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Astronomers discover a cold super-Earth in our neighbourhood!

An international group of astronomers, involving the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg, has succeeded in detecting a planet around Barnard's star, which is only six light years away. The planet has just over three times the mass of Earth and is slightly colder than Saturn. The discovery was made by measuring the periodic change in the radial velocity of the parent star. Barnard's star (GJ 699) is the single star closest to Earth, located at a distance of about 6 light years. When viewed from…

ISS astronauts return to Earth amid US-Russia tensions

Two American astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut returned to Earth on Thursday wrapping up a six-month mission at the International Space Station as tensions between Washington and Moscow threaten a rare area of cooperation. NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold and Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos touched down on steppe land southeast of the Kazakh town of Dzhezkazgan at the expected time of 1145 GMT. The landing came with Russian and US officials investigating the appearance of a mysterious hole in a Russian space…

Then and Now: NASA images show dramatic changes to our earth

Climate change effects on earth are already beginning to transform our lives and its impacts are far-reaching with impending catastrophic consequences. In this connection, some images recently released by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) show how the world has changed over the years. The images show incredible changes to our planet’s landscapes, from flooding rivers to vanishing lakes, shrinking sea ice to newly created islands. We can even see the dramatic effects of urban expansion and what light…

Mars makes closest approach to Earth in 15 years

Earth's neighboring planet, Mars, is closer than it has been in the past 15 years, offering unusually bright views of the Red Planet's auburn hues. "The Red Planet and Earth haven't been this close since 2003, and won't be again until 2035," NASA said. Astronomers around the world trained their telescopes on the sky on July 31, when the Red Planet was 35.8 million miles (57.6 million kilometers) away. One popular public viewing spot was the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, where Mars was visible with the naked…

Earth’s intact forests vanishing at accelerating pace: scientists

PARIS: Earth's intact forests shrank by an area larger than Austria every year from 2014 to 2016 at a 20 percent faster rate than during the previous decade, scientists said Wednesday as the UN unveiled an initiative to harness the "untapped potential" of the land sector to fight climate change. Despite a decades-long effort to halt deforestation, nearly 10 percent of undisturbed forests have been fragmented, degraded or simply chopped down since 2000, according to the analysis of satellite imagery. Average daily loss…