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‘I Don’t Get Confused.’ Nikki Haley Fires Back at White House After Russia Sanctions Comment

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 23:12:36 -0400

‘I Don’t Get Confused.’ Nikki Haley Fires Back at White House After Russia Sanctions CommentWhite House economic adviser said Haley suffered "momentary confusion"when announcing new Russia sanctions


The Latest: SpaceX rocket booster lands on floating platform

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 19:11:34 -0400

The Latest: SpaceX rocket booster lands on floating platformNASA's newest planet-hunting spacecraft rockets away; SpaceX booster lands on floating platform


Passenger Killed On Southwest Flight Is the First U.S. Commercial Airline Fatality In 9 Years

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 16:58:06 -0400

Passenger Killed On Southwest Flight Is the First U.S. Commercial Airline Fatality In 9 YearsThe flight made an emergency landing in Philadelphia due to engine failure


How plastic-eating bacteria actually work – a chemist explains

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 11:42:01 -0400

How plastic-eating bacteria actually work – a chemist explainsNew research has found a way to speed up enzymes that break down the PET plastic in bottles.


Three Former U.S. Soldiers Have Been Convicted for the Contract Killing of a Filipino Woman

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 22:15:51 -0400

Three Former U.S. Soldiers Have Been Convicted for the Contract Killing of a Filipino WomanThe 12-day trial offered a window into the clandestine world of private mercenaries


Study: Diamond from the sky may have come from 'lost planet'

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 12:35:24 -0400

Study: Diamond from the sky may have come from 'lost planet'Scientists say fragments of a meteorite that fell to Earth about a decade ago provide compelling evidence of a lost planet that once roamed our solar system


Space Angels co-founder discusses space investment, tech ...

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 13:46:00 -0400

Space Angels co-founder discusses space investment, tech ...CNBC's Morgan Brennan speaks with Dylan Taylor, Space Angels co-founder, discusses his commercial investments in space.


These Koch-Backed Groups Are Pressuring Congress to Act on Dreamers

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 18:29:24 -0400

These Koch-Backed Groups Are Pressuring Congress to Act on DreamersThe groups are launching a seven-figure campaign


NASA's Tess spacecraft embarks on quest to find new planets

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 18:57:27 -0400

NASA's Tess spacecraft embarks on quest to find new planetsNASA's Tess spacecraft embarks on quest to find planets around neighboring stars that might support life


Inside Barbara Bush's Quiet Yet Forceful Influence on American Politics

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 20:25:48 -0400

Inside Barbara Bush's Quiet Yet Forceful Influence on American PoliticsShe seemed to walk the line between the necessarily supporting nature of the role and the personal activism expected of a First Lady


Huge asteroid the size of a football pitch skims past Earth - and scientists hadn’t spotted it

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 07:13:48 -0400

Huge asteroid the size of a football pitch skims past Earth - and scientists hadn’t spotted itIt passed us closer than the moon


Canadian Woman Who Instagrammed Her Cocaine-Smuggling Cruise Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 03:27:32 -0400

Canadian Woman Who Instagrammed Her Cocaine-Smuggling Cruise Sentenced to Eight Years in PrisonMelina Roberge and her accomplice posted photos of their cruise on social media


Excavator to Blame for Puerto Rico's Island-Wide Blackout Affecting Over 1.4 Million People

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 21:46:30 -0400

Excavator to Blame for Puerto Rico's Island-Wide Blackout Affecting Over 1.4 Million PeopleIt was the second major outage in less than a week affecting over 1.4 million customers


California has worst US air pollution: report

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 19:26:16 -0400

California has worst US air pollution: reportCalifornia has the most polluted cities in the United States, a report issued on Wednesday said, as President Donald Trump's administration seeks to force the state to weaken its vehicle emissions standards. The study published by the American Lung Association -- which covers the period from 2014 to 2016, the year before Trump took office -- said Los Angeles remained the city with the worst ozone pollution, and ranked fourth in terms of year-round particle contamination.


