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ISON's Nucleus Survives Journey Through Sun's Corona (NASA VIDEO)

 

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"It now looks like some chunk of ISON's nucleus has indeed made it through the solar corona, and re-emerged," said Karl Battams, a comet scientist for the Naval Research Laboratory after ISON swept about 730,000 miles over the sun's surface Thursday about 2 p.m. ET. "It's throwing off dust and (probably) gas, but we don't know how long it can sustain that.  Now it has emerged and started to brighten, we need to observe it for a few days to get a feel for its behavior."

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"Biological Intelligence is a Fleeting Phase in the Evolution of the Universe" (Holiday Weekend Feature)

 

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During an epoch of dramatic climate change 200,000 years ago, Homo sapiens (modern humans) evolved in Africa. Several leading scientists are asking: Is the human species entering a new evolutionary, post-biological inflection point? Paul Davies, a British-born theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist and Director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science and Co-Director of the Cosmology Initiative at Arizona State University, says that any aliens exploring the universe will be AI-empowered machines. Not only are machines better able to endure extended exposure to the conditions of space, but they have the potential to develop intelligence far beyond the capacity of the human brain.

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"The Human 'Super Brain' Emerged 75,000 Years Ago" --New Insights (Holiday Weekend Feature)

 

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"Humans obviously evolved a much wider range of communication tools to express their thoughts, the most important being language," said John Hoffecker, a fellow at the University of Colorado's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. "Individual human brains within social groups became integrated into a neurologic Internet of sorts, giving birth to the mind."

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Astronomers Search for Elusive, 'Hidden' Intermediate Black Holes

 

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"Exactly how intermediate-sized black holes would form remains an open issue," said Dominic Walton of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. "Some theories suggest they could form in rich, dense clusters of stars through repeated mergers, but there are a lot of questions left to be answered." NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, is busy scrutinizing a class of black holes that may fall into the proposed medium-sized category.

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Minerals Present When Life Emerged in Hadean Eon Vastly Different Than Today

 

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Life originated as a result of natural processes that exploited early Earth's raw materials. Scientific models of life's origins almost always look to minerals for such essential tasks as the synthesis of life's molecular building blocks or the supply of metabolic energy, which assumes that the mineral species found on Earth today are much the same as they were during Earth's first 550 million years--the Hadean Eon--when life emerged.  A new analysis of Hadean mineralogy challenges that assumption. 

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Cosmic "Sonic Boom" Brightens Tycho's Supernova --Its Light Reached Earth in 1572

 

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When a star explodes as a supernova, it shines brightly for a few weeks or months before fading away. Yet the material blasted outward from the explosion still glows hundreds or thousands of years later, forming a picturesque supernova remnant. What powers such long-lived brilliance? In the case of Tycho's supernova remnant, astronomers have discovered that a reverse shock wave racing inward at Mach 1000 (1000 times the speed of sound) is heating the remnant and causing it to emit X-ray light.

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Venus' "Once Earth-like Atmosphere" --New NASA Probe to Explore Its Mysteries

 

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Astrobiologist David Grinspoon believes that scientists should look at our neighboring planets to help understand the perils of global warming. “It seems that both Mars and Venus started out much more like Earth and then changed. They both hold priceless climate information for Earth."

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"Life on Alien Planets May Only Be Fleeting" --The New Search for ET Biosignatures

 

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Because planets and life are so young in our Universe, says Harvard's Dimitar Sasselov, perhaps "the human species are not late comers to the party. We may be among the early ones." Yet, If  life does exist anywhere else in the universe, it may only be fleeting.  Scientists are now to research how signs of life might look on dying planets. Astronomers have discovered hundreds of distant alien planets in the past two decades. Future missions could detect potential signs of life called biosignatures on those worlds, such as oxygen or methane in their atmospheres.

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"Comet of the Century" --A Blazing ISON on Its Approach to the Sun (Will It Survive the Encounter?)

 

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ISON! "The "Comet of the Century," first spotted in our skies in September 2012,has brightened brilliantly in the last few days as it nears its Nov. 28 close encounter with the sun. If it survives the heat, radiation and gravity of the Sun (which could cause it to disintegrate) there may be more chances to see it as it moves away from the sun, back toward where its origins in the distant Oort cloud far beyond the edge of our solar system.

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