Star Discovered in Closest Known Orbit Around Likely Black Hole Astronomers have found evidence for a star that whips around a black hole about twice an hour. This may be the tightest orbital dance ever witnessed for a likely black hole and a companion star. This discovery was made using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory as well as NASA’s NuSTAR and CSIRO’s Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA). The close-in stellar couple – known as a binary…"Closest Orbit Around Black Hole"
Are aliens trying to tell us something? Brightest burst of radio waves detected Carole Mundell, University of Bath The search for mysterious “fast radio bursts” – very brief but intense pulses of radio waves from outer space – is heating up. Nobody knows what causes these powerful bursts, but some have even speculated that the signals could be transmitted by distant alien civilisations. In fact, astronomers are so perplexed by the phenomenon that it is…"Aliens trying to tell us something?"
NASA Telescope Reveals Largest Batch of Earth-Size, Habitable-Zone Planets Around Single Star Feb. 22, 2017 RELEASE 17-015 This illustration shows the possible surface of TRAPPIST-1f, one of the newly discovered planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system. Scientists using the Spitzer Space Telescope and ground-based telescopes have discovered that there are seven Earth-size planets in the system. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech View this and many more images, as well as several videos, in an extensive multimedia gallery highlighting this…"7 New Planets!"
Microbes survived inside giant cave crystals for up to 50,000 years BOSTON — Microbes found stowed inside giant crystals in caves in Chihuahua, Mexico, may have survived there for tens of thousands of years. The microorganisms, which appear to be vastly different from nearly all life-forms found on Earth, offer a good indication of how resilient life can be in extremely harsh environments, including those found on other planets. “These organisms are so extraordinary,” astrobiologist Penelope Boston…"Giant Cave Crystals"
Dwarf planet Ceres contains the necessary ingredients for life, new data suggest. From ScienceNews NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has detected organic compounds on Ceres — the first concrete proof of organics on an object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. This material probably originated on the dwarf planet itself, the researchers report in the Feb. 17 Science. The discovery of organic compounds, the building blocks of life, adds to the growing body of…"Organics Found on Ceres"
Beyond Science Fiction: Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights Human Wrongs Watch By Jonathan Drake* 4 January 2017 (openDemocracy)* – Artificial Intelligence is growing at rapid pace, and so are significant ethical and human rights dilemmas. “You are worse than a fool; you have no care for your species. For thousands of years men dreamed of pacts with demons. Only now are such things possible.” When William Gibson wrote those words in his groundbreaking 1984, novel Neuromancer, artificial…"Beyond Science Fiction"