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Get the latest Science news headlines from Yahoo News. Find breaking Science news, including analysis and opinion on top Science stories.

Published: Fri, 02 Dec 2016 10:46:45 -0500

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European Mars mission funding approved even after test lander's crash

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 10:46:45 -0500

(image) European space agency (ESA) member states have approved another 450 million euros ($479 million) in funding for the ExoMars mission to the Red Planet, even after a test lander that was part of the program crashed in October, ESA said on Friday. The European-Russian ExoMars program sent a gas-sniffing orbiter and the test lander to Mars this year to search for signs of past or present life on the Red Planet and to lay the groundwork for a rover that is due to follow in 2020. The Schiaparelli lander crashed after a sensor failure caused it to cast away its parachute and turn off braking thrusters more than two miles (3.7 km) above the surface of the planet, as though it had already landed.

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Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin recovering well after Antarctic evacuation

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 22:40:21 -0500

(image) Former U.S. astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, posted photos on Saturday of his recovery in a New Zealand hospital after he was evacuated from the South Pole due to illness. Aldrin, 86, who was visiting the pole as part of a tourist group, was flown to Christchurch, New Zealand, early on Friday local time when his condition deteriorated. Aldrin appeared in good spirits on Saturday after receiving a visit from NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman at Christchurch Hospital.

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Russian cargo ship destroyed after launch for Space Station

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 14:37:34 -0500

(image) By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - An unmanned Russian cargo ship loaded with more than 2-1/2 tons of food and supplies for the International Space Station broke apart about six minutes after liftoff on Thursday, Russia's space agency Roscosmos said in a statement. A Soyuz rocket carrying the Progress capsule blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan as planned at 9:51 a.m. EST, a NASA TV broadcast showed. The six-member crew aboard the International Space Station is not in any danger and has enough supplies for several months, NASA said.

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Facebook developing artificial intelligence to flag offensive live videos

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 11:05:30 -0500

(image) By Kristina Cooke MENLO PARK, Calif. (Reuters) - Facebook Inc is working on automatically flagging offensive material in live video streams, building on a growing effort to use artificial intelligence to monitor content, said Joaquin Candela, the company’s director of applied machine learning. Facebook has historically relied mostly on users to report offensive posts, which are then checked by Facebook employees against company "community standards." Decisions on especially thorny content issues that might require policy changes are made by top executives at the company. Candela told reporters that Facebook increasingly was using artificial intelligence to find offensive material.

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SpaceX aims for December 16 return to flight, customer Iridium says

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 08:59:09 -0500

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Tech billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX hopes to return its Falcon 9 rocket to flight on Dec. 16, said Iridium Communications Inc, which plans to have 10 of its satellites on board for launching. The launch is contingent on approval by the Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees U.S. commercial space transportation, Iridium said on Thursday. “We are looking forward to return to flight,” SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said in a statement from Iridium.  SpaceX suspended flights after one of its rockets burst into flames on Sept. 1 as it was being fueled for a routine prelaunch test at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

All Human-Made Objects on Earth Amount to 30 Trillion Tons

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 11:14:00 -0500

Scientists recently discovered that all objects on Earth created by people adds up to an astoundingly large figure. All of these objects are collectively known as Earth's "technosphere." Distributed evenly over the planet's surface, the technosphere would translate into about 110 pounds (50 kilograms) for every 11 square feet (1 square meter), the researchers said. "The technosphere is a system, with its own dynamics and energy flows – and humans have to help keep it going to survive," Zalasiewicz said.

Bodybuilder Injects Coconut Oil, Damages Arm Muscle

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 10:26:00 -0500

(image) Instead of just lifting weights, an amateur bodybuilder in the United Kingdom tried to plump up his arm muscles and by injecting them with coconut oil, according to a new report of the case. But he wound up developing cysts inside his arm muscles from the oil, and because he also used steroids, he ruptured his triceps and needed surgery, the report said. An ultrasound revealed a rupture in the tendon that connects the triceps muscle (in the upper arm) to the bone near the elbow.

