Earth's Deep "Hum" Recorded for 1st Time --"Planet is Constantly in Movement"

 

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Scientists have long known earthquakes can cause the Earth to vibrate for extended periods of time. However, in 1998 a research team found the Earth also constantly generates a low-frequency vibrational signal in the absence of earthquakes. Since then, seismologists have proposed different theories to explain the existence of this continuous vibration, from atmospheric disturbances to ocean waves moving over the sea floor. They've also measured the vibration using seismometers on land, but had not yet successfully measured it at the sea floor, which could help scientists better quantify the sources of the vibrations.

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The Human Species "Biological Limits Have Peaked"

 

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Humans may have reached their maximum limits for height, lifespan and physical performance. A recent review suggests humans have biological limitations, and that anthropogenic impacts on the environment - including climate change - could have a deleterious effect on these limits.

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Today's "Planet Earth Report" --How Extraterrestrial Contact Will Change Us to NASA's Most Awesome Rocket Ever

 

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December 7, 2017: Today's links to headline stories from around the world on the threats, opportunities, and dangers facing our fragile planet --along with an occasional dash of humor, popular culture, and an intriguing conspiracy theory or two. Today's coverage includes causes of the Los Angeles Fire, the jellyfish apocalypse, photo tour of the Silk Road, Jerusalem as "detonator," and human value in China.

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"We're Re-thinking the Evolution of the Universe" --13-Billion-Year Voyage of the Light from Oldest Most Massive Known Black Hole

 

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Astronomers have discovered the most distant quasar known, which is so far from us that its light has taken more than 13 billion years to reach us. We see this quasar as it was a mere 690 million years after the Big Bang, and its light carries valuable information about the early history of the universe, in particular the reionization phase. At the center of the quasar is a massive black hole with a mass of almost 1 billion solar masses. In addition, the quasar's host galaxy has been found to contain a large amount of gas and dust, challenging models of galactic evolution.

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Massive Star-Filled Galaxies Emerged From Vast Oceans of Dark Matter --"Earlier Than Thought in the Universe"

 

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Astronomers expect that the first galaxies, those that formed just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang, would share many similarities with some of the dwarf galaxies we see in the nearby universe today. These early agglomerations of a few billion stars would then become the building blocks of the larger galaxies that came to dominate the universe after the first few billion years.

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A Key to the Search for Alien Life? --"Earth's Atmosphere has a Nitrogen Signature That's Unique to Our Planet"

 

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A team of scientists reports the discovery of a planetary-scale "tug-of-war" of life, deep Earth and the upper atmosphere that is expressed in atmospheric nitrogen. Compared with other key elements of life -- such as oxygen, hydrogen and carbon -- molecular nitrogen is very stable. Two nitrogen atoms combine to form N2 molecules that stay in the atmosphere for millions of years.

 

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"Littlefoot" --Is the Discovery Our Oldest, Most Human Ancestor? An In-Depth Look

 

 
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In 1997, they found it, deeply embedded in rock that had formed after Little Foot apparently fell 20 meters into the cave through a hole in the ground above. Virtually the entire skeleton was preserved down to the smallest finger and toe bones, an extremely rare event. (Lucy, for example, is only about 40% complete.) It took more than 15 years to excavate the fragile fossils from the rock.

 

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"Little Foot" Walking on Earth 3.6 Million Years Ago--"Most Complete Fossil of Human Ancestor Ever Found" (WATCH Video)

 

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South Africa's status as a major cradle in the African nursery of humankind has been reinforced with today's unveiling of "Little Foot", the country's oldest, virtually complete fossil human ancestor. Little Foot is the only known virtually complete Australopithecus fossil discovered to date. It is by far the most complete skeleton of a human ancestor older than 1.5 million years ever found. It is also the oldest fossil hominid in southern Africa, dating back 3.67 million years.

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ESO's ESPRESSO! Searching for Alien Worlds --"With Unprecedented Precision" (WATCH Video)

 

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ESPRESSO (The Echelle SPectrograph for Rocky Exoplanet and Stable Spectroscopic Observations) has successfully made its first observations. Installed on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile, ESPRESSO will search for exoplanets with unprecedented precision by looking at the minuscule changes in the light of their host stars.

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The Alien Observatory: "We Could have the First Clues of Extraterrestrial Biology in a Decade Orbiting the Smallest Stars that Exist!"

 

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"No matter what we find by studying planets orbiting ultra-cool dwarfs, we cannot lose. We can only learn. If we manage to identify the presence of life on a planet similar to those in the TRAPPIST-1 system, then we can start measuring how frequently biology emerges in the universe. We could have the first clues of extraterrestrial biology in a decade!"

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