Home

Home for Alien Life

Leave a comment

Kepler 438b: Most Earth-like planet ever discovered could be home for alien life

New discovery is likely to be a rocky world in the ‘Goldilocks’ zone of its parent star where the temperature is just right for liquid water to flow

An Earth-like planet orbiting a star that has formed a planetary nebula. Earlier in its life, this planet may have resembled the newly discovered Kepler 438b. Illustration: David A Aguilar/CfA

An alien world that orbits a distant star in the constellation of Lyra may be the most Earth-like planet ever found outside the solar system.

The planet, named Kepler 438b, is slightly larger than Earth and circles an orange dwarf star that bathes it in 40% more heat than our home planet receives from the sun.

The small size of Kepler 438b makes it likely to be a rocky world, while its proximity to its star puts it in the “Goldilocks” or habitable zone where the temperature is just right for liquid water to flow.

A rocky surface and flowing water are two of the most important factors scientists look for when assessing a planet’s chances of being hospitable to life.

Kepler 438b, which is 470 light years away, completes an orbit around its star every 35 days, making a year on the planet pass 10 times as fast as on Earth. Small planets are more likely to be rocky than huge ones, and at only 12% larger than our home planet, the odds of Kepler 438b being rocky are about 70%, researchers said.

Kepler-186f is part of five-planet system 795 lights years away. The find is described in the journal Science as ‘a landmark on the road to discovering habitable planets’. Photograph: Nasa Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Cal/PA

Source: TheGuardian Read more

Advertisements

Queen Khentakawess III’s tomb found in Egypt

Leave a comment

The tomb dates to the Fifth Dynasty of the Pharaohs – about 4,500 years ago

Archaeologists in Egypt have unearthed the tomb of a previously unknown queen, Egyptian officials say.

The tomb was found in Abu-Sir, south-west of Cairo, and is thought to belong to the wife or mother of Pharaoh Neferefre who ruled 4,500 years ago.

Egyptian Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty said that her name, Khentakawess, had been found inscribed on a wall in the necropolis.

Mr Damaty added that this would make her Khentakawess III.

The tomb was discovered in Pharaoh Neferefre’s funeral complex.

Source: BBCNews Read more

New Vincent Van Gogh painting identified

2 Comments

The painting will go on display on 24 September

A previously unknown landscape painting by Vincent van Gogh has been identified by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

Sunset at Montmajour – which depicts trees, bushes and sky – had spent years in a Norwegian private collector’s attic after he had been told the work was not by the Dutch master.

The museum said the painting was authenticated by letters, style and the physical materials used.

It is the first full-size canvas by Van Gogh discovered since 1928.

Museum director Axel Rueger called the discovery a “once-in-a-lifetime experience” at an unveiling ceremony.

He said the institution had previously rejected the painting’s authenticity in the 1990s partly because it was not signed.

However thanks to new research techniques and a two-year investigation, it concluded the artwork was by the artist.

000BBC_logo

Nature is Full of Surprises

2 Comments

The world’s biggest (not deepest) canyon has been discovered. Now, how did we miss that?

It was covered in ice…

Huge canyon discovered under Greenland ice

Scientists are surprised the feature has not been worn away by successive glaciations

One of the biggest canyons in the world has been found beneath the ice sheet that smothers most of Greenland.

The canyon – which is 800km long and up to 800m deep – was carved out by a great river more than four million years ago, before the ice arrived.

It was discovered by accident as scientists researching climate change mapped Greenland’s bedrock by radar.

The British Antarctic Survey said it was remarkable to find so huge a geographical feature previously unseen.

The hidden valley is longer than the Grand Canyon in Arizona. It snakes its way from the centre of Greenland up to the northern coastline and before the ice sheet was formed it would have contained a river gushing into the Arctic Ocean. Now it is packed with ice.

The ice sheet, up to 3km (2 miles) thick, is now so heavy that it makes the island sag in the middle (central Greenland was previously about 500m above sea level, now it is 200m below sea level).

The canyon still runs “downhill”, though, and meltwater from the ice sheet seeps out below sea level at the northern end – at a relative trickle, rather than a torrent. Glaciologists think the canyon plays an important role in transporting sub-glacial meltwater produced at the bed towards the ocean.

Read more, see more

Read more, see more

Bye Bye Discovery

2 Comments

Space shuttle Discovery piggy-backed on a modified Boeing 747 on its way around Washington and into Dulles Airport

One of Nasa’s retired space shuttles has made a dramatic flypast over the centre of the US capital on the way to its final resting place in a museum.

Discovery flew over the monuments along the National Mall in Washington DC at about 10:00 EST (14:00 GMT).

Piggy-backing on a modified Boeing 747, Discovery was flying at an altitude of about 1,500ft (457m), Nasa said.

The shuttle programme ended in 2011. Discovery will be on show at the Air and Space Museum in Virginia.

After circling four times over the Washington Monument, and passing the National Mall over Capitol Hill, the shuttle landed at Dulles Airport, a few miles outside Washington DC.

From there it will be towed to the nearby Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, where it will be on permanent display.

Source: BBC News Read more

%d bloggers like this: