Saturday, November 22, 2014

Science

European comet probe starts drilling

BERLIN—A European probe has begun drilling into a comet to collect scientific data, but mission controllers said Friday that battery issues may make it impossible—at least for now—to access that information.

European probe said to be doing well, sends data and plants thermometer on surface of comet

BERLIN — Europe’s Philae lander is doing well and has succeeded in planting a thermometer in the comet where it touched down this week, the European Space Agency said Friday.

European Space Agency releases 1st picture from comet surface; lander ‘very healthy’

BERLIN — The European Space Agency on Thursday published the first image taken from the surface of a comet, and said that its Philae lander is still “stable” despite a failure to latch on properly to the rocky terrain.

European Space Agency says it has landed a spacecraft on a speeding comet - a cosmic 1st

DARMSTADT, Germany — Hundreds of millions of miles from Earth, a European spacecraft made history Wednesday by successfully landing on the icy, dusty surface of a speeding comet — an audacious first designed to answer big questions about the universe.

Remains of Ice Age infants found in Alaska called milestone for era’s youngest human remains

FAIRBANKS, Alaska — Researchers have uncovered the remains of two Ice Age infants in Alaska’s interior, a discovery archaeologists call the youngest human remains of that era found in northern North America.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://is.gd/fGdVMV ) reports the remains dating back about 11,500 years offer a new glimpse into ancient burial practices.

Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft sends lander toward speeding comet 67P, hopes for historic landing

DARMSTADT, Germany — Hundreds of millions of miles from Earth, a speeding European spacecraft released a lander toward the icy, dusty surface of a comet on Wednesday, setting off a seven-hour countdown to an audacious attempt to answer some of the biggest questions about the origin of the universe.

Heavy comet dust assault on Mars created ‘mind-blowing’ meteor shower, eerie glow, NASA says

WASHINGTON — A pristine distant comet created a rare fireworks show above Mars last month.
New NASA data from satellites circling Mars shows that when Comet Siding Spring skimmed the red planet, tons of comet dust bombarded the Martian sky with thousands of fireballs an hour. It warped the Martian atmosphere leaving all sorts of metals and an eerie yellow afterglow on Oct. 19.

Federal scientists discover new coral species in underwater canyons off California’s coast

SAN FRANCISCO — Scientists have discovered a new species of deep-sea coral in underwater canyons off the Northern California coast, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Wednesday.
A NOAA research team using small submersibles found the coral in September near national marine sanctuaries off the coast of Sonoma County, the agency said.

Is quarantine merited for Ebola-exposed health-care workers? The science says no

TORONTO — Daniel Bausch has come to dread the words “an abundance of caution.”
In the context of the response to the current West African Ebola crisis, Bausch knows if he hears that phrase he’s not going to like the rest of the sentence.

Not so scary now: New bones show mysterious dinosaur was really a goofy duckbill giant

WASHINGTON — Nearly 50 years ago, scientists found bones of two large, powerful dinosaur arms in Mongolia and figured they had discovered a fearsome critter with killer claws.
Now scientists have found the rest of the dinosaur and have new descriptions for it: goofy and weird.

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