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How Drinking Too Much Water Put One Woman's Life In Danger

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 10:26:00 -0500

(image) The 59-year-old woman went to the emergency room in October 2015 to get antibiotics for a UTI, according to the report. After she received her antibiotics, she intended to go home and rest, but because she felt increasingly lightheaded and sick, her partner persuaded her to stay at the hospital. So when she woke up one Sunday morning and felt a "dull 'thumbprint' pressure" in her lower abdomen, she followed her usual protocol, which meant "(a) drink lots of water and (b) get to the doctor or [emergency room] quickly to get antibiotics," she wrote.

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Spaceflight Is Entering a New Golden Age, Says Blue Origin Founder Jeff Bezos

Thu, 26 Nov 2015 07:40:42 -0500

(image) Early Monday (Nov. 23), the private spaceflight company Blue Origin made a major stride in the pursuit of fully reusable rockets, when it launched an uncrewed vehicle into space and then soft-landed the rocket booster on the ground. "It was one of the greatest moments of my life," said Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin's founder, speaking about the landing in a press briefing yesterday (Nov. 24). "And my teammates here at Blue Origin, I could see felt the same way.

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Turkey and Football: How Astronauts Celebrate Thanksgiving in Space

Thu, 26 Nov 2015 07:40:32 -0500

(image) Thanksgiving in space will be a lot like the holiday down here on the ground — minus the gravity, of course. Like most Americans, NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren have Thanksgiving (Nov. 26) off, and they'll spend the day aboard the International Space Station (ISS) watching football and enjoying a turkey-centric feast, agency officials said. Kelly and Lindgren gave viewers a look at that feast in a special Thanksgiving video this week, breaking out bags of smoked turkey, rehydratable corn, candied yams and potatoes au gratin.

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Tornado Cluster Sizes Skyrocket, and No One Knows Why

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 09:49:00 -0500

(image) Tornados are behaving strangely: The number of tornado outbreaks per year is fairly constant, but the number of tornados per outbreak has skyrocketed. In an effort to learn more, researchers looked at meteorological factors related to tornado outbreaks, and then dug into the data to see whether these factors had changed over time, said study lead researcher Michael Tippett, an associate professor of applied physics and applied mathematics at Columbia University. The analyses did yield a result, but an unexpected one, Tippett said.

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The Most Interesting Science News Articles of the Week

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 07:00:00 -0500

(image) Each week we uncover the most interesting and informative articles around, here are 10 of the coolest stories in Science this week.

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Scientists Pinpoint How to Calm Oklahoma's Human-Made Quakes

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 10:20:00 -0500

(image) Human-induced earthquakes have rattled Oklahoma in recent years, a state known more for its wide-open plains than havoc-wreaking temblors. This water is pumped as part of the oil and gas production process in Oklahoma and other states in the central and eastern United States. Injecting wastewater from oil and gas extraction into underground wells has occurred for decades in Oklahoma without raising concern over induced seismicity, but in 2009, the rate and volume of injection massively increased, according to the study.

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Ravenous 14-Foot Python Caught with 3 Deer in Its Gut

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 07:42:00 -0500

(image) A Burmese python in the Everglades with a penchant for venison gulped down three whole deer — one doe and two fawns — before wildlife officials captured and euthanized it, a new study reveals. The gustatory feat sets a record: It's the first invasive Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus) caught with three deer in its gut, said study co-lead author Scott Boback, an associate professor of biology at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. The python probably attacked and ate the deer at different times over a 90-day period, Boback said.

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Neutron Star May Reveal First Evidence of 80-Year-Old Quantum Prediction

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 07:00:00 -0500

(image) In 1930, physicists Werner Heisenberg and Hans Heinrich Euler predicted that very strong magnetic fields could change the polarity of light waves in a vacuum (where polarity refers to the orientation of the light's electric and magnetic fields). This effect, which they dubbed "vacuum birefringence," is not predicted by classical physics. Now, scientists using the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT) say they may have observed this effect in the light coming from a neutron star— a cosmic object with a very strong magnetic field.

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BRIEF-Uni-Bio Science says unit entered multiple drug co-development agreement

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 05:11:55 -0500

Dec 1 (Reuters) - Uni-bio Science Group Ltd : * unit entered into a multiple drug co-development agreementwith Beijing Sun-Novo Pharmaceutical Research Co., Limited * deal to extend group's current research and developmentcapabilities in small molecule drug development * Project is targeted to start in 2017 and launch sales inmarket around 2020-2021Source text: ( company coverage:

Science panel urges rewrite of food allergy warning labels

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 17:09:04 -0500

(image) WASHINGTON (AP) — "Made in the same factory as peanuts." ''May contain traces of tree nuts." A new report says the hodgepodge of warnings that a food might accidentally contain a troublesome ingredient is confusing to people with food allergies, and calls for a makeover.

