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Showing posts from September 27, 2015

I'm all ears: fossils reveal human ancestors' hearing abilities

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two-million-year-old fossils including the three tiny bones of the middle ear are helping scientists figure out the auditory abilities of early human ancestors at a time when they were beginning to hear more like a person and less like a chimpanzee. A study published on Friday involving two species from South Africa, Australopithecus africanus and Paranthropus robustus, showed they boasted better hearing than either chimps or people in a frequency range that may have facilitated vocal communication in a savanna habitat. Both species featured a mixture of ape-like and human-like anatomical traits and inhabited grassland ecosystems with widely spaced trees and shrubs, as opposed to the forests of earlier members of human lineage.


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U.S. culls over 1,200 Oregon cormorants, sparks outcry

By Shelby Sebens PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - The U.S. federal government has killed more than 1,000 seabirds on an Oregon island since May to protect endangered salmon as part of a plan that environmentalists say is flawed and are seeking to stop with a lawsuit. "Government agents are racing about in their boat blowing birds out of the sky," said Bob Sallinger, conservation director of the Audubon Society of Portland. "The public has a right to see how the federal government is squandering millions of taxpayer dollars killing protected wild birds." The government workers started culling the birds on May 24 as part of a multi-year plan to kill 11,000 double-crested cormorants, which U.S. wildlife officials say are putting endangered salmon at risk by eating juvenile fish.


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'Supermoon' Total Lunar Eclipse Thrills Skywatchers Around the World

The first "supermoon" total lunar eclipse in more than three decades did not disappoint, with the moon thrilling skywatchers around the world as it passed through Earth's shadow. On Sunday evening (Sept. 27), the slightly-larger-than-normal full moon shined brightly in Earth's skies and then dove into the planet's shadow, turning a gorgeous reddish-gold color as observers with clear skies enjoyed the view. The event marked the first supermoon total lunar eclipse since 1982, and the last until 2033 — and it was visible to potentially billions of people across the Western Hemisphere and parts of Europe, Africa and Asia.


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'Angelina Effect' Is Real: Actress Raised Breast Surgery Awareness

Angelina Jolie Pitt's breast surgery increased women's awareness of reconstructive breast surgery options, according to a new study from Austria. Many researchers and media stories have speculated this, but the new research is the first prospective, scientific study to look at the impact of Jolie Pitt's announcement, the researchers said. Jolie Pitt made headlines in May 2013 was she announced that she had undergone a double mastectomy because she had tested positive for a mutation in the BRCA1 gene.

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Apple Watch Credited with Saving Life: What Conditions Can It Detect?

A Massachusetts teen says the Apple Watch saved his life, by alerting him that his heart rate was much higher than normal, leading to a diagnosis of a life-threatening condition. Experts say the gadget — and similar devices — could potentially detect alterations in people's heart rates that might be a sign of health problems. Paul Houle Jr., a high school senior, said he felt back pain after two football practices on the same day, but he didn't think much of it, according to Huffington Post.

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NASA to Unveil Big Mars Discovery Monday: How to Watch Live

NASA will reveal a "major science finding" about Mars on Monday morning (Sept. 28), and you can follow the announcement live.


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Why Does the Moon Turn Red During a Total Lunar Eclipse?

Tonight, an oversized ruby-colored sphere will rise in the sky as a total lunar eclipse turns the normally pallid moon scarlet. The so-called supermoon is also at the perfect spot in its orbit so the alignment between the sun, Earth and moon will be perfect … for a total lunar eclipse: At about 8:11 p.m. EDT (0011 GMT), the moon will tiptoe into the outer portion of Earth's shadow, becoming totally bathed in the darkest part of that shadow at 10:47 p.m. EDT (0247 GMT), with the total lunar eclipse ending at about 1:22 a.m. EDT (0522 GMT). When the Earth is directly in front of the sun — blocking the sun's rays from lighting up the moon — you'd see a fiery rim encircling the planet.

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Supermoon Lunar Eclipse 2015: Full 'Blood Moon' Coverage

A total lunar eclipse will spawn a rare and dramatic 'supermoon' blood moon on Sept. 27, 2015. For our full viewing guide, read: 'Supermoon' Lunar Eclipse: When and Where to See It


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10 Surprising Facts About Lunar Eclipses

As the full moon shines in the night sky tonight (Sept. 27), it will pass through Earth's shadow in a total lunar eclipse. You can watch the lunar eclipse in a webcast by the Slooh Community Observatory. You can also see the total lunar eclipse webcast on Space.com, courtesy of Slooh.


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Total Lunar Eclipse: US Weather Forecast to See the Blood Moon Tonight

About 70 percent of the country will be able to get a good view of the total lunar eclipse tonight (Sept. 27). Unfortunately for many who live east of the Mississippi River, the odds of seeing the moon as it passes completely into the Earth's shadow are rather poor, according to current weather projections. Read on below to get our supermoon lunar eclipse weather forecast for skywatchers across the United States.


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Tonight's Dazzling 'Supermoon' Lunar Eclipse: What You’ll See

Here's how it will happen: To start with, there will be a full moon, which occurs every 29.5 days when the sun, Earth and moon are pretty well lined up, with Earth in the middle. Tonight, the moon is in just the right spot on its orbit — which takes it above and below the plane of Earth's orbit around the sun — so the alignment will be perfect, and Earth will cast its shadow across the face of the moon. In fact, full moons are never totally full, because when they would be, the moon is in total eclipse.


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Why Tonight's Full Moon Is a 'Harvest Moon' Lunar Eclipse

The full moon tonight (Sept. 27) will be an especially special lunar occasion. In addition to being a traditional "harvest moon," the moon will be at its closest point to Earth in its orbit, making it a so-called "supermoon." Plus, skywatchers people across North and South America, Europe and Africa will get to see a lunar eclipse, because the moon will pass into the Earth's shadow. You can watch the harvest moon lunar eclipse live in a webcast by the Slooh Community Observatory.


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Supermoon Lunar Eclipse Rises Tonight: Watch It Live in Slooh Webcast

In a total lunar eclipse this Sunday (Sept. 27), the surface of the moon will appear to be a deep crimson color, and people around the world will be able to watch the celestial spectacle online. The so-called supermoon lunar eclipse will be visible in most of North America, South America, Europe, Africa, western Asia and the eastern Pacific Ocean. The Slooh broadcast begins at 8 p.m. EDT (midnight GMT), and will provide views of the eclipse from three different countries, including a stream of the eclipse rising over Stonehenge in England, as well as expert commentary.


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