• Even frozen roads have their uses

    Clever 16th-century Chinese construction engineers used ice to bring enormous blocks of stone to the Forbidden CityDeliberately making a road icy sounds like a recipe for disaster, but in 16th-century China it helped things run smoothly. Repairs to the Forbidden City in Beijing in 1557 called for huge stones from a quarry 70km away. The biggest was the 300-ton “Large Stone Carving.” Such stones were too heavy for any cart, and too fragile for rollers. The builders adopted an ingeniou
  • Ancient Yortan jug returned to Turkey from UK - Hurriyet Daily News

    Hurriyet Daily News
    Ancient Yortan jug returned to Turkey from UK
    Hurriyet Daily News
    The Culture, Tourism and Promotional Department of the Turkish Embassy in London has announced that a 4,500-year-old jug, which was taken over to the U.K. nearly 60 years ago, has been returned to Turkey. In a written statement on the return of the jug ...en meer »
  • New reconstruction of an ancient ice sheet

    The Eurasian ice sheet was the third largest ice mass during the Last Glacial Maximum some 22,000 years ago. Alongside the Antarctic and North American ice sheets it lowered the global sea level by more than 120 metres. In volume it was almost three times greater than the modern day Greenland ice sheet.A new model reconstruction shows in exceptional detail the evolution of the Eurasian ice sheet during the last ice age. 
    This...
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  • Discovery adds rock collecting to Neanderthal's repertoire

    An international group that includes a University of Kansas researcher has discovered a brownish piece of split limestone in a site in Croatia that suggests Neanderthals 130,000 years ago collected the rock that stands out among all other items in the cave.Arrow indicates edge of the rock with the reddish-brown limonite staining.La fleche indique le bord de la roche presentant 
    une coloration de limonite rouge-brune. An...
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  • Officials eye tighter security at Colosseum after graffiti sprayed on pillar

    Italian officials want to install security cameras and a control room to monitor intruders and vandals at Rome's world-famous Colosseum monument and surrounding archaeological area, especially at night.Authorities in Rome are considering creating a no-go zone that would be monitored by surveillance cameras
     to protect the Colosseum following the intrusion of two men at the monument 
    and the latest episode of vandalism...
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  • Possible tomb of famous Viking warrior chieftain found in Denmark

    Bjarne Henning Nielsen, an archaeologist based in northern Jutland, believes that he may have found the tomb of the famous Viking chief Ulv Galiciefarer, the great-grandfather of Valdemar the Great, who was king of Denmark from 1157-1182.A burial spot fit for an earl? [Credit: Vesthimmerlands Museum]“It’s just a theory, an idea, but somebody has to say it first,” Nielsen told Videnskab.Galiciefarer, who became famous raiding,...
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  • Aboriginal Australians co-existed with the megafauna for at least 17,000 years

    Australia was once home to giant reptiles, marsupials and birds (and some not so giant), but the extinction of this megafauna has been the subject of a debate that has persisted since the 19th century.What it could have looked like when humans and megafauna lived together: a giant macropod Procoptodon goliah in the 
    foreground, while Thylacinus cynocephalus hunts for prey nearby. A herd of Zygomaturus can be see on...
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  • Risk of tree species disappearing in central Africa 'a major concern,' say researchers

    Human disturbance may often be criticised for harming the environment, but new research suggests a persistent lack of human attention in the central African forest could actually cause some tree species to disappear.Terminalia superba -- a threatened tree species in southeastern Cameroon 
    [Credit: Morin-Rivat et al.]The study, from Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech -- Université de Liège and the Royal Museum for Central Africa, both in...
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  • Trilobite fossils reveal unseen 'footprint' maker

    Fossils found in Morocco from the long-extinct group of sea creatures called trilobites, including rarely seen soft-body parts, may be previously unseen animals that left distinctive fossil 'footprints' around the ancient supercontinent Gondwana.Megistaspis (Ekeraspis) hammondi with soft-body preservation from the late Tremadocian Fezouata Lagerstätte 
    (Moroccan Anti-Atlas): (a–d) MGM-6755X, with digestive structures. (a)...
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  • Our hominid ancestors made and used tools

