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More Clues That Earth-Like Exoplanets Are Indeed Earth-Like

Artist’s depiction of Kepler-62f. Image credit: NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle Kepler-186f is the first identified Earth-sized planet outside the solar system orbiting a star in the habitable zone. This means it’s the proper distance from its host star for liquid water to pool on the surface. The Georgia Tech study used simulations to analyze and identify the exoplanet’s spin axis dynamics. Those dynamics determine how much a planet tilts on its axis and how that tilt angle evolves over time. Axial tilt contributes to seasons and climate because it affects how…

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Victims of Capital Gazette newsroom shooting named

An experienced editor is among five newspaper staff confirmed dead following a shooting at their office in Maryland. The Capital Gazette boss Rob Hiaasen, community news reporter Wendi Winters, sales assistant Rebecca Smith, editorial page editor Gerald Fischman, and staff writer John McNamara have all been named by police as victims of the latest gun attack on US soil. It took place at their newsroom in Annapolis at around 2.40pm local time on Thursday, with a male suspect – reportedly 38-year-old Jarrod W Ramos – arrested in connection with the…

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Where Medical Technology and Astrophysics Meet

Artist’s concept of the exoplanet WASP-12b.Credit: NASA/ESA/G. Bacon At the University of Bern, astrophysicists of the Center for Space and Habitability (CSH) teamed up with medical technology researchers to develop a new method to analyse spectra of atmospheres of planets beyond our solar system. The unusual collaboration applied an artificial intelligence tool to study the chemistry of exoplanetary atmospheres. “The way Raphael Sznitman and his team look at images is very similar to the way astronomers are analysing images and we even speak roughly the same technical language,” Kevin Heng…

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SpaceX nabs $130 million to launch an Air Force satellite with Falcon Heavy

SpaceX beat out one other competitor to land a $130 million launch contract with the U.S. Air Force using its Falcon Heavy rocket. The award is an important validation of the Falcon Heavy, one of the most powerful rockets ever made. Under the contract, the Hawthorne, Calif.-based rocket company founded by Elon Musk will launch the Air Force Space Command-52 satellite to its intended orbit. The contract includes launch vehicle production and mission, as well as integration, launch operations and spaceflight worthiness activities, according to a notice posted by the U.S.…

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Scientists just named an ancient sea creature after Barack Obama

They named another one after me? Ethan Miller/Getty Images One of the earliest complex lifeforms to exist on Earth has been named in honor of Barack Obama, continuing a strong love affair between scientists and the former president of the United States. The ancient, disc-shaped animal has been dubbed Obamus coronatus and lived some 550 million years ago. While they may not be much to look at now, flattened and time-beaten, the Ediacaran organisms were about half an inch long, had a soft body and spent their entire lives in…

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YouTube introduces channel memberships, merchandise and premieres

YouTube creators are gaining a number of new tools to generate revenue from their videos outside of traditional advertising, as well as those that will help them better engage their fans, according to news the video streaming site announced today at the VidCon conference in Anaheim, California. This includes the rollout of channel memberships, merchandising, marketing partnerships via FameBit and the launch of “Premieres,” which offers a middle ground between pre-recorded, edited video and live streaming. Memberships Before today, YouTube had offered a Twitch-like “Sponsorship” model on YouTube Gaming. This gave fans…

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It’s the end of the line for Westworld

At this point, the man in black could probably stub his toe and think it was a part of Ford’s game.   HBO Welcome back to your guide to finding out what’s new online. Every week, we put together a podcast that lets you know what’s been added to services like Netflix, Hulu and HBO Now. The audio is about a minute or two long. If you want to watch a bunch of robots and humans interacting, you’ve got a great option this weekend. The final episode of the new…

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Adventure Time and Minecraft merge for special episode

Marceline, Finn, Princess Bubblegum and other Adventure Time character get a blocky makeover in a special Minecraft crossover airing on Cartoon Network in July.  Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET Oh my glob! Minecraft is coming to Adventure Time in an extra-geeky episode.  Cartoon Network unveiled the first official clip on June 15 from the upcoming episode Diamonds and Lemons, for fans to glimpse their favorite Adventure Time characters reimagined in a blocky Minecraft-esque format.  The surreal animated show features Jake the dog and Finn the human who live in the…

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Twitter ‘smytes’ customers

Twitter today announced it was acquiring the “trust and safety as a service” startup Smyte to help it better address issues related to online abuse, harassment, spam, and security on its platform. But it also decided to immediately shut down access to Smyte’s API without warning, leaving Smyte’s existing customers no time to transition to a new service provider. The change left Smyte’s current customer base stranded, with production issues related to the safety of their own platforms. Needless to say, many were not happy about this situation and took to Twitter…

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Roseanne cast gets reprieve with ABC spinoff, minus Barr

The Conners will feature the Roseanne cast, without Roseanne Barr. ABC When ABC cancelled the Roseanne reboot after Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet about a former Obama aide in May, it looked like the show’s cast wouldn’t get another opportunity to make fans laugh. Now the Conners will get a second chance.  ABC has given a series order to The Conners, a spin-off TV show about a working-class family starring original cast members John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson and Michael Fishman. But Barr won’t be a part of…

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