NEWS ALERT! ESO Unveils 'Clear Evidence' of Earth-Like Planet in Habitable Zone Orbiting Proxima Centauri --"Only 4.25 Light-Years Away"

 

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Astronomers using European Southern Observatory (ESO) telescopes and other facilities have found clear evidence of a planet orbiting the closest star to Earth, Proxima Centauri. The long-sought world, designated Proxima b, orbits its cool red parent star every 11 days and has a temperature suitable for liquid water to exist on its surface. This rocky world is a little more massive than the Earth and is the closest exoplanet to us -- and it may also be the closest possible abode for life outside the Solar System. 

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China Unveils Plans for a Manned Radar Station on the Moon --"Leading Space Scientists Have Joined the Project"

 

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The Chinese government has unveiled plans to build a permanently manned radar station on the moon to monitor Earth. The project was launched earlier this year and received funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China. The proposed facility, which may include quarters for astronauts and a powerful radar antenna array at least 50 meters high, could monitor wider areas of our planet than existing satellites, according to scientists involved in the study.

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Scientists Reprogram Brain With a Beam of Light --"Human Brain is Plastic, Not Hardwired"

 

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Neurons that fire together wire together, say scientists at Columbia University, suggesting that the three-pound computer in our heads may be more malleable than we think. Their findings suggest that groups of activated neurons may form the basic building blocks of learning and memory.

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Today's StarTalk Radio --"Water in the Universe from Earth to the Ocean of Jupiter's Europa & Beyond" (LISTEN)

 

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Find out just how abundant water is in the Cosmos, when cosmochemist Natalie Starkey hosts StarTalk All-Stars for the first time. She’s joined by co-host Chuck Nice and planetary scientist Lindy Elkins-Tanton. Get the scoop on new evidence that suggests most of Earth’s water didn’t come from comets, but rather from the same rocky material that built up our planet. Explore whether a planet is “born wet” or not, and how the formation of a celestial body determines what kind of water it has.

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New Mars Discovery: Network of Ancient Fossil Rivers --"Points to a Once Warm, Wet Planet"

 

 

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Extensive systems of fossilized riverbeds have been discovered on an ancient region of the Martian surface, supporting the idea that the now cold and dry Red Planet had a warm and wet climate about 4 billion years ago. The University College London research identified over 17,000 kilometers of former river channels on a northern plain called Arabia Terra, providing further evidence of water once flowing on Mars.

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Our Solar System "Is in a Unique Place in the Universe -- Just Right for Life"

 

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Our solar system is in a unique area of the universe that's conducive to life, says John Webb and his colleagues at the University of New South Wales, who have carried out intensive study that threatens to turn the world of theoretical physics upside down.

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Gravitational-Wave Discovery --"Is Going to be Central to Human's Exploration of the Universe for Centuries"

 

 

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"We really are opening up a whole new way of observing the universe, a way that is going to be central to the human race's exploration of the universe around us, not just for years or decades, but for centuries into the future," said Kip Thorne, Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology.

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Join StarTalk's Neil deGrasse Tyson to Explore the Epic Discovery of Gravitational Waves (LISTEN)

 

 

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On February 11, 2016 the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory reported that it had discovered gravitational waves, heralding a new field of scientific study. Just a few months later, host Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-host Eugene Mirman took to the stage at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ to explore that discovery with the help of LIGO astrophysicist Dr. Nergis Mavalvala, cosmologist and StarTalk All-Stars host Dr. Janna Levin, and comedian and returning StarTalk Live! guest Michael Showalter.

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Monster Infant Star Discovered in Milky Way --"Thirty Times the Size of Our Sun"

 

 

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Astronomers have identified a young star, located almost 11,000 light years away, which could help us understand how the most massive stars in the Universe are formed. This young star, already more than 30 times the mass of our Sun, is still in the process of gathering material from its parent molecular cloud, and may be even more massive when it finally reaches adulthood.

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NASA Scientists --"Vast Ocean of Saturn's Moon Enceladus Could Be the Site of a Second Genesis"

 

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Chris McKay, an astrobiologist with NASA  says: "I've been interested in the search for life in the Solar System for decades and I'm still flabbergasted by what we're seeing on Enceladus. It's such a small world so far from Earth, putting out such a wealth of organics and water and indications of habitability - it's astounding, and the samples are right there, free for the taking."

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