    Neil Norman found the tools when he and Bruce Larson were walking down the local wadi, a usually dry watercourse that hadn't moved much in a long, long time.A diorama at the Nairobi National Museum portrays early hominids processing game with tools. But which 
    of our ancient ancestors was the first to butcher animals? [Credit: Ninara/WikiCommons]Seasonal rains would flood the stream, drowning animals and washing them downstream,...
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  • Excavations at Kephala site on Greek island of Skiathos completed

    The five year excavation programme at the “Kephala” site on the island of Skiathos has been recently completed. It is one of the lesser-known sites of Greece and the only one from the Early Historic times in Northern Sporades which is undergoing systematic excavation survey. The excavation lasted two weeks (5-17 September 2016) and was conducted by the University of Thessaly, in collaboration with the Ephorate of Antiquities of...
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  • Understanding new evidence of the impact of climate change in the Early Jurassic Period

    Geochemical and biological research offers academics a window into earth history, enabling them to piece together events that occurred before records began. Much of our understanding of past climate change is based on geology, in particular the study of sedimentary rocks deposited in the oceans.Early Jurassic lake sediments (black shales) formed in the Tarim Basin, China 
    [Credit: Oxford Science Blog]The paper that first...
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  • A tale of two pulsars' tails: Plumes offer geometry lessons to astronomers

    Like cosmic lighthouses sweeping the universe with bursts of energy, pulsars have fascinated and baffled astronomers since they were first discovered 50 years ago. In two studies, international teams of astronomers suggest that recent images from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory of two pulsars -- Geminga and B0355+54 -- may help shine a light on the distinctive emission signatures of pulsars, as well as their often perplexing...
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  • Galaxy murder mystery

    It's the big astrophysical whodunnit. Across the Universe, galaxies are being killed and the question scientists want answered is, what's killing them?This artist's impression shows the spiral galaxy NGC 4921 based on observations made by the Hubble Space Telescope 
    [Credit: ICRAR, NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)]New research published today by a global team of researchers, based at the International Centre for...
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  • Tigers could roam again in Central Asia, scientists say

    Caspian tigers, some of the largest cats that ever lived—up to 10 feet long and weighing more than 300 pounds—met a grim end in the middle of the 20th century.Artist's depiction of a Caspian tiger [Credit: Heptner and Sludskiy 1972]Until the mid-1960s when they were designated as extinct, they ranged from modern-day Turkey through much of Central Asia, including Iran and Iraq, to northwestern China. The reasons for their...
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  • Byzantine tombs unearthed in Stratonikeia

    Some 65 Byzantine-era tombs have been unearthed in the most recent archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Stratonikeia, known as the city of gladiators in the western Turkish province of Muğla (Yatağan district).
    “We are continuing works in the graveyard field. Sixty-five Byzantine era tombs were unearthed in the ancient city. The tombs belong to both adults and children,” said the head of the excavations, Pamukkale...
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  • Rare basement, fireplace excavated at 2,400-year-old palace in NW China

    Chinese archaeologists have unearthed a rare basement and fireplace in the ruins of an ancient city that served as a state capital some 2,400 years ago.Photo taken on Jan 13, 2017 shows a basement excavated at the site of the ancient town of Yueyang in the Yanliang 
    district of Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi province [Credit: Xinhua]The five-meter-long and four-meter-wide room was built nearly one meter below ground...
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  • Head of Roman era statue discovered after heavy rains in Crete

    The recent wave of bad weather across Greece not only brought hardship, it also revealed an archaeological treasure.
    On the 4th of January, a young farmer in the area of Ierapetra (ancient Ierapytna) in southern Crete found the head of a statue which had surfaced after floods in the area.The 30 year old man immediately notified the local archaeological authorities who have since taken possession of the artefact.The well-preserved...
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  • 2,800 year old wheat grains discovered in north China

    Archaeologists recently discovered a large amount of carbonized wheat grains at a site in northwest China's Shaanxi province.Carbonized wheat grain discovered at the Haojing site in Xi'an, Shaanxi province [Credit: CCTV]The site is at Haojing, one of the two capitals of the Western Zhou Dynasty (c. 11th century-771 BC). The grains found has been dated at 2800 years old.West Asia and Afghanistan are generally believed to be where...
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  • Unprecedented work at Auschwitz to preserve Holocaust site

    Brick by brick, plank by plank, workers at the former Nazi German death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau carefully clean its barracks to preserve the Holocaust symbol for future generations.The former Nazi German death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau is undergoing a preservation programme
     likely to take over a decade [Credit: AFP/Bartosz Siedlik]"This is the largest preservation project in the history of the museum at Auschwitz-Birkenau. It's...
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  • Microbes could survive thin air of Mars

