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Chicken drinks pint of Guinness in Irish pub as blokes cheer on

Animal rights activists are furious after a chicken with a taste for Guinness was filmed enjoying a pint of the black stuff on a pub bar in Ireland.

The Dublin Society for Prevention for Cruelty to Animals has since condemned footage in which a group of men can be heard egging the chicken on as it dunked its beak in the pint.

The DSPCA were unable to verify precisely where the incident occurred, saying: "If anyone knows where this chicken is or has any information regarding its whereabouts we'd ask them to contact the DSPCA."

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The bizarre video of the cockerel known as 'Seamus' has been watched more than 300,000 times on Facebook .

Gillian Bird, a spokeswoman for the DSPCA, said "It's not something we would approve of. Alcohol shouldn't be fed to any sort of animal.

Speaking to the Irish Mirror, she said: “Any animal being treated this way is disrespectful to it. Alcohol is a toxin and shouldn't be given to an animal.”

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The video begins with a group of men surrounding the animal as it stands above a full pint of stout.

The man filming the animal then says: "Go on ya boyo, put your head in the pint!

"We're after spending 4.30 (euro) on that pint. Drink up.

"He'll fight like f*** after he gets this won't he?"

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The bird then sticks his head into the glass for a drink as onlookers laugh and cheer.

The cockerel continues to neck his pint as fellow drinkers laugh and cheer.

Vets advise that alcohol should never be given birds, or indeed any animals, as it can be fatal.

It’s not unknown for wild birds to get tipsy through naturally-fermenting fruit and opium farmers in India have reported that drug-addicted parrots have devastated their crops, making it difficult to reach their quotas.

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Zombie warning: Scientist reveals zombification is REAL – and YOU could be infected

There are already a countless number of parasites which have the ability to ‘zombify’ their host. Theoretical evolutionary biologist Athena Aktipis of Arizona State University, who runs the ‘Zombified’ podcast, said these parasites can control their hosts to essentially do whatever they want. Prof Aktipis said: “If you actually look at the proportion of species overall that are parasitic in one way or another, more than half of the species that we know on Earth are parasites.”

One such example is the Ophiocordyceps fungus, which effects the carpenter ant.

Once the fungus is inside the ant, it takes over the body forcing the ant to leave its colony.

When the ant is where the fungus wants it to be, the ant bites down on the surface until it gets lock jaw.

Then the fungus grows from the ant’s head and releases spores, completing its life cycle.

Charissa de Bekker, an assistant professor of biology at the University of Central Florida, said: “We’re totally convinced that the behaviours that the ant show are all to benefit the fungus.”

And the researchers said that a similar phenomenon is also infecting humans.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 40 million Americans carry a single-cell parasite called toxoplasma gondii.

Research has shown that the parasite can infect rats to make them attracted to cats’ urine.

Once the rats get close, the cat eats them and then as humans interact with cats, such as cleaning their litter tray, the parasite can then infect a person.

Prof Aktipis said the parasite “somehow evolved to make a rat get turned on by the smell of cat urine, so it goes up to a cat and snuggles with it, and then it gets eaten which completes the life cycle of the toxoplasma”.

He asked: “If that’s not zombification, then what is?”

Previous research from 2016 discovered road rage and other inexplicable extreme bursts of anger may be caused toxoplasma gondii.

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Researchers from the University of Chicago said that people who have been exposed to the parasite are more than twice as likely to have short bursts of anger and increased aggression.

The parasite, which burrows into brain tissue, is fairly common, with about 30 percent of all humans carrying it but it is typically harmless.

However, the study found that it may be leading to heightened anger in short bursts, such as road rage.

Dr Emil Coccaro, lead author of the study, said: “Our work suggests that latent infection with the toxoplasma gondii parasite may change brain chemistry in a fashion that increases the risk of aggressive behaviour.

“However, we do not know if this relationship is causal, and not everyone that tests positive for toxoplasmosis will have aggression issues.”

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Science news: Strange new particle ‘alters future of universe moment by moment’

Scientists know the universe is expanding and that it has been doing so since the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago. But there are several knowns and unknowns regarding the universe’s expansion. Perhaps the key unknown is what exactly the universe is expanding into – the observable universe is the part of the cosmos which experts are able to see, an area with a diameter of approximately 93 billion light-years.

Beyond that, scientists have no idea. Another seemingly intractable question is that depending on your perspective on the universe, everything else seems to be moving away from you.

Here on Earth, it looks as if all the other galaxies are moving away from us as if we are the centre of the universe.

However, if you were on a planet in the Andromeda galaxy – the Milky Way’s much larger next door neighbour –it would seem that everything is moving away from you, and that would be the centre of the universe, to you at least.

This expansion is linked to something known – or indeed not known – as dark energy.

What exactly dark energy is has kept scientists stumped since it was theorised in 1980 as a sort of anti-gravity, pushing galaxies farther and farther away from each other.

Why this is, no one knows, and why scientists cannot agree on the pace of the expansion also remains a mystery.

However, one physicist has suggested that an undiscovered particle which is “lurking” in the background could be the cause of the ever changing pace of the universe’s expansion, and it has been there since the dawn of time.

Theoretical physicist Massimo Cerdonio at the University of Padova believes these particles are axions – particles which are about 500 million times lighter than electrons.

The particles seem to exist in a quantum field which is somehow responsible for the changes in dark energy.

Mr Cerdonio argues that the particle is already out there, and while it has never been detected, it is a boson particle – an entity which interacts with the forces out there.

By this definition, Mr Cerdonio’s particle is out there, interacting with dark energy in different parts of the universe and altering the cosmos’ expansion, according to his research published in the online journal arXiv.

This means the face of the universe is constantly changing – and ultimately the future of it too.

The expansion of the universe will ultimately lead to its demise. Thanks to the presence of dark energy, the Universe will continue to expand until matter and energy are evenly spread throughout, causing the temperature to cool to absolute zero.

What happens then is still a bit of a mystery, but scientists tend to opt for the Big Rip theory.

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As previously stated, the cosmos has been constantly expanding since the dawn of time and once there is absolutely nothing left and as dark energy overtakes the effects of gravity, the universe to expand at a quicker and quicker rate, until its pace reaches the speed of light.

Entropy, which essentially dictates the order of molecules making up the universe, stops as there is nothing left to play with.

However if it is the case that the end is nearer, it still will not happen for trillions of years.

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Space company to launch ‘shooting-star satellite’ to create artificial meteor showers

Rocket Lab’s Electron will launch seven satellites on this flight, including the Japanese shooting-star satellite ALE-2. The cubic craft was built by Tokyo-based company Astro Live Experiences as part of its Sky Canvas project.

ALE-2 is 24in square, weighs 165lbs and is packed with 400 0.4in spheres built to burn up high in Earth’s atmosphere, creating a stunning shooting star spectacle.

With this launch, we are a step closer to realising the man-made shooting star

Astro Live Experiences CEO Lena Okajima

Astro Live Experiences CEO Lena Okajima wrote in a statement: “With this launch, we are a step closer to realising the man-made shooting star.

“Please look forward to the world’s first demonstration we are aiming for in 2020, which will be a major milestone for ALE.”

The Japanese company’s first satellite, ALE-1, launched in January aboard an Epsilon rocket.

The craft is also scheduled to deploy its cutting-edge sky pellets again in 2020, after some on-orbit tests.

The artificial meteors will travel more slowly through Earth’s sky than real ones and will thus remain visible longer — three to 10 seconds, ALE scientists revealed.

Real meteors enter our atmosphere at speeds ranging from 25,000mph (40,233kmh) to 160,000mph (25,7495kmh)

The pellets are designed to completely incinerate between 37 and 50 miles (60 to 80km) over Earth, meaning they will pose no threat to people on the ground or planes in the air.

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ALE envisions creating artificial showers for global events, such as the opening ceremony of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

The synthetic shooting stars will be seen across a 125 mile-wide (200km) area.

Rocket Lab’s 10th launch, dubbed Running Out of Fingers and sixth of this year alone.

The space company plans to ramp-up its operation considerably, eventually launching Electron rockets every week, or even faster.

Rocket Lab consequently wishes to start recovering and reusing the first stage of the two-stage, 57ft-tall (17m) Electron, a craft capable of ferrying up to 500lbs of cargo into orbit.

The other six satellites launching on the Electron later this month including ATL-1, a Hungarian craft testing a new thermal isolation material.

Accompanying that is FossaSat-1, a Spanish communications satellite small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.

NOOR 1A and NOOR 1B are additional communication satellites operated by the Stara Space.

SMOG-P is a payload designed by students at Hungary’s Budapest University of Technology and Economics to measure electromagnetic pollution.

And TRSI Sat, operated by ACME AtronOmatic will provide flight-tracking services to the aviation community.

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Artificial intelligence warning: AI deemed ’too dangerous’ released into the world

Experts at the Elon Musk-founded OpenAI feared the AI, dubbed “GPT-2”, was so powerful it could be maliciously misused by everyone from corrupt politicians to criminals. GPT-2 was designed to accurately predict the succeeding words when fed a piece of text.

By doing so, the artificial intelligence can create long strings of writing eerily indistinguishable from copy created by a human.

Due to our concerns about malicious applications of the technology, we are not releasing the trained model

OpenAI

But it soon became clear the AI was too good at its job.

GPT-2 is so powerful the machine learning could be used to scam civilians and undermine trust in anything you read.

In addition, the artificial intelligence can be abused by extremist groups to create “synthetic propaganda”.

This will allow people to automatically generate articles promoting racist propaganda or adverts promoting religious violence.

OpenAI wrote in a statement in February: “Due to our concerns about malicious applications of the technology, we are not releasing the trained model.

“As an experiment in responsible disclosure, we are instead releasing a much smaller model for researchers to experiment with, as well as a technical paper.”

At that time, the organisation released only a scaled-back version of the AI tool, featuring 124 million parameters.

