NASA Spacecraft sends first photos of Jupiter after five year trip is completed

Pasadena, CA – NASA has released the first photos sent by its Juno spacecraft, which arrived at Jupiter on Saturday.

The said photos were taken by the spacecraft at its time of arrival at Jupiter, but the space association released them to the public just yesterday.

Furthermore, despite the spacecraft being three million miles away from Jupiter, the planet’s Great Red Spot, which is a centuries-old atmospheric storm, and three of its four largest moons were visible.

Juno managed to enter Jupiter’s orbit last week, dispelling fears of high-speed impact with debris in the planet’s tenuous ring, or potential radiation damage.

The spacecraft shut down its primary engine for thirty-five minutes straight, thus adequately slowing down before entering the planned polar orbit.

NASA did it again! That says it all to me,” Juno’s principal investigator, Scott Bolton, mentioned at a press conference, which took place after the good news came in. “And I am so happy to be part of the team that did that. This team has worked so hard, and we have just such great people. It’s almost like a dream coming true right here. … And now the fun begins. The science!

Furthermore, due to Jupiter’s massive distance from Earth, 540 million miles, NASA’s flight controllers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory were not able to follow the spacecraft’s location and status at real time, as they had to wait forty-five minutes for radio signals to cross the space in between the two planets.

By the time they received the last update, Juno had already entered the designated orbit.

It took the spacecraft five years to reach its destination, while it will be staying on the planet for a twenty-month mission, during which Juno will be studying various aspects of the planet, including its atmosphere, interior and poles.

NASA’s department in charge of the mission stated that close-up photos of Jupiter are expected to come in their hands sometime next month.

Via: Science Daily

Climate change: US Republicans alarm China over talks

Chinese leader Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama agreed to help China stop her greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 in order to combat climate change and global warming, but Republicans in the US Senate rose up against Obama’s pledge toward China quitting gas emissions at the said date.
And so in view of talks coming up in Lima, Peru next week, Chinese climate change negotiators are afraid that the US Republicans attitude could disrupt the purpose of the deal.

Xie Zhenhua, vice director of the national planning agency and the chief negotiator on climate change said that “Because of internal politics in the US the Kyoto protocol was not ratified, so we are worried that we might face the same problem in the 2015 pact.” The Lima meeting is supposed to pave a way for another meeting in Paris next year where international climate agreements will be sealed.

And Frederic Mion, who is helping organise the Paris summit states that “There is a feeling that the announcement by Xi Jinping and Mr Obama changed the picture, The Chinese are now much more willing, less obstructive than we could have believed six months ago.”

Meanwhile, since the Chinese appear to be targeting 2030 to cut carbon emissions, Mr. Xie is of the view that “In 16 years there is lot of uncertainty, and trying to pin down a very accurate time or number down to two decimal places is actually not scientific.”

The Chinese government appears careful not to ally themselves with any global climate accord for now, most especially since the former premier Wen Jiabao’s negotiations of 2009 in Copenhagen was regarded as undermining Chinese diplomacy. He couldn’t commit on behalf of a Chinese political system that was torn by strong interest groups.

Rare and elusive black seadevil caught on video

Living 1,900 feet below sea surfaces in pitch darkness rarely penetrated by sunlight, the black seadevil is not a marine animal that anyone can easily come across. It is not your usual sea animal or fish, and it is a perfect monster in its own ways. Ugly and menacing, the black seadevil strikes fear at sight, yet it is only 3.5 inches long even though it has the shape of a sea-faring vessel or some spacecrafts when seen swimming.

Video by marine researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) off the Monterey Bay off the California coast, the released video of the denizen of the deep has sparked a lot of interest and debate among marine researchers. Very little is known about this lurky animal, and as a matter of fact, only three have ever been seen within 25 years of research by the MBARI team.

According to Bruce Robinson, a senior scientist with MBARI, “We’ve been diving out here in the Monterey Canyon regularly for 25 years, and we’ve seen three.”

The black seadevil is actually a female angler with a big head and a wide cavernous mouth, full of teeth. It also has a luminescent pole on top of its head that glows some blue-green colors in order to lure fish and other prey into its mouth. It also has a short body and appears to swim very slowly in a magnificent sort of manner.