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Scientists record biggest ever coral die-off on Australia's Great Barrier Reef

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 05:27:05 -0500

(image) By Tom Westbrook SYDNEY (Reuters) - Warm seas around Australia's Great Barrier Reef have killed two-thirds of a 700-km (435 miles) stretch of coral in the past nine months, the worst die-off ever recorded on the World Heritage site, scientists who surveyed the reef said on Tuesday. "The coral is essentially cooked," professor Andrew Baird, a researcher at James Cook University who was part of the reef surveys, told Reuters by telephone from Townsville in Australia's tropical north. Mildly bleached coral can recover if the temperature drops and the survey found this occurred in southern parts of the reef, where coral mortality was much lower.

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Is your T-shirt clean of slavery? Science may soon be able to tell

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 12:04:16 -0500

By Liz Mermin LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Shoppers lured by a bargain-priced T-shirt but concerned about whether the item is free of slave labor could soon have the answer - from DNA forensic technology. James Hayward, chief executive of U.S.-based Applied DNA Sciences Inc. that develops DNA-based technology to prevent counterfeiting and ensure authenticity, said his researchers have been working in the cotton industry for up to nine years. Hayward said cotton was one of the most complex supply chains he had come across because it was grown in more than 100 countries and goes through a multi-stage transformation process before emerging in "fast fashion" that is cheap and disposable.

Weather vs. Climate: Why Trump's Global Warming Stance Is Flawed

Fri, 25 Nov 2016 09:49:00 -0500

(image) Is there reason to doubt climate change because some of the nation's hottest days happened in 1898, as President-elect Donald Trump told the New York Times in an interview yesterday? In an exchange with Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and staff about climate change on Tuesday (Nov. 22), Trump said, "I have an open mind to it," but later added, "You know the hottest day ever was in 1890-something, 98. However, it's misleading to single out a weather event — such as a particularly hot day in 1898 — as evidence for or against climate change, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Ocean Service (NOS).

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Prepare for 'surprise' as global warming stokes Arctic shifts - scientists

Fri, 25 Nov 2016 08:21:55 -0500

(image) By Megan Rowling BARCELONA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Unless the world stops burning fossil fuels that are fuelling global warming, irreversible changes in the Arctic could have disastrous effects for the people that live there and for the rest of the planet, researchers warned on Friday. The Arctic's ecosystems are fundamentally threatened by climate change and other human activities, such as oil and gas extraction, they said in a report for the Arctic Council, an inter-governmental forum working to protect the region's environment. "Arctic ecosystems are changing in dramatic ways: the ice is melting, sea levels are rising, coastal areas are eroding, permafrost is thawing, and the areas where plants and animals live are shifting," said the report.

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Notes from Mars 160: The Science Work We're Doing

Fri, 25 Nov 2016 07:30:00 -0500

(image) The Mars Society is conducting the ambitious two-phase Mars 160 Twin Desert-Arctic Analogue mission to study how seven crewmembers could live, work and perform science on a true mission to Mars. Mars 160 crewmember Annalea Beattie is chronicling the mission, which will spend 80 days at the Mars Desert Research Station in southern Utah desert before venturing far north to Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station on Devon Island, Canada in summer 2017.

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Scientists say gut microbes may play role in yo-yo dieting, obesity

Thu, 24 Nov 2016 11:16:45 -0500

By Kate Kelland LONDON, (Reuters) - Scientists studying yo-yo dieting in mice say the tendency for people to regain excess weight rapidly after successfully slimming may well be due to their microbiome - the trillions of microorganisms in the gut. The researchers found that changes in the gut microbiome that occur when an obese mouse loses weight can persist for many months, and that this contributes to accelerated weight regain later if the diet lapses. In a telephone briefing about their work, professors Eran Segal and Eran Elinav of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, said that while there has been good progress in studying obesity and its causes, relapsing obesity is poorly understood.

Czech scientists develop human lung model to aid treatments

Thu, 24 Nov 2016 05:27:41 -0500

(image) Czech scientists have developed a model of a functioning human lung that can be used to simulate problems like asthma or other chronic diseases and their treatments. The research group from the Brno University of Technology says its mechanical- and computer-based model of the lung can help devise treatment methods with more precision than past testing and tailor it to individual patients. It can also be used as a reference model for developing inhaled drugs.

