Research

New Year to arrive late, by a second

New Year to arrive late, by a second

All would-be revelers should be careful with their countdowns this New Year’s Eve as scientists have decided to add a “leap second” to the universal clock at the end of December, delaying the arrival of 2017 by a second.

The leap second will be added in order to bring the world’s atomic clocks in sync with Earth’s own distinctive rhythm, which is determined by the planet’s rotation. The International Earth Rotation & Reference Systems Service (IERS) confirmed in a statement that it would be necessary to introduce an additional second at the end of this year.

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A quick look at upcoming celestial events

A quick look at upcoming celestial events

The New Year will begin with an eye-catching conjunction of the waxing crescent Moon and the glittering planet Venus on Jan. 1, astronomers have predicted.

According to a statement released by NASA astronomers, the exquisite pairing of Moon and Venus will be seen just after sunset in the southwestern sky.

On January 2nd, Moon and Venus will be back for an encore, but this time our natural satellite will have shifted between Mars and Venus. One will be able to watch the planets of war and love sticking close together all through the month of January.

Naples’ sleeping supervolcano might be waking up

Naples’ sleeping supervolcano might be waking up

A new research published in the journal Nature Communications has warned that a long-quiet yet potentially highly-hazardous supervolcano in Italy is nearing the critical degassing pressure (CDP) state.

A team of scientists led by Giovanni Chiodini of Rome-based Italian National Institute of Geophysics, who are monitoring the Campi Flegrei volcano, has noticed accelerating deformation and heating in the volcano, suggesting that magma under surface is approaching a threshold beyond that could trigger release of fluids and gases.

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Researchers discover prehistoric bird species in Canadian Arctic

Researchers discover prehistoric bird species in Canadian Arctic

A team of geologists from the University of Rochester claimed to have found a new prehistoric bird species in the Canadian Arctic, marking the discovery of the oldest avian records in the northernmost latitude.

Prof. John Tarduno, the chairperson of the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences at the University of Rochester, and his team named the new species Tingmiatornis arctica. In the Inuktitut language, which is spoken in the central & eastern parts of Canadian Arctic, the word “Tingmiat” means “those that fly.”

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Nearly 3.5 trillion migrating insects fly over south-central England annually: study

Nearly 3.5 trillion migrating insects fly over south-central England annually: study

More than three trillion migrating insects fly over the region of south-central England each year, unseen and unnoticed by humans, according to a new study by University of Exeter researchers.

Dr. Jason Chapman, an entomologist at University of Exeter and colleagues estimated that as many as 3.5 trillion bugs and butterflies migrate across the region annually. Their total mass is equivalent to nearly 20,000 flying reindeer.

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Solar-powered artificial leaf can allow drug production

Solar-powered artificial leaf can allow drug production

A team of researchers from the Netherlands have developed a first-of-its-kind synthetic leaf that can act as a mini-factory for drugs that would allow production of life-saving medicines anywhere there is sunlight.

The researcher led by Timothy Noel, of Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, managed to tap into plants’ photosynthesis-based food-producing abilities.

They made use of a leaf-inspired micro-factory mimicking nature’s efficiency at harvesting solar radiation. To do that, they used new material called luminescent solar concentrator (LSC).

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Deep-sea octopods under threat from mining: study

Deep-sea octopods under threat from mining: study

Deep-sea creatures like Casper, which make their home nearly 2.5 miles beneath the ocean surface, are under increasing threat from human activities, a new study cautioned.

Casper, a milky-white species of deep-sea octopus, was discovered in March this year. Now, the new study indicated that this newly discovered cephalopod species is being threatened by deep-sea mining.

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Scientists use laser to unlock antimatter secrets

Scientists use laser to unlock antimatter secrets

Marking a technological breakthrough, an international team of scientists claimed to have developed a new way to explore antimatter -- using a laser.

A team of researchers led by Alan Kostelecky, a theoretical physicist at Indiana University, successfully zapped antimatter atoms with a laser, and then precisely measured the light emitted by these bizarre anti-atoms.

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Pan-STARRS to publicly release the world’s largest digital sky survey

Pan-STARRS to publicly release the world’s largest digital sky survey

The Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) project is all set to publicly release the world's largest digital sky survey based on information compiled using the 1.8-meter powerful telescope atop the summit of Haleakala on Maui.

The vast catalogue is based on four years of observations of nearly 75 per cent of the night sky, providing all-embracing information on more than three billion stars, galaxies and other celestial sources.

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Elusive 'ghost shark' filmed alive for first time

Elusive 'ghost shark' filmed alive for first time

The highly-elusive ‘ghost shark’ has been filmed alive for the first time by a team of American geologists. The pointy-nosed blue animal was filed by accident in 2009, but the footage was released recently on the National Geographic channel.

The ghost sharks, which are a relative of sharks and rays, are also known as chimaeras. They are deep-sea animals, and usually live around Australian and New Zealand.

But, American geologists filmed the animal alive prowling at depths of around 2 kilometers off the coast of California and Hawaii.

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