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NASA citizen scientist discovers first ancient dead star with peculiar rings

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first_img Comment Share your voice Sci-Tech Today’s NASA Mars weather report: It’s freakin’ cold Trump’s Space Force is coming, but not as originally planned Yes, this is a real view of the ISS transiting the moon 17 Photos Tags Intriguingly, the fate of this planetary system may foreshadow what’s to come for the Earth. Eventually, our sun will expand into a “red giant,” swallowing Mercury and Venus (maybe even Earth) whole like The Blob rolling across small-town America. That event would tidy up the inner solar system like a cosmic Marie Kondo, and then see the star collapse into a white dwarf, its gravity dissipate and the planets at the edge of the system drift away.NASA and collaborating science and educational institutions launched Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 in February 2017 as a citizen scientist project that uses data from WISE to search for the supposed planet hiding at the edge of our solar system. Over 150,000 participants eyeball thousands of images generated by WISE to look for any anomalies that might pop up. The project has already reaped many rewards, with a brown dwarf, a type of “failed star,” discovered only six days after the project began and over a thousand similar objects discovered since. center_img More from space NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Scott Wiessinger A citizen scientist working with NASA has detected an old, cold dying star that may provide a window into the fate of our own solar system billions of years from now.Melina Thévenot, a citizen scientist from Germany, detected an anomaly while searching through data collected by the European Space Agency’s Gaia spacecraft. At first, she believed it was bad data, but when she looked at the source in the images from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission, she decided the data might be valuable and handed it over to the team working on the Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 citizen scientist project.The leads on that project decided to follow up on the finding, re-positioning the Keck II telescope in Hawaii to take a deeper look. With their new set of eyes focused on the tiny spot in the sky, Keck II confirmed the blip wasn’t bad data — it was the oldest, coldest white dwarf we’ve ever spotted — and it is circled by a peculiar set of dusty rings. The discovery appears Tuesday in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.  “This white dwarf is so old that whatever process is feeding material into its rings must operate on billion-year timescales,” said John Debes, an astronomer and lead author on the study. “This star is really challenging our assumptions of how planetary systems evolve.” Dubbed J0207 (or LSPM J0207+3331 for the purists), the newly discovered dead star is about the size of the Earth and located around 145 light-years from our home planet. The team believes the dead star has two disks of dusty material, the first known white dwarf to host such a weird phenomenon. Generally, dusty disks form around these bodies when asteroids or comets are flung into the gravitational pull of a the star. As they approach, the dead star’s gravity begins to tear them apart, breaking them up into pieces that constantly orbit the body. Weirdly, white dwarfs this old generally don’t maintain their dusty disks — all the material slowly falls into the star. That’s puzzled researchers, but follow-up missions may resolve the conundrum.”What makes this new white dwarf so interesting is that it’s much older than the typical dusty white dwarf,” said Debes. “That is hard to explain with our current models of how asteroids get kicked into inner white dwarf systems, but somehow Nature knows how to do it.”    1 NASA NASA Opportunity rover witnessed the wild side of Marslast_img read more

Nirmala Sitharaman visits Shashi Tharoor in hospital Congress MP calls it rare

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first_imgTwitter/Shashi TharoorDefense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday after the Congress leader was hospitalised after injuring his head during a temple ceremony.Saying that “civility was a rare virtue in politics”, Tharoor thanked Sithramaran in a tweet for visiting him in the hospital and enquiring about his health. Sitharaman is currently in Kerala campaigning for the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections which will be held in a single phase on April 23. Tharoor’s rival LDF leader C Divakaran had also called him up on Tuesday morning to express concern for his well-being. The latter tweeted thanking him for his concerns. Tharoor will be defending the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat against Divakaran. Twitter/Shashi TharoorTharoor was injured when he was taking part in a Thulabharam ritual at the Gandhari Amman Temple in Thiruvananthapuram. This ritual expects a person to sit on one plate of a balance and banana will be weighed against him on the other plate till it reaches the person’s weight. Tharoor hurt himself when the balance broke and fell on his head. It required six stitches.last_img read more