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Scientists go big with first aquatic species map for US West

Thu, 24 Nov 2016 02:29:37 -0500

(image) BOISE, Idaho (AP) — It sounds like a big fish story: a plan to create a biodiversity map identifying thousands of aquatic species in every river and stream in the western U.S.

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Scientists develop skin patch with on-the-spot sweat monitor app

Wed, 23 Nov 2016 23:16:44 -0500

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists in the United States have developed a flexible microfluidic device that easily sticks to the skin and measures sweat levels to show how the wearer's body is responding to exercise. The low-cost device, which can quickly analyse key elements such as lactate, Ph or glucose levels and let the user know if they should stop or change their activity, could also in future help diagnose and monitor disease, the researchers said. "Sweat is a rich, chemical broth containing a number of important chemical compounds with physiological health information," said John Rogers, a professor Northwestern University in the United States who led the development of what he called a "lab on the skin" Reporting results of the trial of the device in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the researchers said one of its attractions is that it allows people to monitor their health on the spot without the need for blood sampling.

2 Dome-Headed Dinosaurs the Size of German Shepherds Discovered

Wed, 23 Nov 2016 11:36:00 -0500

(image) The discovery of a pair of fossilized skulls from dome-headed dinosaurs is shedding light on how these bizarre creatures called pachycephalosaurs evolved, researchers say. The location of these skulls — in the southern Mountain states — indicates that pachycephalosaurids may have diversified in the south before they moved north and gave rise to the pachycephalosaur known as Stegoceras, said study lead researcher David Evans, an associate professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto. Pachycephalosaurids (which means "thick-headed lizards") were bipedal, herbivorous and possibly head-butting dinosaurs that lived during the Cretaceous period (145.5 million to 65.5 million years ago).

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Sealed chamber brings wonders of nature to hospitalized kids

Wed, 23 Nov 2016 11:06:25 -0500

(image) By Randi Belisomo (Reuters Health) - At North Carolina Children’s Hospital, immune-compromised kids can experience the natural environment while getting around hospital rules - digging in dirt, poking into pitcher plants and observing other wonders of nature otherwise prohibited - thanks to a new device called the WonderSphere. “Nature has always been a source of refuge, hope and joy,” said Katie Stoudemire, founder of Wonder Connection, a program of the North Carolina Botanical Garden at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Stoudemire volunteered at children’s hospitals while completing her biology degree at North Carolina’s Davidson College, and it pained her to witness kids’ boredom and isolation from the environment.

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Europe's New Mars Orbiter Begins Testing Science Gear

Wed, 23 Nov 2016 07:00:00 -0500

(image) The Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) arrived at Mars on Oct. 19 and is currently circling the planet once every 4.2 days. TGO was scheduled to begin testing and calibrating its four instrument suites on Sunday (Nov. 20), and this work should continue through next Monday (Nov. 28), European Space Agency (ESA) officials said late last week. "We’re excited we will finally see the instruments perform in the environment for which they were designed, and to see the first data coming back from Mars," Håkan Svedhem, ESA’s TGO project scientist, said in a statement on Friday (Nov. 18).

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Women Have Always Lived Longer, Study Finds

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 10:01:00 -0500

(image) The investigators found that, "in spite of the huge gains in human longevity over the past century, the male-female difference has not shrunk," said Susan Alberts, a professor of biology at Duke University and a co-author of the new study. The researchers did find that the the amount by which women outlived men varied across populations. For instance, the largest male-female difference in life span among the populations studied was in modern-day Russia, where the gap is approximately 10 years.

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Bird Poop Cools the Arctic. No, It Won't Offset Climate Warming

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 07:26:00 -0500

(image) In short, chemical reactions that are set in motion by the bird droppings, or guano, change the properties of the clouds above, and make them more reflective, the researchers said. "Clouds can actually reflect energy that's coming from the sun back to space, which is a cooling effect," said study co-lead researcher Betty Croft, a research associate in the Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada. Baffin Island is part of the vast Arctic landscape where seabirds summer...and poop.