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Due to our concerns about malicious applications of the technology, we are not releasing the trained model

OpenAI

But OpenAI has since released increasingly complex versions and has now made the full version available.

The full version is more convincing than the early incarnation of the AI.

The relatively “marginal” increase in credibility is what encouraged the researchers to make it available, OpenAI announced.

The company, which is no longer associated with SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, hopes the release can partly help the public understand how such a tool could be misused.

OpenAI believe GPT-2 will help inform debate among AI experts about how to mitigate such danger.

Scientists warned in February how malicious people could misuse the programme in numerous ways.

The outputted text could create misleading news articles, impersonate other people, automatically create abusive or fake content for social media.

They noted there were likely a variety of other uses not even have been imagined yet.

Such misuses would require the public to become more critical about the text they consume, which could have been generated by artificial intelligence, they said.

The researcher wrote: ”These findings, combined with earlier results on synthetic imagery, audio, and video, imply that technologies are reducing the cost of generating fake content and waging disinformation campaigns.

“The public at large will need to become more skeptical of text they find online, just as the ‘deep fakes’ phenomenon calls for more skepticism about images.”

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NASA satellite photo: World’s thickest glacier is melting 80 YEARS ahead of schedule

Dramatic new NASA images illustrate how Alaska’s Taku Glacier is retreating for the first time in more than 70 years. Scientists had predicted the alpine glacier would one-day retreat but the extent of the accelerating shrinkage is 80 years ahead of schedule.

Professor Dr Mauri Pelto, the director of the North Cascades Glacier Climate Project, has been studying Taku for 30 years and believed the glacier would continue to grow over the rest of the century, as the ice expanded by 1ft (30cm) per year from 1946 through 1988.

I don’t think most of us thought Taku was going to retreat so quickly

Professor Dr Pelto

However, the thickening slowed in 1989 and expansion ceased from 2013 to 2018.

Taku last year began to show visible signs of retreating, which Professor Dr Pelto believes is a result of record summer temperatures in Alaska.

He said: “We thought the mass balance at Taku was so positive that it was going to be able to advance for the rest of the century.

“A lot of times, glaciers will stop advancing for quite a few years before retreats starts.

“I don’t think most of us thought Taku was going to retreat so quickly.”

The scientist has examined 250 massive glaciers around the world for more than three decades.

But Taku was the only glacier showing no signs of retreating.

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Professor Dr Pelto added: “This is a big deal for me because I had this one glacier I could hold on to.

“But not anymore. This makes the score climate change: 250 and alpine glaciers: 0.”

The expert uncovered the effects of climate change using images from NASA’s Earth observatory.

This allowed him to analyse changes in the transient snow line – the boundary where snow transitions to bare glacier ice.

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The snow line’s height represents the point where the glacier experienced an equal amount of melting and snow accumulation, by the end of the summer.

If a glacier experiences more melting than snow accumulation in a season, a glacier’s snow line migrates to higher altitudes.

Scientists can calculate net changes in glacier mass by tracking the shift of the snow line, which Professor Dr Pelto could see in the images.

Taku is the thickest glacier in the world, measuring 4,860ft from top to bottom, and is also the largest in the Juneau Ice Field.

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NASA telescope captures record-breaking thermonuclear X-ray flash: ’Burst was outstanding’

The explosion, classified as a Type I X-ray burst, released as much energy in 20 seconds as the Sun does in 10 days. The NASA telescope tech, based on the International Space Station (ISS), detected the sudden X-ray spike – the brightest ever detected by NICER and originating from an object named SAX J1808.4-3658 – on August 20.

Peter Bult, an astrophysicist at NASA, said: “This burst was outstanding.

This burst was outstanding

Astrophysicist Peter Bult

“We see a two-step change in brightness, which we think is caused by the ejection of separate layers from the pulsar surface, and other features that will help us decode the physics of these powerful events.”

The observations reveal many phenomena never before seen together in a single burst.

In addition, the resulting cosmic fireball briefly brightened again for reasons astronomers have yet to explain.

The detail NICER captured on this record-setting eruption will help astronomers add to their understanding of the physical processes driving the thermonuclear flare-ups of it and other bursting pulsars.

A pulsar is a kind of neutron star, the compact core left behind when a massive star runs out of fuel, collapses under its own weight, and explodes.

Pulsars can spin rapidly and host X-ray-emitting hot spots at their magnetic poles.

As the object spins, it sweeps the hot spots across our line of sight, producing regular pulses of high-energy radiation.

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 [ANALYSIS]

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J1808 is approximately 11,000 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius.

The star spins at an incredible 401 rotations every second and is one member of a binary system.

The pulsar’s companion is a brown dwarf, an object larger than a giant planet yet too small to be a star.

A continual stream of hydrogen gas flows from the companion toward the neutron star, accumulating in a vast storage structure called an accretion disk.

Gas in accretion disks does not easily move inward.

But every few years, the disks around pulsars such as J1808 become so dense that a large amount of the gas becomes ionised, or stripped of its electrons.

This makes it more difficult for light to move through the disk.

The trapped energy triggers a runaway process of heating and ionisation trapping even more energy.

The gas becomes increasingly resistant to flow and begins spiralling inward, ultimately falling onto the pulsar.

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NASA satellites show world's thickest glacier is melting

NASA satellites reveal the world’s thickest glacier is melting 80 YEARS ahead of schedule due to record high temperatures

  • Satellite images reveal the world’s thickest glacier, Taku, is losing mass due to record high temperatures
  • Expert thought it would continue to grow until the next century but expansion completely stopped in 2018
  • Taku glacier was the only one out of 250 of the largest in the world that were not effected by climate change

The world’s thickest glacier has succumb to the effects of climate change.

A set of images released by NASA‘s Earth observatory shows the Taku Glacier in Alaska is reseeding for the first time in over 70 years.

Researchers predicted that the alpine glacier would one-day retreat, but the decrease in mass is 80 years ahead of schedule.

Dr. Mauri Pelto, a professor of environmental science at Nichols College and the director of the North Cascades Glacier Climate Project, has been studying Taku for 30 years and believed it would continue to expand over the rest of the century, as it gained a mass of 1 feet per year from 1946 through 1988.

However, the thickening did slowing down in 1989 and expansion came to a complete halt from 2013 to 2018.

Last year, it began to show visible signs of retreating, which Pelto said is linked to the record summer temperatures in Alaska.

Scroll down for video 


A set of images released by NASA ‘s Earth observatory shows the Taku Glacier (left is 2014 before melting began) in Alaska is reseeding (right is current state of glacier) for the first time in over 70 years. Researchers predicted that the alpine glacier would one-day retreat, but the decrease in mass is 80 years ahead of schedule.

‘We thought the mass balance at Taku was so positive that it was going to be able to advance for the rest of the century,’ said Pelto.

‘A lot of times, glaciers will stop advancing for quite a few years before retreats starts.’

‘I don’t think most of us thought Taku was going to retreat so quickly.’

Pelto has been observing 250 massive glacier around the world for over three decades and Taku was the only one that hadn’t shown signs of retreating.

‘This is a big deal for me because I had this one glacier I could hold on to,’ Pelto said.

‘But not anymore. This makes the score climate change: 250 and alpine glaciers: 0.’

Pelto uncovered the effects of climate change using images from NASA’s Earth observatory, which allowed him to analyze changes in the transient snowline—the boundary where snow transitions to bare glacier ice.

A set of images released by NASA’s Earth observatory show the Taku Glacier that stands north of Juneau, Alaska

Taku is deemed the thickest glacier in the world measuring 4,860 feet from top to bottom and is also the largest in the Juneau Icefield.

At the end of the summer, the height of the snowline represents the point where the glacier experienced an equal amount of melting and snow accumulation. 

If a glacier experiences more melting than snow accumulation in a season, the glacier’s snowline migrates to higher altitudes. 

Researchers can calculate net changes in glacier mass by tracking the shift of the snow line, which Pelto was able to see in the images.

‘We thought the mass balance at Taku was so positive that it was going to be able to advance for the rest of the century,’ said Pelto.

‘A lot of times, glaciers will stop advancing for quite a few years before retreats starts.

‘I don’t think most of us thought Taku was going to retreat so quickly.’

Taku is deemed the thickest glacier in the world measuring 4,860 feet from top to bottom and is also the largest in the Juneau Icefield.

 

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Harley-Davidson offering first look at battery-powered e-BICYCLE

Harley-Davidson offers first look at its prototype of a battery-powered electric BICYCLE with pedal assist

  • Harley Davidson offered a glimpse of its e-bike prototypes 
  • The bikes will be ‘light, fast, and easy for anyone to ride’ says the company
  • They will also feature pedal-assist to help increase endurance
  • It’s unclear when they will be release or how much they cost 

Harley-Davidson has unveiled the first prototype of its anticipated line of e-bikes.

According to the transit blog, Electrek, the motorcycle-maker showcased the bikes as part of an exhibit at the 2019 Milan Motorcycle Show in Italy.

While the bikes were kept behind a glass barrier to avoid revealing too much, Electrek manged to confirm several key features. 

Among the specs are an automatic mid-drive motors, removable batteries, and hydraulic brakes. The bikes may also contain an LED headlight and brake light. 

While Harley hasn’t yet confirmed the price of the bikes, The Verge and Electrek note that many of its features are found in the pricier end of the e-bike spectrum where a single unit costs around $1,000. 

At an annual dealer’s meeting earlier this year, Electrek reported the first-ever renderings teasing the yet-to-be-released bikes.

The company will reportedly sell three different models, including two that require riders to step over a center piece and one with a dropped middle piece that is easier to mount.

Harley Davidson’s electric bicycles were officially unveiled earlier this year. While the models are still prototypes, Harley-Davidson intends to bring the bikes to market

‘Harley-Davidson’s first electric pedal-assist bicycles are light, fast, and easy for anyone to ride’ said the company in a statement.

