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Hubble finds a 'sneezing' star

Hubble space telescope has discovered a star in the midst of a sneezing fit. The star called V633 Cassiopeiae is firing off rapid bursts of super-hot, super-fast gas, like multiple sneezes, before it finally exhausts itself, Nasa said in a statement.

V633 Cas is a relatively young variable star. It means that light from the star as seen on Earth appears to vary in brightness. This variation may be caused either by some intrinsic features or it may be because of external clouding or spinning.

The bursts of gas have shaped the turbulent surroundings into sneeze-like structures known as Herbig-Haro objects. Launched due to magnetic fields around the forming star, these energetic releases can contain as much mass as our home planet, and cannon into nearby clouds of gas at hundreds of kilometres/miles per second. Shock waves form, such as the U-shape below this star. Unlike most other astronomical phenomena, as the waves crash outwards, they can be seen moving across human timescales of years. Soon, this star will stop sneezing, and mature to become a star like the Sun.

This phenomenon will only last for a few thousand years — a blink of an eye in the young star's life, Nasa said. As gas keeps getting blown out, the whole thing looks like a sneezing fit.

This region is actually home to several interesting objects. V633 Cassiopeiae has the two Herbig-Haro objects HH 161 and HH 164 forming parts of the horseshoe-shaped loop emanating from it. The slightly shrouded star just to the left is known as V376 Cassiopeiae, another variable star that has succumbed to its neighbour's infectious sneezing fits; this star is also sneezing, creating yet another Herbig-Haro object-HH 162. Both stars are very young and are still surrounded by dusty material left over from their formation, which spans the gap between the two.
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Tail holds clue to dog’s mind

Scientists have deciphered the real meaning of a dog's tail wags.

Dogs generally wag to the right when they feel positive emotions —upon seeing their owners, for instance , and to the left when they feel negative emotions — upon seeing an unfriendly dog, for example . But does that tail-wagging difference mean something to other dogs? A new study shows it does.

Dogs respond differently when their fellow canines wag to the right than they do when they wag to the left. Latest findings show dogs, like humans, have asymmetrically organized brains, with the left and right sides playing different roles.

While monitoring their reactions , Italian researchers showed dogs videos of other dogs with either left- or right-asymmetric tail wagging. When dogs saw another dog wagging to the left, their heart rates picked up and they began to look anxious. When they saw another dog wagging to the right, they seemed to stay relaxed.
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Newly discovered asteroid missed Earth but will return in 2032

A newly discovered asteroid made a "close" approach to Earth this week - at least in astronomical terms - and it is likely to come back around in 2032, but there is only a miniscule risk of it smashing into the planet, NASA said on Friday.

The asteroid known as 2013 TV135 came within 4.2 million miles (6.7 million km) of Earth on Wednesday, the U.S. space agency said.

It was discovered on October 8 by astronomers at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory in Ukraine. Astronomers have only a week's worth of observations to go on, but believe its orbit will bring it back to Earth's neighborhood in 2032.

The probability of the asteroid hitting Earth is only one in 63,000, they calculated.
The asteroid is estimated to be 1,300 feet in size and its orbit is believed to carry it as far out as about three-quarters of the distance to Jupiter's orbit and as close to the sun as Earth's orbit, NASA said.

The Near-Earth Object Observations Program, known as "Spaceguard," detects and tracks asteroids and comets passing close to Earth to determine if any could pose harm. The newly discovered asteroid is one of 10,332 near-Earth objects identified so far.
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Brightest Star-Forming Region in Small Magellanic Cloud

NGC 346, the brightest star-forming region in our neighbouring galaxy, the Small Magellanic Cloud, 210,000 light-years away towards the constellation of Tucana (the Toucan). The light, wind and heat given off by massive stars have dispersed the glowing gas within and around this star cluster, forming a surrounding wispy nebular structure that looks like a cobweb.

NGC 346, like other beautiful astronomical scenes, is a work in progress, and changes as the aeons pass. As yet more stars form from loose matter in the area, they will ignite, scattering leftover dust and gas, carving out great ripples and altering the face of this lustrous object


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Nanoparticle

A nanoparticle (or nanopowder or nanocluster or nanocrystal) is a microscopic particle with at least one dimension less than 100 nm.


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A Cooler Way to Clean Hydrogen

A process known as ethanol steam reforming is creating opportunities for fuel cell researchers, thanks to the recent rise of the bioethanol industry. This technique generates hydrogen gas (H2) directly within fuel cell systems onboard vehicles by decomposing bioethanol in the presence of special catalysts -- an approach that could use current gasoline delivery infrastructures to power alternative energy transportation. Currently, ethanol steam reforming suffers from a major obstacle: its multiple reaction pathways can produce toxic carbon monoxide (CO) byproducts that ruin fuel cell membranes. Low-temperature ethanol steam reforming boosts the safety and efficiency of fuel processing onboard vehicles, but requires a careful choice of catalysts. Rhodium (Rh), a relatively scarce transition metal, has gained attention among chemists because it targets ethanol's carbon-carbon bond -- the most difficult part of the alcohol to decompose. However, Rh catalysts tend to generate CO and methane byproducts when steam reforming conditions fall below 350 °C.
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Moon and Earth Have Common Water Source

Researchers used a multicollector ion microprobe to study hydrogen-deuterium ratios in lunar rock and on Earth. Their conclusion: The Moon's water did not come from comets but was already present on Earth 4.5 billion years ago, when a giant collision sent material from Earth to form the Moon.

Water inside the Moon's mantle came from primitive meteorites, new research finds, the same source thought to have supplied most of the water on Earth. The findings raise new questions about the process that formed the Moon


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Genetic code

The genetic code is the set of rules by which information encoded in genetic material (DNA or RNA sequences) is translated into proteins (amino acid sequences) by living cells.

Specifically, the code defines a mapping between tri-nucleotide sequences called codons and amino acids; every triplet of nucleotides in a nucleic acid sequence specifies a single amino acid


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Why is spider silk so strong?

Spider silk is not a single, unique material--different species produce various kinds of silk. Some possess as many as seven distinct kinds of glands, each of which produces a different silk.

All spiders make so-called dragline silk that functions in part as a lifeline, enabling the creatures to hang from ceilings. And it serves as a constant connection to the web, facilitating quick escapes from danger. Dragline silk also forms the radial spokes of the web; bridgeline silk is the first strand, by which the web hangs from its support; yet another silk forms the great spiral


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Wind power

Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into more useful forms, such as electricity, using wind turbines.Most modern wind power is generated in the form of electricity by converting the rotation of turbine blades into electrical current by means of an electrical generator.

In windmills (a much older technology), wind energy is used to turn mechanical machinery to do physical work, such as crushing grain or pumping water. Wind power is used in large scale wind farms for national electrical grids as well as in small individual turbines for providing electricity to rural residences or grid-isolated locations. Wind energy is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, and reduces toxic atmospheric and greenhouse gas emissions if used to replace fossil-fuel-derived electricity


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