Connect to share and comment

Earth appears to be an oddity, astronomers say

Astronomers call them super-Earths, and they are abundant outside our solar system. But the more experts learn about them, the weirder our own planet seems in comparison. Planets the size of Earth and up to four times larger are believed to make up about three-quarters of the planet candidates discovered by NASA's Kepler spacecraft. Astronomers have eagerly catalogued some 3,000 of these planets in the hopes that they may point to the existence of life elsewhere in the galaxy.

Earth appears to be an oddity, astronomers say

Astronomers call them super-Earths, and they are abundant outside our solar system. But the more experts learn about them, the weirder our own planet seems in comparison. Planets the size of Earth and up to four times larger are believed to make up about three-quarters of the planet candidates discovered by NASA's Kepler spacecraft. Astronomers have eagerly catalogued some 3,000 of these planets in the hopes that they may point to the existence of life elsewhere in the galaxy.

Chinese flyby of asteroid shows space rock is "rubble"

China's first flyby of an asteroid shows that a gigantic space rock which once triggered a doomsday scare is essentially rubble, scientists reported on Thursday. On December 13 2012, a lunar probe called Chang'e-2 rendezvoused with asteroid 4179 Toutatis as the rock, bigger than a city block, swept by Earth at a distance of around seven million kilometres (4.4 million miles).

'The Square' wins top documentary award for look at Egypt's turmoil

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "The Square," a film that follows activists in Cairo's Tahrir Square following the 2011 overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, won the award for best feature documentary for 2013 on Friday from the International Documentary Association. The IDA award for Egyptian-American filmmaker Jehane Noujaim's work comes after honors at the Toronto and Sundance film festivals, setting it up as a favorite for an Oscar, for which it is short-listed.

Officials investigate possible meteorite strike in Canada

Toronto, Nov 28 (EFE).- An investigation is being conducted to determine whether a meteorite caused the explosion in central Canada that was heard earlier this week by residents of numerous communities near Ottawa and Montreal, officials said. The blast was followed by a bright flash in the sky around 8:00 p.m. Tuesday that was seen by people in both Canada and the northern United States. Comments about the incident were posted on Twitter by people on both sides of the border.

Comet ISON expected to put on show as it passes near the sun

TORONTO - If the stars align, a large comet rocketing towards the sun will be putting on a show to delight more than just the world's astronomers. The comet ISON has been on stargazers' radar since late last year when it was seen hurtling towards the sun and showing every sign of passing very close to the centre of the solar system. Those predictions will come to pass today at around 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. eastern time, when ISON is expected to be just 1.2 million kilometres from the sun.

Will comet ISON survive its near brush with the Sun?

US astrophysicists are split over what will happen when the comet ISON passes near the sun Thursday, but a majority think it will break apart. Comets are frozen balls of space dust left over from the formation of stars and planets billions of years ago. So when one of them zips close to a hot star, like the Sun, sometimes the icy core... melts.

Union sues Paris grand hotel over layoffs during renovation

A union covering workers at a landmark luxury Paris hotel said Sunday they are suing the establishment for planning to lay off some staff during a three-year renovation. The Lutetia Hotel, an Art Nouveau building in the heart of the French capital's chic Saint-Germain district, would be committing "fraud" if it invoked economic reasons to sack employees who refused to suspend their work contracts, the CGT union said in a statement.

Chelyabinsk asteroid measured 12,000 tonnes

The asteroid that smashed into the central Russian city of Chelyabinsk initially measured 19 metres (61 feet) across, packing the energy of dozens of Hiroshima bombs, a study said on Wednesday. Scientists in the Czech Republic and Canada analysed video and audio footage and fragments recovered from the dramatic incident on February 15. They estimated the asteroid had probably once been part of the same, massive celestial object as a two-kilometre (1.2-mile) behemoth called 86039 -- a nasty "geocruiser" first spotted in 1999 that regularly comes close to Earth's orbit.

YouTube data on meteor leads scientists to rethink impact risk

Call it astronomy by YouTube. Unprecedented social media documentation of a small asteroid exploding over a Russian city earlier this year has taught scientists much more about how — and how often — such spectacular events happen. In one of three scientific papers on the Chelyabinsk meteor published Wednesday, a University of Western Ontario scientist concludes that the heavenly bodies are hitting the Earth two or three times more often than we thought.
Syndicate content