research

NASA atmosphere study: two exoplanets could possibly support life

NASA atmosphere study: two exoplanets could possibly support life

NASA says a pair of exoplanets may have habitable atmospheres based on an atmospheric study researchers recently performed. The scientists focused on exoplanets similar in size to Earth that are described as being ‘temperate.’ The study was done using the Hubble Space Telescope, and found that the exoplanets TRAPPIST-1c and TRAPPIST-1b have atmospheres that could possibly support life.

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Will car-sharing and self-driving cars kill congestion? It’s not so simple

Will car-sharing and self-driving cars kill congestion? It’s not so simple

Car sharing and autonomous vehicles are widely expected to cut road congestion, but the future for drivers may not be so clear cut, according to two new studies released this week. The impact of alternatives to individual car ownership is still fairly uncertain, particularly as the long-term market viability of self-driving vehicles remains mired in legal, ethical, and technological questions, with the potential for traffic jams to initially get worse, not better.

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Facebook may have cracked the big laser-drone internet problem

Facebook may have cracked the big laser-drone internet problem

Facebook is exploring ways of delivering internet connectivity via lasers, developing a new receiver technology that promises to be less complex and more affordable than current systems. Dubbed free-space laser communication, Facebook's break-through is in an all-new optical detector that - unlike existing examples - would neither require mechanical stabilization, nor expensive micro-motors, sensing, or processing.

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NASA study shows global surface temps are setting records in 2016

NASA study shows global surface temps are setting records in 2016

NASA is continuing to conducting its studies on two key indicators of surface temperatures around the globe. Those two key indicators are global surface temperatures and Arctic sea ice extent. According to NASA during the first half of 2016, each of the six months set a record as the warmest respective month globally. Those records are compared to when the modern global temperature recording began in 1880.

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Researchers use nanoparticles to make a round object appear flat

Researchers use nanoparticles to make a round object appear flat

We’re still waiting for someone to create a proper Harry Potter-like invisibility cloak, but in the meantime researchers have used nanoparticles to ‘cloak’ the shape of an object. The work was done by researchers at the Queen Mary University of London’s School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science; with their newly created system, a curved object like a ball appears to be flat when detected by electromagnetic waves.

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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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Germany plans “black box” recorder rule for Autopilot-style cars

Germany plans “black box” recorder rule for Autopilot-style cars

With controversy lingering over the role Tesla's Autopilot played in recent crashes, German regulators are preparing new rules that would demand "black box" recorders in any car offering driver assistance technology. Though fully self-driving cars are still some way off from general market availability, increasingly capable semi-autonomous or "piloted driving" systems are spreading from luxury sedans down to the mass market.

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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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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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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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