Thermal imaging taken by the Venus probe Akatsuki shows the poles of the planet in white, an indication that their temperatures are higher than in other areas of the planet. (Provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)
JAXA set to solve age-old riddle of temperature variations on Venus
JAXA is poised to explain the mystery of why temperatures in the atmosphere above the poles of Venus, in contrast to Earth, are higher than in surrounding areas of the planet.
A part of the fossilized skull of a Sirindhorna khoratensis, a newly discovered taxon of iguanadons (Koichi Hotta)
Newly discovered Thai dinosaur makes museum debut in Japan
FUKUI--Japanese dinosaur fans are among the first to see the skeleton of a newly discovered taxon from Thailand that went on display at the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum from Jan. 30.
The gas-filled recoil ion separator (GARIS), shown in this photo taken at the Riken national research institute in Wako, Saitama Prefecture, was used to detect element 113. (Daisuke Sudo)
Technological perseverance wins Japan naming rights for element 113
In a triumph marked by years of unremitting experiments, scientists at the Riken national research institute have synthesized new atomic element 113, making Japan the first Asian country to have the honor of naming a new element.
The newly-discovered species of sea cucumber, "thyone susamiensis." It spreads its tentacles to grab its lunch. (Provided by Wakayama Prefectural Museum of Natural History)
New species of sea cucumber squirms into the spotlight
SUSAMI, Wakayama Prefecture--It might look like a discarded overripe banana, but an unassuming creature found on a beach here has been heralded by scientists as a new species of sea cucumber.
The resuscitated tardigrade with a measure at right that is 0.1 millimeter long (Provided by the National Institute for Polar Research)
Microscopic creature reproduces after 30 years on ice
Tardigrades can reproduce even after being frozen for more than 30 years, the National Institute for Polar Research (NIPR) announced Jan. 14 with the results of a study on the micro-animals.
The microsatellite Diwata-1, the Philippines' first satellite, is shown at the Tsukuba Space Center in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, on Jan. 13. (Teru Okumura)
Manila's microsatellite set to start Japan-proposed Earth-observation network
TSUKUBA, Ibaraki Prefecture--A Filipino satellite scheduled for launch in spring will likely be the first component of an Asian microsatellite network proposed by Japanese scientists for observations anywhere on Earth.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency X-ray astronomy satellite Astro-H at the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture on Jan. 12 (Chisato Yokota)
JAXA unveils super-satellite to explain mysteries of the universe
TANEGASHIMA, Kagoshima Prefecture--Japan's space agency showed off a super-powerful satellite Jan. 12 that will probe the depths of the universe to unravel its greatest mysteries.
The Asahi Shimbun
Scientists organize micro-organisms to help Japan win Olympic gold
Japanese scientists have a gut instinct that micro-organisms can play a key role in winning gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The Asahi Shimbun
Kyoto University team sees twinkling light of gas sucked into black hole
KYOTO--An international team led by Kyoto University observed for the first time fluctuating light emitted by gas being absorbed by a black hole.
The reagent ClearSee makes a thale cress pistil translucent so scientists can study the structure of its pollen tubes. (Provided by Nagoya University)
Researchers create reagent to make plants see-through
NAGOYA--Scientists at Nagoya University have developed a reagent that makes plants translucent, allowing them to observe specimens on a cellular level under a microscope without having to slice them open.
The Riken institute in Wako, Saitama Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japanese research institute earns right to name element 113
A world scientific body says Japanese scientists have met the criteria for naming a new element, the synthetic highly radioactive element 113.
A Japanese eel with a tracking device is prepared for release at a beach in Hyuga, Miyazaki Prefecture, on Dec. 22. (Shogo Ohata)
Scientists tracking endangered pregnant eels from Miyazaki to Mariana Islands
HYUGA, Miyazaki Prefecture--Pregnant eels tagged with tracking devices were released here for a 2,500-kilometer journey to help scientists unravel the spawning secrets of the Japanese delicacy and remove them from the endangered list.
A newborn American alligator (provided by the National Institute for Basic Biology)
Japanese team cracks crocodile egg mystery of how sex is decided
OKAZAKI, Aichi Prefecture--A Japanese research team’s discovery of how the sex of crocodiles is determined by identifying a protein that perceives the temperature at which their eggs are raised could help save endangered species.
A picture of Venus taken by the Akatsuki climate orbiter on Dec. 11 shows stripe-patterned clouds on the planet. (Provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)
Akatsuki probe captures images of stripy clouds on Venus
The Japanese space probe Akatsuki has sent back infrared footage of Venus that clearly shows the streak-patterned clouds on Earth’s closest neighboring planet.
A worker examines earthquake safety equipment that controls vibrations installed at a Tokyo metropolitan government building in the capital’s Shinjuku Ward on Dec. 15. (Kenji Matsuzawa)
Earthquake panel predicts 6 meters of swaying in high-rises if big one hits
Skyscrapers in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka could sway up to 6 meters during a major earthquake originating in the Nankai Trough off the Pacific coast of Honshu, a government panel said Dec. 17.
An ultraviolet image of Venus taken by space probe Akatsuki from a distance about 72,000 kilometers from the core of Venus shows stripes on the cloudy planet. (Provided by JAXA)
Akatsuki probe enters orbit around Venus on 2nd try, sends back digital images
The Japanese space probe Akatsuki entered orbit around Venus, the outcome of an unprecedented feat of space science after the first attempt failed five years ago.
JAXA researchers and engineers inspect the Akatsuki Venus probe at the agency's Sagamihara campus in Kanagawa Prefecture in 2009. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Last chance for Akatsuki probe to enter orbit around Venus
Exactly five years after its initial failure, the Japanese space probe Akatsuki on Dec. 7 got a second--and last--chance to enter an orbit around Venus to study Earth’s nearest planetary neighbor.
Takaaki Kajita shows off the back of the chair he signed at the Nobel Museum in Stockholm on Dec. 6. (Tetsuro Takehana)
Japanese laureates gear up for big day as Nobel Week begins
STOCKHOLM--Japanese Nobel laureates Satoshi Omura and Takaaki Kajita arrived at the Nobel Museum here for a get-together with other winners ahead of the awards ceremony on Dec. 10.
The path of space probe Hayabusa 2 passing by Earth in a swingby is seen in a 30-second exposure photo taken using an equatorial mount in Setana, Hokkaido, shortly before 7 p.m. on Dec. 3. The bright light at the bottom is Capella, a first magnitude star of the constellation Auriga. (Kotaro Ebara)
Hayabusa 2 throws itself toward target asteroid in Earth swingby
The Hayabusa 2 asteroid explorer performed a successful swingby past Earth before heading full speed toward uncharted territory hundreds of thousands of kilometers away on Dec. 3.
A researcher records piles of tiles with a robot on Nov. 29 off Hatsushima island in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture. An “onigawara” decorative tile seen in the foreground features the design of the Tokugawa family crest. (Takuya Isayama)
Researchers go deep in the sea to research Edo Period tiles off Shizuoka
ATAMI, Shizuoka Prefecture--Researchers deployed an underwater robot to take a closer look at a mass of tiles that sank into the seabed off Hatsushima island in Atami while being transported by ship during the Edo Period (1603-1867).

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