Science

SpaceX rocket explosion destroys Facebook’s first satellite

SpaceX rocket explosion destroys Facebook’s first satellite

Today a SpaceX rocket has exploded during a static fire test at Cape Canaveral, destroying $200 million in payload alone. This explosion destroyed an Amos-6 satellite (which was its payload as it were) - this all having taken place at SLC40 Cape Canaveral specifically at 1307 UTC September 1st, 2016. The explosion happened to a SpaceX Falcon 9 No. F9-029 - that's according to Johnathan McDowell, astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

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LA’s mountain lions could go extinct in the near future

LA’s mountain lions could go extinct in the near future

Mountain lions call the Santa Monica Mountains home, but that could change in the next handful of decades or sooner. According to the National Park Service and a study it did with researchers from UCLA, Utah State University, and UC Davis, LA’s mountain lions may fall victim to their lack of genetic diversity, something stemming from their geographical isolation. The mountain lions' unique location (near such a massive city) has also spurred the development of atypical behaviors.

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‘Bill Nye Saves the World’ to premiere on Netflix in 2017

‘Bill Nye Saves the World’ to premiere on Netflix in 2017

Children of the 1990s have something to get excited about, as Netflix has announced a new show starring none other than Bill Nye The Science Guy. Dubbed "Bill Nye Saves the World," this new endeavor will put Bill Nye in the driver's seat of his very own talk show. As someone who looked forward to those days in science class where we'd get to watch an episode or two of Bill Nye The Science Guy, this is wonderful news.

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Study finds dogs recognize human words regardless of intonation

Study finds dogs recognize human words regardless of intonation

We have all seen the folks who talk to their dogs like they are humans, not that anything is wrong with that. Each time I see someone talking to their dog, I always wonder if the dog actually understands what they are saying. A new study published in the September 2 issue of Science shows that dogs do in fact understand some human words and understand those words regardless of intonation used. The data from the study could provide important insight into how neural networks understand speech.

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NASA says successful DNA sequencing on ISS is major milestone

NASA says successful DNA sequencing on ISS is major milestone

NASA has detailed what it calls a scientific ’game changer’ — the first instance of DNA being successfully sequenced in a microgravity environment. The work was done under the Biomolecule Sequencer experiment on the International Space Station over this past weekend, and was performed by NASA astronaut Kate Rubins. This opens the door for future sequencing of microbes and more on the ISS, and is part of NASA's health-related work as it applies to space and the agency's goal of sending humans to Mars.

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SETI is investigating a signal potentially from a much more advanced civilization

SETI is investigating a signal potentially from a much more advanced civilization

Researchers and scientists working for SETI and similar organizations around the world are currently deep into an investigation of a signal that could be from a much more advanced civilization than our own. The signal was detected on May 15, 2015 by the RATAN-600 radio telescope array in Russia and kept secret from the international community. The signal discovered came from a star about 6.3-billion years old in the constellation Hercules about 95 light years away from the Earth.

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Miniature lion fossils lead to discovery of new species

Miniature lion fossils lead to discovery of new species

A new species of miniature marsupial lion has been discovered thanks to a newly uncovered fossil found in Queensland. The new species has been dubbed the Microleo attenboroughi, in honor of Sir Attenborough and in recognition of the creature’s small size. The miniature lion is said to have lived in Northern Australia’s rainforests about 18 million years ago.

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Researchers develop insulin pill as alternative to injections

Researchers develop insulin pill as alternative to injections

Though efforts have been underway to develop a method of insulin delivery that doesn’t require an injection, no great success has been produced. That may change soon, as researchers with Niagara University have revealed a new project in which an insulin pill was developed. This insulin pill, contrary to the way such a pill would ordinarily work, bypasses the stomach's acid to be absorbed in the intestines instead, delivering insulin to the bloodstream.

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Massachusetts is considering a time zone change

Massachusetts is considering a time zone change

The promise of summer’s end is everywhere you look: school has started, stores are stocking autumn products, and the days are noticeably becoming shorter. Soon enough, the days will be so short they will, for some people, be dark before dinner time. That prospect is upsetting, yes, and Massachusetts is tired of dealing with it. Per a newly signed bill, the state will conduct research into the idea of changing the state’s time zone.

Short daylight hours are dreaded by just about everyone, and they have a real effect on daily lives: some people develop depression during the darker days, physical activities suffers, and many people report being less productive during the height of winter darkness. For states with such dim winters, there’s also another issue to contend with: young populations fleeing to states where winter sunsets aren't so early in the day.

During the darkest point of winter, the sun starts to set shortly after 4PM in Boston, giving kids very little daylight to enjoy after school. The state may solve the issue, though, by leaving the eastern time zone in favor of the Atlantic one, and ditching the tiresome model of changing the clocks back and forth. Under such a model, the mornings would stay dark a little longer, but the evenings would stay bright longer, too.

The state has expressed concerns about college students fleeing for brighter states, but it hasn’t determined fully whether this mass flight is due to the short daylight hours during winter or something else. Still, the argument is being made that longer days, as well as the elimination of daylight saving time, will be better for the population’s overall health.

At the end of the day, though, Massachusetts is exploring this possible time zone change as part of a larger economic development plan, and so any changes will likely have to be found fruitful for the economy. The research will be ongoing for months, with the report of findings not being due until July 2017.

SOURCE: Bloomberg
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New mini-moon discovered orbiting Earth

New mini-moon discovered orbiting Earth

This isn't April fools day, and we're not pulling your leg - there is indeed a second rocky companion out in space orbiting Earth - besides our moon. This miniature-moon, as it's nicknamed, goes by the scientific name "2016 HO3". It's an asteroid, technically, but it's nearly unique in our known history of Earth and nearby objects. This quasi-satellite or near-Earth companion is "the best and most stable example to date" of such a space body. "One other asteroid -- 2003 YN107 -- followed a similar orbital pattern for a while over 10 years ago, but it has since departed our vicinity. This new asteroid is much more locked onto us," said Paul Chodas, manager of NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object (NEO) Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

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Scientists complete year-long Mars simulation mission in Hawaii

Scientists complete year-long Mars simulation mission in Hawaii

A group of six scientists has completed a mission in Hawaii conducted for NASA that simulated how humans would live on the surface of Mars. The mission spanned an entire year and during that time, the team had limited communication leaving them in near-isolation the entire time. During the mission, the only time the scientists were able to go outside their dome structure was if they were wearing a spacesuit.

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Juno safely completes first of 36 Jupiter flybys

Juno safely completes first of 36 Jupiter flybys

Space science has had a very remarkable year, not counting the advances made in launching and landing rockets. Just a little over a year ago, New Horizons made history by passing the former planet Pluto. And just last month, the Juno probe reached fame when it finally reached Jupiter. It, too, is now making history has NASA reported a successful and uneventful flyby of the planet. And although it is just the first of 36 flybys scheduled for its mission, it takes the probe closest to the largest and one of the most mysterious family members of our solar system.

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