The MBARI researchers captured the female angler or black seadevil, but expresses concern that they do not know how long it might survive in captivity. The marine scientists believe that male black seadevils live for a shorter space of time than their female counterparts, and it appears the male animal only attaches itself to the female angler as a sort of parasite – beyond which it seems to have no other reason for existence.

A deep-sea anglerfish expert, Ted Pietsche, and a University of Washington professor states that “If they don’t find a female, they drown. They’re not even properly equipped to eat.”

This is one mysterious animal of the deep, deep ocean that continues to awe marine scientists, and to some extent they appear to be some form of endangered species given the fact that only three have been sighted by the MBARI researchers within 25 years of combing deep sea levels.

Black Seadevil captured in trending video 2,000 feet in ocean depths

Coming across the female angler fish, better known as, Black Seadevil, in the dark depths is not what many underwater researchers have ever witnessed, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) researchers have only come across three within 25 years of researching underwater canyon off the California coast.

The female angler fish is a freakishly ugly and scary little marine animal, hence its given name Black seadevil. Inhabiting almost 2,000 feet below the surface in Monterey Canyon, the Black seadevil is a denizen of the deep that inspires fear and awe at the same time. But Bruce Robison, a senior scientist at MBARI states that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think it’s beautiful. It’s perfectly adapted to the habitat that it lives in and the kind of life it leads.”

The female angler dwells in sea depths with little to no light, and it lives almost in perpetual darkness at such depths. But then, it is equipped with a bioluminescent fishing pole that lures food into its wide, cavernous, and jagged-toothed mouth. A marine biologist at MBARI, Steve Haddock, states that “when you see one, they really are more bizarre than science fiction could come up with,” and this is largely because the blinking blue and green lights of the Black seadevil gives it an appearance that is more like a spaceship than an animal.

At the depths of pitch darkness where such sea creatures live, they have a way of developing bioluminescent lights of their own, and in the case of the hideous female angler, it is the blue-green light that produces long wavelength colors in water.

The researchers at MBARI were able to capture a video of this rare creature using remotely operated vehicles, called the Doc Ricketts, operated from aboard a MBARI vessel known as the R/V Western Flyer – an oceanographic research vessel designed and constructed for this kind of service.

21 EU countries pledge $9.3 billion to combat global warming in poorer nations

Over 30 countries attended a meeting in Berlin to discuss global warming and how to help out poor countries at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and 21 out of the countries pledged to give a total of $9.3 billion to help poor island nations and impoverished African nations deal with issues of global warming.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is domiciled in South Korea and is a EU climatic and ecological fund put up to assist developing countries invest in clean energy and green technology. To this end, the fund will also be used to build defenses against rising seas, worsening storms, natural floods, and harsh droughts. And it will also be used to fund solar and wind farm projects in growing countries, as well as plant trees and deal with disaster-proofing infrastructure.

Analysts have stated that this pledged donation is “the largest amount the international community has ever mobilised for a dedicated climate finance mechanism,” although a few divergent views still remain that the raised amount is still low. For instance, Oxfam, an aid agency says the pledged amount is a bare minimum in comparison to the expected $10-$15, while Alison Woodhead, the agency’s executive says “financial support from developed countries should be a building block for a global climate agreement, not a stumbling block.  Many developed countries have stepped up to give the Green Climate Fund a chance to get on its feet, but more is needed for it to succeed.”

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the pledges “demonstrate that governments increasingly understand both the benefits derived from climate action and the growing risks of delay. It also provides much needed public finance which is key to unlocking investments at a much larger scale from private sources.”

The United States pledged $3 billion; Japan $1.5 billion; Germany $1 billion; France $1 billion; Britain over $1.1 billion; Sweden $500 million; Canada $265 million; and Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, and Switzerland made respective pledges to the Green Climate Fund.

Experimental data confirms the existence of two new particles at CERN

Scientists at the CERN particle collider near Geneva have discovered two new particles that offer insight into the composition of our universe, and this appears to be the next big thing after the Higgs Boson confirmation in 2013. Scientists only had mathematical proofs that these particles existed, but now they can confirm that they actually do exist – being part of the baryon family.

Researchers now have evidence that the two subatomic particles exist, and its discovery is creating some sort of excitement among particle physicists at CERN and everywhere else. It provides clues and guidance on how the universe operates at a micro level.