‘Designed to shine in urban environments, this all-new line of eBicycles is just one more example of how Harley-Davidson’s More Roads initiative is actively working to inspire a new generation of two-wheeled riders around the world.’ 

‘Prototype model shown. Production model features will vary. Not yet available for sale. All future models shown may not be available in all markets,’ reads a disclaimer sent out with an image of the bikes. 

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT HARLEY-DAVIDSON’S ELECTRIC BIKE?

Harley-Davidson confirmed three prototypes of an electric bicycle that will be its first-ever such vehicle.

The bikes will will reportedly feature pedal-assist be ‘light, fast, and easy for anyone to ride.’

It’s unclear when they will be released or how much they will cost.

The bicycles will complement a full-fledged electric motorcycle set to be released by the company called LiveWire. 

While the bicycles are still very much in the pipeline, they mirror a concurrent effort by the company to make a name into more eco-friendly modes of transit.

One of Harley-Davidson’s most recent offerings is an electric motorcycle that the company calls LiveWire.

The bike was slated for relese this fall but delayed in October.  

In an email sent to dealers, the company announced it had found a ‘non-standard condition’ in its final quality checks but didn’t elaborate further.

The LiveWire was officially announced for commercial release last fall with a planned price of $29,799. 

Harley-Davidson’s foray into the world of electric bikes come as a time with ample competition from the likes of companies that include ride-sharing giants like Uber and Lyft.  

Lyft recently unveiled its line of dockless e-bikes in San Francisco that have features like ‘pedal-assist’ to help riders climb hills and allow them to park the cycles without travelling to a dock.

Coincidentally, or perhaps pointedly, where Uber is beginning to roll out its subscription service in San Francisco to begin with.

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NASA opens up moon samples that were locked away for over 40 YEARS

NASA opens up samples of moon rock and soil that have been locked away for 40 YEARS to gather information ahead of the Artemis mission in 2024

  • Rock and soil samples from the moon have been untouched since 1972
  • NASA opened one of the two samples on Nov. 5, the other will be opened in Jan.
  • Analysis will help experts practice techniques on samples with new technology 
  • NASA also hopes samples will show origins of lunar polar ice deposits

NASA has opened untouched rock and soil samples from the moon that were brought back by the Apollo 17 lunar mission in 1972.

The samples were collected by astronauts Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt, who drove a tube into the moon more than 40 years ago.

The analysis will help scientists practice techniques for when they study future samples collected on the Artemis missions.

The sample was opened on November 5th in the Lunar Curation Laboratory at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

The Apollo missions have brought back 842 pounds of rock and soil from the moon, most of which have been studied.

However, NASA has kept some untouched for when it would have more advanced technologies to use when studying them. 

NASA has opened untouched rock and soil samples from the moon that were brought back by the Apollo 17 lunar mission in 1972

Dr. Sarah Noble, ANGSA program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington, said, ‘We are able to make measurements today that were just not possible during the years of the Apollo program.’

‘The analysis of these samples will maximize the science return from Apollo, as well as enable a new generation of scientists and curators to refine their techniques and help prepare future explorers for lunar missions anticipated in the 2020s and beyond.’ 

The American agency has kept samples from the Apollo 15, 16 and 17 missions untouched – until this week.

Two of those samples, 73002 and 73001, were both collected on Apollo 17, will be studied as part of ANGSA. 

Advances in techniques such as non-destructive 3D imaging, mass spectrometry and ultra-high resolution microtomy will allow for a coordinated study ‘at an unprecedented scale’.

The samples were collected by astronauts Gene Cernan (pictured) and Jack Schmitt, who drove a tube into the moon more than 40 years ago

Sample 73002 has been fully opened and 73001 is set to be extruded in January 2020 -both were collected in a two-foot long tube from a landslide near Lara Crater on the moon.

Francis McCubbin, NASA’s astromaterials curator at Johnson, said, ‘Opening these samples now will enable new scientific discoveries about the Moon and will allow a new generation of scientists to refine their techniques to better study future samples returned by Artemis astronauts.’

‘Our scientific technologies have vastly improved in the past 50 years and scientists have an opportunity to analyze these samples in ways not previously possible.’

Researchers used X-ray technology to assist with the opening of 73002, as it allows them to ‘understand the sample’s structure before opening the container’, NASA explained in a statement.

‘It will also protect fragile soil components from damage during opening and processing, and provides detailed images of individual grains and smaller samples known as rocklets.’

Two of those samples, 73002 (above) and 73001 (below), were both collected on Apollo 17, will be studied as part of ANGSA

Special tools will then be used to remove the samples, all of which will be done in an enclosed glovebox filled with ultrapure dry Nitrogen so not to contaminate the samples.

Charis Krysher, the lunar sample processor who will be opening sample 73002, said ‘I grew up on the stories of Apollo, they inspired me to pursue a career in space and now I have an opportunity to contribute to the studies that are enabling the next missions to the Moon.’

‘To be the one to open a sample that hasn’t been opened since it was collected on the moon is such an honor and heavy responsibility, we’re touching history.’

Researchers used X-ray technology to assist with the opening of 73002, as it allows them to ‘understand the sample’s structure before opening the container’

Scientists are hopeful that the two samples will shed light on how the lunar polar ice deposits formed

Scientists are hopeful that the two samples will shed light on how the lunar polar ice deposits formed.

Charles Shearer, science co-lead for ANGSA, said, ‘The findings from these samples will provide NASA new insights into the Moon, including the history of impacts on the lunar surface, how landslides occur on the lunar surface, and how the Moon’s crust has evolved over time.’

‘This research will help NASA better understand how volatile reservoirs develop, evolve and interact on the Moon and other planetary bodies.’

WHAT IS NASA’S ARTEMIS MISSION TO THE MOON?

Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo and goddess of the Moon in Greek mythology. 

NASA has chosen her to personify its path back to the Moon, which will see astronauts return to the lunar surface by 2024 –  including the first woman and the next man.

Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars. 

Artemis 1 will be the first integrated flight test of NASA’s deep space exploration system: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the ground systems at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.  

Artemis 1 will be an uncrewed flight that will provide a foundation for human deep space exploration, and demonstrate our commitment and capability to extend human existence to the Moon and beyond. 

During this flight, the spacecraft will launch on the most powerful rocket in the world and fly farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown.

It will travel 280,000 miles (450,600 km) from Earth, thousands of miles beyond the Moon over the course of about a three-week mission. 

Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars. This graphic explains the various stages of the mission

Orion will stay in space longer than any ship for astronauts has done without docking to a space station and return home faster and hotter than ever before. 

With this first exploration mission, NASA is leading the next steps of human exploration into deep space where astronauts will build and begin testing the systems near the Moon needed for lunar surface missions and exploration to other destinations farther from Earth, including Mars. 

The will take crew on a different trajectory and test Orion’s critical systems with humans aboard.

The SLS rocket will from an initial configuration capable of sending more than 26 metric tons to the Moon, to a final configuration that can send at least 45 metric tons. 

Together, Orion, SLS and the ground systems at Kennedy will be able to meet the most challenging crew and cargo mission needs in deep space.

Eventually NASA seeks to establish a sustainable human presence on the Moon by 2028 as a result of the Artemis mission.

The space agency hopes this colony will uncover new scientific discoveries, demonstrate new technological advancements and lay the foundation for private companies to build a lunar economy. 

 

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'Mammoth traps' built by prehistoric hunters discovered in Mexico

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Mammoth traps built 15,000 years ago by prehistoric humans have been discovered in Mexico.

The traps consist of two pits that were used by hunters to corner and kill the huge animals. The walls of the pits are about 5.6 feet deep and each measures 82 feet in diameter, according to Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

Archaeologists have recovered 824 bones from the pits in the neighborhood of Tultepec, just north of Mexico City. The bones are likely the remains of at least 14 mammoths. Remains of two other species that disappeared in the Americas — a horse and a camel — were also found.

Experts think that groups of between 20 and 30 hunters used torches and branches to separate some mammoths from their herd and direct them into the traps.

In this undated photo released by Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, INAH.
(Meliton Tapia/Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History via AP)

Researchers said Wednesday the pits were found during excavations on land that was to be used as a garbage dump. Archaeologists spent 10 months excavating the sites.

The discovery “represents a watershed, a touchstone on what we imagined until now was the interaction of hunter-gatherer bands with these enormous herbivores,” said Pedro Francisco Sánchez Nava, national coordinator of archaeology at INAH, in a statement.

Other mammoth discoveries have been garnering attention. Earlier this year, for example, a 12-year-old boy discovered a woolly mammoth’s molar last month on the grounds of a resort in northeastern Ohio.

824 bones were recovered from the mammoth traps. (Photo: Edith Camacho, INAH)

Woolly mammoths were the last mammoth species to become extinct, about 4,000 years ago.

In 2012, a nearly complete skeleton of a woolly mammoth was unearthed in France, much to the delight of archaeologists. Woolly mammoth finds, however, are more common in Siberia, where frozen remains have been discovered on a number of occasions.

The unearthing of well-preserved woolly mammoth remains and advances in genetic research have fueled discussion that the long-extinct beasts could be cloned. However, the ethics of scientists bringing about the possible “de-extinction” of a species have been hotly debated, with critics saying that resources would be better spent on existing animals.

In 2017, a 10-year-old in New Mexico stumbled on a million-year-old fossil thought to be a Stegomastodon skull. The following year, three boys in Mississippi dug up a mastodon fossil believed to be almost 100,000 years old.

Fox News’ Willie James Inman, Joseph J. Kolb, Chris Ciaccia and the Associated Press contributed to this article.  Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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NASA discovery: ‘Zombie worlds’ found in ‘most inhospitable corner of the galaxy’

The US space agency NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory released shocking details of exoplanet horrors. An exoplanet or extrasolar planet is a planet outside the Solar System. PSR B1257+12 c, also named Poltergeist, is an extrasolar planet approximately 2,300 light-years away in the constellation of Virgo.

It was one of the first planets ever discovered outside the Solar System, and is one of three pulsar planets known to be orbiting the pulsar, or “undead star”, PSR B1257+12.

In a blog post, NASA wrote: “These doomed worlds were among the first and creepiest to be discovered as they orbit an undead star known as a pulsar.

“Pulsar planets like Poltergeist and its neighbouring worlds, Phobetor and Draugr, are consumed with constant radiation from the star’s core.

“Nothing but the undead can subsist in this most inhospitable corner of the galaxy.”

Another shocking NASA discovery found “inferno” alien planets burning at an “average temperature hotter than the Sun’s surface” at 12,000 degrees Fahrenheit, or 6,800 Celsius.

Kepler-70b is an exoplanet discovered orbiting the subdwarf B star Kepler-70. It is also the hottest known exoplanet as of mid-2017, with a surface temperature of several thousand Kelvin.

NASA wrote: “Kepler-70b (a.k.a. KOI-55) could well be another circle of hell with an average temperature hotter than the Sun’s surface.

“It used to be Jupiter-sized until it spent some time inside its now-dead star.”

It added: “This is a trip that destroys most planets, but left this one a Freddy Krueger-like burned world smaller than Earth.

“At about 12,000 degrees F (6,800 C), it is one of the hottest planets discovered.”

“In fact, the planet itself is evaporating, soon to be another victim.”

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HD 189733 b is another extrasolar planet, approximately 64.5 light-years away from the Solar System in the constellation of Vulpecula.

The planet was discovered orbiting the star HD 189733 A on October 5, 2005, when astronomers in France observed the planet transiting across the face of the star.

In a blog post, NASA wrote: “This far-off blue planet may look like a friendly haven – but don’t be deceived! Weather here is deadly.”

It continues: “The planet’s cobalt blue colour comes from a hazy, blow-torched atmosphere containing clouds laced with glass.”

“Howling winds send the storming glass sideways at 5,400 mph (2km/s), whipping all in a sickening spiral. It’s death by a million cuts on this slasher planet!”

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OpenAI unveils text-generating bot despite concerns over fake news

Elon Musk-backed AI company releases its text-generating robot despite concerns it could be used to create fake news and spam

  • The tool can generate human-like text based on a single prompt
  • Some researchers fear it could be used to generate fake news and spam
  • The tool has been withheld from the public since February

Creators of a text-generating robot have released the tool to the public despite initial trepidation that it could be manipulated by bad actors.

OpenAI – an Elon Musk-backed company that researches artificial intelligence- detailed its system, called GPT-2, in February, but stopped short of releasing it over concerns that it might be used to proliferate spam and fake news.

The AI is capable of taking a snippet of text and extrapolating that small piece of information into a larger document.

Above is an example of a prompt input by MailOnline. The bold portion is the original input and subsequent text is what was generated by the computer

For instance, if fed a phony headline, the bot would be able to produce a fairly convincing fake news story based on the prompt.  

That ability also encompasses more creative mods of writing like poetry. 

GPT-2 was trained using 8 million documents and is capable of generating surprisingly coherent and convincing. 

To see for yourself just how adept the bot is in generating lucid text, you can test a facsimile of OpenAI’s technology at TalkToTransformer.com.

According to The Verge, OpenAI says there is ‘no strong evidence of misuse’ of GPT-2 and has, as a result, published the model of its program in full.

The AI can mimic poems and prose. Above is an excerpt derived from Robert Frost’s famous poem ‘The Road Not Taken’

Above is an example of what happens when you input a real headline – in this case one culled from the Daily Mail’s science section. The bold text is the original prompt while the subsequent text was fabricated by GPT-2

Despite OpenAI’s claims that its artificial intelligence has not been abused, researchers have cautioned against making systems like theirs public.

In February, after the company announced it had developed GPT-2, a debate over AI ethics began to percolate in the community and continues to echo in similar fields like video manipulation tools commonly referred to as deepfakes.

As the world of AI becomes more sophisticated, researchers and ethicists have struggled to develop a set of guidelines for when and how technology is used

Those tools are capable of twisting both audio and video to a degree that can be almost indiscernible from source material and have been eyed as a potential tool of misinformation.

OpenAI says that it has also developed a tool that can spot text generated by the system with 95 percent accuracy, but as noted by The Verge, that effort would still need to be paired with human judges.

The company says it will continue to observe how GPT-2 is used and spreads throughout the community.  

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Secret to a hit pop song revealed by scientists

Secret to a hit pop song revealed: Scientists claim the world’s catchiest tunes contain the perfect balance of uncertainty and surprise

  • Researchers removed elements including lyrics and melody from the songs 
  • They then looked at the brain activity of 79 study participants listening to them
  • Analysing 80,000 chords in 745 songs in the U.S chart between 1958 and 1991 

The secret to writing a great pop song lies in hitting the right combination of uncertainty and surprise, according to an analysis of more than 700 pop songs.

Scientists have learned that a ‘good balance’ between knowing what to expect and being charmed by the unexpected is what makes classic hits – such as James Taylor’s Country Roads, Tina Turner’s What’s Love Got To Do With It, or The Beatles’ Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da – so ‘irresistibly enjoyable’.

Vincent Cheung, a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Germany and lead author of the study, said: ‘Understanding how music activates our pleasure system in the brain could explain why listening to music might help us feel better when we are feeling blue.’

25th November 1963: The Beatles, from left to right Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, and George Harrison, performing on Granada TV’s Late Scene Extra filmed in Manchester

The team, made up of scientists in Germany and Norway, analysed 80,000 chords in 745 songs listed in the US Billboard ‘Hot 100’ chart between 1958 and 1991.

When a song or a piece of music is being played, the listener forms expectations on what sounds – or chords – to expect next.

American singer Tina Turner performing at Wembley Arena, London, during her Break Every Rule Tour, 11th June 1987

Based on this understanding, the team developed a computer model to measure the predictive uncertainty and surprise in songs.

Mr Cheung said: ‘Songs that we find pleasant are likely those which strike a good balance between knowing what is going to happen next and surprising us with something we did not expect.’

The researchers removed elements including lyrics and melody from the songs – keeping only the chord progressions – to rule out other associations to the songs that listeners might have had.

The team then looked at the brain activity of 79 study participants listening to the music, using a technique known as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

They found that brain activity increased in three regions – the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the auditory cortex – when the test subjects were listening to music.

These regions play a role in processing emotions, learning and memory, and processing sound, respectively, the researchers said.

Writing in the journal Cell Press, the team said they found that music evokes pleasure ‘by encouraging the listener to continuously generate and resolve expectations as the piece unfolds in time’.

Based on their findings, the researchers suggest that further studies could explore ‘the combined roles of uncertainty and surprise on humans’ appreciation for other art forms such as dance and film’.

Mr Cheung said: ‘We think there is great potential in combining computational modelling and brain imaging to further understand not only why we enjoy music, but also what it means to be human.’

MUSIC CAN CHANGE THE TASTE OF FOOD 

University of Oxford psychologist Charles Spence has previously explored an effect he calls ‘digital seasoning’, in which different musical genres can change your the taste of your takeaway.

The research found some music genres can enhance the taste of a meal while others seem to have a detrimental impact on the experience.

Indie rock bands like the Arctic Monkeys complements the spice in a curry.

Pop music such as Ed Sheeran’s hit Sing, or Taylor Swift’s Blank Space is perfect for Chinese.

Opera favourite Nessun Dorma, and classical music, such as Vivaldi, boosted the tastiness of Italian food.

Jazz, along with classics by Sinatra and Nina Simone were best for Sushi and Thai Dance.

Hip hop either has no effect or a detrimental effect on the expected enjoyment of food.

But look away Justin Beiber fans: the Canadian star’s hit song Baby had a detrimental effect on the enjoyment of pretty much every dish in the study. 

 

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Black hole shock: NASA watches black hole DESTROY star which got too close

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) watched a black hole and its immense gravitational pull practically absorb a star which got to close to the event horizon – the point of no return where nothing, not even light, can escape a black hole’s grasp. The space agency described the phenomenon, which has been dubbed ASASSN-19bt, as a tidal disruption event, which is where a the star flared up as it entered the black hole. As the star entered the black hole, it would have gone through a process known as spaghettification where the immense gravitational pull is so strong that the force is much stronger at the base than the top.

For example, if you were travelling feet first into a black hole you would be stretched out to a point where you would just be a stream of atoms heading towards the centre.

Thomas Holoien, of the Carnegie Observatories and lead author, said: “TESS data let us see exactly when this destructive event, named ASASSN-19bt, started to get brighter, which we’ve never been able to do before.

“Because we identified the tidal disruption quickly with the ground-based All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN), we were able to trigger multiwavelength follow-up observations in the first few days.

“The early data will be incredibly helpful for modelling the physics of these outbursts.”

NASA said in a statement: “It sits at the centre of a galaxy called 2MASX J07001137-6602251 located around 375 million light-years away in the constellation Volans. The destroyed star may have been similar in size to our sun.”

Black holes can be phenomenally big. For example, Sagittarius A* – the gigantic black hole at the centre of the galaxy – has a radius of 22 million kilometres and a mass of more than four million times that of the sun.

The largest black hole to ever have been discovered is TON 618 which has a mass of 66 billion times that of the sun.

There are a few ways in which a black hole can form.

Scientists believe the most common instance is when a star, thousands of times the size of our sun, collapses in on itself when it dies – known as a supernova.

Another way is when a large amount of matter, which can be in the form of a gas cloud or a star collapses in on itself through its own gravitational pull.

Finally, the collision of two neutron stars can cause a black hole.

The gist of all three ways is that a massive amount of mass located in one spot can cause a black hole.

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'No link' between playing violent games as a child and later fighting

Playing violent video games like Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto as a child ‘WON’T make you more aggressive later in life’, study claims

  • The study involved interviews with 15,000 Americans through their life
  • Researchers say other factors are more likely the cause of increased violence
  • The study involved four waves of interviews from early teens to early 30s 

Violent video games are often blamed for people behaving aggressively in real life, but a new study claims that there is no clear link between the two. 

Researchers analysed interviews with over 15,000 Americans about various aspects of their lives at regular intervals from their early teens to their early thirties. 

They found that, while people who played video games as a child were more likely to get into fights as an adult, gaming could not be pinpointed as the cause.   

Other factors such as gender and environment may have just as important role to play in people becoming violent as adults, the researchers claim.

There is no link between playing violent video games such as the recently launched Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (pictured) as a teenager and an increased chance of becoming violent in later life, the study by Dr Ward and his team discovered

‘While the data show that fighting later in life is related to playing video games as an adolescent, most of this is because, relative to females, males both play games more often and fight more often,’ said Dr Michael Ward from the University of Texas Arlington, who authored the study.  

‘Estimates that better establish causality find no effect, or a small negative effect.’

He added that future studies into video game violence should examine other factors that lead to aggressive behaviour, rather than assume it is directly down to the game itself. 

Dr Ward says just because the data might show that people who play video games, like Grand Theft Auto (pictured), are more likely to fight later in life, that doesn’t mean the increased chance of fighting is directly linked to the games

‘Video game development is among the fastest evolving forms of human expression ever devised. It is hard for us to imagine the experiences that games developed over just the next few decades will provide,’ Dr Ward said.  

‘It would be a shame to unintentionally, and needlessly, stifle this explosion of creativity with content-based policy interventions.’  

The study mirrors the outcome of a British study into video games and violence published earlier in 2019. 

The University of Oxford study involved speaking to 1,000 teenagers and found there was no evidence to suggest violent games made them more aggressive or antisocial.  

Lead author of the British study, Professor Andrew Przybylski, an experimental psychologist at the University of Oxford, said: ‘The idea violent video games drive real-world aggression is a popular one, but it hasn’t tested very well over time.

‘Despite interest in the topic by parents and policy-makers, the research has not demonstrated that there is cause for concern.’

Earlier in 2019 a University of Oxford study involved speaking to 1,000 teenagers and found there was no evidence to suggest violent games made them more aggressive or antisocial

Dr Ward says it would be a shame to unintentionally, and needlessly, stifle this explosion of creativity with content-based policy interventions. He says video games, such as Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (pictured) is one of the fastest evolving forms of human expression

However, a study of 17,000 teenagers in Canada, Germany, Japan and the USA found there was a link between aggression and video game violence. 

Lead author of the study, Jay Hull, associate dean of faculty for the social sciences at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshir did say it was possible that games could be a symptom of inherent aggression – rather than a cause. 

He said: ‘If your kids are playing these games, either these games are having a warping effect on right and wrong or they have a warped sense of right or wrong and that’s why they are attracted to these games. Either way you should be concerned about it.’  

CAN VIDEO GAMES MAKE YOU LESS EMPATHETIC?

In a recent study, researchers looked at the three games participants played most, and noted if they were of a violent nature (such as shooting game Call of Duty) or non-violent (such as Fifa).

They tracked the brainwaves of participants using electroencephalography (EEG).

At the same time they completed a ‘stop-signal task’ which contained male and female faces looking either happy or scared.

The study found gaming was linked to lower empathy and emotional callousness.

Researchers believe this is because it inhibits people’s ability to process emotional facial expression and control their responses as a result. 

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Inventor of robot dog learned about balance by pushing his toddler child over

A video of Boston Dynamics' humanoid robot Atlas being pushed with hockey sticks to test its ability to balance fascinated web users, with over 34 million of us watching the clip.

The increasingly agile android managed to stay on its feet – and now Boston Dynamics boss Marc Raibert has revealed why.

At a web summit in Lisbon this week, he confessed: “I have video of pushing on my daughter when she was one year old, knocking her over, getting some grief.”

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He had deliberately shoved the toddler to try to understand how humans instinctively regain their balance when they have been bumped, reports the BBC: "She was teetering and tottering and learning to balance and I just wanted to see what would happen.”

He joked: “But we're still good pals."

And he clearly learned what he needed to know.

Recent video of Atlas shows the robot running through a floor gymnastics routine, including a handstand, some impressive rolls, and a 360-degree mid-air twist.

"We created manoeuvres using new techniques that streamline the development process,” a statement from Boston Dynamics explains.

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"First, an optimisation algorithm transforms high-level descriptions of each manoeuvre into dynamically-feasible reference motions

"Then Atlas tracks the motions using a model predictive controller that smoothly blends from one manoeuvre to the next.

"Using this approach, we developed the routine significantly faster than previous Atlas routines, with a performance success rate of about 80%."

Viewers were simultaneously impressed and terrified by the athletic android’s fluidity of motion.

One person wryly commented: “So they won’t just be able to destroy us, but now they will also be fabulous while doing it.”

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Mr Raibert, too, has suggested he found his robots scary. He once described them as "nightmare-inducing", although he now maintains that was just a joke.

"I was teasing myself and the media when I said it," he told BBC News.

"It was supposed to be a closed meeting with no media and I was joking among a crowd of friends. I was teasing us and them.”

He added: "Every technology you can imagine has multiple ways of using it. If there's a scary part, it's just that people are scary. I don't think the robots by themselves are scary."

Boston Dynamics have started offering their super-creepy robots for sale, but as yet you will need to offer a good reason what you want one as they're not available for everyone.

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Mystery as ‘identical UFO fleet’ seen over Utah and North Carolina within hours

A fleet of UFOs have been spotted above Utah on the same day the same objects were seen 2,000 miles away in North Carolina, a conspiracy theorist has wildly claimed.

The footage, filmed from Bountiful in the US state of Utah on October 10, appears to show several bright lights hovering in the sky.

They flicker in the night sky and repeatedly disappear and reappear as the cameraman watches.

He counts at least eight of the lights emerging in a line.

The footage was sent into the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), with the witness reporting there were originally 50 bright orange lights in the atmosphere.

“I thought a large meteor had broken up in the atmosphere, but then they hovered in a cluster and changed direction toward the East,” he said.

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“The cluster of lights disappeared and a bright, white light was left in their place hovering.

“I then observed several bright white lights blinking in a sequential pattern in a straight line as they hovered.”

To add more mystery to the clip, he even claimed that a friend sent him a link to a video “of a cluster of bright orange lights hovering over the ocean near North Carolina on the same day”.

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“I watched the video and observed that it was exactly what I saw during the initial sighting,” the unnamed onlooker said.

While he did not specify or reveal this second piece of footage, a similar video did emerge at the time of what appeared to be several bright objects above the sea.

Many have since dismissed that as being nothing but military flares.

The new footage is quickly going viral after being posted to YouTube channel ET Database by conspiracy theorist Scott C Waring.

Scott – who has made a name for his outrageous claims of finding badgers and women on Mars – bizarrely commented: “I do believe what this person is witnessing is a small fleet of UFOs that are exiting an underground base 5-6km below Bountiful city.”

Viewers had their own thoughts on what the objects could be, though.

“It certainly doesn't seem to look like an everyday terrestrial aircraft,” one wrote.

A second was more sceptical, though, adding: “They’re clearly just drones.”

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McDonald’s cheeseburger made in 1995 is world’s oldest – and it looks the same

Two Aussie blokes claim they own the oldest McDonald’s cheeseburger in the world.

Casey Dean and his mate Eduard Nits bought a huge bag of Maccy D’s back in 1995 when fast food was still an exciting novelty to teenage boys in Australia.

The feast ended up being too much for them and a left-over cheeseburger ended up in a box filled with old junk in Eduard’s sister’s shed and was forgotten about it until 2015.

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When it was discovered, Eduard was amazed to see that it hadn’t grown any mould, with even rats and mice steering clear of it.

"It was in a box in a garbage bag full of clothes just chucked out the back of the shed," Casey told ABC News.

"Even the rats didn't see it as food".

"The rats had eaten through the garbage bag, through the clothes, through the box and got to the burger and they left it."

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Impressed at the burger’s survival skills, the pair started a Facebook page for it, which they titled 'Can This 20 Year Old Burger Get More Likes Than Kanye West?'

They also wrote a song about the burger and for a while even set up a Tinder profile for it but they closed down the dating page because managing all the responses and fan mail was turning a private joke into a full-time job.

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While the burger still looks as good as new a quarter of a century on, it’s probably not edible any more.

”It’s as hard as a rock," Casey explained.

"It still looks the same but it's just like a brick. You could knock someone out with it."

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Casey and Eduard’s cheeseburger was pushed back into the limelight after a story broke about a similar McDonald’s burger in Iceland, which has been kept in a glass case for 10 years.

When McDonald’s closed down their last outlet in Reykjavik during the 2009 financial crisis Hjortur Smarason bought himself a souvenir: "I decided to buy a last meal for its historical value since McDonald's were closing down,” he told AFP.

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But Casey said his burger is much older than Iceland's.

He added: "I had heard that McDonald's never decomposed so I just wanted to see if it was true or not.”

"I think they'll have a hard time catching our burger, but good luck to them."

A McDonald's spokesman did not dispute Casey and Eduard's burger being the oldest – bust said there is a "simple explanation" for why it had not formed any mould.

"The reason why our burgers sometimes don't go mouldy when left out at room temperature, in a dry environment, is that once the food is cooked there isn't enough moisture to support bacterial growth to break it down," they said.

"Instead, it simply dries out."

The spokesman added the best time to enjoy a McDonald's meal is when "it's hot and tasty".

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Worm burgers go on sale in the UK – and creator says they’re ‘tastier than beef’

From bean burgers to Quorn sausages, a huge range of options are now available for Brits trying to reduce their meat intake.

