CERN Physicists Confirm Existence of Doubly Charmed Baryons

The LHCb (Large Hadron Collider beauty) collaboration at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland has reported the observation of a doubly charmed particle. The particle, called the Ξcc++, is a baryon containing two charm quarks and one up quark. The doubly charmed baryon Ξcc++ contains two charm quarks and one up quark. Image credit: Daniel Dominguez, CERN. Nearly all the matter that we see around us is made of baryons, which are common particles composed of three quarks, the best-known being protons and neutrons.

The 10000 year clock

The full scale 10,000 Year Clock is now under construction. While there is no completion date scheduled, we do plan to open it to the public once it is ready. The essay below by Long Now board member Kevin Kelly discusses what we hope the Clock will be once complete. This is one of several projects by Long Now to foster long-term thinking in the context of the next 10,000 years.

Is this stone proof an asteroid wiped out a civilisation just like ours 13,000 years ago

Maverick archaeologist Graham Hancock insists that a highly evolved human civilisation was wiped out by a global catastrophe around 13,000 years ago. Suppose all the wildest theories and historical conspiracies of novelist Dan Brown were proven true. And the mind-reading, spoon-bending claims of Israeli psychic Uri Geller all turned out to be real as well. That wouldn’t be half as extraordinary as the announcement in an obscure scientific journal this month that vindicated 20 years of maverick research and best-selling books by the eccentric archaeologist Graham Hancock.


Frozen Earth-Mass Exoplanet Discovered 12,750 Light-Years Away

Using a planet-hunting technique called gravitational microlensing, astronomers have detected an Earth-mass planet orbiting an ultracool dwarf 12,750 light-years away. By combining data from space- and ground-based telescopes, the astronomers determined that the newfound world is about 1.4 times the Earth’s mass. Called OGLE-2016-BLG-1195Lb, the planet orbits an ultracool dwarf at only 1.16 times the Earth-Sun distance. The host, just 7.8% the mass of our Sun, is either a brown dwarf or a very low-mass star. This artist’s concept shows the Earth-mass exoplanet OGLE-2016-BLG-1195Lb. Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech.

DNA of extinct humans found in caves

The DNA of extinct humans can be retrieved from sediments in caves - even in the absence of skeletal remains. Researchers found the genetic material in sediment samples collected from seven archaeological sites. The remains of ancient humans are often scarce, so the new findings could help scientists learn the identity of inhabitants at sites where only artefacts have been found. The results are described in Science. MPI For Evo Anthro / J. Krause / Image: The remains of Neanderthals had previously been found at Vindija Cave in Croatia

Exciting New Views Of Opportunity’s Remarkable Landing Site

NASA’s eagle-eyed Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has captured orbital images of Opportunity’s Hole-In-One landing site, smack dab in the middle of Eagle Crater on the surface of Mars. Opportunity arrived at Mars on January 25th, 2005. It’s landing was slowed by parachute, and cushioned by airbags. Once it hit the surface, it bounced its way into “Eagle Crater“, a feature a mere 22 meters across. Not a bad shot!

New solar-powered device can create water out of thin air, even in deserts

Using only sunlight, the harvester can pull litres of water from low-humidity air MIT photo from laboratory of Evelyn Wang. A device that can create water out of thin air in even arid environments has been invented that could make Coleridge’s famous line “Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink” a thing of the past. Using only the power of the sun and a special material with some extraordinary properties, the device is capable of producing 2.8 litres of water in 12 hours. And it can work in conditions where humidity is as low as 20 per cent.

NASA to broadcast live 360-degree video of rocket launch on April 18

NASA, in coordination with commercial cargo provider Orbital ATK and launch service major United Launch Alliance (ULA), is set to broadcast the world’s first live 360-degree stream of a rocket launch on April 18. The live 360-degree stream of the cargo resupply mission liftoff to the International Space Station may be viewed on the NASA Television YouTube channel starting 10 minutes prior to lift off, the US space agency said. Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft will launch on a ULA Atlas V rocket carrying more than 3,447 kg of science research, crew supplies and hardware to the orbiting laboratory.