Discovery of cigar-shaped asteroid from outer space could help unveil secrets of extrasolar worlds

Discovery of cigar-shaped asteroid from outer space could help unveil secrets of extrasolar worlds

It came from outer space … and went back there two weeks later, having astonished and excited astronomers and planetary scientists. A cigar-shaped object, less than half a kilometre long and barely bright enough to be detected by the world’s most powerful telescopes, payed us a flying visit in October this year – reminding us that the heavens still hold plenty of surprises.

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Five reasons India, China and other nations plan to travel to the Moon

Five reasons India, China and other nations plan to travel to the Moon

No human has been to the Moon since 1972 and only 12 people have ever done it – all of them American men. But that list could soon be getting a lot longer. Why the Moon? Haven’t we already been there, done that? Well, yes. But now there are new reasons motivating countries to reach the Moon.

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Could magnetic sails slow an interstellar spacecraft enough?

Could magnetic sails slow an interstellar spacecraft enough?

The number of confirmed extra-solar planets has increased by leaps and bounds in recent years. With every new discovery, the question of when we might be able to explore these planets directly naturally arises. There have been several suggestions so far, ranging from laser-sail driven nanocraft that would travel to Alpha Centauri in just 20 years (Breakthrough Starshot) to slower-moving microcraft equipped with a gene laboratories (The Genesis Project).

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Is it possible to boost your intelligence by training? We reviewed three decades of research

Is it possible to boost your intelligence by training? We reviewed three decades of research

Scientists achieved astonishing results when training a student with a memory training programme in a landmark experiment in 1982. After 44 weeks of practice, the student, dubbed SF, expanded his ability to remember digits from seven numbers to 82. However, this remarkable ability did not extend beyond digits – they also tried with consonants.

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Scientists have confirmed that an intriguing asteroid that zipped through our solar system in Oct. is the 1st confirmed object from anther star

Scientists have confirmed that an intriguing asteroid that zipped through our solar system in Oct. is the 1st confirmed object from anther star

Astronomers recently scrambled to observe an intriguing asteroid that zipped through the solar system on a steep trajectory from interstellar space—the first confirmed object from another star. 

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New Discovery Raises Hope for Human Colonization of the Moon

New Discovery Raises Hope for Human Colonization of the Moon

In October 2017, Japan’s Selenological and Engineering Explorer probe discovered a massive underground cave on the Moon. The space, which is 100 meters (328 feet) wide and 50 kilometers (31 miles) long, is being touted as a potential location for a lunar station. In fact, some experts are asserting that the best way to live on the Moon is in caves just like the one recently discovered.

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Bacteria’s secret weapons in defeating antibiotics discovered

Bacteria’s secret weapons in defeating antibiotics discovered

Bacteria possess even more tools to protect themselves from antibiotics than previously thought, according to our latest research. The ability of microbes to avoid death at the hands of antibiotics is a worldwide concern. Our study illustrates how bacteria directly combat the presence of antibiotics using newly identified defence systems.

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When James Webb finally reaches space, here's what it'll be hunting

When James Webb finally reaches space, here's what it'll be hunting

Ever since the project was first conceived, scientists have been eagerly awaiting the day that the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will take to space. As the planned successor to Hubble, the JWST will use its powerful infrared imaging capabilities to study some of the most distant objects in the Universe (such as the formation of the first galaxies) and study extra-solar planets around nearby stars.

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Compound found in berries and red wine can rejuvenate cells, suggests new study

Compound found in berries and red wine can rejuvenate cells, suggests new study

By the middle of this century the over 60s will outnumber the under 18s for the first time in human history. This should be good news, but growing old today also means becoming frail, sick and dependent. A healthy old age is good for you and a remarkably good deal for society. Improving the overall health of older Americans could save the US alone enough money to pay for clean drinking water for everyone on Earth for the next 30 years.

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A guide to meteor showers – what to look out for and when

A guide to meteor showers – what to look out for and when

It has happened to most of us: walking home late at night under clear skies you catch a glimpse of something bright moving, often from the corner of your eye. You turn to see what it is but it’s gone without a trace. And chances are you will have seen a meteor ending its multi-billion year journey in a burst of light 100km up.

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Hubble’s Cosmic Search for a Missing Arm

Hubble’s Cosmic Search for a Missing Arm

This new picture of the week, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows the dwarf galaxy NGC 4625, located about 30 million light-years away in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs). The image, acquired with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), reveals the single major spiral arm of the galaxy, which gives it an asymmetric appearance. But why is there only one such spiral arm, when spiral galaxies normally have at least two?

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Why video games are the new IQ tests

Why video games are the new IQ tests

Gamers won’t be surprised. We and our colleagues have discovered a link between people’s ability to play video games and their general intelligence. Our research, published in the journal PLOS ONE, can’t establish whether playing video games makes people smarter or whether being smart makes you better at video games (or some other explanation). But it points to intriguing possibilities in using games more generally for behavioural science, in particular for measuring people’s intelligence.

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Antarctica has a huge mantle plume beneath it, which might explain why its ice sheet is so unstable

Antarctica has a huge mantle plume beneath it, which might explain why its ice sheet is so unstable

Beneath the Antarctic ice sheet, there lies a continent that is covered by rivers and lakes, the largest of which is the size of Lake Erie. Over the course of a regular year, the ice sheet melts and refreezes, causing the lakes and rivers to periodically fill and drain rapidly from the melt water. This process makes it easier for Antarctica’s frozen surface to slide around, and to rise and fall in some places by as much as 6 meters (20 feet).

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There’s a Radical Plan to Artificially Cool the Planet by Mimicking Volcanic Eruptions

There’s a Radical Plan to Artificially Cool the Planet by Mimicking Volcanic Eruptions

Some have suggested solar geoengineering — the injection of aerosols into the atmosphere to reflect sunlight away from the planet — as a way to counter global warming. However, new research suggests the radical process could do as much harm as good.

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Lava or Not, Exoplanet 55 Cancri e Likely to Have Atmosphere

Lava or Not, Exoplanet 55 Cancri e Likely to Have Atmosphere

Twice as big as Earth, the super-Earth 55 Cancri e was thought to have lava flows on its surface. The planet is so close to its star, the same side of the planet always faces the star, such that the planet has permanent day and night sides. Based on a 2016 study using data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, scientists speculated that lava would flow freely in lakes on the starlit side and become hardened on the face of perpetual darkness. The lava on the dayside would reflect radiation from the star, contributing to the overall observed temperature of the planet. 

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