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First Earth-sized planet found in 'habitable zone'

The hunt for potential life in outer space has taken a step forward -- an international team of researchers has discovered the first Earth-sized planet within the "habitable zone" of another star. The exoplanet dubbed Kepler-186f was first spotted by scientists using NASA's Kepler telescope, according to research published Thursday in the US journal Science.

First Earth-sized planet found in 'habitable zone'

The hunt for potential life in outer space has taken a step forward -- an international team of researchers has discovered the first Earth-sized planet within the "habitable zone" of another star. The exoplanet dubbed Kepler-186f was first spotted by scientists using NASA's Kepler telescope, according to research published Thursday in the US journal Science.

Sky-watchers see 'blood moon' in total lunar eclipse

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - Parts of the world saw a rare celestial event on Tuesday when the Earth's shadow fell across the moon, turning it orange. The lunar eclipse unfolded over three hours beginning at about 2 a.m. EDT, when the moon began moving into Earth's shadow. A little more than an hour later, the moon could be seen eclipsed and bathed in an orange, red or brown glow. Depending on local weather conditions, the eclipse was visible across a swath of the United States.

Google buys Titan Aerospace, maker of atmospheric satellites

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Google has bought Titan Aerospace, a maker of solar-powered drones, saying it could help bring Internet access to remote parts of the world as well as solve other problems. Financial terms were not disclosed. Google Inc. said Monday that atmospheric satellites could also be used in disaster relief and assessing environmental damage.

U.S. in prime position to see full lunar eclipse Tuesday

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - Night owls and early risers in North America will be able to watch a rare celestial show on Tuesday as Earth's shadow falls across the moon, shifting its color from bright orange to blood red to brown, depending on local weather conditions. The lunar eclipse will unfold over three hours beginning at 1:58 a.m. EDT when the moon begins moving into Earth's shadow. A little more than an hour later, the moon will be fully eclipsed and shrouded in a red glow.

Canadians from coast to coast can view total lunar eclipse this week

MONTREAL - If they can stay awake, Canadians from coast to coast will get a chance to view a total lunar eclipse this week — the first of four that will occur nearly every six months. Total lunar eclipses occur twice a year but are not visible everywhere on Earth at the same time. The year's first eclipse will begin just before 2 a.m. EDT on Tuesday and will offer ideal viewing for observers throughout the Western Hemisphere. Andrew Fazekas, a spokesman for the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, says North America hasn't seen a total lunar eclipse since 2011.

Hidden ocean on Saturn's moon bolsters life theory

Saturn's moon Enceladus is home to an ocean of melted water beneath its surface, and could be a source for alien microbes, scientists said Thursday. The first measurements of the subsurface water at the south pole of the small and icy moon were made by the US space agency's Cassini spacecraft, and are described in the journal Science. The body of water is about the size of Lake Superior, the second largest lake on Earth, and has a rocky bottom which could create conditions that allow tiny life forms to thrive.

MIT's Sara Seager aims to find extraterrestrials

Washington, Mar 31 (EFE).- Sara Seager, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor and MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant recipient, is convinced there is life on other planets and has decided to find it. "I've decided to dedicate my life to finding life on another planet, to find planets like Earth and planets with life on them," the 42-year-old scientist, considered on of the most influential astrophysicists in the world by Time magazine, told Efe.

Step aside Saturn: Little asteroid has rings too

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - It is not just Saturn and the giant gas planets of the solar system that bear rings. For the first time, rings have been found around an asteroid, a study published on Wednesday shows. The asteroid, known as Chariklo, is more than 621 million miles (1 billion km) from Earth, circling the sun in an orbit between Saturn and Uranus.

Astronomers find mini-planet in solar system's backyard

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - Astronomers have found a dwarf planet far beyond the orbit of Pluto and can only guess how it got there. The diminutive world, provisionally called "2012 VP 113" by the international Minor Planet Center, is estimated to be about 280 miles in diameter, less than half the size of a neighboring dwarf planet named Sedna discovered a decade ago.
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