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Astrophysicists analyzing infrared images captured by the Spitzer Space Telescope found indications of a dust cloud surrounding a relatively young star. The star is 10 to 16 million years old, and analysis of the dust cloud suggests that it may coalesce and become a rocky planet like earth. It is located at a distance from the star that it may build an atmosphere, collect liquid water, and perhaps, in millions and millions of years, support life.

It took billions of years and the perfect conditions for our Earth to grow and form. Now, those same conditions can be seen in space, shaping a similar planet. Ivanhoe explains this exciting space discovery.
Far, far away, something amazing is brewing in space. Swirling around a giant star similar to our sun, astrophysicists have spotted the very early stages of a planet taking shape. "What we think we're seeing is the actual formation of a planet -- terrestrial planet -- a rocky planet like the Earth, around the star," Carey Lisse, Ph.D., a senior research scientist at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., told Ivanhoe.

The Earth-like planet is about 430 light years away or 2.5x1015 miles from Earth. It's inside a huge dust belt -- bigger than our asteroid belt -- with enough dusty material to build a planet. "The material is forming at just the same distance, or close to the same distance where the Earth formed from the sun," Dr. Lisse says.

To find the planet, astronomers used images captured by the Spitzer Space Telescope. It looks for infrared light or heat radiating from the dusty materials. The images also confirm the rocky fragments forming the new planet are similar to materials found in the Earth's crust and core. "So, the body that's going to form -- the planet that's going to form -- isn't going to be this gas giant with incredibly thick atmosphere," explains Dr. Lisse. It's going to be a rocky planet like Mars or Venus or the Earth."

There's also an outer ice belt circling the young planet, making it more likely that water could reach the new planet's surface … and maybe even life; but don't wait around for signs of life. The planet still needs another 100 million years before it's completely formed.

Astronomers say the star the new planet is spinning around is between ten and 16 million years old, which is the perfect age for forming Earth-like planets.

25th May, 2010
Australian scientists Monday unveiled the world's smallest electronic switch measuring just a few atoms, which will shrink microchips and revolutionise computing speeds. The seven-atom transistor, measuring four-billionths of a metre and embedded in a single silicone crystal, is the first step in a "quantum computer" which will make calculations millions of times faster than existing devices.

Lead researcher Michelle Simmons said the technology has major implications for code-breaking, financial transactions and weather forecasting, which involve testing enormous numbers of possible scenarios.

"You'll be able to solve problems that would take longer than the life of the universe with a classical computer," she told AFP. The University of New South Wales' Centre for Quantum Computer Technology (CQCT) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison created the transistor by manipulating atoms using a special microscope.

The breakthrough promises to reduce the size of microchips, which contain billions of transistors, by up to 100 times, simultaneously accelerating processing speeds exponentially. 

"Australia's first computer was commissioned in 1949. It took up an entire room and you could hold its components in your hands," Simmons said.

"Today you can carry a computer around in your hand and many of its components are more than 1000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. "Now we have just demonstrated the world's first electronic device in silicon systematically created on the scale of individual atoms."

Simmons said commercial applications for the technology were about five years away. Her team is now working towards the first ultra-fast quantum computer, predicted to be the size of a current silicone chip.

Fishtail Air has with the help of Air Zermatt, a Swiss helicopter company, introduced an advance "Alpine Rescue System" in the Himalayan region of Nepal.

As there has been many deaths of the mountaineers in the Himalayan region, Fishtail Air has started this system to carry out rescue operations to save precious lives. Air Zermatt, a helicopter company based in Switzerland, is famous company for rescue operation. It has now joined hands with Fishtail Air to develop and establish an Alpine Rescue System in Nepal by helping the latter in technology and trainings.

Air Zermatt has also introduced ambulance facilities in the rescue helicopter to make rescue operations effective.

It had organized a week-long training programme on how to conduct high-altitude rescue operations for Fishtail Air pilots on March this year, said Suman Pandey, chief executive officer of Fishtail Air.

The pilot and rescue specialist of Fishtail Air will be leaving for Switzerland for additional training in Alpine in the near future, he added. Fishtail Air also believes that after the additional training by the pilot and rescue specialist, it will have the best rescue team in the whole of Asia.

It has also plans to expand its service to the neighboring counties like India, Bhutan and Tibet.

Are eco-friendly airplanes possible?

The ecology is finally getting more attention, and eco-friendly products are becoming increasingly popular. Hybrid cars are one of the best examples how eco-friendly vehicles are becoming more and more popular as their sales have experienced significant growth in the last few years.

And now it looks like air traffic might also have its green representative in form of eco-friendly plane after MIT-led team designed an eco-friendly airplane that is estimated to use 70 percent less fuel than current planes while also reducing noise and emission of harmful nitrogen oxides.

