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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Planetary Debris Disk Detected around White Dwarf-Brown Dwarf System

Planetary Debris Disk Detected around White Dwarf-Brown Dwarf System

Feb 27, 2017 by News Staff / Source

Evidence of planetary debris surrounding a white dwarf and its substellar companion has been found by a University College London-led international team of astronomers. The discovery is remarkable because the debris appears to be rocky and suggests that terrestrial planets might exist in this exotic system.
A disc of rocky debris from a disrupted planetesimal surrounds the white dwarf-brown dwarf binary system SDSS 1557. Image credit: Mark Garlick, University College London, University of Warwick and University of Sheffield.
A disc of rocky debris from a disrupted planetesimal surrounds the white dwarf-brown dwarf binary system SDSS 1557. Image credit: Mark Garlick, University College London, University of Warwick and University of Sheffield.
The binary system in question is called SDSS J155720.77+091624.6 (hereafter SDSS 1557).
It is 1,592 light-years away from Earth and consists of a low-mass white dwarf (0.45 solar masses) and a brown dwarf (66 Jupiter’s masses).
To date, all exoplanets discovered in orbit around binary stars are gas giants and are thought to form in the icy regions of their systems.
In contrast to the carbon-rich icy material found in other binaries, the planetary material identified in SDSS 1557 has a high metal content, including silicon and magnesium.
These elements were identified as the debris flowed from its orbit onto the surface of the white dwarf, polluting it temporarily with at least 1017 g (or 1.1 trillion US tons) of matter, equating it to an asteroid at least 4 km in size.
“Building rocky planets around two suns is a challenge because the gravity of both stars can push and pull tremendously, preventing bits of rock and dust from sticking together and growing into full-fledged planets,” said lead author Dr. Jay Farihi, a researcher in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University College London.

Watching Birds, Trees near Your Home is Good for Mental Health, Study Shows

Watching Birds, Trees near Your Home is Good for Mental Health, Study Shows

Feb 27, 2017 by News Staff / Source
According to a study led by University of Exeter researcher Daniel Cox, people living in neighborhoods with more birds, shrubs and trees are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and stress.
Watching birds near your home is good for mental health. Image credit: Tim Felce / CC BY-SA 2.0.
Watching birds near your home is good for mental health. Image credit: Tim Felce / CC BY-SA 2.0.
Dr. Cox and his colleagues from the University of Maryland, the University of Queensland in Australia, the British Trust for Ornithology and the University of Exeter in the UK, surveyed mental health in 263 people from different ages, incomes and ethnicities.
“All the participants lived within the urban limits of the so-called ‘Cranfield triangle,’ a region in southern England, UK, comprising the three adjacent towns of Milton Keynes, Luton, and Bedford,” the researchers said.
They found benefits for mental health of being able to see birds, shrubs and trees around the home, whether people lived in urban or more leafy suburban neighborhoods. They also found that those who spent less time out of doors than usual in the previous week were more likely to report they were anxious or depressed.
“Experiences of nature provide many mental-health benefits, particularly for people living in urban areas. The natural characteristics of city residents’ neighborhoods are likely to be crucial determinants of the daily nature dose that they receive,” the scientists said.
“We demonstrated that of five neighborhood nature characteristics tested, vegetation cover and afternoon bird abundances were positively associated with a lower prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress.”
After conducting extensive surveys of the number of birds in the morning and afternoon in the study area, Dr. Cox and co-authors found that lower levels of depression, anxiety and stress were associated with the number of birds people could see in the afternoon.
The team studied afternoon bird numbers — which tend to be lower than birds generally seen in the morning — because are more in keeping with the number of birds that people are likely to see in their neighborhood on a daily basis.
In the study, common types of birds including blackbirds, robins, blue tits and crows were seen.
But the team did not find a relationship between the species of birds and mental health, but rather the number of birds people could see from their windows, in the garden or in their neighborhood.
Previous studies have found that the ability of most people to identify different species is low, suggesting that for most people it is interacting with birds, not just specific birds, that provides well-being.

