Earth’s bigger, older cousins

Astronomers have discovered the larg­est rocky planet yet, and its existence has profound implications for our understanding of the early universe and the potential for extraterrestrial life. Kepler-10c, which was spotted by NASA’s Kepler space telescope, has a diameter of roughly 18,000 miles—more than twice that of Earth —prompting scientists to create a new class of planets, dubbed “mega-Earths.”The body’s […]

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Dunes from Christmas trees

Residents of shorelines previously damaged by Hurricane Sandy turned to a cheap and plentiful resource to help them rebuild: discarded Christmas trees. The storm washed away miles of sand dunes, which protected the coast from flooding by serving as a buffer against wind and waves. Volunteers in New York and New Jersey piled thousands of the trees on top of […]

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How were the white cliffs of Dover, England, formed?

How were the white cliffs of Dover England formed

The white cliffs of Dover located on the southeastern coast of England, are composed of a variety of calcite shells, including single-celled plants called coccolithophores (a type of algae) that formed on the seafloor.  The conditions in the ocean were perfect to form these coccolithophores because the nitrite levels, low silicate concentrations, and the right amount of iron enabled them […]

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Depressed? Blame the heavens

Scientists have long laughed at astrology’s underlying premise—that celestial events can influence human emotions and behavior. But a series of new studies has produced evidence that at least one kind of astronomical event—solar flares—may, in fact, affect human beings. Periodically, the sun erupts with large storms that hurl waves of electromagnetically charged particles into space, altering Earth’s own magnetic field. […]

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Girl, 10 saves grandpa

■ Cara Jumper, 10, expected a fun day with her grandpa at the family fishing hole in South Carolina. But when Coy Jumper suffered a stroke and fell into deep water, the petite girl found herself leaping to his rescue and saving him from drowning. Cara then had to drag her 230-pound grandfather a quarter mile through the woods, get […]

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Study: Painkillers Dull Pleasure

Every week, more than 50 million Americans take acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol and many other popular painkillers, to ease their aches and pains. But a new study has revealed that the drug also dulls emotions—including happiness. Prior research showed that acetaminophen can help take the sting out of negative feelings like dread, but the new findings from Ohio […]

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