Today's "Planet Earth Report" --The Race Against Time to Save One of the Great, Ancient African Civilizations

 
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“This is one of the great, earliest-known civilizations in the world,” says Neal Spencer, an archaeologist with the British Museum. For the past 10 years, Spencer has traveled to a site his academic predecessors photographed a century ago, called Amara West, around 100 miles south of the Egyptian border in Sudan. Armed with a device called a magnetometer, which measures the patterns of magnetism in the features hidden underground, Spencer plots thousands of readings to reveal entire neighborhoods beneath the sand, the bases of pyramids, and round burial mounds, called tumuli, over tombs where skeletons rest on funerary beds—unique to Nubia—dating from 1,300 to 800 b.c.

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The Neanderthal Da Vinci's --"Created the World's Oldest Known Cave Paintings 20,000 Years Before Arrival of 1st Modern Humans"

 
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Scientists have found the first major evidence that Neanderthals, rather than modern humans, created the world's oldest known cave paintings - suggesting they may have had an artistic sense similar to our own. It also indicates that they thought symbolically, like modern humans.

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"Secret of Camp Century" --Climate Change is Weaponizing America's Abandoned Cold-War Arctic Base Threatening Greenland's Environment

 

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The creation of Camp Century, from the outset, was an audacious scheme. Under the thick ice of Greenland, a scant 800 miles from the North Pole, the U.S. military built a hidden base of ice tunnels, imagined as an extensive network of railway tracks, stretching over 2,500 miles, that would keep 600 nuclear missiles buried under the ice. Construction began in 1959, under cover of a scientific research project, and soon a small installation, powered by a nuclear reactor, nested in the ice sheet.

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Today's Top Discovery Headline --"Scientists Uncover Three Evolutionary Factors That Made Human Brains So Big"

 

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“Brain size is one of the most obvious traits that makes us human,” co-author Andrew Du, Ph.D., explains in a statement released Tuesday. “It’s related to cultural complexity, language, tool making, and all these other things that make us unique. The earliest hominins had brain sizes like chimpanzees, and they have increased dramatically since then.”

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"Baffling!" --Hubble Space Telescope "Reveals Something Unexpected at Work in the Universe"

 
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A new Hubble finding confirms a nagging discrepancy showing the universe to be expanding faster now than was expected from its trajectory seen shortly after the big bang. Researchers suggest that there may be new physics to explain the inconsistency. "The community is really grappling with understanding the meaning of this discrepancy," said lead researcher and Nobel Laureate Adam Riess of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and Johns Hopkins University.

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Today's Top Science Headline --The Higgs Boson "May Reveal the Unknown Secrets of Dark Matter"

 

 
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“It could be that dark matter aids in the production of Higgs bosons, or that Higgs bosons can transform into dark matter particles as they decay,” says Darin Acosta, a physicist at the University of Florida. “It’s simple on paper, but the challenge is finding evidence of it happening, especially when so many parts of the equation are completely invisible. We can use the Higgs boson as a tool to look for new physics that might not readily interact with our standard set of particles."

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Today's Top Space Headline --"Could an Alien Civilization Hack Planet Earth?"

 

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With all the news stories these days about computer hacking, it probably comes as no surprise that someone is worried about hackers from outer space. Yes, there are now scientists who fret that space aliens might send messages that worm their way into human society — not to steal our passwords but to bring down our culture.

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"Magical Mystery Tour" --Scientists Probe Our Fate Inside a Black Hole

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Some black holes erase your past: In the real world, your past uniquely determines your future. If a physicist knows how the universe starts out, she can calculate its future for all time and all space. But a UC Berkeley mathematician has found some types of black holes in which this law breaks down. If someone were to venture into one of these relatively benign black holes, they could survive, but their past would be obliterated and they could have an infinite number of possible futures.

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New NASA Map Shows Antarctica Rapidly Melting --"Suggests That We’re on Thin Ice"

 
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If the world was a glass of water, Antarctica would be the biggest ice cube floating in it. The southernmost continent is almost completely covered by a thick layer of ice known as the Antarctic ice sheet, which makes up about 90 percent of the world’s ice and 70 percent of the world’s fresh water. But, NASA scientists warned on Tuesday, it might not be that big for long.

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"Will It Defy Einstein's Theory & Laws of Physics?" --Strange Mystery Star Orbiting Milky Way's Supermassive Black Hole

 

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"We have been waiting 16 years for this," said Devin Chu with UCLA's Galactic Center Group. "We are anxious to see how the star will behave under the black hole's violent pull. Will S0-2 follow Einstein's theory or will the star defy our current laws of physics? We will soon find out!"

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