VLT Sees Elegant Spiral with Explosive Past

VLT Sees Elegant Spiral with Explosive Past

Feb 26, 2017 by News Staff / Source
ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) has produced this beautiful image of the spiral galaxy NGC 4981.
This VLT image shows the spiral galaxy NGC 4981. The bright star visible in the image is a foreground star. Image credit: ESO / Josh Barrington.
This VLT image shows the spiral galaxy NGC 4981. The bright star visible in the image is a foreground star. Image credit: ESO / Josh Barrington.
NGC 4981 resides roughly 73 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Virgo.
Also known as LEDA 45574 and MCG-01-34-003, this galaxy was discovered on April 17, 1784 by the English astronomer William Herschel.
Over a century later, on April 23, 1968, NGC 4981 once again made it into the records when a Type Ia supernova occurred within its confines: SN 1968i.
SN 1968i, however, was not to be the galaxy’s only supernova.
Almost four decades later, the core collapse of a massive star led to supernova SN 2007c.
This spectacular shot of NGC 4981 — not showing any of the supernovae explosions — was captured by VLT’s visible and near-UV FOcal Reducer and low dispersion Spectrograph (FORS) instrument.

Hubble Snaps 30th Anniversary Image of SN 1987A Remnant

Hubble Snaps 30th Anniversary Image of SN 1987A Remnant

Feb 25, 2017 by News Staff / Source
This new image of the remnant of core-collapse Supernova 1987A (SN 1987A) was taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope in January 2017.
This Hubble image shows the remnant of SN 1987A within the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. The image was taken by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) in January 2017. SN 1987A is located in the center of the image amidst a backdrop of stars. The bright ring around the central region of the exploded star is composed of material ejected by the star about 20,000 years before the actual explosion took place. The supernova is surrounded by gaseous clouds. The clouds’ red color represents the glow of hydrogen gas. The colors of the foreground and background stars were added from observations taken by Hubble’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2). Image credit: NASA / ESA / R. Kirshner, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation / P. Challis, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
This Hubble image shows the remnant of SN 1987A within the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. The image was taken by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) in January 2017. SN 1987A is located in the center of the image amidst a backdrop of stars. The bright ring around the central region of the exploded star is composed of material ejected by the star about 20,000 years before the actual explosion took place. The supernova is surrounded by gaseous clouds. The clouds’ red color represents the glow of hydrogen gas. The colors of the foreground and background stars were added from observations taken by Hubble’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2). Image credit: NASA / ESA / R. Kirshner, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation / P. Challis, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
SN 1987A was first seen by observers in the southern hemisphere on February 23, 1987, when a giant star suddenly exploded at the edge of a nearby dwarf galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud, approximately 163,000 light-years away.
Because of its relative proximity to Earth, SN 1987A is by far the best-studied supernova of all time.
Hubble has been on the front line of observations of this supernova since 1990, accumulating hundreds of images.

Ancient Giant Penguin Unearthed in New Zealand

Ancient Giant Penguin Unearthed in New Zealand

Feb 24, 2017 by Natali Anderson
The fossilized leg bones of a giant penguin that lived 61 million years ago have been discovered in New Zealand.
Artist’s impression of a group of Waimanu penguins on a beach in Paleocene Canterbury. Image credit: Chris Gaskin, Geology Museum, University of Otago.
Artist’s impression of a group of Waimanu penguins on a beach in Paleocene Canterbury. Image credit: Chris Gaskin, Geology Museum, University of Otago.
The fossil was found by amateur fossil collector Leigh Love in the Waipara Greensand at Waipara River, Canterbury Province, New Zealand.
It was analyzed by a team of paleontologists from Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt, Germany.
According to the researchers, the new find is one of the oldest penguin fossils in the world.
“Together with the fossils of the recently discovered penguin-like bird Waimanu manneringi, the new specimens are the earliest published penguin remains,” they said.
The newly-discovered bird waddled the Earth during the Paleocene epoch.
It was about 5 feet (1.5 m) tall, making it almost as big as Anthropornis nordenskjoeldi (the largest known fossil penguin, which lived in Antarctica between 45 and 33 million years ago).
“Penguins had reached enormous proportions early on in their evolutionary history and were already more diverse 60 million years ago than we had previously assumed,” said team member Dr. Gerald Mayr, of the Senckenberg Research Institute.
“This diversity indicates that penguins probably evolved during the ‘Age of the Dinosaurs’ more than 65 million years ago.”