Current estimates say that air traffic will double by 2035 so it is of vital importance to develop eco-friendly planes that would be far more efficient than current planes in order to tackle climate change problem.

THE MIT scientists have designed two series of eco-friendly planes: the 180-passenger D "double bubble" series to replace the Boeing 737 class aircraft, currently used for domestic flights, and the 350 passenger H "hybrid wing body" series to replace the 777 class aircraft now used for international flights.

D series was constructed by reconfiguring the tube-and-wing structure. Instead of using a single fuselage cylinder, scientists used two partial cylinders placed side by side to create a wider structure whose cross-section resembles two soap bubbles joined together. They also moved the engines from the usual wing-mounted locations to the rear of the fuselage. Unlike the engines on most transport aircraft that take in the high-speed, undisturbed air flow, the D-series engines take in slower moving air that is present in the wake of the fuselage. This techniques is knows as the Boundary Layer Ingestion (BLI), and it allows the engines to use less fuel for the same amount of thrust, although the design has several practical drawbacks, such as creating more engine stress.

H series utilizes much of the same technology as the D series, including BLI, a larger design is needed for this plane to carry more passengers over longer distances. The MIT team designed a triangular-shaped hybrid wing body aircraft that blends a wider fuselage with the wings for improved aerodyamics. The large center body creates a forward lift that eliminates the need for a tail to balance the aircraft.

Eco-friendly air traffic certainly sounds very good, especially after construction of eco-friendly airplanes look possible. Let us hope that such aircraft will be flying sooner in our sky and thus protecting our environment.

1. The Earth spins at 1,000 mph (1,610 kph) but it travels through space at an incredible 67,000 mph (107,826 kph).

2. Every year, over one million earthquakes shake the Earth.

3. The Earth is 4.56 billion years old…the same age as the Moon and the Sun.

4. In 5 billion years the Sun will run out of fuel and turn into a Red Giant.

5. It would take over an hour for a heavy object to sink 6.7 miles (10.8 kilometres) down to the deepest part of the ocean.

6. Around a million, billion neutrinos from the Sun will pass through your body while you read this sentence.

7. Every hour the Universe expands by a billion miles in all directions.

Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system with surface temperature above 450 C.

9. If we are to believe scientists there are approximately 50,000,000,000 galaxies "out there". there might be even more than that however

10. Our moon is extremely dry, it is for instance one million times drier than a earth desert.

11. The highest recorded temperature on Earth was measured in Libya in 1922, and it was 58°C.

12. The lowest recorded temperature on our planet was -89.6°C. This was measured in Antarctica in 1983.

13. Not all animals on our planet have brains, for instance starfish do not have brains.

14. Our brain isn't much different than the rest of our body in terms of water since 80 % of our brain is water.

15. Our brain for proper functioning needs about quarter of total oxygen used by our body.

16. Ants are so hardworking that they even do not sleep.

17. Our fingernails are growing much faster than our toenails, about 4 times faster.

18. Talking about the hot stuff - The highest temperature produced in a laboratory was 920,000,000 F (511,000,000 C) at the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor in Princeton, NJ, USA.

19. Hurricanes cause havoc which is really no surprise since a typical hurricane produces the energy equivalent to 8,000 one megaton bombs.

20. In case you have ever wondered why giraffes are such a quiet animals it is because they have no vocal chords to make any noise.

21. In Mercury, a day is longer than a year. Note that the rotation in its axis makes a day while the revolution around the sun makes a year.

22. Sun loses 360 million tonnes of material each day as its fuel burns.

23. Astronauts can become upto 2 inches taller returning from space.This happens because the cartilage disks in the spine expand in the absence of gravity.

24. Methane is extremely potent greenhouse gas and cows are among the largest methane emitters with each domestic cow emitting about 105 pounds of methane a year.

25. The fastest spacecraft till the date can cruise at 40,000 mph (67,374 kph).

26. Fetuses react to rock music by responsing with a continous kick inside mother's belly.

27. Average male brain is larger than average female brain (1,4 kg to 1,25 kg).

28. Polar bears would make perfect thieves since they cannot be detected by infrared cameras because of their transparent fur.

29. Average person breathes about 10 million times a year.

30. It snows in the upper atmosphere of Mars but vaporizes before reaching the ground.

31. There was a time when Mars had large amounts of surface water. Proof of this facts have been fund on certain valleys and canyons.

32. Saturn's rings are about 500,000 miles in circumference but only about a foot thick.

33. December 21st 1968, was the first time that humans actually left the Earth, when Apollo 8 became the first manned space vehicle to leave Earth orbit and to orbit the Moon.

34. A satellite launched by Britain was called Black Arrow.

35. Our moon is in fact moving away from Earth at a rate of about 2.5 cm per year. There are different statistics for the moon's rate of moving way from the Earth, some claim the rate of moon's moving away from the Earth is up to 34 cm per year but according to the most credible sources it moves 2.5 cm away from Earth each year.

