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Comet

New Comet: C/2014 M2 (Christensen)

Discovery Date: June 25, 2014

Magnitude: 19.4 mag

Discoverer: E. J. Christensen (Mount Lemmon)
C/2014 M2 (Christensen)
© Aerith Net
Magnitudes Graph
The orbital elements are published on M.P.E.C. 2014-N02.
Comet 2

New Comet: C/2014 M1 (PanSTARRS)

Discovery Date: June 24, 2014

Magnitude: 20.8 mag

Discoverer: Pan-STARRS 1 telescope (Haleakala)
C/2014 M1 (PanStarrs)
© Aerith Net
Magnitudes Graph
The orbital elements are published on M.P.E.C. 2014-N01.
Saturn

Evidence that Earth-like worlds can form in two-star solar systems

© NASA/Tod Strohmayer (GSFC)/Dana Berry (Chandra X-Ray Observatory)
A new planet has provided scientists with the first evidence that liveable, Earth-like worlds can exist in binary, or two-star, solar systems. As half the universe's planets are in binary systems, the chances of life on other planets just got better.

The new planet, dubbed OGLE-2013-BLG-0341 by scientists, is twice the size of Earth and orbits one of the stars in a binary star system - where two stars orbit around their common center of mass - at a distance of around 90 million miles, which is the same distance between Earth and our sun. However, the big difference is that the heat source is 400 times dimmer than our own sun.

There is no chance that there could be any forms of life as we knew it on the planet, as the temperature on the new discovery is a chilly -213 Celsius, which is colder than Jupiter's moon Europa. Even though there are two suns orbiting the planet, very little warmth is omitted from either heat source.
Beaker

A single molecule superconductor emerges under pressure

Three decades ago, researchers discovered that certain organic molecules become superconducting at low temperatures. This finding sparked numerous investigations into the properties of these lightweight, low-cost and easy-to-modify materials. Despite much recent progress, chemists remain puzzled by one aspect of these compounds: all known molecular superconductors need the cooperative action of two or more different molecular species to move electrons without resistance.
superconductivity
© 2014 American Chemical Society
The diamond anvil cell used to induce superconductivity in a single-component nickel–organic molecule.
HengBo Cui and Reizo Kato from the RIKEN Condensed Molecular Materials Laboratory in collaboration with Hayao Kobayashi and Akiko Kobayashi from Nihon University have now realized a crucial goal in the search for metal-like organic molecules by uncovering the first molecular superconductor containing only one component.

Superconducting organic crystals are designed around the principle of charge-transfer complexes, where strong interactions between distinct 'donor' and 'acceptor' components move electrons through normally insulating carbon bonds. By squeezing the charge-transfer structures together using diamond anvil cells - tools that allow crystals to be compressed at pressures of up to millions of atmospheres - resistance-free electrical transport can occur at temperatures near absolute zero.

The electron donors and acceptors in molecular superconductors are normally individual ionic compounds. However, Kobayashi's team has recently spearheaded investigations into metal - dithiolate complexes that contain a complete charge-transfer system in a single molecule. These crystals, in which a central gold or nickel acceptor atom is flanked on two sides by extended aromatic donor rings infused with sulfur atoms, have a high intrinsic conductivity and exhibit metallic behavior at low temperatures.
Cloud Lightning

World energy crisis solution? Russian scientists raising funds to rebuild Tesla Tower

tesla coil
© Reuters/Sheng Li
Two Russian physicists are fundraising to realize their project for wireless energy transmission once proposed by brilliant 20th-century scientist Nikola Tesla. Solar panels and an upgraded Tesla Tower could solve global energy hunger, they say.

Leonid and Sergey Plekhanov, graduates of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, claim they have spent years scrutinizing the Nikola Tesla's patents and diaries and they believe that with his most ambitious project - transcontinental wireless energy transmissions - Tesla came very close to unprecedented scientific discovery that could be brought to fruition.

The enthusiasts say they need about $800,000 to reconstruct the famous Wardenclyffe Tower once created by Tesla himself to implement his ideas and find a commercial application for his ideas on long-distance wireless energy transmission.

The Plekhanov brothers are raising money through IndieGogo kickstarter. The campaign will last until July 25. So far the project has managed to collect only 2 percent of the desired sum (about $18,000 out of the desired $800,000 as we publish this article).

According to the authors of the project, as of today all human civilization's electric energy needs could be covered with a single installation of solar panel measured approximately 316 by 316 kilometers (100,000 square kilometers altogether) positioned in a desert somewhere near the equator.

