Twitter lawsuit partly dismissed over U.S. information requests

2016-05-03 02:12:05

SAN FRANCISCO A U.S. judge on Monday partly dismissed a lawsuit filed by Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) in which the social media company argued it should be allowed to publicly disclose more details about requests for information it receives from the U.S. government.U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in Oakland, California also gave Twitter the opportunity to re-file its lawsuit to include more details about government decision-making, in order to try to move its claims forward. (Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Bill Rigby)

Astronomers find a tailless comet, first of its kind

2016-05-02 08:54:05

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. Astronomers have found a first-of-its-kind tailless comet whose composition may offer clues into long-standing questions about the solar system's formation and evolution, according to research published on Friday in the journal Science Advances.The so-called "Manx" comet, named after a breed of cats without tails, was made of rocky materials that are normally found near Earth. Most comets are made of ice and other frozen compounds and were formed in solar system's frigid far reaches.Researchers believe the newly found comet was formed in the same region as Earth, then booted to the solar system’s backyard like a gravitational slingshot as planets jostled for position.Scientists involved in the discovery now seek to learn how many more Manx comets exist, which could help to resolve debate over exactly how and when the solar system settled into its current configuration. "Depending how many we find, we will know whether the giant planets danced across the solar system when they were young, or if they grew up quietly without moving much," paper co-author Olivier Hainaut, an astronomer with the European Southern Observatory in Germany, said in a statement.The new comet, known as C/2014 S3, was discovered in 2014 by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System, or Pan-STARRS. This network of telescopes scours the night-time skies for fast-moving comets, asteroids and other celestial bodies.Typically comets coming in from the same region as the Manx grow bright tails as they approach the sun, the result of ice vaporizing off their bodies and gleaming in reflected sunlight. But C/2014 S3 was dark and virtually tailless when it was spotted about twice as far away from the sun as Earth. Later analysis showed that instead of ices typically found on comets, the Manx comet contained materials similar to the rocky asteroids located in a belt between Mars and Jupiter. And C/2014 S3 appeared pristine, an indication that it had been in the solar system's deep freeze for a long time, said University of Hawaii astronomer Karen Meech, the lead author. The discovery of additional Manx comets could help scientists to refine computer models used to simulate the solar system's formation, Meech said. (Reporting by Irene Klotz; editing by Letitia Stein and Diane Craft)

Astronomers find a tailless comet, first of its kind

2016-05-01 07:49:05

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. Astronomers have found a first-of-its-kind tailless comet whose composition may offer clues into long-standing questions about the solar system's formation and evolution, according to research published on Friday in the journal Science Advances.The so-called "Manx" comet, named after a breed of cats without tails, was made of rocky materials that are normally found near Earth. Most comets are made of ice and other frozen compounds and were formed in solar system's frigid far reaches.Researchers believe the newly found comet was formed in the same region as Earth, then booted to the solar system’s backyard like a gravitational slingshot as planets jostled for position.Scientists involved in the discovery now seek to learn how many more Manx comets exist, which could help to resolve debate over exactly how and when the solar system settled into its current configuration. "Depending how many we find, we will know whether the giant planets danced across the solar system when they were young, or if they grew up quietly without moving much," paper co-author Olivier Hainaut, an astronomer with the European Southern Observatory in Germany, said in a statement.The new comet, known as C/2014 S3, was discovered in 2014 by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System, or Pan-STARRS. This network of telescopes scours the night-time skies for fast-moving comets, asteroids and other celestial bodies.Typically comets coming in from the same region as the Manx grow bright tails as they approach the sun, the result of ice vaporizing off their bodies and gleaming in reflected sunlight. But C/2014 S3 was dark and virtually tailless when it was spotted about twice as far away from the sun as Earth. Later analysis showed that instead of ices typically found on comets, the Manx comet contained materials similar to the rocky asteroids located in a belt between Mars and Jupiter. And C/2014 S3 appeared pristine, an indication that it had been in the solar system's deep freeze for a long time, said University of Hawaii astronomer Karen Meech, the lead author. The discovery of additional Manx comets could help scientists to refine computer models used to simulate the solar system's formation, Meech said. (Reporting by Irene Klotz; editing by Letitia Stein and Diane Craft)

Astronomers find a tailless comet, first of its kind

2016-04-30 02:43:06

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. Astronomers have found a first-of-its-kind tailless comet whose composition may offer clues into long-standing questions about the solar system's formation and evolution, according to research published on Friday in the journal Science Advances.The so-called "Manx" comet, named after a breed of cats without tails, was made of rocky materials that are normally found near Earth. Most comets are made of ice and other frozen compounds and were formed in solar system's frigid far reaches.Researchers believe the newly found comet was formed in the same region as Earth, then booted to the solar system’s backyard like a gravitational slingshot as planets jostled for position.Scientists involved in the discovery now seek to learn how many more Manx comets exist, which could help to resolve debate over exactly how and when the solar system settled into its current configuration. "Depending how many we find, we will know whether the giant planets danced across the solar system when they were young, or if they grew up quietly without moving much," paper co-author Olivier Hainaut, an astronomer with the European Southern Observatory in Germany, said in a statement.The new comet, known as C/2014 S3, was discovered in 2014 by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System, or Pan-STARRS. This network of telescopes scours the night-time skies for fast-moving comets, asteroids and other celestial bodies.Typically comets coming in from the same region as the Manx grow bright tails as they approach the sun, the result of ice vaporizing off their bodies and gleaming in reflected sunlight. But C/2014 S3 was dark and virtually tailless when it was spotted about twice as far away from the sun as Earth. Later analysis showed that instead of ices typically found on comets, the Manx comet contained materials similar to the rocky asteroids located in a belt between Mars and Jupiter. And C/2014 S3 appeared pristine, an indication that it had been in the solar system's deep freeze for a long time, said University of Hawaii astronomer Karen Meech, the lead author. The discovery of additional Manx comets could help scientists to refine computer models used to simulate the solar system's formation, Meech said. (Reporting by Irene Klotz; editing by Letitia Stein and Diane Craft)

Simulating Mars exploration, British astronaut guides rover from space

2016-04-29 22:23:05

LONDON British astronaut Tim Peake drove a rover on Mars on Friday -- or at least pretended to by test-driving the exploration vehicle on earth remotely from space.From the International Space Station (ISS) some 250 miles above earth, the European Space Agency astronaut guided rover prototype "Bridget" around a cave set up in an area simulating Mars's sandy and rocky surface in Stevenage, England.The experiment was part of the Multi-Purpose End-To-End Robotic Operation Network (METERON) program looking at how astronauts can work robots from space.Last year, Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen guided from the ISS a rover on earth to insert a peg into a hole. For Friday's mission at the Mars Yard Test Area, Peake was told just before the experiment that he would have to enter the cave and find painted targets before exiting it in 90 minutes. He had to ensure Bridget came within two meters of each target, centered it, mapped it and alerted ground control. "We're inside the cave and the first target has been identified," Peake could be heard telling mission control in Germany during the experiment which was live-streamed. Delays between instruction and execution were expected, as were breaks in transmission. (Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian, editing by Ed Osmond)

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