Science

Stephen Hawking’s final warnings: AI, superhumans, asteroids

Stephen Hawking’s final warnings: AI, superhumans, asteroids

Stephen Hawking is undeniably one of the greatest minds in recent history and his passing left a gaping hole in the academic and scientific communities. He didn't leave the world bereft, however, and even left a corpus of essays and articles for us to munch on for months, even years to come. Some of those, however, are less uplifting than others. The late great physicist has left warnings on the dangers that the human civilization faces in the near future, including everyone's favorite scapegoat, AI.

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Gravitational waves might be able to transfer data

Gravitational waves might be able to transfer data

We might simply think of gravity as the things that makes apples bop us on the head or keeps us from floating away into space. Gravity, however, is almost everywhere. It might sound like a sci-fi B movie but movement, especially accelerated ones, can spend ripple thorough the fabric of space-time, almost like electromagnetic waves. Unsurprisingly, these are called gravitational waves and, like their electromagnetic cousins, we might be able to use them to encode and transfer data over long distances in outer space.

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Opportunity rover remains silent, but a windy season may change that

Opportunity rover remains silent, but a windy season may change that

NASA says it still hasn't managed to communicate with Opportunity, the rover that fell silent after being caught in a global dust storm on Mars. Though the storm has passed and sunlight is once again present, Opportunity hasn't managed to communicate with its team on Earth. NASA speculates dust on the solar panels may be the issue and says an upcoming windy season could be the solution.

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NASA says another space telescope has entered safe mode

NASA says another space telescope has entered safe mode

Shortly after its announcement regarding Hubble, NASA has revealed that another of its space telescopes has entered safe mode. The reason may be the same that has impacted Hubble: a gyroscope failure. The Chandra X-ray Observatory automatically put itself in safe mode this past Wednesday, with NASA confirming the news today.

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Child vampire burial discovered in ancient Roman baby cemetery

Child vampire burial discovered in ancient Roman baby cemetery

Researchers have discovered the remains of a child at an ancient Roman site that shows signs of a "vampire burial." As with previously discovered sites, these unusual burials include features that indicate the living feared the dead may come back to life and took preventative steps to keep that from happening.

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Insane T-CUP camera snaps 10 trillion frames per second

Insane T-CUP camera snaps 10 trillion frames per second

When scientists at Caltech wanted to be able to capture femtosecond pulses of laser light, they couldn’t; grab an off the shelf camera and just snap away. The researchers had to create a new type of camera that can capture incredibly fast pulses of light in slow motion. What they came up with is called T-CUP.

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E-cig ingredients may be worse for lungs than normal cigarettes

E-cig ingredients may be worse for lungs than normal cigarettes

A study recently published in the American Journal of Physiology warns that some additives and flavors in electronic cigarettes may be as harmful as -- or even worse than -- normal tobacco cigarettes. Researchers found the ingredients impaired lung function and increased lung inflammation, but the effects didn't last long.

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This is what a space launch failure looks like from the International Space Station

This is what a space launch failure looks like from the International Space Station

Earlier this morning, the two astronauts on board the Russian Soyuz spacecraft had a close call on what was an otherwise routine mission. The spacecraft experienced a booster failure just a couple of minutes after launching, resulting in a launch abort. Luckily, the two astronauts on board - Alexey Ovchinin and Nick Hague - made it back to Earth safely, narrowly avoiding tragedy.

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Soyuz booster failure forces “ballistic re-entry” for crew module

Soyuz booster failure forces “ballistic re-entry” for crew module

Space travel is very dangerous for a myriad of reasons. Both the US and Russia have lost astronauts to accidents and failures of equipment during launch and reentry. A Russian Soyuz spacecraft was set to head to the ISS this week on a resupply mission with two astronauts onboard.

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This is how NASA could find alien life

This is how NASA could find alien life

A team of US researchers have generated a report detailing the steps NASA needs to take to advance its hunt for life beyond our own planet. The guidance covers a variety of topics, including previous work and future technological needs. Among other things, the team points out that unusual life found on Earth could help scientists look in the right places in space.

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Jovian moon Europa could have 15-meter-high ice spikes guarding its surface

Jovian moon Europa could have 15-meter-high ice spikes guarding its surface

When it comes to finding places in our own solar system where extraterrestrial life might exist, one of the most likely locations is Jupiter's moon Europa. This ice-covered world is thought to have a subsurface ocean that could harbor life. Europa is a target of future space missions to try and determine if life is present.

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NASA satellite shows Hurricane Michael from space

NASA satellite shows Hurricane Michael from space

NASA has shared an image of Hurricane Michael as it is seen from space, the photo having been captured by its Aqua satellite. The space agency's image shows the storm near Cuba's western tip as of yesterday when it was still rated as a category 1 hurricane. Earlier today, the hurricane was strengthened to a category 3 as it approaches Florida.

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