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September 6 2014

How Do You Land on a Comet? Very Carefully.


ESA has announced that on September 15, the team from the Rosetta mission will reveal the landing site for the Philae lander. After traveling on a 10-year, 6.4 billion kilometer journey, Rosetta has been gently captured by comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, an oddly-shaped and mysterious two-lobed comet. Yet, how will the small Philea attempt the landing?


Related: Rosetta mission: Potential comet landing sites chosen.

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September 6 2014

Newfound Asteroid Will Give Earth Super-Close Shave on Sunday


Earth is about to have a close encounter with a house-sized asteroid on Sunday (Sept. 7), when a space rock discovered just days ago will zoom by our planet at a range closer than some satellites. But have no fear, NASA says the asteroid won't hit Earth.

The asteroid 2014 RC will safely buzz Earth at 2:18 p.m. EDT (1818 GMT) on Sunday. At that time, the asteroid will pass over New Zealand and fly just inside the orbits of the geosynchronous communications and weather satellites orbiting Earth about 22,000 miles (36,000 kilometers) above the planet's surface, according to a NASA statement.

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September 6 2014

Memory Problems On Mars Will Force Opportunity Rover Reformat From Earth


NASA’s Opportunity rover, which has been roaming Mars for more than 10 Earth years, requires a flash memory reformat to keep doing science on the Red Planet, the agency wrote in an update Aug. 29 along with its intentions for making that possible quickly.

“Flash-memory induced resets have increased in occurrence, preventing meaningful science until this problem can be corrected,” NASA said on the Opportunity website. “The project is developing plans to reformat the flash file system to correct the problem."

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September 6 2014

Atom-Sized Construction Could Shrink Future Gadgets


The U.S. military doesn't just build big, scary tanks and giant warplanes; it's also interested in teeny, tiny stuff. The Pentagon's latest research project aims to improve today's technologies by shrinking them down to microscopic size.

The recently launched Atoms to Product (A2P) program aims to develop atom-size materials to build state-of-the-art military and consumer products.

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September 6 2014

A University of Florida scientist has grown a living “brain” that can fly a simulated plane


A University of Florida scientist has grown a living “brain” that can fly a simulated plane, giving scientists a novel way to observe how brain cells function as a network.

The “brain” — a collection of 25,000 living neurons, or nerve cells, taken from a rat’s brain and cultured inside a glass dish — gives scientists a unique real-time window into the brain at the cellular level. By watching the brain cells interact, scientists hope to understand what causes neural disorders such as epilepsy and to determine noninvasive ways to intervene.

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September 6 2014

The Bizarre Beast of Bandai


Some strange mysteries are hard to really categorize. There are cases of mysterious creatures or apparitions where it is difficult to discern if you are looking at a mystery animal, a ghost, a phantom, an alien, or all of the above. Certainly counted among these is the curious case of a quiet mountain hamlet on Japan’s Mt. Bandai that was held in the grip of terror by a shadowy, evil, entity that to this day remains unidentified.

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September 6 2014

Pope Pius II Wrote an Erotic Book


Before he was Pope Pius II, Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini was a poet, scholar, diplomat, and rakehell. And an author. In fact, he wrote a bestseller. People in fifteenth-century Europe couldn’t get enough of his Latin novella Historia de duobus amantibus. An article in a scholarly publication on literature claims that Historia “was undoubtedly one of the most read stories of the whole Renaissance.” The Oxford edition gives a Cliff Notes version of the storyline.

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September 6 2014

Damon's story, by Jonathan Black


Mark Booth, my editor, who writes as Jonathan Black in the UK, is the author of the bestselling "The Secret History of the World". His new book is "The Sacred History", released today in paperback in the UK. Here he shares a story his publishers found so so disturbing that they asked him to omit it from "The Sacred History": http://www.grahamhancock.com/forum/BlackJ3.php.
-Graham

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September 6 2014

The Mystery of the Ancient Roman Tunnel to Hell


There is a place on the northern shore of the Bay of Naples that has long been steeped in history, mystery, myth, and magic. Known as the Phlegræan Fields, it is a desolate place; a barren wasteland strewn with rubble and intersected by deep underground vents that belch out choking fumes and fire. Legends and strange phenomena cling to this hellish, smoke-wreathed landscape, so it is perhaps no wonder that these fields are a location believed since ancient times to hold a tunnel that leads to Hell itself.