The Large Hadron Collider is a machine that smashes particles, and it is located 100 meters below the border of France and Switzerland. Dr. Bruce Yabsley, a particle physicist at the University of Sidney in Australia has witnessed the machine operating up close, and he advises that it is really not too healthy staying up close when the machine is turned on – simply because spent particles that are thrown off when it is working can be quite hazardous. “They produce some short-lived radiation that rattles around in the tunnel, and that’s not healthy for you if you’re standing there,” he said.

While speaking about the Collider machine, Dr. Yabsley says that even though the two newly discovered particles might not be as groundbreaking as the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle in 2012, the confirmation of the particles is still a big deal. This will widen scientists’ scope at better understanding our world and making projections into the unknown.

Secret Russian orbital spacecrafts sparke security concerns

Two secret Russian spacecrafts orbiting the Earth continue to be a source of security concerns to people in the West and the world in general, and the reason is not far-fetched: no one knows whether the orbital spacecrafts are spy-sats, weaponized machinery, or a plain communication infrastructure.

Variously called the Kosmos 2499, Object 2014-28E, and the NORAD 39765, the spacecrafts have been in orbit for quite some time, and they way they were launched into space attracts some suspicions as to their various purposes. The first one was launched December 2013 when a Rockot booster carrying three new sats was dispatched to replenish the Rodnik communications satellite constellations: the secret spacecraft was launched into space under the guise of the aforementioned operations.

The second secret spacecraft took off in May 2014 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome after another Rockot booster went off into space with three military satellites – the fourth object happened to be the said robot.

A research director at think-tank Chatham House and an expert in space security, Patricia Lewis believes that “whatever it is, [Object 2014-28E] looks experimental. It could have a number of functions, some civilian and some military. One possibility is for some kind of grabber bar. Another would be kinetic pellets which shoot out at another satellite. Or possibly there could be a satellite-to-satellite cyber attack or jamming.”

But in the light of the Cold War, no one wants to take any chances with silent Moscow. And no one wants a weaponized anti-satellite robot that could shoot down other sats right out of the sky, or a space war machine that is capable of shooting holes across nations at the touch of a button in some remote control cabin. It could also be some sort of experimental craft, but whatever the case, why aren’t the Russians saying anything?

Comet lander’s team will meet and publish report findings on Monday

The European Space Agency’s authorities will be having a crucial meeting on Monday where data sent back by the lander Philae will be analyzed for discussions before the final findings are published for public consumption. The German aeronautics and space research center revealed this recently when the teams were ready to go forward on the results of the scientific data downloaded from Philae on comet 67P.

Before going totally silent in its present idle mode, due to its inability to recharge its solar battery panels from direct sunlight, the comet lander had transmitted back some very important scientific data to Earth, and ESA scientists as well as people all over the world are eager to know what the data contains and how it adds value to our understanding of the Earth or our solar system.

According to a spokesman, Andreas Schuetz, the research center will publish the scientists total findings after they rise from their meeting on Monday, where they will have discussed a data analyses of what information the Philae transmitted.

The Philae had taken and sent back photo images of the comet, and it had also been commanded to drill a 10-inch hole into the ground of comet’s surface and excavate some soil samples for analysis in its onboard laboratory. Scientists are eager to know the analysis of the lab-tested comet’s soil samples and see how this affects organic matter and water back on Earth.

The layers of materials under comet’s soil have remained unchanged and intact for 4.5 billion years, and its samples would be a time capsule that researchers would like to study. The comet had been instructed to move its position by 1.5 inches and rotate to about 35 degrees in order to achieve direct sunlight upon its solar batteries, but it did not complete the performance before its batteries went down and it slipped into an idle sleep mode.

Images Sent By The Comet Lander Philae Are To Be Released

As stated by the German aeronautics and space research centre, the latest and in fact, the last images that could be sent by Philae to the research center will be disclosed to the world for a glance. However, soon after sending the images, the batteries of Philae went dead and hence, no more images are received from it.

It is going to be a discussion session between the scientists on Monday morning regarding the data analysis and evaluation of the images and immediately after that, the findings and evaluations are to be released for a public view; as it stated by the spokesman Andreas Schuetz to The Associated Press.

Philae landed on the surface of the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on last Wednesday only and since then it had been sending much useful data and images of the comet including some scientific tests as well. After its landing, the lander made changes in its existence as well by lifting itself about 4 centimeters and rotating about 35 degrees on Friday. The change in its existence of the comet was made in order to keep the solar panels away from the shadow and charge the depleted batteries.