Beatendown BSE 500 stocks return decent gains in 3 days

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first_imgAbout 95 percent of the BSE 500 companies have given decent returns to the investors in the past three days, as the benchmark indices have witnessed massive gains following the announcement of some positive measures in the budget for 2016-2017.While the BSE Sensex gained over 1,500 points in the last three trading sessions ending March 3, the 50-share Nifty went up by 488 points. The rally in the indices was mainly led by the rising hopes on a rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the wake of the government’s status quo on fiscal consolidation. Presenting his third budget on Monday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had kept the fiscal deficit target for the next fiscal year unchanged at 3.5 percent, sharply in contrast with the call by bankers and analysts that the finance minister would deviate from the fiscal discipline path to accommodate for higher government spending.The announcement triggered heavy buying in most banking stocks, which were beaten down in the previous sessions over a sharp decline in profits for the December quarter due to higher provisioning for bad loans.Stocks in the BSE 500 index also saw huge gains, with some of them giving more than 25 percent returns in just three days after the budget presentation.Share price of Suven Life Sciences posted the biggest gains among the BSE 500 stocks, climbing by over 33 percent in the first three trading sessions in March. While Inox Wind was the second best performer in the index, gaining a little over 30 percent, stock prices of Delta Corp, Marksans Pharma and Hathway Cable & Datacom went up by 27 percent each. In contrast, 25 of the BSE 500 components witnessed losses in the past three sessions, with United Spirits figuring among the list. United Spirits shares fell over six percent.”The probability of the GST Bill getting passed in the current session of Parliament looks low and markets will now look out for reforms on the executive side,” Dipen Shah, senior vice-president and head of private client group research, Kotak Securities, told the Financial Express.last_img read more

City hosts Dignity March to end victim shaming

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first_imgKolkata: In a collective bid to achieve 100 percent conviction rate in cases of sexual violence, Dignity March, a platform for the survivors of rape and sexual violence, conducted a campaign in Kolkata on Friday.Around thousands take part in this journey — aiming to cover 10,000 km across the country — with the aim to put an end to the culture of shame and fear among victims and instill the fear of conviction in culprits. “We need to support the victims of sexual crimes, especially in cases of commercial sexual exploitation of children, as minors are vulnerable and need constant support from their families and society. In the past, our governments and laws have taken a reactive approach towards this issue but it is high time to take a robust proactive measure to create deterrence among “customers” who buy sex involving children. Also Read – 3 injured, flight, train services hit as rains lash BengalA 100 percent conviction rate is the only solution that can help us instill fear in culprits and put an end to this menace,” said Ashif Shaikh, Convenor, Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan, Dignity March, at an event in Kolkata. The statistics of National Crime Record Bureau 2016 states that out of 15,379 victims trafficked in India, around 58.7 percent is children. Most of these children are trafficked for sex-work (or Commercial Sexual Exploitation). Dignity March is rooted in a national online survey conducted by Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan. The survey ‘Speak Out!’ was conducted to determine the intensity of sexual violence against women and children and gave the survivors an opportunity to raise their voice against such atrocities. The survey revealed that an alarming number of people have faced sexual violence but about 95 percent of such cases remain unreported. Especially, in case of children, most crimes go unnoticed and there is negligible conviction which leads to impunity among culprits. Dignity March has already covered Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.last_img read more

