PARIS, (AFP): Astronomers on Monday said they had found hints of a planetary system closely resembling that of Tatooine, the home of Star Wars jedi Luke Skywalker, orbiting a duo of suns.
The evidence came in the form of seemingly rocky debris orbiting two stars, a white dwarf and a brown dwarf, in a system called SDSS 1557 some 1,000 light years away.
The "debris appears to be rocky and suggests that terrestrial planets like Tatooine.... might exist in the system," said a statement from..
CAPE CANAVERAL, (REUTERS): Astronomers have found a nearby solar system with seven Earth-sized planets, three of which circle their parent star at the right distance for liquid surface water, raising the prospect of life, research published on Wednesday showed.
The star, known as TRAPPIST-1, is a small, dim celestial body in the constellation Aquarius. It is located about 40 light years away from Earth. Researchers said the proximity of the system, combined with the proportionally large size..
CAPE CANAVERAL, (REUTERS): SpaceX called off the planned launch of a Falcon 9 rocket from a historic launchpad in Florida seconds before liftoff on Saturday to investigate a potential problem with the steering system in the upper stage of the booster.
The flight, the first for the company from a launchpad at the Kennedy Space Center once used for NASA’s space shuttle program, was rescheduled for 9:38 a.m. local time (1438 GMT) on Sunday. The rocket will carry a cargo ship bound for the..
LONDON, (REUTERS): Researchers have discovered a patch of land in an ancient valley near Mars' equator that appears to have been flooded by water in the not-too-distant past. The scientists believe that the findings, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, offer a prime target to begin searching for past life forms on the Red Planet.
"On Earth, desert dunefields are periodically flooded by water in areas of fluctuating groundwater, and where lakes, rivers and coasts are found in..
BEIJING, (PTI): Microsoft founder Bill Gates has opened his account on China's social media Wechat and posted a 30-second video in Mandarin.
In his first post on the social networking app, the American billionaire and philanthropist said hello in Chinese and said he would "share about the people I meet, books I'm reading and what I'm learning".
The video, posted on February 11, has already been viewed more than 100,000 times and received over 10,000 likes, state-run China Daily reported.
KATHMANDU: Mount Everest and Annapurna areas will have free WiFi service from next month – facilitating better connectivity for mountaineers from the highest point on earth.
Digambar Jha, chairman of state-run Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), said the NTA plans to set up free WiFi zones along Lukla-Everest Base Camp and Annapurna areas.
This will make availability of free WiFi service in by far the highest point as Everest base camp is located 5,360m from the sea level and the..
LONDON, (AFP): Wikipedia editors have voted to ban the use of articles from British tabloid The Daily Mail and its globally popular website as sources, calling them "unreliable", according to a statement.
English-language editors of the online encyclopaedia cited the newspaper's "reputation for poor fact-checking, sensationalism, and flat-out fabrication", said the statement posted on Wikipedia Wednesday.
The vote means the tabloid's use as a reference should be "generally prohibited", it..
NEW YORK, (AP): Twitter is broadening its campaign to clamp down on hate speech and abuse.
The company said Tuesday that it has begun identifying people who have been banned for abusive behavior and will stop them from creating new accounts. It is also creating a 'safe search' feature that removes tweets with potentially sensitive content and tweets from blocked and muted accounts from search results.
The tweets will still exist on Twitter if people look for them, but won't appear in general..
SAN FRANSISCO, (REUTERS): Several technology giants, including Apple, Google and Microsoft, banded together on Sunday to file a legal brief opposing President Donald Trump's temporary immigration ban, arguing that it "inflicts significant harm on American business."
The brief, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, included other top tech firms including Facebook, Twitter and Intel, as well as non-tech companies such as Levi Strauss and Chobani. In all nearly 100 firms,..
WASHINGTON, (AP): Holy drone, Batman! Mechanical masterminds have spawned the Bat Bot, a soaring, sweeping and diving robot that may eventually fly circles around other drones.
Because it mimics the unique and more flexible way bats fly, this 3-ounce prototype could do a better and safer job getting into disaster sites and scoping out construction zones than bulky drones with spinning rotors, said the three authors of a study released Wednesday in the journal Science Robotics. For example, it..
CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA, (REUTERS): NASA on Friday marked the 50th anniversary of its moon program’s fatal Apollo launchpad fire with the first public display of the scorched hatch that trapped three astronauts inside their spaceship during a routine pre-launch test.
NASA astronauts Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee died when thick smoke filled the crew module of the Apollo 1 capsule on January 27, 1967, in what was the first deadly accident in the space agency’s..
WASHINGTON, (REUTERS): Atomic scientists reset their symbolic “Doomsday Clock” to its closest time to midnight in 64 years on Thursday, saying the world was closer to catastrophe due to threats such as nuclear weapons, climate change and Donald Trump’s election as US president.
The timepiece, devised by the Chicago-based Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and displayed on its website, is widely viewed as an indicator of the world’s vulnerability to disaster.
Its hands were moved to two..
CAPE CANAVERAL, (AP): It turns out the moon is older than many scientists suspected: a ripe 4.51 billion years old.
That’s the newest estimate, thanks to rocks and soil collected by the Apollo 14 moonwalkers in 1971.
A research team reported Wednesday that the moon formed within 60 million years of the birth of the solar system. Previous estimates ranged within 100 million years, all the way out to 200 million years after the solar system’s creation, not quite 4.6 billion years ago.
NEW YORK, (REUTERS): Twitter Inc executive Kathy Chen, who courted potential Chinese advertisers for the social media platform, announced her departure from the company in a tweet on Saturday.
“Now that the Twitter APAC team is working directly with Chinese advertisers, this is the right time for me to leave the company,” she wrote.
Twitter grew its Greater China advertiser base nearly 400 percent over the past two years, she wrote, making it one of the company’s fastest growing revenue..
BEIJING, (AP): China vowed Tuesday to speed up the development of its space industry as it set out its plans to become the first country to soft land a probe on the far side of the moon, by around 2018, and launch its first Mars probe by 2020.
“To explore the vast cosmos, develop the space industry and build China into a space power is a dream we pursue unremittingly,” read a white paper setting out the country’s space strategy for the next five years. It says China aims to use space for..
WASHINGTON, (REUTERS): A modest little dinosaur that scampered across northwestern China 160 million years ago boasted a unique trait not seen in any other dinosaur or other prehistoric creature yet unearthed: it was born with teeth but became toothless by adulthood.
Scientists on Thursday said fossils of 19 individuals of a dinosaur called Limusaurus, ranging in age from under a year to 10 years, showed that juveniles had small, sharp teeth but adults developed a toothless beak.
HAVANA, (AP): Google and the Cuban government signed a deal Monday allowing the internet giant to provide faster access to its data by installing servers on the island that will store much of the company’s most popular content.
Storing Google data in Cuba eliminates the long distances that signals must travel from the island through Venezuela to the nearest Google server. More than a half century after cutting virtually all economic ties with Cuba, the US has no direct data link to the..
WASHINGTON, (REUTERS): Some 99 million years ago, a juvenile dinosaur got its feathery tail stuck in tree resin, a death trap for the small creature. But its misfortune is now giving scientists unique insight into feathered dinosaurs that prospered during the Cretaceous Period.
Researchers said on Thursday a chunk of amber – fossilized resin – spotted by a Chinese scientist in a market in Myitkyina, Myanmar, last year contained 1.4 inches (36 mm) of the tail of the dinosaur, complete with..
MENLO PARK, (REUTERS): Facebook Inc is working on automatically flagging offensive material in live video streams, building on a growing effort to use artificial intelligence to monitor content, said Joaquin Candela, the company’s director of applied machine learning.
The social media company has been embroiled in a number of content moderation controversies this year, from facing international outcry after removing an iconic Vietnam War photo due to nudity, to allowing the spread of fake..
HOUSTON, (REUTERS): Scientists have found evidence that tiny, distant Pluto harbors a hidden ocean beneath the frozen surface of its heart-shaped central plain containing as much water as all of Earth's seas.
The finding, reported on Wednesday in two research papers published in the journal Nature, adds Pluto to a growing list of worlds in the solar system beyond Earth believed to have underground oceans, some of which potentially could be habitats for life.
Pluto's ocean, which is likely..