However, although the data and images are being sent and received by the research center, but still the usefulness of the data were not known to the scientists. Hence, the ESA’s team of scientists is evaluating the data to find the worth of the data and the success of the mission. It is worth-mentioning here that on the command of the Space Research Center, Philae drilled a 25-centimetre hole into the comet and pull out a sample for analysis. As the materials beneath the surface of the comet has been in the same state for 4.5 billion years, the sample collected by the Philae will surely provide enough of useful information to the scientists. Perhaps, this turns out to be a revolutionary finding in the search of organic matter and water in the comet.

Philae goes in idle mode due to battery power loss

The initial fears of scientists controlling the comet-lander Philae have been confirmed: the robotic probe has gone into “idle mode” due to its inability to receive direct sunlight to recharge its solar battery panels. And it could potentially remain in the sleep mode for as long as August 2015, when the orbit of the comet will have allowed it to move closer to the sun at an angle that will provide direct sunlight to the Philae’s solar panels.

Although European Space Agency’s researchers were initially skeptical about the potential of the Philae to land safely on the surface of comet 67P without tumbling over or landing in a steep ravine, they were most relieved when the robot bounced twice and then landed upright on its feet – but their spirits were dampened when it became evident that the lander had landed in the shadows of a cliff where direct sunlight was uncertain, and that the battery of the probe was running out due to lack of solar power.

Before finally falling into sleep mode – awaiting an auspicious moment when the comet will orbit the sun and cast direct sunlight to charge its solar batteries – the Philae had sent down a few scientific data and photo images that were publicized by the ESA team. The handlers are glad that the probe was able to get to some work done and transmit salient data through radio downlink before its batteries went flat.

The controllers managed to command the probe to shift positions from the cliff shadows and reorietate it toward direct sunlight, but it appears the solar batteries went dead before the lander could accomplish the positioning commands. According to Paolo Ferri, the ESA’s head of mission operations, “we don’t know if the charge will ever be high enough to operate the lander again.”

This opinion remains a bad news for many despite the fact that the probe is said to have sent about 80% of its required data back to Earth. Meanwhile, $1.62 billion has been spent on the Rosetta mission in order to understudy celestial bodies and understand how life began on Earth, but all hope is not completely lost, the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko takes 6.6 years to orbit the sun, and the comet lander might come alive once more.

Another Victory in Space Adventure- Landing of a Robot on a Comet

The countdown for another landmark in science and space adventure has already begun with a robot made by the European Space Agency about to land on a comet. Unbelievable but this is what is going to happen with science and technology rapidly developing and erecting new milestones one after another.

As already known to many, the name of the robot is Rosetta which had put ion trailing the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko months ago and finally that day has come when this unmanned robot is to land on the ground of the comet to lighten many dark secrets of the comet. As Rosetta was on a mission of stocking the comet for unveiling more of the news on the comet like its origin and all, it is hoped that the mission is on the verge of being fully accomplished by the scientists of European Space Agency.

However, it is only on early Wednesday, when the final decisions of the mission, i.e., whether to command Rosetta release its sidekick, Philae, or not will be taken. The decision will be taken by the scientists at the mission control center in Darmstadt, Germany.

Stating the policy of landing the robot, it is said that it will land in an uncontrolled manner down to the 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) wide comet and in order to prevent the chances of being bounced off, the craft will immediately shoot harpoons into the comet’s icy surface. The weight of the landing craft is 100-kilogram (220-pound).

Award Show Celebrating Scientists Dazzled with Celebrities on Sunday

An award show held to honor and celebrate the scientists on Sunday in California showed up great success and bestowed some huge prize money to successful scientists. Other than the huge cash prize, the attendance of famous figures like the Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google co-founder Sergey Brin was also another attraction of the night.

The total cash prize of the award ceremony was $36m (£23m) with each or group of winners gifted with $3m (£1.9m). The remarkable thing is that this cash amount is more than any amount provided in any prize and is even more than the Nobel Prize amount.

In other words, the award night showed up an intermingling of the best people from the worlds of technology and science! There were three categories of awards, including mathematics, life sciences and fundamental physics. The winners in the Fundamental physics are Brian Schmidt, Adam Riess, and Saul Perlmutter. This team had also won the 2011 Nobel prize in physics for the same work. The Life sciences winner is Alim-Louis Benabid, a French neurosurgeon, who have won the award for his pioneering work on deep brain stimulation and the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. The awarded mathematicians are Terence Tao, Jacob Lurie, Richard Taylor, Maxim Kontsevich and Simon Donaldson.