This Bionic Hand Allows Amputee to Feel Again

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first_img This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. 3 min read February 6, 2014 One thing’s for sure: no “bionic man” has ever been able to do this before.In 2004, Dennis Aabo Sørensen lost his left hand after a firework exploded during a New Year’s Eve celebration.Little did he know that, in order to ‘feel’ again, all he had to do was wait for prosthetic technology to advance to the stage where electrodes could be surgically implanted in his nerves and connected to a bionic hand.Nine years later, that day has arrived.With the help of a high profile team of international robotic experts, Sørensen received said bionic hand, which allowed him to tell the shape and stiffness of objects while blindfolded.Scientists have been working on the project of touch sensitive prosthetics for years now, but this is said to be the first time that an amputee has experienced real-time touch sensations through a bionic hand. Silvestro Micera — a researcher who has worked on the project for the past 15 years — and his team added sensors to the artificial hand, which could detect and measure information about touch, the BBC reported. Using computer algorithms, the researchers converted the electrical signals they emitted into an impulse that sensory nerves could read.Sørensen, for his part, was in complete awe: “Suddenly you could see my left hand was talking to my brain again and it was magic,” he told USA Today, when asked to describe the first moment he could ‘feel’ again after nine years. “It was surreal. I grabbed the object in my hand and knew it was round. It was a baseball.”Unfortunately, due to safety restrictions (the bionic hand is still a prototype) the sensors were removed from Sørensen’s hand after the experiment was completed. But the project’s success points to amazing capabilities for prosthetics devices of the future: one day, scientists predict, bionic hands will not only be able to feel, but also detect texture and temperature.Imagine the ability to feel a previously missing hand closing around an object. And sensory capable bionic arms could also allow amputees to grab things in the dark, as well as perform more nuanced tasks like cracking an egg.While it could be up to 10 years before sensory-enabled bionic hands like Sørensen’s are commercially available, the bionic future looks bright: “These results show the possibilities for amputees,” Micera told USA Today, before predicting that the same technology could also be used for prosthetic legs.What crazy apps and gadgets have you come across lately? Let us know by emailing us at FarOutTech@entrepreneur.com or by telling us in the comments below. Enroll Now for Free Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.last_img read more

Five Epic National Parks headlines Trafalgars new USA Canada lineup

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first_img Posted by Share TORONTO — Trafalgar’s just-released 2019 USA & Canada program brings together 39 hand-crafted itineraries – including three new trips – to more than 80 cities across North America including Alaska, Hawaii and Central America.Clients can save 10% on select trips when paid in full by Jan. 17, 2019.“From icons, to locals to the beyond, Trafalgar’s in-depth and immersive 2019 USA & Canada program offers Canadian clients to live ‘The Good Life’ in the Americas,” says Wolf Paunic, president of CostSaver and Trafalgar Canada. “They can learn local stories with a collection of Trafalgar’s experiences that they won’t find anywhere else.”The three new trips are:Alaska and YukonThis new 14-day Alaska and the Yukon adventure has everything from Klondike tales to frontier landscapes and the continent’s highest peaks and Denali National Park. In Matanuska Susitna Valley, clients will drive along scenic country roads and past towns bathed in sunlight all day and night in summer. Guests will also have the opportunity to take part in a Trafalgar ‘Local Specialist’ experience, where they will meet a local Gold miner who will reveal the past and present value of gold in its influence of the region in Dawson City.Cape Cod DelightsMore news:  Visit Orlando unveils new travel trade tools & agent perksKicking off with a quick ferry ride from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard, clients on the eight-day Cape Cod Delights will see brightly painted cottages, colourful farmers’ markets and quiet beaches. Travellers can also ‘Delve into Culture’ and tread in the footsteps of pilgrims and patriots, exploring the living history of Plimoth Plantation and gain insight into the original 17th-cenutry British settlement of Plymouth Colony.Five Epic National ParksOn Trafalgar’s new nine-day Five Epic National Parks adventure, clients will experience the natural splendor of the Old West, from the peaks of the Grand Tetons, the bubbling mudpots of Yellowstone, the eerie hoodoos of Bryce Canyon to Zion National Park. Trip highlights include a rare opportunity to cruise the Snake River on a float trip in Grand Teton National Park via a Trafalgar ‘Local Specialist’ experience. Clients can keep an eye out for moose and grizzly bears amidst the pine-clad river banks.Zion National Park, Utah, USA Travelweek Group Tags: Trafalgarcenter_img Wednesday, June 27, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >> ‘Five Epic National Parks’ headlines Trafalgar’s new USA & Canada lineuplast_img read more