But the latest option isn’t for the faint-hearted, and is even likely to get a few stomachs churning.

An urban farm in Ealing has developed a burger made from worms, and claims that it’s even tastier than beef.

Horizon Edible Insects has created the burger in the hopes of promoting a more environmentally-friendly and sustainable source of protein.

While worms aren’t exactly appealing, they’re packed full of protein, omega-3 and vitamin B12, and are also very low in calories.

According to Horizon Edible Insects, the worms have a ‘nutty to earthy flavour’.

Tiziana Di Costanzo, founder of Horizon Edible Insect, said: “Once you get past the 'yuck effect', you'll find that they actually taste really good.

"We are hoping to scale up the operation to a production of 100kg per week in the next 6 months, all of this with zero waste”.

The worms are farmed in plastic trays and when they outgrow them, they’re relocated to a purpose-built wooden outbuilding- and all with zero-waste.

Mealworms for example, do not require any water to survive so farming them is a help to the planet's water crisis.

The farm also uses donated fruits and vegetables that cannot be sold, as feed.

The farm is also organising a cooking event at the end of the month, where attendees will try and learn how to cook a cornbread bruschetta garnished with crickets, curry and coriander mealworm fritters, a mealworm burger, crispy chocolate mealworm cupcakes and cinnamon and raisin insect biscuits.

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NOAA drone video shows ’loving’ killer whales – ‘It took our breath away’

Playful scenes show a baby orca being nuzzled by its protective mother before it playfully strokes her head with its tail. The heart-warming drone footage revealed to the researchers how killer whales make far affectionate physical contact with each other than anticipated.

Professor Andrew Trites, co-lead researcher at the University of British Columbia’s Marine Mammal Research Unit, said: “It took our breath away.”

It took our breath away

Professor Andrew Trites

Hakai Institute scientists shot the drone footage to study the feeding behaviour of endangered resident killer whales amid concerns the species’ days on the coast could be numbered.

The researchers captured the black and white beasts in their undisturbed habitat and observed the orca way of life in never seen before footage.

This included the whales’ hunting habits and communication between the animals, obtained with an underwater microphone.

Three species of killer whale exist off the British Columbia coast: offshore killer whales, transient killer whales, and resident killer whales.

The Hakai Institute team decided to study the resident killer whales, split into a northern and southern group who are most endangered by threats to food supply.

Fewer than 75 animals are left in the group of southern whale residents now thought to be endangered.

The most surprising aspect of the footage was the extent of the playful and affectionate behaviour shared between the animals, something invisible from the air.

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Commenting on how much affectionate physical contact the animals shared Professor Trites said: “We like to think we are hardened research scientists, but it tugged at our heart strings. Especially the mum and calf.

“These drones are opening up avenues of their lives we have never seen before.

“The same way we hug our kids and hug our friends, touch furthers those bonds.

“That’s the power of touch, and here we have killer whales reminding us of that — who would have thought?”

GPS, depth and speed recording tags were also attached to the orcas to monitor their activity.

The scientists also measured acoustics from a nearby boat to gather data on the number of fish available for the whales to consume.

The southern resident killer population usually eat salmon but have struggled to sustain themselves as the number of the fish falls.

Killer whales begin having babies after 15 years, having one every three to five years, but recently fewer of the calves are being born and fewer still are surviving.

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Next Chernobyl? Frozen nuclear city to ‘seep radiation into environment’ as ice melts

Project Icework was a top secret United States Army programme of the Cold War, aimed at building a network of mobile nuclear missile launch sites below the Greenland ice sheet due to its strategic location near the Soviet Union. To study the feasibility of working under the ice, a highly publicised “cover” project, known as Camp Century, was launched in 1960, but six years later it was cancelled due to unstable conditions. The nuclear reactor was removed before the site was abandoned, but hundreds of tonnes of toxic waste remain buried beneath the ice.

Now, climate change is threatening to expose it, as the ice melts at an alarming rate.

YouTube channel Seeker spoke to William Colgan, who is currently running The Camp Century Climate Monitoring Programme, in the hope of preventing the radioactive material from reaching the surface.

He said in 2018: “The people working at Camp Century did not have an understanding of climate change. 

“They didn’t have solid records, global climate models, these big data sets so you can see an overview of what’s happening to Earth’s climate.

All of that is on track to seep into the environment

Seeker

“The moving ice sheet started to destabilise the underground tunnels, prompting the US Army to abort Project Iceworm.

“When Camp Century was decommissioned, only the nuclear reactor was taken out for destructive testing, and the rest of the camp was left in place, and they closed the doors.

“It was abandoned on the assumption that climate wouldn’t change, and it would continue to snow at Camp Century forever and the perpetual snowfall would entomb all of the base infrastructures and eventually bury it.”

The narrator of the series explained why Dr Colgan is so invested in the project.

He said: “The climate has changed and temperatures have reached record highs in the Arctic and Greenland’s ice sheet is melting at an unprecedented rate, which could turn Camp Century’s abandoned waste into a major environmental risk.

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“So a team of scientists, including William, went back to the site.”

Dr Colgan explained what his team is doing.

He added: “In 2017, the government of Denmark, at the request of the government of Greenland, started the Camp Century Climate Monitoring Programme.

“We set up a bunch of instruments that are erected on the ice sheet surface and then we drill in and we put probes into the ice sheet.

“It keeps a real-time data stream coming from the Camp Century site where we monitor a bunch of things, mainly the temperature of the snow, the temperature of the ice and the air temperature.

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“That will help us model how the snow and ice at Camp Century is going to behave over the next century.

“The [ice penetrating] radar is perhaps the most time-consuming job because you have to manually tow it at a slow speed.

“It sends out a pulse of energy that goes down into the ice, and then it reflects off different things and comes back to a receiver – it was 80km in total.”

The team turned those radar profiles into a 3D map of the entire debris field below Greenland, exposing miles of unknown below the ice.

Dr Colgan continued: “At Camp Century, you get those horizontal lines of annual accumulation layers, but then you also get these big pockets of chaos.

“You can see the main tunnels, pieces of debris down to about the size of a vehicle, maybe even a fuel drum.

“Our preliminary estimate is that we think the debris field is about 55 acres in size, or 100 football fields and we think it contains just over 9,000 metric tonnes of debris.

“We are very interested in how deep everything goes and where it is so that when we go to do our simulations of how much meltwater there might be at the site over the next century.

“There are concerns that if meltwater starts interacting with the debris field, it could mobilise some contaminants.

“In the Sixties, the building codes were a little different, we know, for example, that the materials they were using at Camp Century were rich in PCBs and other types of persistent contaminants and they still come out of the ground kicking, they don’t deteriorate at all.”

The contaminants include diesel fuel, nuclear waste like radioactive coolant water, and other toxic chemicals from the camp’s buildings and general infrastructure.

The narrator added: “All of that is on track to seep into the environment.”

However, it is not all bad, as Dr Colgan has a plan.

He finalised: “If we continue business as usual, it looks likely we will start to see more melt than snowfall at Camp Century.

“But if we stick with something like the Paris Agreement, we can keep more snowfall that melts beyond the end of the century.”

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NASA examines virgin lunar space rock sample to ‘maximise science return from Apollo’

The science experiment sets the stage for NASA to practice techniques to study future samples collected during the Artemis missions. The sample, opened this Tuesday, was collected on the Moon by Apollo 17 astronauts Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt, who drove a 4cm-wide tube into the lunar surface to collect it and another sample scheduled to be opened early next year.

The sample was opened as part of NASA’s Apollo Next-Generation Sample Analysis (ANGSA) initiative, leveraging cutting-edge tech to study Apollo samples using new tools that were unavailable when the samples were originally returned to Earth.

We are able to make measurements today that were just not possible during the years of the Apollo program

Dr Sarah Noble

Dr Sarah Noble, ANGSA program scientist, said: “We are able to make measurements today that were just not possible during the years of the Apollo program.

“The analysis of these samples will maximise the science return from Apollo, as well as enable a new generation of scientists and curators to refine their techniques and help prepare future explorers for lunar missions anticipated in the 2020s and beyond.”

Since the Apollo era, all space samples returned to Earth have been carefully stored by NASA to preserve them for future generations.

Most space rock samples have been well studied and many are the subject of ongoing research.

However, NASA also decided to retain some untouched samples as an investment in the future, in order to analyse with more advanced technologies as they develop.

Such samples remain sealed in their original containers, as well as some stored under special conditions.

But all are intended to be opened and analysed with more advanced analytical technologies unavailable during the Apollo period.

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The unopened Apollo samples were collected on Apollo 15, 16 and 17 missions.

Two of those samples, 73002 and 73001, both collected on Apollo 17, will be studied as part of ANGSA.

Advances in techniques such as non-destructive 3D imaging, mass spectrometry and ultra-high resolution microtomy will allow for a coordinated study of these samples at an unprecedented scale.

Samples 73002 and 73001 are part of a 2ft long “drive tube” of rock and soil collected from a landslide deposit near Lara Crater at the Apollo 17 site.

The samples preserve the vertical layering within the lunar soil and information about lunar landslides.

After X-ray scanning, the samples were removed from their tube using specialised tools inside a glovebox filled with ultra-pure dry Nitrogen, and are then subdivided into one-quarter inch segments to allow NASA to understand the variation observed along the length of the core.

It is also hoped a record of cosmic volatiles trapped within lunar regolith will be retained, perhaps even those escaping from the Moon along the Lee-Lincoln Scarp, a fault at the Apollo 17 site.

Francis McCubbin, NASA’s astromaterials curator, said: “Opening these samples now will enable new scientific discoveries about the Moon and will allow a new generation of scientists to refine their techniques to better study future samples returned by Artemis astronauts.

“Our scientific technologies have vastly improved in the past 50 years and scientists have an opportunity to analyse these samples in ways not previously possible.”

