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Showing posts from September 1, 2016

Obama warns against global warming's impact on Pacific atoll

MIDWAY ATOLL, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (AP) — President Barack Obama plunked down on a speck of coral reef in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on Thursday and gazed out at the turquoise waters of the marine monument he's widened to become the largest in the world.


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Hurricane Hermine Threatens Florida in New Photo from Space

Tropical Storm Hermine was upgraded to a hurricane this afternoon, as the Gulf of Mexico storm's maximum sustained winds increased to near 75 miles per hour (120 km/h). A NASA satellite glimpsed the strengthening storm earlier today as it takes aim at the Florida coast, where it is expected make landfall tonight. NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite passed directly above Hermine (which was still classified as a tropical storm at the time) earlier today, and spotted intense weather conditions in Hermine's center, agency officials said.


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Rocket explodes on launch pad in blow to Elon Musk's SpaceX

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - An explosion destroyed a Falcon 9 rocket belonging to Elon Musk's SpaceX and its cargo during preparations for a routine test firing at Cape Canaveral in Florida on Thursday, two days before it had been due to blast off and place a satellite in orbit. SpaceX said there were no injuries and that an "anomaly" during the static fire test resulted in the loss of the rocket and a communications satellite owned by Israel-based Space Communication which was going to be used by Facebook to expand internet access in Africa. Video showed a fiery blast ripping through the upper part of the rocket before the vehicle collapsed in flames on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station just after 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT).


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Global warming is key topic at Hawaii conservation congress

HONOLULU (AP) — The international community came together Thursday in Hawaii for 10 days of talks by leading academics, conservation groups and government officials to address the impacts of global warming, wildlife trafficking and environmental conservation.


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Ice Volcanoes and More: Dwarf Planet Ceres Continues to Surprise

The dwarf planet Ceres is a complex and active world unlike any other place in the solar system, new research suggests. Observations by NASA's Ceres-orbiting Dawn spacecraft indicate that "ice volcanos" have erupted on the dwarf planet in the recent past and that Ceres' crust is an odd ice-rock mixture that has never been observed before, scientists reported in a series of six new studies published online today (Sept. 1) in the journal Science. "When we got to Ceres, we were expecting to be surprised, and we have been in many ways," Dawn principal investigator Chris Russell, a professor of geophysics and space physics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), told Space.com.


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U.S. astronauts perform tasks during space walk outside station

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Two U.S. astronauts went for a spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Thursday to pack up a spare cooling radiator and install a high-definition television camera outside the orbiting laboratory, a NASA TV broadcast showed. Commander Jeffrey Williams and Flight Engineer Kate Rubins left the station's airlock around 8 a.m. EDT (1200 GMT) as the station sailed 250 miles (400 km) above Earth. "It's good to be out here," said Rubins, 37, who was making her second spacewalk in two weeks.

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The Science of Timeouts: How to Make Them Work for Your Kids

In the 1960s, though, researchers began to turn their attention to a newfangled option: the timeout. Sometimes controversial, the timeout is nevertheless now among the most mainstream disciplinary recommendations for children. The good news is that there's strong science supporting the timeout, as long as parents make a point of using it correctly — and focus on the positive, too.

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Pothead Rats Are Up to Task, But Just Don't Feel Like It

Marijuana can have many effects, some of them less desirable than others. In a new study, researchers gave rats increasing doses of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, and then presented the animals with a choice of two tests of their attention. "When rats were given this main psychoactive ingredient of cannabis, they weren't willing to exert cognitive energy," said study lead author Mason Silveira, a graduate psychology student at the University of British Columbia in Canada.

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Record-Low Arctic Sea Ice Is the 'New Normal,' NASA Says

Melt season in the Arctic Ocean has consistently experienced record lows in recent years. This year, a record low for the sea-ice extent (the area of ocean covered by the ice) was set in March, with relatively rapid ice loss continuing through May, according to NASA scientists. Although the melting slowed in June — likely keeping this year's summertime sea-ice minimum extent from setting a new record low — the Arctic ice is not bouncing back, the scientists said.


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Teensy Pterosaur Was the Size of a House Cat

A recently discovered pterosaur was a real pip-squeak compared to the much larger flying reptiles that flapped across the skies during the age of dinosaurs. It is significantly smaller than any other pterosaur from that era, and is the first of its kind found on North America's west coast, the researchers said. While the new pterosaur has yet to acquire an official scientific name, its fossils provide an important example of the variety in pterosaur forms — especially during the Late Cretaceous, when their diversity was waning, the scientists wrote in the study.


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Explosion at SpaceX launch site at Cape Canaveral: media reports

(Reuters) - An explosion rocked the launch site for Elon Musk's SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral in Florida on Thursday and black smoke could be seen rising into the air from the facility, multiple U.S. media reports said. It was not clear if anyone was hurt by the blast, and a spokesman for SpaceX did not immediately return a call for comment. A spokesman for NASA said he had no information and that the agency was not involved. (Reporting by Daniel Wallis and Laila Kearney; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

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What Earth's Oldest Fossils Mean for Finding Life on Mars

If recent findings on Earth are any guide, the oldest rocks on Mars may have signs of ancient life locked up inside. In a new study, a team of geologists led by Allen Nutman, of the University of Wollongong in Australia, discovered 3.7-billion-year-old rocks that may contain the oldest fossils of living organisms yet found on Earth, beating the previous record by 220 million years. If that's the case, then it's possible that Martian rocks of the same age could also have evidence of microbial life in them, said Abigail Allwood, a research scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.


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