Gold Coins

Russia considers legalizing bitcoin

© AFP/Karen Bleier
The Bank of Russia has signaled it is ready to legalize the world's first mainstream cryptocurrency, despite the big risks and setbacks the digital money has experienced. The Bank's recognition means it can better regulate it, and even collect tax.

"We advocate a careful approach to bitcoin and are monitoring the situation along with the Bank for International Settlements," Gazeta.ru quotes Georgy Luntovsky, the Bank of Russia's Deputy Chairman speaking on Wednesday at the annual International Banking Congress in St. Petersburg.

"One can't ignore this instrument, maybe this is the future," Luntovsky added.

Mr. Luntovsky also said the Central Bank of Russia is studying bitcoins together with the government.

"Maybe at some time we'll take a decision about the legislative regulation of this question," he said.
Telescope

Hubble survey spots two new objects beyond Pluto

KBO's
© NASA, ESA, SwRI, JHUAPL, New Horizons KBO Search Team
The left image shows a KBO about 4 billion miles from Earth. Its position noticeably shifts between exposures taken approximately 10 minutes apart. The image at right shows a second KBO at a similar distance.
Scientists looking for targets beyond Pluto for NASA's New Horizon's spacecraft to visit will get more time on the Hubble Space Telescope, managers decided after a two-week pilot study revealed at least two candidate objects.

The New Horizons team had spent three fruitless years using ground-based telescopes to find a Kuiper Belt Object that will be within range of New Horizons after its July 14, 2015, flyby of Pluto. Last month, scientists got two weeks of observing time on Hubble for initial scans.

The deal was that if they found at least two candidates, they could have another 160 orbits worth of telescope time to ferret out a second suitable target for New Horizons.
Clipboard

Students prefer jolt of pain over sitting and thinking - study

© Zaneapostle.com
Report from psychologists at Virginia and Harvard Universities tackles question of why most of us find it so hard to do nothing

It was not so much how hard people found the challenge, but how far they would go to avoid it that left researchers gobsmacked.

The task? To sit in a chair and do nothing but think. So unbearable did some find it that they took up the safe but alarming opportunity to give themselves mild electric shocks in an attempt to break the tedium.

Two-thirds of men pressed a button to deliver a painful jolt during a 15-minute spell of solitude. One man - an outlier - found thinking so disagreeable he opted for a shock 190 times. Under the same conditions, a quarter of women pressed the shock button. The difference, scientists suspect, is that men tend to be more sensation-seeking than women.

The report from psychologists at Virginia and Harvard Universities is one of a surprising few to tackle the question of why most of us find it so hard to do nothing. In more than 11 separate studies, the researchers showed that people hated being left to think, regardless of their age, education, income or the amount they used smartphones or social media.

Comment: To learn more about how your brain works and to join the cognitive revolution, see the Cognitive Sciences discussion section of our forum.

Laptop

NSA labels all German Tor users as 'extremists'

© www.torproject.org
The NSA has been revealed to mark and consider potential "extremists" all users of the internet anonymizer service Tor. Among those are hundreds of thousands of privacy concerned people like journalists, lawyers and rights activists.

Searching for encryption software like the Linux-based operating system Tails also places you on the NSA grid, as Lena Kampf, Jacob Appelbaum and John Goetz revealed on the German site Tagesschau. The report is based on analysis of the source code of the software used by NSA's electronic surveillance program XKeyscore.

Tor is a system of servers, which routes user requests through a layer of secured connections to make it impossible to identify a user's IP from the addresses of the websites he/she visits. The network of some 5,000 is operated by enthusiasts and used by hundreds of thousands of privacy-concerned people worldwide. Some of them live in countries with oppressive regimes, which punish citizens for visiting websites they deem inappropriate.
Bulb

Hacker-proof Russian tablet disconnects communication modules and sensors on demand

russian hack proof tablet
© RIA Novosti / Sergey Mamontov
A prototype of a Russian tablet, built using the Android-derived operating system RoMOS for the Russian Defense Ministry, which is apparently one featuring a physical disconnection of communication modules described by the OS developer TsNII EISU.
A clever hacker can turn a modern mobile device into a spy, surveilling its owner. But there is a straightforward response to it. A new Russian tablet thwarts hackers by physically disconnecting communication modules and sensors on demand.

The blunt-but-effective approach may sound like overkill, but the developer, a Russian research institute specializing in creating communication systems and providing IT security solutions for the military hopes their potential clients would appreciate it.

The device, dubbed 'Rupad' by some media, is meant for the Russian armed forces, law enforcement agencies and secret services. The 'kill communications' button it features affects GPS, 3G, WiFi and Bluetooth modules, as well as its two cameras, microphone and even speaker, Deputy director for development at TsNII EISU, Dmitry Petrov, told RIA Novosti.
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