Posts Tagged ‘technology’

First Discovery of an Earth-Sized Planet in the Habitable Zone

Main Points:

For the first time, an Earth-sized planet has been found in the habitable zone of its star.  This discovery not only proves the existence of worlds that might be similar to our own, but will undoubtedly shape future investigations of exoplanets that could have terrestrial surface environments.

Study Further:

The new-found body, orbiting the red dwarf star Kepler-186 and designated Kepler-186f, is the fifth — and outermost — world to be discovered in this system.  The results are described in an article appearing in Science.

“This is the first definitive Earth-sized planet found in the habitable zone around another star,” says lead author Elisa Quintana of the SETI Institute at NASA Ames Research Center.  “Finding such planets is a primary goal of the Kepler space telescope.  The star is a main-sequence M-dwarf, a very common type.  More than 70 percent of the hundreds of billions of stars in our galaxy are M-dwarfs.”

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by saypeople - April 17, 2014 at 11:00 pm

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Kepler Astronomers Discover New Rocky Planet that may have Liquid Water

Main Point:

San Francisco State University astronomer Stephen Kane and an international team of researchers have announced the discovery of a new rocky planet that could potentially have liquid water on its surface.

Published in:

Science

Study Further:

The new planet, dubbed Kepler-186f, was discovered using NASA’s Kepler telescope, launched in March 2009 to search for habitable zone, Earth-sized planets in our corner of the Milky Way Galaxy. A habitable zone planet orbits its star at a distance where any water on the planet’s surface is likely to stay liquid. Since liquid water is critical to life on Earth, many astronomers believe the search for extraterrestrial life should focus on planets where liquid water occurs.

“Some people call these habitable planets, which of course we have no idea if they are,” said Kane, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy. “We simply know that they are in the habitable zone, and that is the best place to start looking for habitable planets.”

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by saypeople - at 11:00 am

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A Study in Scarlet

The star formation region Gum 41 (Credit: ESO)

The star formation region Gum 41 (Credit: ESO)

Main Points:

This new image from ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile reveals a cloud of hydrogen called Gum 41. In the middle of this little-known nebula, brilliant hot young stars are giving off energetic radiation that causes the surrounding hydrogen to glow with a characteristic red hue.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by saypeople - April 16, 2014 at 3:00 pm

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Using mathematics to beat jetlag effectively

Main Points:

Our “internal clock” is predicted to shift more rapidly than previously thought. In a study published in PLOS Computational Biology on April 10th, researchers present schedules of light exposure that may shift our circadian clock in the minimum time, simply by adjusting the timing of the beginning and end of each day.

Published in:

PLOS Computational Biology

Study Further:

The authors calculated optimal schedules for thousands of different situations, and condensed their findings into four general principles of optimal circadian shifting.

“Overcoming jetlag is fundamentally a math problem and we’ve calculated the optimal way of doing it,” said study author Danny Forger, of the University of Michigan, USA. “We’re certainly not the first people to offer advice about this, but our predictions show the mathematically best and quickest ways to adjust across time zones.”

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by saypeople - April 11, 2014 at 2:00 am

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Chance Meeting Creates Celestial Diamond Ring

The planetary nebula Abell 33 captured using ESO's Very Large Telescope (Credit: ESO)

The planetary nebula Abell 33 captured using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (Credit: ESO)

Main Points:

Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile have captured this eye-catching image of planetary nebula PN A66 33 — usually known as Abell 33. Created when an aging star blew off its outer layers, this beautiful blue bubble is, by chance, aligned with a foreground star, and bears an uncanny resemblance to a diamond engagement ring. This cosmic gem is unusually symmetric, appearing to be almost circular on the sky.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by saypeople - April 9, 2014 at 3:00 pm

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