    The Martian surface is presently cold and dry, but there is plenty of evidence suggesting that rivers, lakes and seas covered the Red Planet billions of years ago. Since there is life virtually wherever there is liquid water on Earth, scientists have suggested that life might have evolved on Mars when it was wet, and life could be there even now.An artist’s impression of what Mars might have looked like with water, when any...
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  • Astrophysicists discover dimming of binary star

    A team of University of Notre Dame astrophysicists led by Peter Garnavich, professor of physics, has observed the unexplained fading of an interacting binary star, one of the first discoveries using the University's Sarah L. Krizmanich Telescope.Sarah L. Krizmanich Telescope [Credit: University of Notre Dame]The binary star, FO Aquarii, located in the Milky Way galaxy and Aquarius constellation about 500 light-years from Earth,...
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  • India's Kannada script a century older than believed

    Pushing the antiquity of Kannada language further back, at least by a century, ASI has discovered a new set of inscriptions containing Kannada words. While the antiquity of Kannada has been a matter of debate, especially after it acquired the classical language status, ASI researchers have discovered epigraphic records at a temple in Shivamogga district pushing its usage from the existing 450 CE to 350-370 CE. The discovery was...
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  • Chinese museum demands return of horse sculptures from Pennsylvania

    A Chinese museum in northwestern China’s Shaanxi province has openly demanded the return of two horse relief sculptures displayed at a University of Pennsylvania museum. The sculptures were illegally sold overseas.The two disputed horse relief sculptures at the University of Pennsylvania Museum 
    [Credit: Penn Museum]The Zhaoling Museum made its announcement on Jan. 11 via its official WeChat public account, calling on the...
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  • Agios Sozomenos Excavation and Survey Project 2016

    The Department of Antiquities of the Republic of Cyprus announced the results of the Agios Sozomenos Excavations and Survey Project (ASESP) which lasted from September 6 to 27 October 2016, directed by the Curator of Antiquities, Dr Despina Pilides. This excavation season included continued excavation and geophysical surveys at the locality Tzirpoulos and at the fortress of Barsak.View of the excavations at Agios Sozomenos [Credit:...
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  • Hundreds of coffins to be restored in Egyptian conservation project

    More than 600 wooden coffins at Egyptian Museum in Cairo to be documented and restored by team of conservatorsEgypt will restore hundreds of coffins dating back thousands of years to the time of the pharaohs as part of an American-Egyptian project to preserve and document one of the world’s oldest civilisations, a director of the project said. The conservation effort, funded by a US grant, will restore more than 600 wooden coffins that date to various eras of ancient Egypt and which are cu
  • 3,000 year old crocodile bones unearthed in China's Xi'an

    A total of 12 bone lamellae of crocodile were discovered in the Ruins of Haojing, which was part of the capital of the Western Zhou Dynasty (1066-770 BCE), in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, according to the news released on January 11th by Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology(SPIA).Bone lamellae of crocodiles discovered in the Ruins of Haojing, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province 
    [Credit: xiancn.com]The excavation of the Ruins of Haojing,...
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  • 13,000 Victorian jam jars discovered at Crossrail site

    Thousands of Victorian jam jars and pickle pots have been discovered beneath a former nightclub during the building of Crossrail, it has emerged.Marmalade was one of the condiments produced in the factory by Crosse & Blackwell 
    [Credit: Crossrail]The Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) found more than 13,000 pots in an old vault at the site of the new Elizabeth line station in Tottenham Court Road.The space beneath the old...
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  • New genetics study on Ice Age populations around the Black Sea and the Northern Levant

    New genetics research led by LAU professor Pierre Zalloua has confirmed the existence of isolated populations around the Black Sea and the Northern Levant during the Ice Age. Referred to as refugia, these populations lived apart from each other with no contact or inter-mixing for more than 25,000 years. "This allowed for distinct genetic signatures specific to each refugium to accumulate," the researcher explains.Geographic...
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  • Ancient surgeon's room discovered in Nea Paphos

    A set of surgical instruments made of bronze and iron has been discovered by researchers from the Institute of Archaeology of the Jagiellonian University in a room in more than two thousand years old destroyed portico in Nea Paphos in Cyprus. The researchers speculate that it could have been a doctor's office.The moment of discovery of surgical instruments. Prof. E. Papuci-Władyka (R) presents them to the Dean of the 
    Faculty of...
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  • Three ways to be a winner in the game of evolution

