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Migrants in a caravan of Central Americans arrived in Tijuana by the hundreds Wednesday, getting their first glimpse of the robust U.S. military presence that awaits them after President Donald Trump ordered thousands of troops to the border.
Lately, a lot of the exoplanets discovered by astronomers have been incredibly far away. Spotting planets at a huge distance is still important, and every new planet researchers are able to detect adds to our knowledge of the universe and nature itself, but most of them are so distant that we'll likely never actually visit them.
A recent almost-discovery of so-called "super Earth" could change that. Astronomers have spotted what they believe is evidence of a massive, rocky world over three times the size of Earth, but the most exciting thing about it is that it's only around six light years away.
In a new paper published in Nature, researchers explain that they've detected a dip in the brightness of a nearby red dwarf known as Barnard's star. That dip, which occurs every 233 days, might be the telltale sign that a planet is in orbit around it.
By crunching a wealth of data gathered by many different observational efforts, the scientists believe that the planet orbiting the dim star is a big ball of rock much like Earth, only significantly larger. However, because its host star is so mild, it's likely that the planet is seriously chilly.
Compared to our own Sun, the red dwarf being orbited by this super Earth is just 0.4 percent as bright. That means the planet is getting very little energy as it drifts in orbit, offering little more than a dim glow. Because of this, the large world is likely around 247 degrees Fahrenheit below zero. You wouldn't want to visit.
Earth-like planets are at the top of the list for scientists to scour for evidence of extraterrestrial life, but the likelihood of finding life on this newly-discovered planet is slim. Researchers believe the planet is devoid of water, which is a big must-have for life as we know it, and the icy-cold climate probably doesn't make it very hospitable.
BILLINGS, Montana (AP) — Creating fire buffers between housing and dry brush, burying spark-prone power lines and lighting more controlled burns to keep vegetation in check could give people a better chance of surviving wildfires, according to experts searching for ways to reduce growing death tolls from increasingly severe blazes in California and across the U.S. West.
A frozen and dimly lit planet, dubbed a "Super-Earth," may be orbiting the closest single star to our solar system, astronomers said on Wednesday, based on two decades of scientific observations. The planet, estimated to be at least 3.2 times more massive than Earth, was spotted circling Barnard's Star, a type of relatively cool and low-mass star called a red dwarf, about 6 light-years away from our solar system, comparatively close in cosmic terms. It is believed to orbit Barnard's Star every 233 days.
NASA has sent a number of high-tech robots to the Red Planet already, but we don't normally hear about how things like entry and landing went until after the fact. That's going to change with the entry of the InSight lander, which is scheduled to touch down on Mars on November 26th, because NASA is going to live stream the entire event for the world to watch.
No, the lander won't actually be sending back live video of itself hurtling towards the Martian surface, but the space agency is going to have live commentary and video feeds from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's mission control so we can see the scientists and engineers doing their thing in real time.
In a new blog post, JPL says that it's actually planning on doing two live streams side-by-side. One will be streamed on the NASA TV Public Channel and will include commentary from experts explaining what is happening and giving detailed updates. The second will be what NASA called "an uninterrupted, clean feed from inside JPL mission control, with mission audio only," meaning that you'll be able to hear the engineers and controllers talking to each other without anyone narrating the action.
JPL added some additional color for the special nature of the mission:
Launched on May 5, InSight marks NASA's first Mars landing since the Curiosity rover in 2012. The landing will kick off a two-year mission in which InSight will become the first spacecraft to study Mars' deep interior. Its data also will help scientists understand the formation of all rocky worlds, including our own.
InSight is being followed to Mars by two miniature NASA spacecraft, jointly called Mars Cube One (MarCO), the first deep-space mission for CubeSats. If MarCO makes its planned Mars flyby, it will attempt to relay data from InSight as it enters the planet's atmosphere and lands.
If everything goes as planned, InSight will deliver data about Mars that scientists can now only dream of. Finding out how the guts of the planet work should be incredibly interesting, and we'll be keeping an eye out for all kinds of neat discoveries in the days and months following the spacecraft's landing.
"California has always burned and its always going to burn whether there are people there or not," Sowers said. "We've got a combination of drought that makes it so much worse and high populations of people moving into those foothills creating a perfect storm, it's an awful situation."
As Earth's tectonic plates dive beneath one another, they drag three times as much water into the planet's interior as previously thought. Using the natural seismic rumblings of the earthquake-prone subduction zone at the Marianas trench, where the Pacific plate is sliding beneath the Philippine plate, researchers were able to estimate how much water gets incorporated into the rocks that dive deep below the surface. The find has major ramifications for understanding Earth's deep water cycle, wrote marine geology and geophysics researcher Donna Shillington of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University in an op-ed accompanying the new paper.
The astronomical team that found the nearest exoplanet at Proxima Centauri has done it again with the reported detection of a super-Earth orbiting Barnard’s Star, the second-closest star system to our own. The discoverers acknowledge, however, that they’re not completely sure yet. “After a very careful analysis, we are 99 percent confident that the planet is there,” Spanish astronomer Ignasi Ribas, lead author of a study about the detection published today by the journal Nature, said in a news release. “However, we’ll continue to observe this fast-moving star to exclude possible, but improbable, natural variations of the stellar brightness which could masquerade… Read More
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A company developing an oil refinery near Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota has supplied adequate information to justify drawing water from an underwater aquifer, State Water Commission officials testified Wednesday.
NIH Funding Opportunities
- Mass Spectrometric Assays for the Reliable and Reproducible Detection of Proteins/Peptides of Importance in Obesity Research (U01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
- Establishing a Cohort to Clarify Risk and Protective Factors for Neurocognitive Complications of Pediatric Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) - Planning Cooperative Agreements (U34 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
- Notice of Termination of PAR-19-164 "Summer Research Education Experience Program (R25 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)"
- Additional Information Regarding RFA-OD-18-001 "Tobacco Regulatory Science Small Grant Program for New Investigators (R03 Clinical Trial Optional)" and RFA-OD-18-003 "Tobacco Regulatory Science (R21 Clinical Trial Optional)"
- Notice of Intent to Publish the Reissuance of RFA-OD-18-002 "Tobacco Regulatory Science (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)"