Science

Morocco turns on the 1st part of epic solar power plant

Morocco turns on the 1st part of epic solar power plant

Morocco is a name usually associated with exotic getaways and clothing, but by 2018, it will also be knowns as a super power, almost literally. By that time, its sprawling solar power plant complex will be in full operation to provide electricity for as much as 1.1 million people. But while that dream is still two years away, the country has already started the important first step in that journey, turning on the switch for Noor 1, the first of three sections that together will make up the world's largest solar plant.

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Blue Origin shares rocket point of view from historic landing

Blue Origin shares rocket point of view from historic landing

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin has been busy setting records over the last few months when it comes to successfully landing re-usable rockets, only to launch and land them again. There's already been plenty of videos published of the private space agency's New Shepard rocket making its landings, but this week they shared one more, this time with a unique perspective: the landing shot from a camera on the rocket itself.

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NASA Juno spacecraft adjusts course for July 4 Jupiter arrival

NASA Juno spacecraft adjusts course for July 4 Jupiter arrival

NASA has announced that adjustments had been made this week to the course of its Juno spacecraft, which is on its way to the planet Jupiter. On Wednesday, the space agency carried out an "engine burn," firing the spacecraft's thrusters to put it on track to arrive at the solar system's largest planet on July 4th of this year. The solar-powered Juno is now roughly 425 million miles from Earth, and only 51 million miles from its destination.

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Facebook usage increases with sleep deprivation, says study

Facebook usage increases with sleep deprivation, says study

Is your amount of Facebook usage going up recently? It might be because you're not getting enough sleep. Researchers at the University of California Irvine have conducted a study recently that shows a direct connection between sleep deprivation and spending more time on Facebook. Now, this isn't the same as frequently being on Facebook leading to poor sleep patterns, but rather the opposite.

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Virginia grade school’s CubeSat will launch from ISS soon

Virginia grade school’s CubeSat will launch from ISS soon

A grade school in Virginia will be the first of its kind to send a CubeSat satellite into orbit. The satellite, which was created by students at St. Thomas More Cathedral School in Arlington, was sent to the International Space Station in December 2015, and it is scheduled to be released from it later this month on February 15. Once in orbit, the satellite will send pictures from space back to the school.

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Battery charging tech turns seawater into fresh water

Battery charging tech turns seawater into fresh water

Researchers with the University of Illinois’ Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering have revealed that battery charging technology could end up being a viable desalination method, turning seawater into fresh water. This process works by putting seawater in a modified battery and then charging the battery with electricity, causing the salt ions to be pulled from the water.

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New Johnny Cash Spider discovered near Folsom Prison

New Johnny Cash Spider discovered near Folsom Prison

You might be able to guess right off the bat where the spider "Aphonopelma johnnycashi" got its name. Having been discovered in the desert southwest, right near Folsom Prison in Folsom, California, this particular spider has been named after the musician famous for having played a concert at the prison/venue back in 1968: Johnny Cash himself. And it's not alone. This spider is just one of a set of new tarantulas that are being added to the pack this week.

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This robot chameleon changes colors faster than the real thing

This robot chameleon changes colors faster than the real thing

The future of color-changing body armor may be here, and it's in the form of this chameleon-shaped robot. Researchers from China's Wuhan University took a 3D-printed model (which also resembles a cat, but let's not split hairs) and covered it in plasmonic displays, which can produce colors and rapidly change between them by detecting the background with light sensors.

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NASA finds ‘hills’ floating on Pluto’s nitrogen glaciers

NASA finds ‘hills’ floating on Pluto’s nitrogen glaciers

NASA has presented both a phenomenon and an explanation of it, in this case floating hills spotted on Pluto. These hills are found on nitrogen ice glaciers, and they’re substantially large measuring in at one mile wide or greater. This is an aspect of Pluto’s geological activity, says the space station, and one it finds fascinating, as these floating hills themselves move in ways similar to icebergs on our own planet.

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Soft robotic gripper has strength and dexterity for lifting delicate objects

Soft robotic gripper has strength and dexterity for lifting delicate objects

Robotics designers have a tough job in creating lifting "hands" for robotic machines and devices that have the strength to lift items that are heavy while having the ability to handle delicate objects without breaking them. Using electroadhesion, the principal that allows a balloon to stick to a wall after you rub it on your hair, gripping devices for robots may have been changed significantly.

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Baby star has planet-forming disk that confounds scientists

Baby star has planet-forming disk that confounds scientists

Astronomers have been studying something far away from the Earth in the Rho Ophiuchi star formation region. Inside this region is a very young star known as 2MASS J16281370-2431391 that is about 400 light years away from Earth. This infant star has a planetary formation disk around it that is disk edge on to us here on Earth.

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Researchers recommend approving 3-parent babies for boys only

Researchers recommend approving 3-parent babies for boys only

Three-parent babies is a topic under scrutiny and criticism, not unlike genetically modified human embryos. Under request by the U.S. FDA, the Institute of Medicine has evaluated the notion of three-parent babies and has now published its report. In it, the Institute of Medicine recommends that in cases where there’s risk of mitochondrial diseases, three-parent babies should be allowed. But only if the babies produced are boys.

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