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200 votes

Was Opportunity's last message to Earth "My battery is low and it's getting dark"?

From a NASA blog post made the day after contact was lost: The dust storm that is affecting Opportunity has greatly intensified. The atmospheric opacity (tau) over the rover has increased to a record ...
BobTheAverage's user avatar
163 votes

Is the sewage from the Burj Khalifa transported away by trucks?

This story has an inkling of truth, but the specific claim raised in the title of the question is false. The one link in the question that is correct (or at least was correct in 2015) is the link to ...
David Hammen's user avatar
  • 15.2k
94 votes

Was Opportunity's last message to Earth "My battery is low and it's getting dark"?

Opportunity does not literally speak English, so no such message was expressed in those terms. However, Opportunity did communicate the information that it had a low battery and it was dark outside. ...
Zach Lipton's user avatar
  • 1,118
47 votes

Was Opportunity's last message to Earth "My battery is low and it's getting dark"?

Other answers give good technical answers to what the last message would actually have looked like, but I thought it worth tackling the angle of where the quote came from. Wikipedia cites an article ...
IMSoP's user avatar
  • 9,005
25 votes

Does this video of collapsing warehouse shelves show a real incident?

I do not know if this video depicts a real incident, but it does show one type of disaster that can happen in a warehouse with overloaded shelves. I don't see any reason to believe it was faked. The ...
BobTheAverage's user avatar
21 votes

Does talking to a rubber duck improve programmer performance when debugging?

You're not going to find studies that do something like compare the effectiveness of a rubber duck vs a stuffed parrot specifically for programmers working on debugging tasks, nor can we really ...
BradC's user avatar
  • 3,879
20 votes

Is the Great Wall of China visible from space?

"Space" and "visible" are poorly defined, but the broad question has been widely addressed already. Can you see it from the Moon, with a naked eye? No: NASA "The only thing you can see from the ...
Oddthinking's user avatar
  • 144k
16 votes

Was Opportunity's last message to Earth "My battery is low and it's getting dark"?

This Metro article cites a tweet by Keri Bean, an engineer who worked on the opportunity mission who had Oppy’s final measurement tattooed on her arm. This tattoo means more to me than just Oppy. ...
Notts90's user avatar
  • 300
8 votes

Is the sewage from the Burj Khalifa transported away by trucks?

All statements seem to be true to some extent: The City did and still does have a sewer system and at least one major plant to treat it There has been outage at the plant at some point but such ...
Jane's user avatar
  • 81
7 votes

Can pressurized air directed on the skin cause an embolism?

To answer your specific questions, Is it accurate that pressurized air directed on the skin can cause an embolism? ... Are there any documented cases of this having happened? Yes, there is at least ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 7,767
7 votes

Would it have been possible for the ancients to have built a Tower of Babel?

Given that it is possible that some building techniques were lost to history, we'll never been able to definitively answer this question, but we can take a look at what we are capable of building now ...
A Bailey's user avatar
  • 2,091
7 votes

Is the Great Wall of China visible from space?

"Next to impossible with the naked eye" Source:Space in Images DETAILS Title Great Wall of China Released 22/06/2018 11:00 am Copyright ESA Description ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst ...
GEdgar's user avatar
  • 1,546
6 votes

Is yellow safer than white for center line road markings?

There are problems with that story To start with a technicality, Alaska and Hawaii did not become states until 1959, so all-states-but-one would have been 47 states in 1955. Yellow lines were already ...
Rob Watts's user avatar
  • 6,094
6 votes

Would covering 10% of hydro-power reservoirs with solar panels generate as much power as fossil-fuel plants worldwide?

Technically possible. Do note, though, that getting a solar cell to produce its nameplate capacity is much harder than doing the same with a fossil fuel generator. The specific claim ("nearly 4,...
Danila Smirnov's user avatar
6 votes

Is a proposal to build an artificial mountain being seriously considered?

Not currently Its domain ( is currently for sale, a strong indication the initiative has run out of steam. But that doesn't mean it was never considered. Not officially It has ...
SQB's user avatar
  • 3,339
6 votes

Will the Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah be the 'longest bridge' in the world?

It depends on exactly what the claim is, but it's certainly not the "longest bridge in the world". Wikipedia's list of longest bridges, lists Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge as the Guinness Records ...
ventsyv's user avatar
  • 7,124
6 votes

Did big projects used to get finished on time and on budget?

National monument of Scotland This is not a new phenomenon and there is standing to this day a quarter built monument on Calton hill in Edinburgh that is testament to this fact. It is the National ...
John Strachan's user avatar
4 votes

Is this video a serious explanation of missile guidance algorithms?

Is this a joke? Most assuredly yes. Is this accurate? Yes, just deliberately convoluted and tongue in cheek. The BGM-109G Ground Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM) uses a combination of an inertial ...
Schwern's user avatar
  • 20.2k
4 votes

Would it have been possible for the ancients to have built a Tower of Babel?

The 52.5 km tower is definitely impossible no matter what technology you have. The reasons are the same as discussed for the height of a mountain in this answer. Above a certain height, ...
TheBlackCat's user avatar
  • 1,171
3 votes

Do electric cars emit half the CO2 as diesel from a life-cycle perspective?

Summary: I found numbers from University of Cologne (2010) which together with production-related emission numbers spread out over a number of German newspaper articles are in agreement with the claim....
cbeleites unhappy with SX's user avatar
1 vote

Can you harvest energy from radio transmissions?

In addition to the other answers, it is the principle by which a crystal radio set (first used by Bose in the 1890's, but not patented until the early 20th centuary) works. This just consists of an ...
Penguino's user avatar
  • 111

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