Prof Saul Perlmutter speaking about receiving the award, said, “What’s wonderful this time is that it gets spread among the entire research group that was able to work on this project, and that’s very unusual for a prize, it’s very rare that you really recognise that science nowadays isn’t the lone scientist in the white coat going off into a lab by himself, it’s really this very social activity.”

The awards night was hosted by the creator of Family Guy Seth MacFarlane and some other Hollywood personalities too could be spotted in the ceremony. The name of the celebrities includes Benedict Cumberbatch, who played the role of the mathematician Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, Eddie Redmayne who played Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, actress Cameron Diaz and space entrepreneur Elon Musk.

Mark Zuckerberg said: “The world faces many fundamental challenges today, and there are many amazing scientists, researchers and engineers helping us solve them. This year’s Breakthrough Prize winners have made discoveries that will help cure disease and move the world forward. They deserve to be recognised as heroes.”

Image of Planet Formation Captured Which was Least Expected by Scientists

By using the Atacama Millimeter/submillimeter Array’s (ALMA) new most powerful mode, astronomers have been able to capture some of the rare and surprising activity taking place in the space which was beyond the expectation of the scientists. It is the image of the formation of a new planet around the youthful star HL Tauri and the process of the planet formation is so swift and clear through the image that scientists have remained surprised to view such a change!

Catherine Vlahakis, ALMA deputy programme scientist said, “When we first saw this image we were astounded at the spectacular level of detail. HL Tauri has been no more than a million years old, yet already its disc appears to be full of forming planets. This one image alone will revolutionize theories of planet formation.”

According to the image of the planet formation process, a a disc of material left over from star birth can be identified swirling around the star in concentric circles. However, there are gaps between the materials. Astronomers have been able to shoot such a sharp and clear image of the star and the planet birth due to its international collaboration only.

As stated by the ALMA deputy director, Stuart Corder, “These features are almost certainly the result of young planet-like bodies that are being formed on the disc. This is surprising since such young stars are not expected to have large planetary bodies capable of producing the structures we see in this image.”

In context to the formation of the new planet, it is also essential to mention what the HL Tauri is. It is a Sunlike-star which is based around 450 million light years from Earth in the constellation Taurus. This star appears to possess much more developed disc than what was expected by the researchers. So, now with this incident, one thing is proven that a planet can be formed aster than what the scientist speculate.

Researchers Observing King Penguins Using a Tiny Rover

In a novel attempt to monitor the king penguins and observe the change in their behaviors, a team of scientists has opted to leave a tiny rover dressed as a penguin chick between them. The results of the study are hoped to be true and natural with the penguins “acting naturally” while remaining ignorant about any study of them.

A report of the approach has been published in Nature Methods journal according to which an international team has taken up the job of monitoring some 34 king penguins that resides in Adelie Land, Antarctica. Their attempt is to monitor whether there is any change in the heart rate of the penguins whenever they gets excited about seeing other moving beings like human or robot. These robots are being monitored using an RFID antenna that can be read within 23 inches.

What the scientists have opted for in order to observe the king penguins is that they have designed and dressed up a tiny rover as a penguin chick and left it to roam along the penguins. The four-wheeled rover was released close to the nest of the incubating penguins where the males incubate eggs atop their toes. At first, the rover was being prevented from entering into the place as the penguins pecked and squawked at the rover. But later on, they permitted it to get in close to them and it could detect their heart monitors.

According to the results of this study, on approaching human, the heart rate of the penguins increases by an average of 35 beats per minute. On the contrary, when a rover approaches them, their heart rate is around 24 beats per minute. When the penguins see or approach human, they move around 17 inches and in the presence of the rover, they moved just 3.1 inches.

The scientist performed the same study on the emperor penguins by disguising the rover as a penguin chick. In this case, the natural looking penguin chick looked more like one among the penguins and rather than exciting the penguins, it even drew some of them towards it in natural huddling behavior.

Richard Branson Still Determined To Go To Space and Also Carry his Family Along

The mission of the Virgin’s SpaceShipTwo failed and the spaceship met a wreckage, but despite all that, the resolute businessman, Richard Branson is still aiming at launching his own commercial flight to the space one day.