Starbucks Is Closing Thousands of Stores for Racial Bias Training. Here's How Much Money It Could Lose

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 14:58:49 -0400

Starbucks Is Closing Thousands of Stores for Racial Bias Training. Here's How Much Money It Could LoseAfter two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia location


Who Is Kimba Wood? Meet the Federal Judge Overseeing the Michael Cohen Case

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 13:58:53 -0400

Who Is Kimba Wood? Meet the Federal Judge Overseeing the Michael Cohen CaseThe mounting legal case against President Donald Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen has brought another name into the news: Kimba Wood.


Controversial Theories Reveal What Actually Happens When You Die

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 09:46:00 -0400

Controversial Theories Reveal What Actually Happens When You DieWhile death is a universal truth, there aren't any universal theories about what happens after we die. These controversial ideas reveal what may come next.


Will Trump Make a Bad Deal With North Korea?

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 22:20:18 -0400

Will Trump Make a Bad Deal With North Korea?As the Trump Administration moves closer to possible talks with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, fears are mounting from allies.


It's exciting that so many see the future in space: Boein...

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 11:43:00 -0400

It's exciting that so many see the future in space: Boein...Boeing Defense Space and Security CEO, Leanne Caret, discusses the future of space technology and what role Boeing will play.


New York City Just Removed a Statue of Surgeon J. Marion Sims From Central Park. Here's Why

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 16:53:35 -0400

New York City Just Removed a Statue of Surgeon J. Marion Sims From Central Park. Here's WhyCalls for the statue's removal peaked in 2017


Google Just Launched a Smartphone Game to Teach Adults How to Code

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 09:37:09 -0400

Google Just Launched a Smartphone Game to Teach Adults How to CodeThousands of people have already used the app, called Grasshopper


The Queen's Last Royal Corgi Died, But Please Try to Keep Calm and Carry On

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 08:22:46 -0400

The Queen's Last Royal Corgi Died, But Please Try to Keep Calm and Carry OnQueen Elizabeth's last corgi dog, Willow, has died – marking the end of an era for the British royal.


President Trump's Tariffs Are 'Distorting' Global Trade, E.U. Warns

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 05:47:47 -0400

President Trump's Tariffs Are 'Distorting' Global Trade, E.U. WarnsThe bloc wouldn't offer any concessions in order to be exempt from import duties


Uber launches new safety features for customers and drivers

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 13:53:25 -0400

Uber launches new safety features for customers and driversChanges to the ridesharing app include 911 function and a share feature that allows friends to track your trip.


