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Giant exoplanet hunters: Look for debris disks

There’s no map showing all the billions of exoplanets hiding in our galaxy — they’re so distant and faint compared to their stars, it’s hard to find them. Now, astronomers hunting for new worlds have established a possible signpost for giant exoplanets. A new study finds that giant exoplanets that ...

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‘Fake fin’ discovery reveals new ichthyosaur species

An ichthyosaur first discovered in the 1970s but then dismissed and consigned to museum storerooms across the country has been re-examined and found to be a new species. In 1979, after inspecting several ichthyosaurs from the UK, palaeontologist Dr Robert Appleby announced a new type of ichthyosaur called Protoichthyosaurus. He ...

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Farsighted children struggle with attention, study finds

Farsighted preschoolers and kindergartners have a harder time paying attention and that could put them at risk of slipping behind in school, a new study suggests. An estimated 4 to 14 percent of preschoolers have moderate farsightedness, or hyperopia, but it often goes undetected in younger children. When moderate farsightedness ...

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New telescope attachment allows ground-based observations of new worlds

A new, low-cost attachment to telescopes allows previously unachievable precision in ground-based observations of exoplanets — planets beyond our solar system. With the new attachment, ground-based telescopes can produce measurements of light intensity that rival the highest quality photometric observations from space. Penn State astronomers, in close collaboration with the ...

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Mars study yields clues to possible cradle of life

The discovery of evidence for ancient sea-floor hydrothermal deposits on Mars identifies an area on the planet that may offer clues about the origin of life on Earth. A recent international report examines observations by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) of massive deposits in a basin on southern Mars. The ...

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Heating Dirt Could Cause a Runaway Rise in Carbon Emissions

Tucked into the apple-growing hills of Western Massachusetts is the Harvard Forest, a 3,700-acre wooded preserve that hosts school kids on field trips, day-tripping hikers, and, for more than a quarter century, a highly unusual science experiment. For the past 26 years, strings of subterranean electrical wires have heated segments ...

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Ancient humans left Africa to escape drying climate

Humans migrated out of Africa as the climate shifted from wet to very dry about 60,000 years ago, according to research led by a University of Arizona geoscientist. Genetic research indicates people migrated from Africa into Eurasia between 70,000 and 55,000 years ago. Previous researchers suggested the climate must have ...

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