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Ancient upright ape 'Danuvius' that had human legs discovered by scientists

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The remains of an 11 million-year-old ape suggest that our ancestors started to stand upright millions of years earlier, according to scientists.

A team of researchers claims the fossilized partial skeleton of a male ape that lived in the humid forests of what is now southern Germany bears a striking resemblance to modern human bones.

In a paper published on Wednesday by the journal Nature, they concluded that the new species — dubbed Danuvius guggenmosi — could walk on two legs but also climb like an ape.

The findings “raise fundamental questions about our previous understanding of the evolution of the great apes and humans,” Madelaine Boehme of the University of Tuebingen, Germany, who led the research, told The Associated Press.

Ambam, a Western Lowland Gorilla, stands in his enclosure at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park near Ashford, Kent. He became an online sensation when footage of him aping humans with his unusual habit of walking upright was captured.
(Getty Images)

Scientists have long been trying to discern when apes first evolved the ability to stand on two feet. Previous fossil records of apes that stood upright reportedly date to 6 million years ago.

Boehme, along with researchers from Bulgaria, Germany, Canada and the United States, examined more than 15,000 bones recovered from a trove of archaeological remains known as the Hammerschmiede, or Hammer Smithy, about 44 miles west of the Germany city of Munich.

Among the remains they were able to piece together were primate fossils belonging to four individuals that lived 11.62 million years ago. According to The Associated Press, the most complete, an adult male, likely stood about 3 feet, 4 inches tall, weighed 68 pounds and looked similar to modern-day bonobos, a species of chimpanzee.

“It was astonishing for us to realize how similar certain bones are to humans, as opposed to great apes,” Boehme told the wire service.

A man holds bones of the previously unknown primate species Danuvius guggenmosi in his hand in Tuebingen, Oct.17, 2019. Palaeontologists have discovered fossils in southern Germany that shed new light on the development of the upright corridor. (AP Photo/Christoph Jaeckle)

Scientists were able to reconstruct how Danuvius moved, concluding that it could straighten his legs to walk upright, as well as hang from tree branches.

“This changes our view of early human evolution, which is that it all happened in Africa,” Boehme explained.

Fred Spoor, a paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London, told AP the fossil finds were exciting but would likely be the subject of much debate, not least because it could challenge many existing ideas about evolution.

“This is fantastic material,” said Spoor, who wasn’t involved in the study. “There undoubtedly will be a lot for people to analyze.”

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NASA shock: ‘Inferno’ alien planets burning at ’12,000 degrees’ in a ‘circle of hell’

The US space agency NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory released shocking details of exoplanet horrors. An exoplanet or extrasolar planet is a planet outside the Solar System. Kepler-70b is an exoplanet discovered orbiting the subdwarf B star Kepler-70. It is also the hottest known exoplanet as of mid-2017, with a surface temperature of several thousand Kelvin.

In a blog post, NASA wrote: “Kepler-70b (a.k.a. KOI-55) could well be another circle of hell with an average temperature hotter than the Sun’s surface.

“It used to be Jupiter-sized until it spent some time inside its now-dead star.

“This is a trip that destroys most planets, but left this one a Freddy Krueger-like burned world smaller than Earth.

“At about 12,000 degrees F (6,800 C), it is one of the hottest planets discovered.”

It added: “In fact, the planet itself is evaporating, soon to be another victim.”

HD 189733 b is another extrasolar planet, approximately 64.5 light-years away from the Solar System in the constellation of Vulpecula.

The planet was discovered orbiting the star HD 189733 A on October 5, 2005, when astronomers in France observed the planet transiting across the face of the star.

In a blog post, NASA wrote: “This far-off blue planet may look like a friendly haven – but don’t be deceived! Weather here is deadly.”

It continues: “The planet’s cobalt blue colour comes from a hazy, blow-torched atmosphere containing clouds laced with glass.”

“Howling winds send the storming glass sideways at 5,400 mph (2km/s), whipping all in a sickening spiral.

“It’s death by a million cuts on this slasher planet!”

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NASA released a video, styled as a nostalgic horror film trailer, showcasing the terrifying nature of this planet, along with other ones.

In the video, the voiceover says: “For eons, human beings have gazed up at its tranquil beauty, taking solace in the peaceful stillness of this vast and eternal cosmic cornucopia.

“And yet all the while, lurking beyond our solar system, among the billions of stars and the exoplanets that orbit them is another sort of Milky Way altogether.

“A far more sinister space, a place only sophisticated space telescopes and imaging processes can reveal, a place of unequaled terrors.”

Additionally, the video introduces “zombie worlds” that exist in the “most inhospitable corner of the galaxy”.

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Fossil with straight legs could be link between primates and humans

The missing link? 12 million-year-old ape fossil with straight hind legs for ‘walking’ could be last link between primates and early humans and show how mankind took its first steps

  • The remains were unearthed in the mountainous region of Allgäu in Germany
  •  Danuvius guggenmosi was broad chested and lived around 12 million years ago
  • Standing at around three-and-a-half feet the ape had a unique walking style
  • It would have both swing from tree limbs and walked on its human-like feet 

A ‘missing link’ between humans and our ape-like ancestors that lived around 12 million years ago has been unearthed in Bavaria, Germany.

According to researchers, the bizarre creature had arms suited to hanging in trees but legs like ours — making it like an ‘ape and human in one’.

The discovery provides the first image of what the last common ancestor of apes and humans looked like — with fossils from this period being rare.

Named Danuvius guggenmosi after a Celtic river god, the find of the broad-chested primate also pushes back the timeline for when walking on two feet began.

Based on the shape of Danuvius’ bones, experts have concluded that the animal moved around in a unique way, dubbed ‘extended limb clambering’.

They describe this technique as a combination of both swinging from branch-to-branch and walking on the ground.

Danuvius was about three-and-a-half feet tall and weighed up to five stone. 

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A ‘missing link’ between humans and our ape-like ancestors, pictured, that lived around 12 million years ago has been unearthed by palaeontologists in Bavaria, Germany

‘It is a missing link. It was astonishing for us to realise how similar certain bones are to humans, as opposed to great apes,’ said paper author and palaeontologist Madelaine Boehme of the University of Tübingen in Germany.

‘I personally was most surprised by the amount of Danuvius similarity in the back and shin bones, in contrast to apes. This was totally unexpected to all of us.’

‘Danuvius is like an ape and a human — in one.’   

‘The ape-like features are the slightly elongated arms — like bonobos but not as long as a gorilla’s or gibbon’s — and the opposable big toe.’

‘But even its elbow joint is not like great apes and resembles humans and small apes.’

‘[It] would have been able to hang from branches by its arms.

‘However, unlike other apes such as gibbons or orangutans, which do not use their legs as much as their arms for locomotion, this species had hind limbs that were held straight and could have been used to walk on,’ she added.

‘This ape also had a grasping big toe, which meant it would have walked on the sole of its feet.’

Danuvius’ teeth identify it as belonging to a group of extinct apes called dryopithecins, which have been found in European rocks dating from the mid–to–late Miocene, or around 16–5 million years ago.

The ape would have had a broad chest, long spine and extended hips and knees — as with all animals that walk on two feet, including humans. 

Its remains were dug up in a mountainous region called the Allgäu, which today is popular with tourists for its fairytale-style castles.

The bones came from at least four individuals — a male, two females and a juvenile — and included not only teeth but also parts of the skull, jaw, rib cage and spine, along with arm, leg, finger and feet bones.

According to researchers, the bizarre creature had arms suited to hanging in trees but legs like ours — making it like an ‘ape and human in one’

The discovery provides the first image of what the last common ancestor of apes and humans looked like — with fossils from this period being rare

The adult male’s skeleton was so complete that the researchers were able to describe its limbs and body proportions in detail.

‘It was similar in size to modern-day bonobos. Thanks to completely preserved limb bones, vertebra, finger and toe bones, we were able to reconstruct the way Danuvius moved about in its environment,’ explained Professor Boehme.

‘Importantly, for the first time, we were able to investigate several functionally important joints, including the elbow, wrist, hip, knee and ankle, in a single fossil skeleton of this age. From the skull we have found the left part of the face.’

‘We could estimate its stature — a little more than one metre (3ft 3in). Females weighed about 19 kg (3 stone) and males 31 kg (5 stone).’

Danuvius would have had a powerful grasp and flat, human-like feet for walking. It also had a mobile wrist and hands with curved fingers.

‘Knuckle-walkers like chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas lack the extended knee and have less developed grasping,’ said Professor Boehme.

‘The fingers of Danuvius also lack the robusticity typical of knuckle-walkers.’

The uniqueness of Danuvius is demonstrated by its small body size, which lay between that of a gibbon and a bonobo, she added.

Named Danuvius guggenmosi after a Celtic river god, the find of the broad-chested primate also pushes back the timeline for when walking on two feet began

Based on the shape of Danuvius’ bones, experts have concluded that the animal moved around in a unique way, dubbed ‘extended limb clambering’. They describe this technique as a combination of both swinging from branch-to-branch and walking on the ground

‘It is a missing link. It was astonishing for us to realise how similar certain bones are to humans, as opposed to great apes,’ said paper author and palaeontologist Madelaine Boehme of the University of Tübingen in Germany

‘The emerging picture of its locomotion is different from any known living creature,’ added Professor Boehme.

‘Living primates either favour their arms or their hind limbs — leaping monkeys and humans, respectively, for instance.’

‘Danuvius shows upright walking originated in the trees, not on the ground, and early humans did not go through a stage of hunched knuckle-walking.’

‘Our last common ancestor with great apes did not look like a chimp, or any living great ape — he may have looked like Danuvius.’

‘Danuvius shows us the conditions from where both great apes and humans diverged. And this evolutionary process happened in Europe.’

‘Our findings tremendously increase our knowledge about Miocene hominids — African apes and humans. They add bipedalism to the spectrum of behaviours.’