From Lyrids to Perseids: Meteor showers to watch out for in 2018

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 03:32:00 -0400

From Lyrids to Perseids: Meteor showers to watch out for in 2018Every year our skies are lit up by returning meteor showers, from Lyrids to Quadrantids, Orionids to Geminids. If the weather conditions are in our favour and the moon isn't too bright, there's a chance you'll be able to see the shooting stars in action. Here is our guide to the must-see meteor showers of 2018 – including the spectacular Lyrids shower which will peak on the morning of April 22 – as well as where and how to see them. What exactly is a meteor shower? A meteor shower occurs when Earth passes through the debris stream occupying the orbit of a comet - or, in simpler terms, when a number of meteors flash across the sky from roughly the same point. Meteors are sometimes called shooting stars, although they actually have nothing to do with stars. If you're lucky you could see up to 100 meteors or 'shooting stars' every hour on December 13/14. Credit: PETE LAWRENCE Perspective makes meteor showers appear to emanate from a single point in the sky known as the shower radiant. A typical meteor results from a particle the size of a grain of sand vaporising in Earth’s atmosphere when it enters at 134,000mph. Something larger than a grape will produce a fireball and this is often accompanied by a persistent afterglow known as a meteor train. This is a column of ionised gas slowly fading from view as it loses energy. Meteor, meteorid or meteroite? Let's get this straight. A meteor is a meteoroid – or a particle broken off an asteroid or comet orbiting the Sun – that burns up as it enters the Earth's atmosphere creating the effect of a "shooting star". Meteoroids that reach the Earth's surface without disintegrating are called meteorites. Meteors are mostly pieces of comet dust and ice no larger than a grain of rice. Meteorites are principally rocks broken off asteroids in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and can weigh as much as 60 tonnes. They can be "stony", made up of minerals rich in silicon and oxygen, "iron", consisting mainly of iron and nickel, or "stony-iron", a combination of the two. The Geminids meteor shower in Vladivostok, Russia in December 2017 Credit: Yuri Smityuk Scientists think about 1,000 tons to more than 10,000 tons of material from meteors falls on Earth each day, but it's mostly dust-like grains, according to Nasa, and they pose no threat to Earth. There are only two incidents recorded where people reported being injured by a meteorite, including one in 1954 when a woman was bruised by a meteorite weighing eight pounds after it fell through her roof.  When is the next meteor shower? The Lyrid meteor shower takes places annually between April 16 and April 25. In 2018, it will peak on the morning of April 22, with the greatest number of meteors falling during the few hours before dawn. With no moon, stargazers might be able to see between 10 and 20 Lyrid meteors per hour at the shower's peak.  Lyrid meteors are typically as bright as the stars in the Big Dipper, but some are much more intense, even brighter than Venus, the brightest object in the night sky after the moon. Called "Lyrid fireballs", these cast shadows for a split second and leave behind smokey debris trails that linger for minutes. Tim Peake space pictures What causes the Lyrid meteor shower? The ionised gas in the meteors' trail burns up as it enters the Earth's atmosphere, creates the glow which can be seen streaking across the night sky.  The shower occurs as the Earth passes through the dust left over from Comet Thatcher (C/186 G1), which makes a full orbit of the sun once every 415 years (which is why there are no photographs of it). Flakes of comet dust, most no bigger than grains of sand, strike Earth's atmosphere traveling 49 km/s (110,000 mph) and disintegrate as streaks of light. Comet Thatcher last visited the inner solar system in 1861 - before the widespread use of photography  - and isn’t expected to return until the year 2276. How did the Lyrids get its name? The shower radiates out from the direction of the star Vega, the brightest light in the constellation Lyra the Harp, from which it takes its name. Vega is a brilliant blue-white star about three times wider than our Sun and 25 light years away. The Lyrids radiating from the vicinity of the blue star Lyra Credit: earthsky.org You might remember Vega being mentioned in Carl Sagan's movie Contact - it was the source of alien radio transmissions to Earth. When were the Lyrids first observed and recorded? The earliest sightings of the Lyrid meteor shower go back 2,700 years and are among the oldest of known meteor showers. In the year 687 BC the ancient Chinese observed the meteors and recorded them in the ancient Zuo Zhan chronicles saying:  "On the 4th month in the summer in the year of xīn-mǎo (of year 7 of King Zhuang of Lu), at night, (the sky is so bright that some) fixed stars become invisible (because of the meteor shower); at midnight, stars fell like rain. That era of Chinese history corresponds with what is now called the Spring and Autumn Period (about 771 to 476 BC).  Tradition associates this period with the Chinese teacher and philosopher Confucius, one of the first to espouse the principle: “Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.”   American observers saw an outburst of nearly 100 Lyrid meteors per hour in 1982. Around 100 meteors per hour were seen in Greece in 1922 and from Japan in 1945. 2018 | Major meteor showers Major meteor showers to look out for in 2018 The Quadrantid meteor shower The Quadrantids was the first major meteor shower of 2018; it peaked at around 8pm on January 3 when between 10 and 60 meteors were shooting per hour.  It had a sharp peak, which means the best of the shower only lasted a few hours - although it remained active until January 12th. First spotted in 1825 by the Italian astronomer Antonio Brucalassi, astronomers suspect the shower originates from the comet C/1490 Y1, which was first observed 500 years ago by Japanese, Chinese and Korean astronomers. Why is it called Quadrantid? The Quadrantids appear to radiate from the extinct constellation Quadrans Muralis, which is now part of the Boötes constellation and not far from the Big Dipper. Because of the constellation's position in the sky, the shower is often impossible to see in the Southern Hemisphere - however there is a chance of spotting it up to 51 degrees south latitude. The best spots to see the display are in countries with high northern latitudes, like Norway, Sweden, Canada and Finland. The Perseid meteor shower The Perseids appear to originate from within the star constellation Perseus, hence the shower's name. The shower occurs when Earth passes through the debris stream occupying the orbit of the comet Swift-Tuttle. The wonderfully named comet is the largest object known to repeatedly pass Earth (it's 16 miles wide). It orbits the sun ever 133 years and each time it passes through the inner solar system it warms up, releasing fresh comet material into its orbital stream. The last time it was closest to the sun was in December 1992. It will be back again in July 2126.  