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Sun, 25 Feb 2018
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Science & Technology


Hazy Red Sunset On Extrasolar Planet

©ESA, NASA and Frederic Pont (Geneva University Observatory)
An artist's impression of the extrasolar planet HD 189733b seen here with its parent star looming behind. The planet is slightly larger than our own Solar System's Jupiter. Its atmosphere is a scorching eight hundred degrees Celsius. Astronomers have found that the sunset on HD 189733b would look similar to a hazy red sunset on Earth.


NASA on target for return to the moon by 2020 say officials

©Agence France-Presse

Despite funding uncertainty, NASA is on track to return humans to the moon by 2020 and set up a lunar outpost to serve as a springboard to explore Mars, officials said Monday.


Voyager 2 Proves the Solar System is Squashed

NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft has followed its twin Voyager 1 into the solar system's final frontier, a vast region at the edge of our solar system where the solar wind runs up against the thin gas between the stars.

However, Voyager 2 took a different path, entering this region, called the heliosheath, on August 30, 2007. Because Voyager 2 crossed the heliosheath boundary, called the solar wind termination shock, about 10 billion miles away from Voyager 1 and almost a billion miles closer to the sun, it confirmed that our solar system is "squashed" or "dented" - that the bubble carved into interstellar space by the solar wind is not perfectly round. Where Voyager 2 made its crossing, the bubble is pushed in closer to the sun by the local interstellar magnetic field.


Nanotube-producing bacteria show manufacturing promise

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Two engineers at the University of California, Riverside are part of a binational team that has found semiconducting nanotubes produced by living bacteria - a discovery that could help in the creation of a new generation of nanoelectronic devices.

©Signs of the Times
Nanotube-producing bacteria show manufacturing promise.

Better Earth

Save the Environment: Switch to Linux

True or False: Switching from a Windows-operated computer to a Linux-operated one could slash computer-generated e-waste levels by 50%.

The answer is: TRUE

A UK government study in late 2004 reported that there were substantial green benefits to running a Linux open source operating system (OS) on computers instead of the ubiquitous Windows OS, owned by Microsoft. The main problem with Windows users was that they had to change their computer twice as many times as Linux users, on average, thereby effectively creating twice as much computer-generated e-waste.


Mass extinctions: The armageddon factor

Why do some asteroid impacts and mega-eruptions wipe out most life on Earth while others leave barely a trace in the fossil record?

Comment: Recent indications are that you won't have to wait that long.


Duff sensor grounds space shuttle Atlantis until next year

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Florida (CNN) -- NASA scrubbed space shuttle Atlantis' planned Sunday launch after a cut-off sensor designed to gauge the fuel level of the external liquid hydrogen tank failed another test, a space agency spokesman said.


Space Shuttle Scheduled to Lift Off Sunday

Cape Canaveral, Florida - NASA will try to launch the space shuttle Atlantis on Sunday under restrictive rules to deal with problem fuel sensors and an unusually tight liftoff schedule.


What's up in Space? BIG SUNSPOT

Sunspot 978 popped over the sun's eastern limb on Dec. 6th and it has quickly become one of the largest sunspots of the year. Pete Lawrence of Selsey UK photographed the active region yesterday:

©Pete Lawrence


Most ancient case of tuberculosis found in 500,000-year-old human; points to modern health issues

Although most scientists believe tuberculosis emerged only several thousand years ago, new research from The University of Texas at Austin reveals the most ancient evidence of the disease has been found in a 500,000-year-old human fossil from Turkey.

The discovery of the new specimen of the human species, Homo erectus, suggests support for the theory that dark-skinned people who migrate northward from low, tropical latitudes produce less vitamin D, which can adversely affect the immune system as well as the skeleton.