Huge alien planets detected around baby star for first time ever

Huge alien planets detected around baby star for first time ever

In a discovery that raises questions about long-held ideas about how planets form, astronomers have detected several enormous planets in orbit around a young star — in this case CI Tau, a 2-million-year-old star about 500 light-years away in the constellation Taurus. This is the first time multiple gas giant planets have been observed orbiting a "toddler" star. Our Milky Way galaxy is filled with stars that have been around for billions of years; our sun is about 4.5 billion years old.

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Halo of the Cat’s Eye

Halo of the Cat's Eye

Not a Falcon 9 rocket launch after sunset, the Cat's Eye Nebula (NGC 6543) is one of the best known planetary nebulae in the sky. Its haunting symmetries are seen in the very central region of this composited picture, processed to reveal an enormous but extremely faint halo of gaseous material, over three light-years across. Made with data from ground- and space-based telescopes it shows the extended emission which surrounds the brighter, familiar planetary nebula. Planetary nebulae have long been appreciated as a final phase in the life of a sun-like star. But only more recently have some planetaries been found to have halos like this one.

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Artificial intelligence better than physicists at designing quantum science experiments

Artificial intelligence better than physicists at designing quantum science experiments

The quantum world defies logic: wrap your brain around instantaneous messaging between distant particles, or cats that are alive and dead at the same time. An Australian crew enlisted the help of a neural network — a type of artificial intelligence — to optimise the way they capture super-cold atoms.

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Bug-loving girl who was teased at school co-authors research paper

Bug-loving girl who was teased at school co-authors research paper

An eight-year-old amateur entomologist who was teased for her unusual hobby has featured in a research paper after the scientific community took her under their wing. Sophia Spencer, from Ontario, Canada, loves nothing more than showing off her latest insect find, but often finds herself the butt of jokes. After schoolmates mocked her “weird and strange” interest, “I really thought loving bugs wasn't the best hobby,” she told NPR.

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BlackFly ‘flying car’ to hit the market in 2019 for the price of an SUV

BlackFly ‘flying car’ to hit the market in 2019 for the price of an SUV

Hey, it's the future. We're supposed to have flying cars, right? Well, here's your flying car, sort of and again. It's slated to go on sale in 2019. It's called the BlackFly and the company manufacturing it, Opener, is backed at least partially by Alphabet's Larry Page, who's been rumored to have been tinkering with such craft for a while, working with a few partners. Alan Eustace, who's been on Big Think, is an Opener technical advisor.

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