Perseid meteor radiant When can I see the Perseid meteor shower? The window for the next Perseid meteor shower is from July 17 to August 24 2018. Stargazers stand a chance of seeing the shower at any point in this window, however the peak will occur around on August 13.  The best time to take a look at the sky will be from about 1am BST in the Northern Hemisphere until the onset of dawn twilight. Peak rates of 150-200 meteors per hour were recorded in 2016, but typical rates are about 80 meteors an hour streaking across the night sky, each leaving a trail.   To see it, look at a height approximately two-thirds up the sky in any direction. If you want a recommendation, east through south offers some great background constellations in the early hours during August. Look for the shower's "radiant" from the north-east corner of Perseus. The Orionid meteor shower The Orionid meteors appear every year, with showers producing around 20 meteors every hour. The shower is active throughout October until November 7, but the best time to see it will be on October 20 between midnight and dawn, when the sky is darkest and the shower will be at its brightest. Tom Kerss, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich said:"If you can brave the cold, make a plan to stay out and enjoy the thrill of seeing tiny flecks of Halley's Comet disintegrate at hypersonic speeds above your head." He advises finding a secluded spot and allowing the eyes to adjust to the darkness. Orionid meteors streak across the sky over Kula town of Manisa, Turkey on October 21, 2017 Credit:  Anadolu Agency Mr Kerss said: "There's no advantage to using binoculars or a telescope, your eyes are the best tool available for spotting meteors, so relax and gaze up at the sky, and eventually your patience will be rewarded. "Meteors can appear anywhere in the sky, though if you have to pick a direction, you might fare slightly better looking east." The meteoroids from Halley's Comet strike Earth's atmosphere at a speed of 148,000mph, (238,000kph) burning up in streaking flashes of light that can be seen with the naked eye. Orionid meteors are known for their speed and brilliance, so if you persevere there's a good chance you'll see several bright 'shooting stars' zipping across the sky. The Orionid Meteor Shower is one of two meteor showers created by debris from Halley's Comet - the other is the Eta Aquarids, which occurs in May. Unfortunately, Halley's Comet itself has not been visible from Earth since 1986. Why is it called Orionid? It's named Orionid because it appears to radiate from the constellation Orion. Orion is one of the brightest and best known constellations and contains two of the 10 brightest stars in the sky Rigel and Betelgeuse, as well as the famous Orion's Belt.  Orion's Belt is made up of three bright stars quite close together almost in a straight line, and is about 1,500 light years from us on Earth.  Orion has been known since ancient times and is also referred to as Hunter thanks to Greek mythology. He is often seen in star maps facing Taurus, the bull. The Geminid meteor shower The Geminids are an annual meteor shower caused by the 3200 Phaethon asteroid. Its orbit brings it very close to the sun, causing its surface material to crumble and break off. The Earth passes through this space debris every December, which burns up as hits our atmosphere. These are the meteors visible in our sky. The Geminids were first observed relatively recently, in 1862, compared with the Perseids (36AD) and the Leonids (902AD). The meteor shower appears to come from a point in the constellation Gemini, hence its name. The Geminids meteor shower over Egersheld Cape on Russky Island in the Sea of Japan in December 2017 Credit:  Yuri Smityuk When can it be seen? The next Geminid meteor shower can be seen from around December 4th to 17th, with peak activity from about 10pm on December 13th and into the early hours of the 14th.  Sightings are possible around the world, but there's good news for Britons: the shower favours observers in the Northern Hemisphere over those in the Southern. If you're lucky you could see up to 100 meteors or 'shooting stars' every hour. You can spot the meteors anywhere, but they will appear to come from the Gemini constellation. During December, it begins the evening in the east and moves across the sky to the west during the night. Find Orion's Belt - three bright stars positioned in a row - and then look above it and a little to the left. They will appear as streaks of light, and will sometimes arrive in bursts of two or three. They vary in colour, depending on their composition. An average of 120 meteors an hour - or two a minute - can be expected, or more during the 2am peak. Stars in the Milky Way over Kielder Forest Credit: Owen Humphreys The best stargazing spots in the UK A dark night is best for a meteor shower, after midnight and before dawn.  Head somewhere away from the bright lights - into more rural areas if you can - and be prepared to wait a good hour if you want the best chance of seeing a shower. Look for a wide, open viewing area - perhaps a national park or large field on the side of a road - and make sure you concentrate your gaze towards the east. Meteor showers are unpredictable though, so prepare for the fact you might not see much. Choose a dark location away from stray lights and give yourself at least 20 minutes in total darkness to properly dark adapt.  Britain has some wonderful stargazing locations, including three "Dark Sky Reserves" (Snowdonia, Brecon Beacons and Exmoor national parks) and Europe's largest "Dark Sky Park" (Northumberland National Park and the adjoining Kielder Water and Forest Park). best stargazing locations Galloway Forest Park: Galloway is a couple of hours from Glasgow and an hour from Carlisle. The park's most popular spot for stargazing is Loch Trool. Exmoor and around: Exmoor was granted International Dark-Sky Reserve status by the International Dark-Sky Association in 2011. Light pollution is managed to make the area more appealing to amateur astronomers. Romney Marsh: Night once provided cover for smugglers known as Owlers, but today Romney Marsh offers celestial bounty, arching over a landscape adorned with the spires of ancient churches. Kielder: Kielder Forest is officially the darkest place in England – 250 square miles of wooded beauty where Northumberland brushes against Scotland. It has its own fabulous, modern, wood-clad observatory on the slopes of Black Fell above Kielder Water. North York Moors: As well as stunning night skies, the North York Moors boast historic market towns such as Helmsley and Pickering, plus appealing coastal spots, including Scarborough and Whitby.