The bones came from at least four individuals — a male, two females and a juvenile — and included not only teeth but also parts of the skull, jaw, rib cage and spine, along with arm, leg, finger and feet bones

Danuvius would have had a powerful grasp and flat, human-like feet for walking. It also had a mobile wrist and hands with curved fingers 

The research may answer the question of what kind of early locomotion underlies our bipedal origins, said anthropologist Tracy Kivell of the University of Kent, who was not involved in the present study.

‘That would get us closer to answering why and how our human ancestors became less dependent on life in the trees and fully embraced two-footed terrestrial locomotion,’ she added. 

The full findings of the study were published in the journal Nature. 

Danuvius’ remains were dug up in a mountainous region called the Allgäu, which today is popular with tourists for its fairytale-style castles

WHEN DID HUMAN ANCESTORS FIRST EMERGE?

The timeline of human evolution can be traced back millions of years. Experts estimate that the family tree goes as such:

55 million years ago – First primitive primates evolve

15 million years ago – Hominidae (great apes) evolve from the ancestors of the gibbon

7 million years ago – First gorillas evolve. Later, chimp and human lineages diverge

A recreation of a Neanderthal man is pictured 

5.5 million years ago – Ardipithecus, early ‘proto-human’ shares traits with chimps and gorillas

4 million years ago – Ape like early humans, the Australopithecines appeared. They had brains no larger than a chimpanzee’s but other more human like features 

3.9-2.9 million years ago – Australoipithecus afarensis lived in Africa.  

2.7 million years ago – Paranthropus, lived in woods and had massive jaws for chewing  

2.6 million years ago – Hand axes become the first major technological innovation 

2.3 million years ago – Homo habilis first thought to have appeared in Africa

1.85 million years ago – First ‘modern’ hand emerges 

1.8 million years ago – Homo ergaster begins to appear in fossil record 

800,000 years ago – Early humans control fire and create hearths. Brain size increases rapidly

400,000 years ago – Neanderthals first begin to appear and spread across Europe and Asia

300,000 to 200,000 years ago – Homo sapiens – modern humans – appear in Africa

50,000 to 40,000 years ago – Modern humans reach Europe 

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Huge purple anomaly that sparked apocalypse fears ‘seen from space’

A strange phenomenon of what appeared to be a huge purple object in the skies above Trinidad has been spotted from space, a conspiracy theorist has claimed.

Footage went viral last week of the gigantic anomaly emerging from behind some clouds.

Superstitious viewers suggested it was a sign of the end of the world, claiming the sight was the infamous Planet X.

Conspiracists believe Planet X is a large object that will crash into Earth and spark armageddon in the near future.

A popular YouTube conspiracist has now claimed the object was so large that it was seen in space.

MrMBB333 posted footage yesterday of his supposed discovery using NASA satellite software Zoom Earth.

He scrolled back to the images from October 31 – when the footage was taken – and focussed above the town of Tunapuna.

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In the video, he seems to discover a hole in the clouds at the exact same location.

“There’s the object right there, this object will turn burgundy in just a minute,” he explains.

MrMBB333 then adjusts the colour of the image and sees this hole turn the same colour as the one seen in the video.

“That thing is huge, it’s astounding," he continued.

“Burgundy indeed, that’s what was seen from the ground by many people It’s definitely the same colour, there’s no mistaking it. This thing is huge and looks like some sort of structure – top and bottom, vertical.”

The YouTuber’s footage has since been seen more than 28,000 times.

“That's definitely not a cloud,” one wrote, adding: "There are defined edge lines running along the pink part.

“Clouds don't give those.”

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Another asked: “Could it be a big UFO with its force field activated?”

And a third added: “That is just way beyond weird. Nobody seems to have a legitimate answer for it either.”

While speculation remains rife over what the “object” could be, a more plausible explanation is that it is an example of cloud iridescence.

The optical phenomenon occurs when small water droplets or ice crystals – in close proximity to the sun or moon – scattering light.

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Creepy photo shows giant squid 'watching' deep sea mission

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Rockwell said it best when he sang "I always feel like somebody's watching me."

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration posted an eery image of its remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer being watched by a giant squid in an unspecified part of the ocean.

"[C]heck out this lurking deep-sea squid, seen creeping above remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer (D2) as the vehicle explores the face of a scarp feature during Windows to the Deep 2019," NOAA wrote in a Facebook post. "Ever get the feeling you’re being watched?!"

(Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

MYSTERIOUS 'BLOB' ORGANISM WITH NO BRAIN BUT 720 SEXES UNVEILED AT PARIS ZOO

Despite the fact the giant squid has largely remained evasive to humans, this is not the first time NOAA has spotted a giant squid on one of its Okeanos missions.

In June, NOAA spotted a huge squid in the Gulf of Mexico as part of rare footage that biologists have described as "the most amazing video you've ever seen." The giant cephalopod was spotted around 100 miles southeast of New Orleans, La.

The largest giant squid ever recorded was nearly 43 feet long and likely weighed almost 2,000 pounds, according to the Smithsonian.

HUMAN-SIZE BLOB DRIFTS BY DIVERS. AND IT'S PACKED WITH HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF BABY SQUID.

Fairly elusive, the giant squid has been linked to myth since ancient times. The Charlotte Observer, citing data from The National Museum of Natural History, noted ancient sailors mistakenly believed giant squids were mermaids and other mythical creatures.

"For a long time, people saw mysterious movements in the water or found dead giant squid and didn't know what they were—and even confused a giant squid carcass with a merman or mermaid," the museum wrote on its website.

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Fox News' Nicole Darrah contributed to this story.

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Black hole shock: Scientists reveal bizarre sound of two black holes merging

Black holes are one of the most powerful and forceful objects in the universe, and when two collide they send ripples through space time – known as gravitational waves. The mysterious entities can have a mass tens of billions of times that of the sun, so when two collide you would expect one of the most powerful explosions in the cosmos. But this is not the case.

Instead, observations from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) lab revealed the merger of two black holes – each of which were about 30 times the mass of the sun – sounds like a “bird’s chirp”.

LIGO said: “Gravitational waves sent out from a pair of colliding black holes have been converted to sound waves, as heard in this animation.

“The incredibly powerful event, which released 50 times more energy than all the stars in the observable universe, lasted only fractions of a second.

“As the black holes spiral closer and closer in together, the frequency of the gravitational waves increases. Scientists call these sounds ‘chirps,’ because some events that generate gravitation waves would sound like a bird’s chirp.”

Black holes can be phenomenally big.

For example, Sagittarius A* – the gigantic black hole at the centre of the galaxy – has a radius of 22 million kilometres and a mass of more than four million times that of the sun.

The largest black hole to ever have been discovered is TON 618 which has a mass of 66 billion times that of the sun.

There are a few ways in which a black hole can form.

Scientists believe the most common instance is when a star, thousands of times the size of our sun, collapses in on itself when it dies – known as a supernova.

Another way is when a large amount of matter, which can be in the form of a gas cloud or a star collapses in on itself through its own gravitational pull.

Finally, the collision of two neutron stars can cause a black hole.

The gist of all three ways is that a massive amount of mass located in one spot can cause a black hole.

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Black holes remain one of the most mysterious entities in the universe, but what is known of them is terrifying.

They completely break the laws of physics with their singularity at the centre, which is a one-dimensional point where gravity becomes infinite and space and time become curved.

The only other point in nature where a singularity existed is at the Big Bang when the universe came into existence.

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Asteroid alert: Do something NOW before ‘delay becomes fatal’ – shock warning

While the chances of a major asteroid hitting Earth are small – NASA believes there is a one in 300,000 chance every year that a space rock which could cause regional damage will hit – the devastating prospect is not impossible. Although extremely unlikely, a massive asteroid could come hurtling towards Earth at any moment – just ask the dinosaurs. And when it inevitably does happen – and scientists say it will – it will be too late to save the human race.

Bryan Walsh, author of the book End Times which analyses the existential risks which humanity faces, said in his book that it is human nature to not be too concerned about the threat of civilisation enders such as asteroids as it is not something we have faced in our existence.

But he said that the powers that be need to start taking the threat of asteroids more seriously until it is too late.

Mr Walsh wrote: “When I began working on this book I knew I wouldn’t be satisfied with merely investigating the ways our world might end.

“I wanted to determine what we can do to protect ourselves, which policies and which priorities need to be put into place to give human beings the best chance of making it to the next century and beyond.

“These aren’t easy questions – the world has no shortage of needs, many of them far more immediate than the remote chance of a species-ending catastrophe.

“That’s why existential risks tend to be overlooked and underfunded.

“Which is understandable – until the day that delay becomes fatal.”

NASA and other space agencies such as the European Space Agency do have some hypothetical strategies to protect Earth which they are testing.

One such is the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), which will be used to redirect an asteroids path when it heads towards our planet.

NASA is working in conjunction with the ESA on the craft and hope to have the first outer space tests underway by 2022 where it will attempt to move a “non-threatening” asteroid.

Another option would be to use Earth’s vast nuclear arsenal to obliterate the space rocks.

A team from Tomsk State University’s Institute of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics already deciphered how to destroy an asteroid with a diameter of 200 metres using nuclear weapons, and say that it is best to fire nuclear explosives at the space rocks when they are travelling away from us.

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However, for now all of these are tests, and top officials have urged governments to spend more money on asteroid defence.

Lindley Johnson, the planetary defence officer for NASA, told Mr Walsh: “In the order of things people should be worried about, Near Earth Objects isn’t highest on the list.

“But it does have the potential to be the most devastating natural disaster known to man.

“All the money would be worthwhile if it prevents an event that could take hundreds of billions of dollars to recover from – if we are even able to recover.

“It’s definitely worth governments spending a bit of their treasure to find these things ahead of time, because you can’t do anything unless you find them.”

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