Be Ready to Die: SpaceX Promises to Send First Tourists to Moon in 2018

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk speaks after unveiling the Dragon V2 spacecraft in Hawthorne, California, US on May 29, 2014.

Be Ready to Die: SpaceX Promises to Send First Tourists to Moon in 2018

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SpaceX has announced that they will fly two space tourists to the moon in late 2018. The spacecraft will circumnavigate our planet’s natural satellite before returning to Earth.

"Like the Apollo astronauts before them, these individuals will travel into space carrying the hopes and dreams of all humankind, driven by the universal human spirit of exploration," according to the private spaceflight company.
Two private passengers, along with at least one professional astronaut, will lift off from Kennedy Space Center (on the same pad used by the Apollo program), according to SpaceX, at which point their Crew Dragon spacecraft will fly to and dock with the International Space Station. The Crew Dragon will then proceed to the moon, circumnavigating that celestial body before returning to Earth in a 400,000 mile journey, enough to circle our planet 16 times.
"This presents an opportunity for humans to return to deep space for the first time in 45 years and they will travel faster and further into the Solar System than any before them," the statement read. 
The identities of the two tourists have been withheld, although SpaceX CEO Elon Musk did reveal that they are "nobody from Hollywood." They will begin testing and training for their extraterrestrial expedition later this year. Musk said that he has warned them that, as both are pioneers, they must be "ready to die" if something goes wrong.
SpaceX has gained a reputation for missing ambitious deadlines, however. A recent mishap led to an explosion that stalled key rocket tests. The Falcon Heavy rocket, which would be used to take the Crew Dragon to the moon and back, has yet to complete a successful test.
But Musk is confident about the mission, as well as being optimistic about what means for the human race. "I think this should be a really exciting mission that gets the world really excited about sending people into deep space again," he told Spacenews. "I think it should be super inspirational."
In 2015, Space Adventures announced their intention to create lunar tours for the absurdly rich aboard a Soyuz spacecraft. Although exact costs have not been revealed for either mission, previous lunar tourism offers ranged from $150-750 million per seat. Those wishing to see Earth's moon up close are advised to start saving anyway.

Bioprinter Makes Fully-Functioning Human Skin

Prototype of 3D Printer capable of replicating human skin

Bioprinter Makes Fully-Functioning Human Skin

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A prototype for a 3D printer capable of producing human skin has been presented by Spanish scientists. The fully-functional skin could be used for medical procedures including transplants, as well as chemical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic testing.

Researchers from the Center for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research and the Charles III University of Madrid collaborated with the BioDan group, publishing their work in the electronic edition of the Biofabrication science journal. 
Bioprinted artificial skin, "can be transplanted to patients or used in business settings to test chemical products, cosmetics or pharmaceutical products in quantities and with timetables and prices that are compatible with these uses," according to Professor José Luis Jorcano, from UC3M’s Bioengineering and Aerospace Engineering department.
Replicating the structure of human skin, complete with epidermis and dermis, the development marks the first bioprinted human organ to potentially be available on the marketplace.

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How to Digitally Record/Video a UFO sighting:


Como registar digitalmente ou gravar um vídeo de um avistamento de um UFO:




Stabilize the camera on a tripod. If there is no tripod, then set it on top of a stable, flat surface. If that is not possible lean against a wall to stabilize your body and prevent the camera from filming in a shaky, unsteady manner.

Estabilize a camera com um tripé. Se não tiver um tripé, então coloque-a em cima de uma superfície estável. Se não for possível, então encoste-se a uma parede para estabilizar o corpo e evitar que a camera registe de maneira tremida e instável.

