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France ratifies the Paris Agreement on climate change


PARIS: France’s President Francois Hollande has ratified the Paris Agreement, a deal on curbing global warming reached last year by 195 countries. France on Wednesday became the second European country to ratify, after Hungary, and the first the Group of Seven advanced economies. The ratification was formally authorized by the French parliament last week. The Paris agreement aims to keep ... Read More »

Scientists have detected Gravitational Waves again


LONDON: For the second time this year, physicists at the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational Waves Observatory (LIGO) are giddy with excitement. They’ve just confirmed the second detection of gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of spacetime proposed by Albert Einstein a century ago. It seems we’ve officially entered the age of gravitational wave astronomy. In February, LIGO physicists made history ... Read More »

Scientists discover largest planet orbiting 2 suns to date

largest planet

WASHINGTON: Astronomers say they have discovered the largest planet outside the solar system that orbits two suns. The newfound world, about the size of Jupiter, is 3,700 light-years from Earth. A light-year is nearly 6 trillion miles. It was detected by a team led by NASA and San Diego State University using the planet-hunting Kepler telescope. The discovery was announced ... Read More »

Man finds 22-pound chunk of butter estimated to be more than 2,000 years old in Irish bog


DUBLIN: Finding buried treasure is a dream as old as stories themselves. Treasure chests overflowing with gold doubloons, shiny lamps containing genies, gargantuan lumps of butter that’s thousands of years old. Okay, maybe most don’t dream of unearthing enormous chunks of butter, but that’s exactly what Jack Conway discovered in the Emlagh bog in County Meath, Ireland, at the beginning ... Read More »

Scientists discover largest ever ‘Tatooine’-like planet orbiting around two suns


WASHINGTON: NASA’s Kepler telescope has spotted a new planet – one where Luke Skywalker might feel right at home. Just like his native Tatooine, the new planet orbits two suns and is the largest “binary planet” ever found, taking the longest trip around its stars. In the constellation Cygnus, the recently discovered planet orbits what scientists call a double-star system, ... Read More »

New Jupiter-like planet is largest yet discovered orbiting two stars


LONDON: A gas giant 3,700 light years away is the largest planet yet to be found orbiting two stars, scientists have revealed. Dubbed Kepler-1647b, the Jupiter-like planet lies in the constellation Cygnus, and was spotted by astronomers examining data from the Kepler space telescope – an instrument launched in 2009 to look for potentially habitable planets beyond our solar system. ... Read More »

America’s Largest Coal Company Has Been Bankrolling Climate Denial: Report


NEW YORK: In a revelation that shouldn’t surprise anybody, Peabody Energy, the United States’ largest coal company, has been bankrolling think tanks, corporate lobbyists, trade associations, and individual scientists at the heart of the climate denial movement, a new Guardian investigation reveals. Fossil fuel companies aren’t exactly a progressive bunch when it comes to climate action, but few have manipulated ... Read More »

Scientists discover giant planet that orbits 2 suns – and could have habitable moons


LONDON: Some worlds have more than one sun in their sky. Now scientists say they’ve confirmed the existence of the largest-ever planet orbiting a pair of binary stars – a gas giant with the same mass and radius as Jupiter. Exoplanets such as this one – situated in their stars’ habitable zone and massive enough to lasso in many rocky ... Read More »

Carbon dioxide levels in atmosphere forecast to shatter milestone


LONDON: Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 will shatter the symbolic barrier of 400 parts per million (ppm) this year and will not fall below it our in our lifetimes, according to a new Met Office study. Carbon dioxide measurements at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii are forecast to soar by a record 3.1ppm this year – up from an annual ... Read More »

On Mars, curiosity finds signs of an explosive volcanic past


WASHINGTON: Bombarding Martian rock with X-rays, NASA’s Curiosity rover has dug up the first mineral evidence of an explosive type of volcano on Mars that can also be found on Earth. The findings, described in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could hint at the complex dynamics beneath the surface during the Red Planet’s earlier, more dynamic history. ... Read More »

Scientists get first look at supermassive black hole ‘eating’ gas clouds

black whole

SANTIAGO: Astronomers in Chile have caught the first-ever glimpse of a “supermassive” black hole preparing to gorge itself on gas clouds about a billion light years from Earth. Using the ALMA telescope in the Atacama desert, the international team spotted three clouds streaming towards a black hole at speeds of up to 800,000 miles (1.3m km) per hour. Alma telescope ... Read More »

Fish can recognise human faces, says Oxford University study


LONDON: A species of tropical fish can differentiate between human faces, the first time fish have been found to possess such recognition, according to researchers. Archerfish, distinguished by their black and silver striped scales, can accurately recognise one face from another during staged testing, a joint study from the University of Oxford and Queensland found. The fish were trained individually ... Read More »

Now you can listen to 13 billion year-old stars


LONDON: A team of astrophysicists from the University of Birmingham has successfully used Kepler data to capture the sounds emitted by ancient stars. The study focused on eight red giant stars, the smallest of which is many times the mass of our Sun, and almost three times its current age. The study drew on Kepler observations of stars in the ... Read More »

Smart fish can recognise human faces, scientists find


LONDON: A tropical fish can tell one human face from another despite lacking a brain section that homo sapiens and other “smart” animals use for this task, scientists said Tuesday. The astonishing ability was demonstrated in experiments with eight archerfish, a tropical species best known for spitting pressurised water jets to shoot prey out of the air. Instead of aiming ... Read More »

Chile sues Bolivia over disputed river


SANTIAGO : Chile said Monday it is suing Bolivia at the International Court of Justice over a river both countries claim rights to, the latest water-related row between the South American neighbors. Chile wants the ICJ to declare the Silala river, which originates in Bolivia and flows into Chile, an “international river” and affirm its right to its waters, Chilean ... Read More »

France unearths bones from 6,000-year-old massacre


PARIS: Archaeologists said on Tuesday they had discovered the remains of victims from a 6,000-year-old massacre in Alsace in eastern France that was likely carried out by “furious ritualised warriors”. The corpses of 10 people were found outside Strasbourg in one of 300 ancient “silos” used to store grain and other food, a team from France’s National Institute for Preventive ... Read More »

Gravitational spacecraft LISA Pathfinder opens Einstein’s universe


LONDON: It has taken just two months of space-based experimentation for scientists and engineers to know that the European Space Agency’s technology testing mission LISA Pathfinder is far exceeding its design requirements. The results mean that Europe could now begin building a mission to detect gravitational waves from space. Gravitational waves hit the headlines earlier this year when scientists from ... Read More »

Wildlife trafficking needs to be a policy priority in Asia Pacific before it is too late


JAKARTA: This year’s World Environment Day on June 5 puts the spotlight on the illegal trade in wildlife. The problem has particular significance in Asia, which is the destination for most of the ivory taken from 20,000 to 25,000 elephants and the horns of more than 1,200 rhinos killed in Africa every year. Demand in the region is driven by ... Read More »

Project to uncover secrets of Egypt’s pyramids gets French boost


CAIRO: French scientists equipped with a special telescope have joined the Scan the Pyramids project that was launched last year to discover the secrets of Egypt’s ancient structures. The telescope was developed by the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) and uses muon particles, which are similar to cosmic rays. The scientists hope it will help them verify ... Read More »

Universe is expanding up to 9% faster than we thought, say scientists


WASHINGTON: The universe is expanding faster than anyone had previously measured or calculated from theory. This is a discovery that could test part of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, a pillar of cosmology that has withstood challenges for a century. Nasa and the European Space Agency jointly announced the universe is expanding 5% to 9% faster than predicted, a finding ... Read More »