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Daily alternative news articles at the News Desk for GrahamHancock.com. Featuring alternative history, science, archaeology, ancient egypt, paranormal & supernatural, environment, and much more. Check in daily for updates!

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September 27 2014

Wait, Pluto Might Be A Planet Again?


When the International Astronomical Union came up with an official definition of a planet in 2006, they booted Pluto out of the club and reclassified it as a dwarf planet. But some say the discovery of exoplanets requires that we revisit this definition and give Pluto a second chance.

The current, official definition says that a planet is a celestial body that:
1- is in orbit around the Sun
2- is round or nearly round, and
3- has "cleared the neighborhood" around its orbit.

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September 27 2014

What is the geometry of the universe?


One of the big questions in cosmology regards the shape of the universe. "Shape" in this case is not the distribution of galaxies, but rather the shape of space and time itself. In general relativity, space and time can be warped by masses (producing the effect of gravity), and it can be warped by dark energy (producing cosmic expansion). Knowing the shape of the cosmos lets us determine if it is finite in size or infinite, and whether it will expand forever or collapse back upon itself.

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September 27 2014

Force of nature gave life its asymmetry


Physicists have found hints that the asymmetry of life — the fact that most biochemical molecules are ‘left-handed’ or ‘right-handed’ — could have been caused by electrons from nuclear decay in the early days of evolution. In an experiment that took 13 years to perfect1, the researchers have found that these electrons tend to destroy certain organic molecules slightly more often than they destroy their mirror images.

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September 27 2014

The companies vying to turn asteroids into filling stations


Private companies want to mine asteroids for fuel, and build filling stations in space. A bill now in front of the US Congress would help by allowing them to own what they discover - but it might, if passed, meet stiff international opposition.

Chris Lewicki is trying to get water from a stone. A really big stone thousands of miles from Earth.

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September 27 2014

Most 'Earth-Like' Alien World Discovered


About 500 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus lives a star, which, though smaller and redder than the sun, has a planet that may look awfully familiar.

With a diameter just 10 percent bigger than Earth’s, the newly found world is the first of its size found basking in the benign temperature region around a parent star where water, if it exists, could pool in liquid form.

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September 26 2014

Water on Earth is older than the sun, scientists say


Some of the water molecules in your drinking glass were created more than 4.5 billion years ago, according to new research.

That makes them older than the Earth, older than the solar system — even older than the sun itself.


Related: 30% to 50% of Earth's Water Today came from the Primordial Molecular Cloud --"Older than the Solar System Itself"

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September 26 2014

Earth’s Impending Magnetic Flip


Earth's magnetic north and south poles have flip-flopped many times in our planet's history—most recently, around 780,000 years ago. Geophysicists who study the magnetic field have long thought that the poles may be getting ready to switch again, and based on new data, it might happen earlier than anyone anticipated.

The European Space Agency's satellite array dubbed “Swarm” revealed that Earth's magnetic field is weakening 10 times faster than previously thought, decreasing in strength about 5 percent a decade rather than 5 percent a century.

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September 26 2014

Harvesting hydrogen fuel from the Sun using Earth-abundant materials


The race is on to optimize solar energy's performance. More efficient silicon photovoltaic panels, dye-sensitized solar cells, concentrated cells and thermodynamic solar plants all pursue the same goal: to produce a maximum amount of electrons from sunlight. Those electrons can then be converted into electricity to turn on lights and power your refrigerator.

At the Laboratory of Photonics and Interfaces at EPFL, led by Michael Gratzel, where scientists invented dye solar cells that mimic photosynthesis in plants, they have also developed methods for generating fuels such as hydrogen through solar water splitting.

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September 26 2014

A Future Road Trip Might be in a Solar-Powered Car


First there was the station wagon, then the mini-van. Now, meet a possible new innovation in kid movers.

The 4-seater known as “Stella” is the first solar-powered family car. Designed by Solar Team Eindhoven, Stella won the World Solar Car challenge race across Australia last year. It just made its debut in the U.S. It drove up California’s famous Pacific Coast Highway from Los Angeles to San Francisco to strut its stuff, soaking in the California sun the whole way.

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September 26 2014

Deutsche Post launches drone deliveries


Medicine deliveries to a pharmacy on a North Sea island will be made by a drone, Deutsche Post announced on Wednesday, in the first project of its kind.

It is the first time that an unmanned drone will be used for a practical business purpose in Europe, the company claims.

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September 26 2014

Facebook to start testing internet beaming drones in 2015


There was an understandable amount of skepticism when Amazon announced its grand plans for delivery drones last year. But if the last twelve months are any indication, Jeff Bezos and his fellow tech heavyweights are actually kinda serious about the potential of unmanned aerial vehicles.


Related: Facebook says its internet drones will be the size of 747s and fly for years

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September 26 2014

Engineer Sees Big Possibilities in Micro-robots, Including Programmable Bees


Traditionally robots have been big, powerful, metallic objects that might weld doors onto cars in a factory," Wood says. "The robots we explore are dramatically different, some on a new, micro-sized scale, others made of soft rather than rigid materials.


Related: Robot Octopus Swims Faster Than Ever

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September 26 2014

Stone Age groups made similar toolmaking breakthroughs


Different palaeolithic populations around the world might have developed a crucial toolmaking skill independently. This conclusion, based on the analysis of hundreds of artefacts from a recently excavated archaeological site in Armenia, weakens a long-held theory that Stone Age people in Eurasia learnt sophisticated techniques from migrating African tribes.


Related: Prehistoric Stone Tools Evolved Independently Within Local Populations, Say Researchers

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September 26 2014

Modern humans may have migrated into Austria 43,500 years ago


Neanderthals' capabilities are still hotly debated. Some argue that before modern humans replaced them, Neanderthals showed cultural capabilities similar to those of modern humans, while others make a case that these similarities only appear once Neanderthals came in contact with modern humans. "The new data from Willendorf clearly shows that modern humans were present in what is now Austria while Neanderthals still occupied other regions of Europe suggesting that the two species met, and may have exchanged mates and ideas", explains Philip Nigst. "This means the changes in the material culture of some of the last Neanderthal groups are most probably related to direct or indirect contact with modern humans".

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September 26 2014

Hidden world of canyons and mountains beneath the ice caps revealed


Canyons, lakes and mountains have been revealed in the most detailed maps ever made of the hidden world beneath the polar regions.

Surveys of the Antarctic and Arctic have revealed features buried under the ice including a ‘mega canyon’ in Greenland - bigger even than the Grand Canyon in the US.

While previous maps of the polar regions showed them as mostly near-blank whiteness, the latest data has allowed the appearance of the land under the ice to be revealed.

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September 26 2014

No Single Missing Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs, Study Finds


Birds didn't evolve in one fell swoop from their dinosaur ancestors, suggests a newly constructed dinosaur family tree showing our feathery friends evolved very gradually, at first.

The new pedigree of carnivorous dinosaur evolution is the most comprehensive one ever assembled, the researchers say. The findings show that birdlike features such as wings and feathers developed slowly over tens of millions of years.

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September 26 2014

Rethinking the origins of the universe


Black holes have long captured the public imagination and been the subject of popular culture, from Star Trek to Hollywood. They are the ultimate unknown – the blackest and most dense objects in the universe that do not even let light escape.

And as if they weren’t bizarre enough to begin with, now add this to the mix: they don’t exist.


Related: Did the universe originate from a hyper-dimensional black hole?

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