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European spacecraft goes silent minute before difficult Mars landing

European space craft goes silentThe “Mars Curse” may have claimed another victim.

Europe’s Schiaparelli lander, scheduled to settle into the Martian dust at 10:48 am ET Wednesday, went silent a minute or so before its expected landing time.

Engineers hope to know more about the lander’s fate within a few hours. By that time they’ll have gotten a chance to receive and process data from Europe’s Mars Express spacecraft, now in orbit around Mars and listening for a signal from Schiaparelli.


Scientists discover physical source of depression

physical source of depression discoveredAn international research team says they have identified the physical source of depression in the brain in a new study.

Investigators traced depression, one of the most common mental ailments in the world, to the lateral orbitofrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for a non-reward mechanism. According to the research team, this is likely the reason people living with depression often feel a sense of loss, disappointment and low self-esteem.


The ExoMars Spacecraft Approaches the Red Planet

ExoMars SpacecraftThe European-Russian ExoMars spacecraft will release a lander on
Sunday. Both spacecraft and lander will arrive at Mars on Wednesday.

The ExoMars spacecraft has two components: the solar-powered Trace Gas Orbiter and the Schiaparelli lander.

The mission will search the Martian atmosphere for methane and other gases that might be produced by microbial life on Mars.



The Universe has two trillion more galaxies than astronomers thought

universe has two million more galaxiesThere are a dizzying two trillion galaxies in the Universe, up to 20 times more than previously thought, astronomers reported on Thursday.

The surprising find, based on 3D modeling of images collected over 20 years by the Hubble Space Telescope, was published in the Astronomical Journal.

Scientists have puzzled over how many galaxies the cosmos harbors at least since US astronomer Edwin Hubble showed in 1924 that Andromeda, a neighboring galaxy, was not part of our own Milky Way.


Three scientists share Nobel Prize in physics

Nobel PrizeThree scientists, David Thouless, and the team of F. Duncan M. Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz, won the 2016 Nobel Prize in physics, the organization announced Tuesday.

Half of the prize will go to Thouless, and the other half will be split by the collaborating team of Haldane and Kosterlitz, for "for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter."


Cellular biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi wins Nobel Prize in medicine

Nobel in Chemistry 2016Cellular biology researcher Yoshinori Ohsumi won the 2016 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for his work on cell renewal, the organization announced Monday.

Ohsumi, 71, discovered and explained the natural effects of autophagy, a process by which a cell could destroy its own contents by enclosing it in a membrane, then essentially recycle it for degradation. Little was known of the mechanism until Ohsuni's experiments with yeast cells in the 1990s in which he demonstrated the phenomenon. He went on to elucidate similarities in the workings in human cellular structure.


Rosetta Spacecraft Safely Lands on Comet


Some space missions go out with a bang, others with a victorious return to Earth, but Rosetta’s final moment was marked simply by radio silence.

Shortly after noon (BST) on Friday, the European Space Agency (ESA) spacecraft finally collided with the duck-shaped comet that it has been pursuing through space for twelve-and-a-half years, switched off its transmitters and hung up the phone to its controllers on Earth.


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