Lord of the rings: Saturn's halo may be relatively recent trait

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Saturn’s rings are one of our solar system’s magnificent sights, but may be a relatively recent addition, according to data obtained from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft before the robotic explorer’s 2017 death plunge into the giant gas planet. Scientists said on Thursday a calculation of the mass of the rings based on gravitational measurements of the planet collected by Cassini indicated they formed between 100 million and 10 million years ago in roughly the final 2 percent of Saturn’s current age. On Earth, 100 million years ago was during…

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Mega tube under Geneva enters race to succeed CERN collider

GENEVA (Reuters) – A proposed 100-km particle accelerator under Geneva has joined an international quest to develop the successor to the Large Hadron Collider to help unlock humankind’s knowledge of matter. The existing collider (LHC), which started up in 2008, smashes protons together in a 27-km circuit beneath the Swiss-French border. It helped scientists discover the long-sought Higgs boson — a particle that supplied the missing piece of the standard model of physics by explaining why objects have mass. The FCC, or Future Circular Collider, proposed by more than 150…

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China to collect samples from moon this year

BEIJING (Reuters) – China will launch a probe to collect samples from the moon around the end of this year, a space official said on Monday, weeks after Beijing hailed the successful touch down on the far side of the moon. The Chang’e-4 lunar probe landed on Jan. 3 and transmitted the first-ever “close range” image of the far side of the moon. China’s National Space Administration applauded the event as a first that “lifted the mysterious veil” of the far side of the moon and claimed it as a…

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Shifting north magnetic pole forces unprecedented navigation fix

OSLO (Reuters) – Rapid shifts in the Earth’s north magnetic pole are forcing researchers to make an unprecedented early update to a model that helps navigation by ships, planes and submarines in the Arctic, scientists said. Compass needles point towards the north magnetic pole, a point which has crept unpredictably from the coast of northern Canada a century ago to the middle of the Arctic Ocean, moving towards Russia. “It’s moving at about 50 km (30 miles) a year. It didn’t move much between 1900 and 1980 but it’s really…

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Indian scientists protest congress speakers discrediting works of Newton, Einstein

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Indian scientists have protested about claims made at a local science conference that rubbish the work of some of the world’s greatest physicists and suggest modern breakthroughs such as in-vitro fertilization were in fact invented in ancient India. In a lecture at the Indian Science Congress and posted on YouTube, one speaker, Kannan Jegathala Krishnan said Isaac Newton was wrong about gravity, Albert Einstein made a “big blunder” and questioned Stephen Hawking’s achievements. Another speaker, G. Nageswara Rao, a vice-chancellor at Andhra University in southern India, used…

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Chinese scientist criticized for risking 'gene-edited' babies' lives

LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) – A leading geneticist who ran the conference where a Chinese scientist said he had made the world’s first “gene-edited” babies condemned him on Monday for potentially jeopardizing lives and having no biology training. Robin Lovell-Badge, organizer of the November 2018 event where China’s He Jiankui made his controversial presentation, described him as a rich man with a “huge ego” who “wanted to do something he thinks will change the world”. He Jiankui, associate professor at Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China, sparked…

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After historic flyby, New Horizons probe treks deeper on hunt for moons

(Reuters) – After studying a space rock some 4 billion miles (6.4 billion km) from Earth, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft set off on a new hunt for moons in the solar system’s most distant edge, searching for clues on our solar family’s creation, scientists said on Thursday. The piano-sized probe is traveling deep into the ring of celestial bodies known as the Kuiper Belt looking for small, icy moons that spun off the snowman-shaped Ultima Thule formation, a pair of icy space rocks that fused in orbit billions of years…

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China 'lifts mysterious veil' by landing probe on far side of the moon

BEIJING (Reuters) – A Chinese space probe successfully touched down on the far side of the moon on Thursday, China’s space agency said, hailing the event as a historic first and a major achievement for the country’s space program. The Chang’e-4 lunar probe, launched in December, made the “soft landing” at 0226 GMT and transmitted the first-ever “close range” image of the far side of the moon, the China National Space Administration said. The moon is tidally locked to Earth, rotating at the same rate as it orbits our planet,…

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China 'lifts mysterious veil' by landing probe on moon's dark side

BEIJING (Reuters) – A Chinese space probe successfully touched down on the far side of the moon on Thursday, the space agency said, hailing the event as a historic first in the country’s space program. The Chang’e-4 lunar probe, launched in December, made the “soft landing” at 0226 GMT and transmitted the first-ever “close range” image of the dark side of the moon, the China National Space Administration said. The moon is tidally locked to Earth, rotating at the same rate as it orbits our planet, so its far side…

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China 'lifts mysterious veil' with probe landing on dark side of the moon

BEIJING (Reuters) – A Chinese space probe successfully touched down on the far side of the moon on Thursday, state media said, hailing it as an historic first landing on a mission seen as an important step for China’s space program. Chinese state television said the Chang’e-4 lunar probe, launched in December, made the “soft landing” at 0226 GMT and transmitted the first-ever “close range” image of the dark side of the moon. The moon is tidally locked to Earth, rotating at the same rate that it orbits our planet,…

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