36. Buzz Aldrin's(second man on the moon) mother's maiden name was "Moon".

37. Did you know that astronauts cannot burp in space?

38. It is said that just 20 seconds worth of fuel remained when Apollo 11's lunar module landed on the moon.

39. A comet's tail always points from the sun.

40. Every day, Earth accumulate 10 to 100 tons of material.

41. The largest found meteorite was found in Hoba, Namibia. It weighed 60 tons.

42. Did you know that the heart of an astronaut actually gets smaller when in outer space?

43. The earth is .02 degrees hotter during a full moon.

44. Some large asteroids even have their own moon.

45. On average, Saturn is 886 million miles away from the Sun.

46. Saturn's density is less than water on average, although this fact is a bit misleading. As one looks deeper into the planets gas surface, density rises well above water.

47. Jupiter has 60 known moons, but some of them are quite small and look fainter.

48. A 100 pound object on Earth would weight 116 pounds on Saturn.

49. Mars is red because it is rusty. There is a lot of iron in the soil, and the air on Mars has made it turn red-just like rusty iron on Earth.

50. It takes about 29.46 Earth years for Saturn to complete its orbit around the sun.

51. Mars complete its orbit around the Sun in 687 days.

52. The atmosphere of Saturn comprises mostly of Hydrogen and Helium.

53. At its brightest, Mars outshines every other planet apart from Venus.

54. Only moon of Saturn to have an atmosphere out of its thirty satellites is Titan.

55. Jupiter has a mass 318 times greater than the Earth's and a diameter that is 11 times larger.

American biologist Craig Venter has announced that he has created the first ever "artificial life form" on Earth at the J. Craig Venter Institute, a U.S. laboratory and research center.

The breakthrough is the culmination of fifteen years of research and builds upon earlier work, research which saw the creation of a synthetic bacterial genome and the transplant of a genome from one species of bacteria into a second. "Synthia", a nickname derived from synthetic lifeform, combines these two techniques to create a "new lifeform".

This image was released following the announcement by scientists that they had produced a living cell with a nucleus containing man-made DNA.

A genome was created using synthetic chromosomes made from bottles of chemicals, the chromosomes sequenced to create a genome using as a template an existing bacterium. A bacterium from different species then had its own genome removed and the synthetic one transplanted in its place. Venter's achievement is that the new genome switched on and the new cell was able to replicate. A process likened to the booting of a computer with a new operating system.

Venter's achievement has been dismissed by some as falling short of a true technological breakthrough, claiming that rather than creating a new genome, that he has merely recreated the genome of an existing bacterium: "a technical tour de force" but not breakthrough science, according to Caltech geneticist David Baltimore.

Amongst the possibilities of artificial bacteria talked about are bacteria tailored to solve climate change by taking CO2 out of the atmosphere and to develop new vaccines. More complex organisms could include algae which would both be a source of biofuels and a CO2 remover. This is not, however, the instant solution to the Earth's major problems. Although enough is now known to duplicate a genome, there is insufficient knowledge as to what the role of individual chromosomes within the genome do. Any advances in synthetic biology to design life forms would require a much greater understanding of how the creation of proteins are coded in a genome's chromosomes.

Without no doubt, everyone knows that Jupiter is the fifth member of our solar system and it is the largest planet in our solar family. Here below can you find some more interesting facts about Jupiter.

Equatorial Radius: ~71500 kms [11.21 times that of earth]

Surface Area: 6.21796×1010 km² [122 times that of earth]

Volume: 1.43128×1015 km³ [1321.3 times that of earth]

Mass: 1.8986×1027 kg [318 times that of earth ; 1/1047 solar mass]

Equatorial layer gravity: 24.8 m/s² [2.5 times that of earth]

Escape velocity: 59.5 km/s [that of earth is 11.186 km/s]

Atm. surface Pressure: 200 kPa  [twice as that of earth surface ]

Atmospheric Contents: 89% Hydrogen, 10% Helium, 1% of rest including Methane, ethane ammonia, water, etc.

Some Interesting facts about Jupiter:-

 - Jupiter technically has no surface as it is entirely made out of gas.

 - Jupiter can be seen with a ordinary telescope from earth because of its huge size.

 - The gravitational pull of the planet is so high that anything and everything that passes the planets gets pulled towards it.

 - Jupiter has 63 moons and one of them is volcanically active and it is the only moon in the entire solar system to be in such a state.

 - Jupiter is the fastest spinning planet of all.

 - Jupiter has clouds that are up to 50 km thick.

 - An average day on Jupiter lasts around 10 hours.

 - After Venus, Jupiter is the second brightest planet in the Solar System (Venus reflects 70% of sunlight).

  - Jupiter emits weird sounds or so called "electromagnetic voices" recorded by NASA-Voyager.

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