In Brief: Owners required to register drones

It's not just a toy. After close calls with airliners, owners will have to register drones with the government. Stock image.
It's not just a toy. After close calls with airliners, owners will have to register drones with the government. Stock image.

     Getting a drone for Christmas? Better land that sucker long enough to register it with the federal government.

     Registration for drones begins Dec. 21, just in time for the holidays. The first 30 days will be free in effort to encourage registration, according to the U.S.  Transportation Department's Federal Aviation Administration. After the 30-day period, the fee will be only $5.
     The requirements aren't just for those with new drones or, as they are formally known, unmanned aircraft systems. Owners of aircraft purchased before Dec. 21 are required to register no later than Feb. 19, an FAA news release said. 
     The registration requirement is an attempt to make drone operators more accountable. Earlier this year, the FAA released a report documenting near misses between airplanes and drones.
     Learn more on the FAA's website.

     Do primates like chitchat? Is it possible that chitchat is a social bonding tool passed down from primates?
     Yes, according to Princeton University researchers whose work was published in the journal Animal Behavior. Ring-tailed lemurs primarily call and respond to the “individuals with which they have close relationships,” according to a Princeton news release. “While grooming is a common social-bonding experience for lemurs and other primates, the researchers found that lemurs reserved vocal exchanges for the animals that they groomed most frequently.”
     The research was conducted to help scientists understand how primate vocalizations and human speech evolved. The lead author, Ipek Kulahci, received a doctorate in ecology and evolutionary biology from Princeton.

    The earth’s rotation: Climate change -- and specifically, the melting of glaciers --  contributing to a slight slowing of the Earth’s rotation, according to  research published Dec. 11 in the journal Science Advances. Mathieu Dumberry, a professor of physics at the University of Alberta, Canada, led the research. “Melt water from glaciers not only causes sea-level rise, but also shifts mass from the pole to the equator, which slows down the rotation,” a University of Alberta news release explained. “As a consequence of Earth rotating more slowly, the length of our days is slowly increasing. In fact, a century from now, the length of a day will have increased by 1.7 milliseconds.”

     Get your application in: NASA is accepting applications for anyone wanting to be an astronaut. The space agency points out that it was recently named “best place to work in the federal government.” Applicants must be willing to travel to far-out locations. The application website will accept submissions through Feb. 18.


    FAA reports show near misses with drones

    FAA warns of hazard -- a sky full of drones

    NASA: Looking for a few good astronauts

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