Acting NASA administrator’s parting words: Accept risk wisely, with ‘eyes wide open’

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 15:53:26 -0400

Acting NASA administrator’s parting words: Accept risk wisely, with ‘eyes wide open’  COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — NASA should rethink its approach to the risks of spaceflight as it prepares for a new wave of exploration, the space agency’s outgoing chief says. “Protecting against risk and being safe are not the same thing,” Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot told a standing-room crowd here today at the 34th Space Symposium. “Risk is just simply a calculation of likelihood and consequence.” Lightfoot said he’s worried that excessive risk aversion could hobble NASA as it prepares to build an outpost in lunar orbit and blaze a trail to Mars. “Would we have ever launched Apollo in… Read More


'We'll Always Be Grateful.' Barack and Michelle Obama Offer Condolences to Bush Family

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 21:39:49 -0400

'We'll Always Be Grateful.' Barack and Michelle Obama Offer Condolences to Bush FamilyBarbara Bush reflected "the very best of the American spirit," they said


Mitch McConnell Shuts Down a Bill to Prevent President Trump from Firing Robert Mueller

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 00:07:35 -0400

Mitch McConnell Shuts Down a Bill to Prevent President Trump from Firing Robert MuellerMitch McConnell said the bill is unnecessary because Trump will not fire Mueller


'Larry Was a Monster.' Gymnast McKayla Maroney Speaks for the First Time About Sexual Abuse by Team Doctor

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 15:45:01 -0400

'Larry Was a Monster.' Gymnast McKayla Maroney Speaks for the First Time About Sexual Abuse by Team DoctorOlympic gymnast McKayla Maroney spoke in person for the first time about abuse she experienced by gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar