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Showing posts from September 9, 2016

Elon Musk calls SpaceX blast a ‘most difficult, complex failure’

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - SpaceX founder and chief Elon Musk said on Friday he was unsure why one of the company’s Falcon rockets burst into flames on its Florida launch pad last week, destroying both the rocket and an Israeli communications satellite it was due to lift into orbit. A SpaceX-led accident investigation is underway, overseen by the Federal Aviation Administration's Commercial Space Transportation office. “There was no apparent heat source,” Musk said on Friday.


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Scottish Prisoners of War from 17th-Century Battle to Be Reburied

More than 350 years ago, thousands Scottish soldiers were captured during the English Civil War by the controversial British leader Oliver Cromwell. Many were kept as prisoners and were buried in mass graves when they died of disease and starvation. Now, some of those soldiers will finally receive a more respectful resting place near Durham University, in northeast England, where the mass graves were found.


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Four New Wasp Species Identified in China

Four species of parasitoid wasps have been discovered in northwest China, a new study reports. G. pannuceum (from the Latin word "pannuceus," meaning "wrinkled") gets its name from the wrinkled sheath covering its midbody.


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Tiny 'Vampires' Put the Bite on Amoeba Prey 740 Million Years Ago

When movie vampires strike, they leave behind telltale marks in the victim's neck — puncture wounds that show where they sank their fangs. Recently, scientists discovered amoeba fossils perforated with circular holes that were likely made by microscopic predatory creatures 740 million years ago. The holes showed where a single-celled predator drilled through its amoeba prey's protective cell wall to consume the material known as cytoplasm that lies inside, according to a new study.


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How a Museum Cleans a Whale

At the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City yesterday (Sept. 7), the well-known blue-whale model that seemingly floats overhead in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life received its annual two-day "spa" treatment to remove a year's accumulation of dust and grime. Dappled lights play over its back, simulating the sun's rays on the ocean surface, while the vast space around the model recalls the open ocean — the blue whales' habitat. Thousands of people watched AMNH's live stream of the cleaning via the museum's Facebook page.


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Russian River Runs Red

The Siberian Times reported on Sept. 7 that the Daldykan River near the city of Norilsk had turned the color of blood, with locals pointing fingers at the nearby Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant, owned by the company Norilsk Nickel. In fact, a broken pipeline at the plant may be the culprit, according to a statement from the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources. Norilsk Nickel does have a history of environmental problems, however.


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Meteorite whizzes past Cyprus and explodes, lighting up night sky

A suspected meteorite did a close fly-by over Cyprus early on Friday, sending people into consternation over a blitz of bright lights which appeared in the night sky coupled with large bangs. "It had a 45 degree tilt and a bang was heard as it passed over Cyprus," said Ioannis Fakas, the honorary chairman of the Cyprus astronomical society. Parts of the meteorite were thought to have fallen into the sea north of Cyprus, Fakas told state TV.

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