NASA has just announced the discovery of a sun with seven earth-sized planets which might support life only 40 light years away!
NASA has discovered 7 Earth-like planets orbiting a star just 40 light-years away
This tiny star has 7 planets that potentially could be suitable for life.
Updated by Brian Resnick@B_resnickbrian@vox.com Feb 22, 2017, 1:58pm EST
The first step in finding life outside our own planet is to find a planet like our own: small, rocky, and at just the right distance from the star that liquid water could exist on its surface.
That’s why an announcement today from NASA is so exciting: The space agency, along with partners around the world, has found seven potentially Earth-like planets orbiting a star 40 light-years away.
“It’s the first time that so many planets of this kind are found around a same star,” Michaël Gillon, the lead author of the Nature paper announcing the discovery, said in a press conference. “The seven planets … could have some liquid water and maybe life on the surface.”
Three of the planets are directly in the star’s habitable zone, meaning water can mostly likely exist on the surface of them. One of them, Gillon said, has a mass “strongly to suggest a water-rich composition.” And it’s possible that the other four could have liquid water, too, depending on the composition of their atmospheres, the astronomers said.
"CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. --
(AP) A full moon and comet share double billing in a special night sky show this weekend.
A lunar eclipse starts everything off Friday night. The moon will pass into Earth's outer shadow, or penumbra. The moon won't be blacked out like in a full eclipse. Only part of the moon will be shaded, but it should be easily visible from much of the world.
Comet 45P, meanwhile, will zoom past Earth early Saturday morning. It will be an extremely close encounter as these things go, passing within 7.7 million miles (12.4 million kilometers) of Earth. Its relative speed: 14.2 miles per second, or a breakneck 51,120 mph.
The comet, glowing green, will be visible in the constellation Hercules. Binoculars and telescopes will help in the search.
Stargazers have been tracking Comet 45P for the past couple of months. The ice ball an estimated mile across comes around every five years. It's officially known as Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova, named after the Japanese, Czech and Slovak astronomers who discovered it in 1948. The letter P stands for periodic, meaning it's a recurring visitor to the inner solar system.
The Slooh network of observatories will provide a live broadcast from the Canary Islands for both big events.
The eclipse will last more than four hours, beginning at 5:32 p.m. EST. The action will unfold early Saturday in Europe, Africa and western Asia."
Iridium is replacing its existing constellation by sending 70 Iridium NEXT satellites into space on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket over 7 different launches.
Update – January 8, 2017
With high winds and rain in the forecast at Vandenberg Air Force Base, the first launch of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites is now planned for January 14th at 9:54:34 am PST with a back-up date of January 15th. https://www.iridiumnext.com/#section-2
An eyeborg or eye-borg is a body modification apparatus which typically fits on the wearer's head, and is designed to allow people to perceive color through sound waves. It works with a head-mounted antenna that senses the colors directly in front of a person, and converts them in real-time into sound waves through bone conduction.
The first eyeborg was created in England in 2003 by Adam Montandon in collaboration with colourblind artist Neil Harbisson. The invention, under the heading Bridging the Island of the Colourblind Project, won a British award in Innovation (Submerge 2004) and a European award in Content Tools and Interface Design (Europrix 2004). In 2007, Peter Kese, a software developer from Kranj, Slovenia, made further developments to the eyeborg by increasing the number of color hues to 360 and adding color saturation through different volume levels.
In 2009, Matias Lizana, a student from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya developed the eyeborg into a chip as part of his final year project. The chip allows users to have the device implanted and to hear colors beyond the limits of human perception such as infrared and ultraviolet.
Color to sound scales
Harbisson's Sonochromatic Music Scale (2003) is a microtonal and logarithmic scale with 360 notes in an octave. Each note corresponds to a specific degree of the color wheel. The scale was introduced to the first eyeborg in 2004.
Harbisson's Pure Sonochromatic Scale (2005) is a non-logarithmic scale based on the transposition of light frequencies to sound frequencies. The scale discards color as being part of a color wheel and ignores musical/logarithmic perception so it can overstep the limits of human perception. The introduction of the new scale to the eyeborg in 2010, allows users to decide whether they want to perceive colors logarithmically or not.
Blind Ecuadorians using eyeborgs
Since 2005, eyeborgs have been donated to blind communities in Europe, Asia and America with the aim of helping the blind develop the sense of color. The first blind person to try out an eyeborg was Sabriye Tenberken followed by blind students from Braille Without Borders in Tibet and members of the Sociedad de Ciegos de Pichincha in Ecuador.