    A new study by University of Arizona biologists helps explain why different groups of animals differ dramatically in their number of species, and how this is related to differences in their body forms and ways of life.Jellyfish, polyps and the like belong to a phylum called Cnidaria, one of about 30 major groups 
    that make up the animal kingdom [Credit: Chai Seamaker/Shutterstock]For millennia, humans have marveled at the...
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  • How the darkness and the cold killed the dinosaurs

    Sixty six million years ago, the sudden extinction of the dinosaurs started the ascent of the mammals, ultimately resulting in humankind's reign on Earth. Climate scientists now reconstructed how tiny droplets of sulfuric acid formed high up in the air after the well-known impact of a large asteroid and blocking the sunlight for several years, had a profound influence on life on Earth. Plants died, and death spread through the food...
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  • Historic water supply network discovered under Iranian city of Isfahan

    “A historic water canal has been recently discovered in Isfahan,” announced Alamdar Alian, the head of Archaeology Department of Isfahan Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.A large, complicated underground water network has been discovered in an old neighbourhood of Isfahan, 
    central Iran [Credit: IRNA]According to a Farsi report by IRNA, he said the canal was found during the operation of humidity removal...
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  • First humans arrived in North America a lot earlier than believed

    The timing of the first entry of humans into North America across the Bering Strait has now been set back 10,000 years.This horse mandible from Cave 2 shows a number of cut marks on the lingual surface. They show the animal’s 
    tongue was cut out with a stone tool [Credit: University of Montreal]This has been demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt by Ariane Burke, a professor in Université de Montréal's Department of...
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  • Ancient sabre-toothed fish fossil unearthed in Australia's outback

    A rare fossilised lizardfish, never before seen in Australia, has been unearthed outside Richmond in outback Queensland.The sabre-toothed creature is believed to have lived around the Richmond area 
    100 million years ago [Credit: ABC]Canadian tourists Gary and Barbara Flewelling discovered the sharp-toothed creature in October at a local fossil finding site."We hadn't been out here very long, simply turning over the layers of...
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  • 2,300-year-old tomb discovered in central China's Hubei

    Bronze and porcelain are among the items unearthed in an ancient tomb that had recently been discovered along the Jingmen section of the Menghua Railway in Central China's Hubei province.Archaeologists work at the site of an ancient tomb in Jingmen,Central China's Hubei province
    [Credit: Sanmao/Chinadaily]An overview shows the ancient tomb in Jingmen, Central China's Hubei province[Credit: Sanmao/Chinadaily]Based on evidence...
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  • Scientists engineer animals with ancient genes to test causes of evolution

    Scientists at the University of Chicago have created the first genetically modified animals containing reconstructed ancient genes, which they used to test the evolutionary effects of genetic changes that happened in the deep past on the animals' biology and fitness.A transgenic fruit fly engineered to carry the alcohol dehydrogenase gene as it existed about 4 million years ago. 
    Thousands of these 'ancestralized' flies were...
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  • Hubble gazes into a black hole of puzzling lightness

    The beautiful spiral galaxy visible in the center of the image is known as RX J1140.1+0307, a galaxy in the Virgo constellation imaged by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, and it presents an interesting puzzle. At first glance, this galaxy appears to be a normal spiral galaxy, much like the Milky Way, but first appearances can be deceptive!The beautiful spiral galaxy visible in the center of the image is known as RX J1140.1+0307,...
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  • Astrobiologist hunts DNA on Red Planet

    Astrobiologist alumna Alexandra Pontefract, PhD'13 (Geology), knows finding DNA on the Red Planet will be no easy feat. But it is possible. What's more, if DNA is found, it's not far-fetched to think it would be proof of shared ancestry between Earth and Mars.Astrobiologist alumna Alexandra Pontefract, PhD’13 (Geology), is a postdoctoral associate at the Massachusetts Institute 
    for Technology (MIT), where she is part of a team...
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  • Are herders and livestock bad for rare wildlife? It's complicated

    The Denver Zoological Foundation, WCS(Wildlife Conservation Society) and other partners have published a paper appearing in the early view edition of Conservation Biology that looks at the positive and negative relationships occurring between pastoralists, livestock, native carnivores and native herbivores in the world's largest unfenced grassland and desert.An Argali skull in foreground with a yurt in the background 
    [Credit:...
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  • Simple fats, amino acids to explain how life began

