Science

NASA spots two potentially life-supporting alien planets

NASA spots two potentially life-supporting alien planets

Two freshly-identified planets could feasibly support life, NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab has concluded, the latest crop of Earth-like possibilities spotted by the Kepler Space Telescope. Though 181 light years away from our own Earth, the two new discoveries are half of a quartet of "promising" planets that could be rocky, among other life-sustaining criteria.

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World’s smallest hard disk can fit all of humanity’s books on a stamp

World’s smallest hard disk can fit all of humanity’s books on a stamp

Researchers with the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at Delft University have created a new “smallest” hard disk, this time using a system where a bit of data is created by positioning one chlorine atom. It now holds the distinction of being the smallest hard disk in the world, though if history proves true, we’ll be seeing someone else break this record soon enough. According to one of the researchers, using this method the entire world’s library of books could be written to one postage stamp.

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NASA imagines landing on Pluto’s surface in new video

NASA imagines landing on Pluto’s surface in new video

This month celebrates the one year anniversary of New Horizons' visit to Pluto, everyone's favorite dwarf planet. Launched back in 2006, New Horizons was our first opportunity to get up close and personal with Pluto, and even though the flyby was a brief one, the pictures and measurements New Horizons was able to capture are awe-inspiring. To celebrate the one year anniversary of the flyby, NASA is imagining what it would be like to land on the surface of Pluto with a new video that strings together more than 100 images from the New Horizons mission.

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Astronomical map shows 1.2 million galaxies in about a quarter of the sky

Astronomical map shows 1.2 million galaxies in about a quarter of the sky

The image you see here with all the purple, red, yellow, and orange blobs is an astronomical map and at first glance, you might think that it is showing stars. It's not showing stars, what it is showing are all the galaxies out there hiding in the nighttime sky. The galaxies in this image and it represent about 650 cubic billion light-years of space.

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SpaceX bags its second Falcon 9 ground landing

SpaceX bags its second Falcon 9 ground landing

Elon Musk's SpaceX seems to finally be getting its rocket landings down to a "T". Although not its second, not even its second, successful rocket landing, this latest accomplishment is no less commendable. What makes it different is actually what makes it similar to SpaceX historic first landing. The Falcon 9 rocket that just launched a Dragon capsule into orbit is the company's second rocket to have successfully come back down to earth in one piece landing on solid ground instead of a remote, floating, and moving barge on water.

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Ancient amber reveals bug that abandoned its skin

Ancient amber reveals bug that abandoned its skin

We’ve seen many studies over the year detailing discoveries made in ancient amber, but this latest one is different. Dating back about 50 million years and hailing from the Baltic region, a piece of amber has been found encasing an insect’s exoskeleton…but not the bug itself, which abandoned its skin to escape what was once sticky tree sap. The insect is described as being similar to a “walking stick” bug, and it was positioned alongside the first mushroom ever found preserved in Baltic amber.

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NASA shows off its next Mars rover, plans 2020 launch

NASA shows off its next Mars rover, plans 2020 launch

NASA’s Curiosity rover is rolling around Mars, and has provided researchers with all kinds of data on the Red Planet, not to mention the cache of photos. While Curiosity is busy doing its thing, NASA is already working on its next Mars-destined rover, and it recently showed off a detailed render of the contraption. According to the space agency, the rover’s design has passed “a major development milestone” and will soon be getting its finalized design.

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Watch the sun spin in NASA’s crazy spacecraft maneuver

Watch the sun spin in NASA’s crazy spacecraft maneuver

NASA told its Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) to do a barrel roll, and it listened. The result is an incredible collection of photos that, when assembled together into an animation, appear to show our sun spinning in space at crazy-fast speeds. Though the spin is shown at a rapid clip, the SDO’s actual rotation took place over the course of seven hours, with one photo being captured every 12 seconds during that time.

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Turtle shells evolved for digging, not protection

Turtle shells evolved for digging, not protection

Turtles shells, given their protective nature, are assumed to have evolved for the purpose of protection. That may not be the case, however, at least according to a newly published study. Though shells do provide protection for modern turtles, researchers believe the earliest instances of these shells were used for burrowing, not withstanding the jaws of a predator. Burrowing underground would have enabled the turtles to avoid harmful exposure in the South Africa environment where they lived.

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23 more ancient shipwrecks found in waters near Greece

23 more ancient shipwrecks found in waters near Greece

Researchers have found 23 more ancient shipwrecks in the waters near Greece, it has been announced. The discovery follows a previous 22 shipwrecks found in the region by The Fourni Underwater Survey, which is responsible for these 23 additional discoveries. This brings the number of ancient shipwreck found near the Fourni archipelago to 45; it is thought this region could be one of the largest shipwreck graveyards in the world.

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Glaucoma researchers restore partial vision in blind mice

Glaucoma researchers restore partial vision in blind mice

A group of Stanford researchers may have just made significant progress in finding a way to cure or treat Glaucoma, the illness that gradually leads to blindness. In an experiment involving blind mice with a glaucoma-like condition, they managed to restore partial eyesight in the animals, the first time for such an accomplishment in mammals.

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SwagBot all-terrain robot is meant for rural life

SwagBot all-terrain robot is meant for rural life

Uncle Owen in Star Wars had a bunch of robots that helped him mind the moisture farm and it looks like the future here on Earth might have robots to help farmers as well. That is if Professor Salah Sukkarieh from Sydney University has anything to say about it. Sukkarieh is the project lead for agriculture robotics at the Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR) currently studying how automated technology could assist farmers and ranchers.

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