In 2011, vice-president of Ecuador Lenin Moreno announced that his government would collaborate with the Cyborg Foundation to create eyeborgs and new sensory extensions.
In 2012, after lecturing at Escola Politécnica de Pernambuco in Recife, the Cyborg Foundation signed a partnership to create eyeborgs and other new human extensions in collaboration with Universidade de Pernambuco in Brazil.
Eyeborgs are currently being treated as body parts rather than as devices, and therefore are donated rather than sold.
By Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor | October 27, 2016 06:30pm ET
The original rock where Jesus Christ is traditionally believed to have been buried in Jerusalem has been exposed to the light of day for the first time in centuries.
According to an exclusive report by National Geographic, a partner in the project at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the original rock surface has been covered with marble slabs since at least 1555, and possibly longer. During a conservation project to shore up the shrine surrounding the tomb, a team from the National Technical University of Athens in Greece realized that they would need to access the substructure of the shrine to restore it, said Fredrik Hiebert, the archaeologist-in-residence at the National Geographic Society. [See Photos of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre]
"The Greek conservation group are the first, as far as we know, to actually open this," Hiebert told Live Science. "It's pretty exceptional."
Some theological historians believe that Jesus was a real man who was born sometime around the year 1 or earlier in Bethlehem in modern-day Palestine, only later to move to Nazareth in Israel. He is thought to have died around the year 29.
The site venerated as the tomb of Jesus is encased in structures like a Russian nesting doll. According to the Hebrew Bible, Jesus was laid to rest on a stone platform in a cave hewn out of a rock wall. In 326, the first Christian emperor of Rome, Constantine, sent his mother, Helena, as a representative to Jerusalem, where locals pointed out one cave among an area of first-century burials that was said to hold the tomb of Jesus.
Constantine had a shrine installed over the cave. The original top of the cave was removed so that pilgrims could look down and view the slab where Jesus' body was said to have rested. This shrine is known as the Holy Edicule, and it was last reconstructed after a fire in the early 1800s, according to National Geographic. [See Images of Jesus' House and Nazareth Artifacts]
The Holy Edicule itself sits within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre or Church of the Resurrection, which is a famed pilgrimage site and working monastery. It's built directly over the cave where Jesus was said to be buried; another wing sits over the site where he is said to have been crucified. Three sects jointly manage the site: the Greek Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church and the Armenian Orthodox Church. The three groups agreed in 1958 that conservation of the Edicule was necessary, but it's taken nearly 50 years to agree on a method and to secure funding. (According to National Geographic, the project will cost more than $4 million.)
"There was a moment in which you could see on the faces of the important people of the church, a certain happiness that this has actually happened," Hiebert said of the conservation.
Shoring up history
A grid of iron bars installed in the 1940s held the Edicule structure upright until the project started. Now, Hiebert said, the Greek team — with years of experience under their belts of shoring up ancient structures like the Parthenon — will inject mortar around the marble slabs that make up the Edicule.
"This will permanently restore them, and it won't need supports," Hiebert said.
The conservation team was surprised at how much of the original cave structure remains, he said. They've peeled back marble slabs from the 19th century that were in turn covering slabs from the 15th century, covering slabs from the 12th century, which themselves shield the original bedrock.
As to whether the tomb ever contained the remains of the historical Jesus, "it's a matter of faith," Hiebert said. There are no remains to analyze or DNA evidence to exhume. There is scholarly debate over whether Jesus even existed, said Robert Cargill, an archaeologist and author of "The Cities that Built the Bible" (HarperOne, 2016). A minority of historians think Jesus was a literary construct, said Cargill, who was not involved in the new tomb project, while others think a real person named Jesus existed but that little is known about him.
"We know that Romans crucified people and that people were buried there" in the first and second centuries, Cargill told Live Science. It's also known that there was an oral tradition about the site of Jesus' burial 300 years later, when Helena came to visit Jerusalem.
"We still don't have any [archaeological] evidence that Jesus was crucified, nor do we have evidence that he was crucified there beneath the Church of the Holy Sepulchre," Cargill said.
Nevertheless, Cargill said, the site is an important one for early Christianity and for the Christian cultural tradition.
"It has been a sacred place for 1,600 years," he said.
The excavations are unlikely to reveal anything new about the history of early Christianity, particularly since the current Edicule structure is only about 200 years old, Cargill said. However, the conservation project has opened up a new view of this old site.
"You can actually look down onto the rock from above, which you couldn't do when the Edicule is actually there," Cargill said. "That's a perspective that most people haven't seen."