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Reuters Science News Summary

31 Jul 2020 / 20:59 H.

    Following is a summary of current science news briefs.

    Scientists use drones to study great white sharks along California coast

    Scientists are using drones and other technology to study great white sharks along the coast of Southern California to better understand interactions between these marine predators and people and assess the risks to human beachgoers. The two-year study by the Shark Lab at California State University deploys drones for aerial surveillance of the sharks and uses underwater robots, while the scientists also tag some sharks using a spear that fits the animals with a transmitter to track their movements.

    A space exploration fan, jazz artist Gregory Porter to sing for NASA launch

    Jazz artist Gregory Porter, whose new single "Concorde" is an ode to space exploration, is set to perform on Thursday as part of a ceremony marking the launch of NASA's next generation rover that will search for signs of habitable conditions on Mars. The Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter is scheduled to sing the Ray Charles version of "America The Beautiful" during the U.S. space agency's broadcast of the countdown to the launch of the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Mission at Cape Canaveral in Florida.

    NASA launches new rover to search for signs of past Martian life

    NASA's next-generation Mars rover Perseverance blasted off from Florida's Cape Canaveral on Thursday atop an Atlas 5 rocket on a $2.4 billion mission to search for traces of potential past life on Earth's planetary neighbor. The next-generation robotic rover - a car-sized six-wheeled vehicle carrying seven scientific instruments - also is scheduled to deploy a mini helicopter on Mars and try out equipment for future human treks to the fourth planet from the sun. Its arrival at Mars is planned for Feb. 18 at the site of an ancient river delta.

    Scientists solve mystery of the origin of Stonehenge megaliths

    Scientists have solved an enduring mystery about Stonehenge, determining the place of origin of many of the megaliths that make up the famed monument in Wiltshire, England, thanks to a core sample that had been kept in the United States for decades. Geochemical testing indicates that 50 of Stonehenge's 52 pale-gray sandstone megaliths, known as sarsens, share a common origin about 15 miles (25 km) away at a site called West Woods on the edge of Wiltshire's Marlborough Downs, researchers said on Wednesday.

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