration officials pointed to the 56 percent rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average since January 2009, and rising 401(k) values as evidence that the personal balance sheets of many Americans have improved during his presidency.
The nearly 40 percent drop in median household net worth between 2007 and 2010 the Federal Reserve reported earlier this week was unarguably an arresting statistic. It confirmed for millions what they already knew, that the Great Recession and its aftermath have been a financial setback with few parallels.
Last Saturday night, Manny Pacquiao moved quicker across the ring in Las Vegas, landed more punches than Timothy Bradley and many more heavy blows. Fans, experts, the TV commentators all agreed the man widely considered the best boxer in the world dominated the fight. And then the judges shocked everyone, and Pacquiao's amazing seven-year win streak was over. Controversial decisions are hardly new to boxing or to sports in general.
Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 12:51 pm
NPR's Deborah Amos followed a team of U.N. observers in Syria in June before returning to Damascus, and has been reporting on the latest developments in the region. NPR's Neal Conan speaks with Amos about her experiences reporting from Damascus and what she's seen on the ground.
At 15, Mia Schaikewitz was a star on her high school swim team, when a blood vessel ruptured in her spine and left her paralyzed from the waist down. In 1992, Auti Angel was a professional hip hop dancer when the impact of a car crash severed her spinal cord and left her a paraplegic.
Schaikewitz and Angel are two of four friends featured on the new Sundance Channel reality show Push Girls, which hopes to defy the stereotypes of women in wheelchairs.
New analysis (pdf) of climate data finds that since 1912, the United States has warmed 1.3 degrees. But that warming is concentrated in certain states, some of which have "warmed 60 times faster than the 10 slowest-warming states."
All of that is according to Climate Central, a research and journalism non-profit that seeks to inform the public about climate and energy. The center looked at data from the National Climatic Data Center's U.S. Historical Climatology Network.
Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 11:54 am
If it's true that America now resides smack dab in the middle of an interdependent global village, then we should probably pay attention to what other countries think about us — our values, our leadership and the presidential election of 2012.
Along with saying, again, that his bank "let a lot of people down" when it lost more than $2 billion, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon added this prediction during his testimony before the Senate Banking Committee this morning:
Iris (Emily Blunt, left) invites her best friend Jack to her family's vacation home after a death in his family. Unbeknownst to him, Iris' sister Hannah (Rosemary DeWitt) is already there, in the hopes of getting over a breakup.
Credit IFC Films
Hannah and Iris are half-sisters who reconnect during a vacation to a remote cabin on an island off the Washington coast.
Lynn Shelton's 2009 movie Humpday was about two straight men making a gay-porn movie to win an amateur film competition. It might not have reached a mass audience, but Humpday was noticed by other directors and producers, including Matthew Weiner, who offered Shelton a job directing an episode of Mad Men.
The list of fermented food in our lives is staggering: bread, coffee, pickles, beer, cheese, yogurt and soy sauce are all transformed at some point during their production process by microscopic organisms that extend their usefulness and enhance their flavors.
The process of fermenting our food isn't a new one: Evidence indicates that early civilizations were making wine and beer between 7,000 and 8,000 years ago — and bread even before that.
When he was around 13, Robert Charles Guidry began singing with a band around his hometown of Abbeville, La., deep in the Cajun swamps. The group played Cajun and country music and, after he passed through town and played a show, Fats Domino's music. It was a life-changing experience for the young man, and he found himself with a new ambition: to write a song for Fats.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, shown speaking in India last week, said the U.S. was "reaching the limits of [its] patience" with Pakistan. He is one of several U.S. officials to deliver sharp public criticism of Pakistan recently.
Credit Jim Watson / AP
Fuel trucks are backed up in Karachi, Pakistan. U.S. negotiators spent more than a month talking with Pakistan about reopening supply routes from Pakistan to Afghanistan. Pakistan reportedly wants about $3,000 for each trip, while the U.S. is reportedly offering about $1,000.
Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 12:41 pm
How bad are U.S. relations with Pakistan?
Even as ties grew strained over the past few years, U.S. government and military officials generally used diplomatic language when talking about differences with Pakistan. But nowadays the Americans aren't even bothering to disguise their displeasure with their longtime ally.
Several recent events have shown just how blunt the Americans have become.