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Showing posts from October 21, 2016

Images indicate European Mars lander destroyed: ESA

Images taken by a NASA Mars orbiter indicate that Europe's missing craft fell to the Red Planet's surface from a height of 2 to 4 kilometers (1.2 to 2.5 miles) and was destroyed on impact, the European Space Agency said on Friday. The disc-shaped 577-kg (1,272 lb) Schiaparelli probe, part of a broader mission to search for evidence of life on the Red Planet, descended to Mars on Wednesday to test technologies for a rover that scientists hope to send to the surface of the planet in 2020.


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At Mars, ExoMars Science Mission Goes on Despite Missing Lander

The ExoMars 2016 mission is in business despite the apparent failure of its lander to touch down softly on the Red Planet Wednesday (Oct. 19), European Space Agency (ESA) officials stressed. The lander, known as Schiaparelli, seems to have deployed its parachute too early and fired its thrusters for an insufficient amount of time as it streaked through the Martian atmosphere Wednesday, ESA officials said. As Schiaparelli was experiencing its "six minutes of terror" descent, the second part of the ExoMars 2016 mission, the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), was firing its main engine for more than two hours in a crucial orbit-insertion burn.


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Fact-Checking Trump: Can Abortions Really Happen on the 'Final Day' of Pregnancy?

At last night's presidential debate, Donald Trump said abortions could happen "on the final day" of a pregnancy if Hillary Clinton becomes president, but experts say this is very unlikely and does not accurately reflect the reality of abortions in the United States. However, an abortion so late in pregnancy is "incredibly unlikely," said Elizabeth Nash, the senior state issues manager at the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research organization. "That just isn't the experience around abortion that women have" in the United States, Nash said.


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Rich People Really Do Ignore You When They Walk By

Wealthy people appear to spend less time looking at other human beings, compared with how much time people in lower social classes look at others, according to a new study that used Google Glass headsets to track people's gazes. Because the time people spend looking at something may be related to how much motivational relevance the object or person holds, the "findings make a compelling case that social classes differ in their judgments of other people's significance," the researchers wrote in their paper, published Oct. 3 in the journal Psychological Science. In the study, the researchers asked 61 people to wear a Google Glass headset while walking around in New York City.


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Heavy Marijuana Use May Be Bad for Your Bones

People who regularly smoke large amounts of marijuana may be more susceptible to bone fractures than people who don't use the drug, according to a new study conducted in the United Kingdom. Researchers also found that the people in the study who used marijuana regularly tended to have thinner bones than the people who did not use pot. Having thinner bones might put people at higher risk for osteoporosis, a condition in which a person's bones become brittle and fragile, the researchers said.


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Too Hot to Handle? Ghost Pepper Leads to Torn Esophagus

A puree made from these peppers — which are infamous for their off-the-charts level of spiciness — led to a rare, life-threatening condition in an otherwise healthy, 47-year-old man in California, according to a recent report of the man's case. Ghost peppers are among the hottest chili peppers in the world, the report said. Eating a single seed from a ghost pepper can cause severe burning in the mouth that lasts up to 30 minutes, the report said.


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Monkeys Break Rocks, Show Humans Aren't So Special

It's said that an infinite number of monkeys sitting at an infinite number of typewriters would eventually produce the works of Shakespeare. New research finds that a noninfinite number of monkeys holding a noninfinite number of rocks might at least produce something like stone tools. Capuchin monkeys banging rocks against one another can accidentally make stones once thought to bear the telltale marks of a toolmaking human ancestor, researchers reported today (Oct. 19) in the journal Nature.


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Denali Dinos: Ancient Bones Are First of Their Kind in National Park

Alaska's majestic Denali National Park is home to North America's tallest mountain and a wide array of wild animals, including moose, wolves and grizzly bears. Researchers found the fossilized bones of what they think are dinosaurs during a July 2016 expedition that included paleontologists from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) and the National Park Service, according to an online announcement that was made Tuesday (Oct. 18). The group also discovered several new dinosaur trackways — fossilized impressions of footprints left by dinosaurs that once walked though mud that later turned into rock.


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500 'Champagne' Methane Seeps Discovered Off Pacific Coast

About 500 new streams of shimmering methane bubbles have been discovered off the Pacific Northwest coast. The discovery, which took place in June, will be a major topic for discussion at the 2016 National Ocean Exploration Forum, a congressionally mandated meeting about ocean exploration priorities that is taking place in New York and New Jersey on Oct. 20 and 21. The meeting, organized by Rockefeller University and Monmouth University, is half celebration of a year's worth of ocean discoveries and half planning committee for the years 2020 to 2025, said organizer Jesse Ausubel, the director of the Program for the Human Environment at Rockefeller.


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Spaceship carrying three-man crew docks with ISS, NASA TV reports

(Reuters) - A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying an American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts docked with the International Space Station on Friday, NASA TV reported, two days after blasting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The spaceship with NASA's Shane Kimbrough and Russians Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko on board completed the docking maneuver at 0952 GMT. ...


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