Branson, although seen a little disturbed and strained after the Virgin’s SpaceShipTwo accident, did not step back or thought for a second time while announcing it live on TV that he still intends to pursue his dream. His dream, not something very ordinary or underestimating, is to start commercial flights to space and also stated that he and his family would be the first to travel with it before taking the risk of carrying other passengers.

While giving an interview to the Sky News, Branson said, “We will not start taking people until we’ve finished a whole massive series of test flights and until myself and my family have gone up, and until we feel that we can safely say to people ‘we’re ready to go. We must push on. There are incredible things that can happen through mankind being able to explore space properly.”

Branson, while speaking to different world media houses, like NBC, Bloomberg and the BBC, conveyed the same message and the same determination of doing something new and creative.

However, it is the same Branson, who had a different opinion when the Virgin Galactic wrecked. At that moment, for him it was not appropriate to “push blindly on” the project and seemed as if the space tourism project would be abandoned shortly. But now the scenario is a complete reversal.

NASA’s Orion mars-bound spacecraft is ready for test flight

Spaceship Orion gets its final touches by NASA engineers and specialists on Thursday. The spaceship has been engineered to transport the cosmonauts into deep space has been recognized as the ‘first one’ to take humans past the moon.

With the completion of the Orion on Thursday, it is anticipated that the spaceship will be able to carry spacepersons to an asteroid and Mars. Perhaps, the first flight test is scheduled to take place on December 4 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

However, the detail about the final work done on Orion was not specified by NASA.
Orion was installed with a tetrad fairing by NASA technicians past few weeks – panels fabricated to streamline the air passage over the pyramid-shaped spaceship to restrict sound and vibration, lending astronauts and cosmonauts a hassle-free ride. And at the starting of this month, the center introduced the spaceship’s Launch Abort System, crafted to respond within milliseconds to pull the spaceship and its team away from a vessel in problem.

Orion will be shifted from its present location at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Miami to a launch pad in the month of November. Afterwards, it will be ascended onto a Delta IV Heavy rocket so as to prepare it for its primary flight test.

The very-first flight test will release Orion without an astronauts’ team aboard, 3,600 miles beyond Earth on high-pace, a dual-orbit journey focused on testing the spaceship’s heat shield and other connected processes.

The four-and-a-half hour flight test will consist of the spaceship coming back to Earth at a speed of 20,000 miles per hour and producing temperature of about 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
The spaceship, Orion is anticipated to make a quicker re-entry than any preceding NASA vessel capable of accommodating humans.

Bill Hill, who is working as a deputy associate administrator at the department of Exploration Systems Development said, “This is just the first of what will be a long line of exploration missions beyond low Earth orbit, and in a few years we will be sending our astronauts to destinations humans have never experienced”. He added, “It’s thrilling to be a part of the journey now, at the beginning.”

Orion is expected to make its pioneer flight with cosmonauts aboard in the year 2021.

Traces of Ancient Human Habitation Spotted In the Peruvian Andes

Researchers during a survey of the Peruvian Andes have been able to find traces of human habitation that existed some 12000 years back. The type of the ancient people living in the Andes is assumed to be tribes dwelling on hunting and natural resources at a place that is about 14,700 feet above sea level.

The surprising factor creating such great interest and attention is that the habitation of the ancient people is the highest of any human habitation found till date. The height of the place can be compared with the Matterhorn and I even much higher than Machu Picchu. The tools and artifacts that they used now indicates that the hunt gatherers lived in the Andes for about 1000 years in spite of the cold nights and the scorching sunny days felt in that height.

Rademaker, a researcher at the University of Tuebingen in Germany and a visiting assistant professor at the University of Maine in Orono and the author of the report, says, “I can’t say why people first went there. But once they did go there, there were plenty of reasons to stay.”

The ancient people, according to the findings of the research, used to make their living by hunting the plentiful deer and wild ancestors of llamas and alpacas and reared the skin of the animals for their clothing. As far as there are doubts about them finding proper vegetation for food as the plants weren’t edible, these worked well as fire woods.

However, also expressing his doubts about those people staying in that great height during the rainy seasons of December to March, Rademaker said, “You’re cold. You’re being rained on and snowed on and sleeted on all day long. It makes for misery.”