Provide visual reference points for comparison. This includes the horizon, treetops, lampposts, houses, and geographical landmarks (i.e., Horsetooth Reservoir, Mt. Adams, etc.) Provide this in the video whenever is appropriate and doesn’t detract from what your focus is, the UFO.

Forneça pontos visuais de referência para comparação. Isso inclui o horizonte, cimo das árvores, postes de iluminação, pontos de referência geográficos (como o Reservatório de Horsetooth, Mone Adams, etc) Forneça esses pontos no vídeo sempre que for apropriado e não se distraia do que é o seu foco, o UFO/a Nave.

Narrate your videotape. Provide details of the date, time, location, and direction (N,S,E,W) you are looking in. Provide your observations on the weather, including approximate temperature, windspeed, any visible cloud cover or noticeable weather anomalies or events. Narrate on the shape, size, color, movements, approximate altitude of the UFO, etc and what it appears to be doing. Also include any unusual physical, psychological or emotional sensations you might have. Narrate any visual reference points on camera so they correlate with what the viewer will see, and thereby will be better able to understand.

Faça a narração do vídeo. Forneça pormenores sobre a data, hora, local e direcção (Norte, Sul, Este, Oeste) que está a observar. Faça observações sobre as condições atmosféricas, incluindo a temperatura aproximada, velocidade do vento, quantidade de nuvens, anomalias ou acontecimentos meteorológicos evidentes. Descreva a forma, o tamanho, a cor, os movimentos, a altitude aproximada onde se encontra o UFO/nave, etc e o que aparenta estar a fazer. Inclua também quaisquer aspectos pouco habituais de sensações físicas, psicológicas ou emocionais que possa ter. Faça a narração de todos os pontos de referência visual que o espectador irá ver e que, deste modo, será capaz de compreender melhor.

Be persistent and consistent. Return to the scene to videotape and record at this same location. If you have been successful once, the UFO sightings may be occurring in this region regularly, perhaps for specific reasons unknown, and you may be successful again. You may also wish to return to the same location at a different time of day (daylight hours) for better orientation and reference. Film just a minute or two under “normal” circumstances for comparison. Write down what you remember immediately after. As soon as you are done recording the experience/event, immediately write down your impressions, memories, thoughts, emotions, etc. so it is on the record in writing. If there were other witnesses, have them independently record their own impressions, thoughts, etc. Include in this exercise any drawings, sketches, or diagrams. Make sure you date and sign your documentation.

Seja persistente e não contraditório. Volte ao local da cena e registe o mesmo local. Se foi bem sucedido uma vez, pode ser que nessa região ocorram avistamentos de UFOs/naves com regularidade, talvez por razões específicas desconhecidas, e talvez possa ser novamente bem sucedido. Pode também desejar voltar ao mesmo lugar a horas diferentes do dia (durante as horas de luz)para ter uma orientação e referência melhor. Filme apenas um ,inuto ou dois em circunstâncias “normais” para ter um termo de comparação. Escreva tudo o que viu imediatamente após o acontecimento. Logo após ter feito o registo da experiência/acontecimento, escreva imediatamente as impressões, memórias, pensamentos, emoções, etc para que fiquem registadas por escrito. Se houver outras testemunhas, peça-lhes para registar independentemente as suas próprias impressões, pensamentos, etc. Inclua quaisquer desenhos, esbolos, diagramas. Certifique-se que data e assina o seu documento/testemunho.

Always be prepared. Have a digital camera or better yet a video camera with you, charged and ready to go, at all times. Make sure you know how to use your camera (and your cell phone video/photo camera) quickly and properly. These events can occur suddenly, unexpectedly, and often quite randomly, so you will need to be prepared.

Esteja sempre preparado, Tenha sempre uma camera digital, melhor ainda, uma camera vídeo consigo, carregada e pronta a usar sempre que necessário. Certifique-se que sabe como lidar com a sua camera (ou com o seu celular/camera fotográfica) rápida e adequadamente. Esses acontecimentos podem acontecer súbita e inesperadamente e, por vezes, acidentalmente, por isso, necessita estar preparado.

Look up. Be prepared. Report. Share.

Olhe para cima, Esteja preparado, Relate, Partilhe.

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