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Fearsome Malagasy Dinosaur Remained a Pipsqueak Most of Its Life

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 12:03:00 -0500

(image) A fearsome carnivorous dinosaur known for eating its own kind wasn't that large — it weighed only about as much as a hefty crocodile. The finding suggests that M. crenatissimus was a real pipsqueak for most of its life, at least compared with its fast-growing, enormous relatives Tyrannosaurus rex and Albertosaurus, said study lead researcher Michael D'Emic, an assistant professor of biology at Adelphi University in Long Island, New York. The researchers chose to study M. crenatissimus because it was a common dinosaur with multiple specimens available for study.

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Happy Anniversary, MAVEN! NASA Mars Probe Marks 2 Years of Science Work

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 08:38:00 -0500

(image) The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft reached Mars on Sept. 21, 2014, and officially began its science mission less than two months later, on Nov. 16 of that year. MAVEN — the first orbiter tasked with studying Mars' atmosphere as its primary task — has made a number of interesting discoveries over the past two years. In 2015, for example, MAVEN's measurements allowed mission scientists to determine just how quickly Mars' atmospheric gases escape to space today — at an average rate of about 4 ounces (100 grams) per second.

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Science of 'Arrival': If Aliens Call, Does Humanity Have a Plan?

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 14:28:00 -0500

(image) The answer is yes, and no, said astronomer Seth Shostak, who leads efforts to detect radio signals from extraterrestrial civilizations at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. "There are some protocols, but I think that's an unfortunate name, and it makes them sound more important than they are," Shostak told Live Science. In the 1990s, Shostak chaired a committee of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) that prepared a revised version of the "post-detection protocols" for researchers who watch for possible alien transmissions using radio telescopes, a field known as SETI (short for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence).

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Scientists modify plants, making them use sunlight better

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 14:03:01 -0500

(image) WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists have hacked a plant's genes to make it use sunlight more efficiently — a breakthrough that could eventually dramatically increase the amount of food grown.

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In Belgian lab, scientists search for 'perfect' beer yeast

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 10:51:23 -0500

(image) By Matthew Stock LEUVEN, Belgium (Reuters) - Belgium famously produces hundreds of different beers, but that is nothing compared to the varieties of yeast used to make it - around 30,000 are kept on ice at just one laboratory by scientists seeking the perfect ingredient for the perfect brew. A team from the University of Leuven and life sciences research institute VIB are examining and cross-breeding yeast strains, adding modern genetics to a search for brewing perfection that dates back centuries. "We're ... using robots to cross different yeast like farmers have been doing with cattle and livestock for centuries," genetics professor Kevin Verstrepen told Reuters.

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Online game about lost sea hero helps scientists studying dementia

Wed, 16 Nov 2016 12:48:49 -0500

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - An online game following the journey of an elderly former sea explorer who has lost his memories has helped scientists lead a vast international dementia study and given important preliminary results about human orientation skills. The game, called Sea Quest Hero and developed by Deutsche Telekom and Alzheimer’s Research UK, was launched in May and has already generated enough data to help create a global benchmark for the human brain's navigational processes and how they vary between men and women, and between the young and old. It has been played more than 2.4 million times worldwide, giving more than 9,400 years' worth of equivalent lab-based research, the scientists said on Wednesday - and is showing the potential to be able to help diagnose dementia earlier.

Space Scientists Rally Support for 2020 Asteroid-Deflection Mission

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 07:00:00 -0500

(image) If a large asteroid were headed for a direct hit with Earth, humanity probably couldn't count on Bruce Willis and a nuclear bomb to save the world from certain doom, "Armageddon"-style. That's the possibility the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA want to investigate with their Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission, proposed to launch in 2020. Though scientists believe that big, Earth-threatening asteroids are relatively rare, the 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor strike offered a stark reminder that there could be potentially dangerous objects in Earth's solar system that have yet to be discovered and studied.

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'Supermoon' Science: NASA Explains the Closest Full Moon Until 2034

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 06:43:00 -0500

(image) The November "supermoon" is extra close to Earth today  (Nov. 14), providing an extraordinary sight for skywatchers — but exactly what makes this month's full moon so special? November's supermoon —a term used to describe a full moon is at its perigee, or closest point to Earth during the lunar orbit — will be the biggest and brightest supermoon to rise in almost 69 years. In fact, the full moon won't come this close to Earth again until Nov. 25, 2034.

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