The South American Goliath Birdeater (Theraphosa blondi) Spider is World’s Largest

It was then when entomologist and photographer at Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, Piotr Naskrecki was taking a nighttime walk in a rainforest in Guyana and he suddenly got to come in terms with a spider. The special thing about this little incident being a matter of concern is that the spider her countered is not any normal spider, but a giant one whose size can be compared to even a small puppy!

As mentioned in the Guinness World Records, the South American Goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi) is the world’s largest spider and its legs are long enough to even make it cover a stretch of a foot (30 centimeters) just in one lap. It can weigh more than 6 oz. which is almost about that of a young puppy.

Speaking about size of the spider, Naskrecki said, “Its feet have hardened tips and claws that produce a very distinct, clicking sound, not unlike that of a horse’s hooves hitting the ground, but “not as loud.”

The Goliath Birdeater spider has a cloud of hairs with microscopic barbs on them which it can send out on animals and other living being approaching it. On being touched by these prickly hairs in the eyes or other mucous membranes, one can suffer from “extremely painful and itchy” troubles for days.

Other than these prickly hairs, the birdeater spider also has a pair of 2-inch-long fangs. On being bitten by it, one can have extreme pains which can be “like driving a nail through your hand,” as said by Naskrecki but they are not deadly to humans.

As a third defense weapon the spider has hairy sleeve which has tiny hooks and barbs. These hooks make a hissing sound when they rub against each other and Naskrecki said it sounds like, “sort of like pulling Velcro apart”. But in spite of all these defense systems of the spider, it has no threat to humans.

Saturn’s Moon Mimas May Have a Liquid Ocean Inside

Scientists, after careful observation and much speculation of Saturn’s moon Mimas, have come to this conclusion that the wobbling content inside the planet is either a core shaped like a football or a liquid ocean.

The report of this study, as published on this Friday in Science journal, has stated the views of the researchers. On examining the movement of Mimas through the images captured by NASA’s Cassini satellite, the scientists could see the existence of a wobbling material inside the planet.

Radwan Tajeddine, Cornell University astrophysicist and lead author of the study, while speaking to Popular Mechanics, said, “It’s a bit like how you can figure out if an egg is hardboiled or raw just by spinning it. By watching the rotation, you can gain information on what’s inside.”

According to the scientists, the existence of either of the substances inside the wobbling planet will be good news for them. If it is a core then it may be a sort of fossilized remnant of the planet’s original shape, i.e., oblong with the outer layers surrounding it over the past 4 billion years or so. Speaking about the other speculation, it may be a liquid ocean based in some 15 miles under the surface. Although things are not yet clear but it will be amazing if it actually exists inside cold and barren Mimas.

There are contradictory points as well to prove the opinions of the scientists wrong. According to one such premise, Mimas is too cold to support liquid water inside it and there is lack of ice geysers in the planet. So, one cannot be so sure that the Mimas contains liquid ocean under its hard icy rocky surface.

The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle to Land after 22 Months in Orbit

As stated by the U.S. Air Force, its unmanned X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle which had been constantly flying in space for the last 22 months is finally set to land at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Calif. The plane was on a mission to gather data on the space and this is the third and longest duration orbital mission.

Previously, the plane was built at Boeing’s Phantom Works and started its life at NASA circa 1999. But the project on being transferred to the Air Force later on, it made its first fly in April 2010. At present there are at least two such vehicles with the Air Force.

The special characteristics of the vehicle make it stand apart from the normal planes. It can work as a space bomber. But as stated by the University of Maryland professor Mark Lewis, an ex- chief scientist of the Air Force, the X-37B will need an impractical amount of force to release bombs on Earthly targets. He said, “If I can’t get my alleged bomber to the right location to release its bomb, what good is it?”

Another feature of the vehicle is its troop transporting capacity. As explained by the Popular Science, “It might ferry future troops into battle, taking them very high and then sending them back to Earth very fast. The fast transport mission doesn’t match the most striking feature of the X-37B’s performance, however, which is just how long it can stay in space. The space plane’s first major trip into orbit lasted for seven months, and the plane’s second kept it in space for 15 months. When it returns to Earth today … it will have been 22 months since it left earth in December 2012.”

The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle is an anti-satellite weapon too. Regarding its chances of being a spy plane, it was published in The New York Times in 2010 that there were “clues that suggest the military craft is engaged in the development of spy satellites rather than space weapons, which some experts have suspected but the Pentagon strongly denies.”