Science

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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Octobot is a soft-bodied autonomous robot that can fit just about anywhere

Octobot is a soft-bodied autonomous robot that can fit just about anywhere

Scientists and researchers have created a cool autonomous robot that is modeled after an octopus called the octobot. The reason that the team modeled the robot after an octopus is because the octopus has a soft body that allows the cephalopod to squeeze into the tiniest of spaces to escape predators or catch its prey. Octobot is about the size of the palm of your hand and is made from silicone.

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Million dead fish wash up in New Jersey: low oxygen levels blamed

Million dead fish wash up in New Jersey: low oxygen levels blamed

This week, more than an estimated million dead fish washed ashore in New Jersey, something experts are saying was likely caused by a combination of events, among them being inadequate levels of oxygen in the water. The fish were found in water bodies in the northern New Jersey city Keansburg; officials finished cleaning the dead fish remains this morning, all the while increasing the estimate of how many died.

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Earth-mass planet found orbiting Proxima Centauri in habitable zone

Earth-mass planet found orbiting Proxima Centauri in habitable zone

Astronomers have made a very interesting discovery using telescopes belonging to the ESO and other facilities. The discovery is clear evidence that a planet is orbiting Proxima Centauri, the closest star to Earth. This planet is known as Proxima b and it orbits very close to its cool parent star with an orbit completed every 11 days. The scientists believe that the planet has surface temperatures that would allow liquid water to form on its surface.

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Researchers suggest ancient round ‘tools’ were actually weapons

Researchers suggest ancient round ‘tools’ were actually weapons

Ancient stone objects are often rudimentary in design and, due to their age and possible exposure to the elements, sometimes lacking in finer details. This can make it difficult to discern what exactly any particular discovery is, and few things are more ambiguous than simple stone spheres. Were previously discovered round hand-sized stones used as tools? Researchers have thought so, but a new study suggests they may actually have been used as projectile weapons.

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Endangered pack of gray wolves to be exterminated in Washington soon

Endangered pack of gray wolves to be exterminated in Washington soon

Washington state officials have been given the go-ahead to exterminate a pack of 11 gray wolves after they were determined to be behind attacks against cattle. The state is estimated to only have about 90 gray wolves total spanning 19 packs, and the controversial decision to eliminate one of the packs — called the Profanity Peak pack — will reduce the overall percentage of these endangered gray wolves significantly. The pack, however, has killed more than a dozen adult cows and calves with no sign of stopping.

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China unveils Mars mission probe and rover aiming at 2020 launch

China unveils Mars mission probe and rover aiming at 2020 launch

China announced its ambitious Mars mission back in January of this year, then came forward, and detailed its Mars plans even further in April. China has now stepped back into the space exploration limelight and unveiled the design for its Mars mission probe and rover that it wants to have ready to launch by mid-2020. For now the probe and rover have no names, China is holding a contest to name both components for the mission.

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‘Adonis’ is Europe’s oldest tree with an age of 1,075 years

‘Adonis’ is Europe’s oldest tree with an age of 1,075 years

Europe’s oldest living tree is located in northern Greece and is, according to a team of researchers, more than 1,075 years old. Dubbed ‘Adonis,’ the tree is of the Bosnian pine variety, and it has recently been dated using dendrochronology — the science of analyzing tree rings. Using this data and the data of similarly old trees could help scientists understand the climate and related history of the region, as well as the effect those changes have on the trees.

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Yellowstone River parasite kills mass quantities of fish as officials scramble

Yellowstone River parasite kills mass quantities of fish as officials scramble

There’s sad news coming from Montana’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks department: a parasite is killing off large quantities of fish in Yellowstone River, and as a result all activities on the water in both the river and its tributaries has been banned. According to the state’s wildlife division, there have been more than 2,000 recorded instances of Mountain Whitefish dying from this parasite, though the department estimates that there could be tens of thousands of fish affected throughout the larger Yellowstone River region. The ban is instituted in a bid to stop the parasite from spreading to other bodies of water.

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SolidEnergy may double battery life of smartphones and drones

SolidEnergy may double battery life of smartphones and drones

If you find that your phone's battery capacity leaves something to be desired, you're definitely not alone. MIT spinout SolidEnergy might have a solution to our battery life problems, though, introducing a new "anode-free" lithium-ion battery that could potentially offer double the life of current batteries on the market. Even better news is that the battery could be available for devices like smartphones as early as next year.

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Facebook AI Research makes fastText open-source

Facebook AI Research makes fastText open-source

Automatic text processing is something that is widely used across the web, whether it's used to understand what you type in a search bar or detect spam in email. Developing fast and efficient text classification, however, is something that has challenged AI researchers throughout the years, and that's why the Facebook AI Research team (FAIR) set out the develop fastText. FAIR has taken things one step further with the fastText, today announcing that it will become open-source.

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