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September 6 2014

Millennia-old sunken ship could be world’s oldest, researchers suggest


Underwater excavations led by Ankara University’s Research Center for Maritime Archaeology (ANKUSAM) have uncovered sunken ships ranging from the second century B.C. to the Ottoman period in Izmir's Urla district.

A recent excavation uncovered a ship estimated to date back 4,000 years, which experts say would make it the oldest sunken ship to have been discovered in the Mediterranean.

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September 6 2014

Ancient boat and Stone Age settlement found


Archaeologists are currently raising and examining what is being called the oldest boat ever found in Denmark.

The ancient six to seven metre long vessel is estimated to be 6,500 years old – in comparison, the oldest Pyramid in Egypt is a mere 4,500 years old – and although it is damaged, archaeologists are finding it very interesting.

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September 6 2014

1,500-Year-Old ‘Last Supper’ Papyrus Casts New Light on Early Christianity


Dr Roberta Mazza at the University of Manchester’s John Rylands Research Institute has discovered what she says is the world’s oldest surviving document to use the Christian Eucharist liturgy as a protective charm. The intriguing papyrus document from Roman Egypt, which appears to be nearly 1,500 years old and refers to the Last Supper and ‘manna from heaven,’ casts new light on early Christianity – just 300 years after the Roman emperor Constantine converted to the religion.

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September 5 2014

Introducing Dreadnoughtus - the newly discovered biggest dinosaur ever


The discovery of a new supermassive species of dinosaur, one of the biggest ever found, is detailed in new research published today.

With a 37-foot neck and weighing in at 65 tonnes - the equivalent of seven Tyrannosaurus Rex – the 85-foot Dreadnoughtus schrani was one of the largest dinosaurs to walk the earth. It is the biggest land animal for which a body mass can be accurately calculated, say scientists.

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September 5 2014

Ancient Mammal Relatives Were 'Night Owls'


Mammals were long thought to have evolved nocturnal lifestyles as a way to co-exist with dinosaurs, but new research finds that nighttime behavior may have evolved 100 million years earlier than mammals did.

The eye bones of ancestors of modern mammals that lived more than 300 million years ago, such as the sail-finned carnivore Dimetrodon, suggest that at least some of these animals were already active at night, researchers say.

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September 5 2014

Tragedy: Russia’s orbiting zero-g sex geckos have all died


Several weeks back, we learned of the harrowing tale of the zero-g sex geckos: blasted into low Earth orbit aboard the Russian Foton-M4 satellite as part of a biological experiment to study reproduction in microgravity, the sex geckos mission was endangered almost from the beginning when Russian space agency Roscosmos lost positive control over the geckos’ spacecraft. Roscosmos was able to receive telemetry, but it couldn't send commands. Without ground control, the Foton-M4 would slowly decay out of orbit and enter the atmosphere uncontrolled.

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September 5 2014

The Rains Of Titan Change When They Hit Underground Reservoirs: Study


Titan — that moon of Saturn that has what some scientists consider precursors to elements for life — is a neat place to study because it also has a liquid cycle. But how the hydrocarbons move from the moon’s hundreds of lakes and seas into the atmosphere and the crust is still being examined.

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September 5 2014

'Soccer-ball' robots to patrol space for deadly junk


IN SPACE, junk can make you scream. The International Space Station (ISS)regularly changes orbit to avoid colliding with derelict satellites, rocket stages and other objects whizzing around Earth at thousands of kilometres per hour. Soon robots may fly out to assess the danger presented by the vast array of objects not already tracked by radar.

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