    Life is a process that originated 3.5 billion years ago. It emerged when the basic components of the cells that we know today, in other words, inanimate chemical molecules, gradually joined, merged, assembled themselves and interacted. At a given moment they became alive, or what amounts to the same thing, they turned into autonomous systems.Image of the supramolecular structures formed by fatty acids in an aqueous environment taken...
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  • Study of Arctic shrews, parasites indicates how climate change may affect ecosystems and communities

    The shrew and its parasites -- even 40-year-old preserved ones -- are the new indicators of environmental change, according to a Kansas State University researcher.The forest-dwelling masked shrew is host to many varieties of parasites and pathogens, and together 
    they could be the world's newest indicators of environmental change, according to a 
    Kansas State University researcher's study in NOAA's 2016 Arctic Report...
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  • India was by no means as isolated as we thought

    India gradually drifted away from Africa and Madagascar towards the north and collided with the Eurasian plate. Scientists assumed for a long time that the subcontinent was largely isolated during its long journey through the ocean and unique species of plants and animals were therefore able to develop on it. However, paleontologists at the University of Bonn are now showing using tiny midges encased in amber that there must have been...
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  • Scientists discover world's largest tropical peatland in remote Congo swamps

    A vast peatland in the Congo Basin has been mapped for the first time, revealing it to be the largest in the tropics.Cuvette central swamp [Credit: Simon Lewis/University of Leeds]The new study found that the Cuvette Centrale peatlands in the central Congo Basin, which were unknown to exist five years ago, cover 145,500 square kilometres -- an area larger than England. They lock in 30 billion tonnes of carbon making the region one of...
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  • Conifer cones bear their ages well, and still move it

    Fossil conifer cones can still move their individual seed scales after millions of years. This is the finding of a study conducted by the biologists Dr. Simon Poppinga and Prof. Dr. Thomas Speck from the Plant Biomechanics Group and Botanical Garden of the University of Freiburg.Photographs of the Keteleeria sp. (left) and Pinus sp. 1 (middle) cones investigated in the study, and an x-ray-computed
     tomography image of the Pinus...
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  • Bee placed on endangered list after US habitat loss

    US officials for the first time have placed a bee found in the continental United States on the endangered species list.The rusty patched bumblebee, which is the only bee on the USendangered species list, pollinates 
    economically important crops[Credit: Roland Weihrauc/DPA/AFP]Authorities said Wednesday the move was taken after a precipitous decline in the rusty patched bumblebee population, due to pesticides, disease and...
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  • VLT to search for planets in the Alpha Centauri system

    ESO has signed an agreement with the Breakthrough Initiatives to adapt the Very Large Telescope instrumentation in Chile to conduct a search for planets in the nearby star system Alpha Centauri. Such planets could be the targets for an eventual launch of miniature space probes by the Breakthrough Starshot initiative.This image shows the closest stellar system to the Sun, the bright double star Alpha Centauri AB and its distant and...
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  • The moon is older than scientists thought

    A UCLA-led research team reports that the moon is at least 4.51 billion years old, or 40 million to 140 million years older than scientists previously thought.The full moon rises behind a tree next to the ruins of the ancient marble Temple of Poseidon, built in 444 BC, at Cape
     Sounion, southeast of Athens, on the eve of the summer solstice. On Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, a California-led 
    research team reported that the moon...
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  • Huygens: 'Ground truth' from an alien moon—2005 historic descent to Titan revisited

    After a two-and-a-half-hour descent, the metallic, saucer-shaped spacecraft came to rest with a thud on a dark floodplain covered in cobbles of water ice, in temperatures hundreds of degrees below freezing. The alien probe worked frantically to collect and transmit images and data about its environs—in mere minutes its mothership would drop below the local horizon, cutting off its link to the home world and silencing its voice...
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  • One dozen and one neutron stars

    An analysis that would have taken more than a thousand years on a single computer has found within one year more than a dozen new rapidly rotating neutron stars in data from the Fermi gamma-ray space telescope.
    A gamma-ray pulsar is a compact neutron star that accelerates charged particles to relativistic speeds in its extremely
     strong magnetic field. This process produces gamma radiation (violet) far above the surface of the...
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