“Europa Bound?” –NASA/JPL’s AI Empowered Robotic Submersibles

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"Truly autonomous fleets of robots have been a holy grail in oceanography for decades," Thompson said. "Bringing JPL's exploration and AI experience to this problem should allow us to lay the groundwork for carrying out similar activities in more challenging regions, like Earth's polar regions and even oceans on other planets."

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NASA: “Spotless!” –Sun at Lowest Level of Solar Activity Since 2011

 

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This week the sun was hitting its lowest level of solar activity since 2011 (Nov. 14-18, 2016) as it gradually marches towards solar minimum. This activity is usually measured by sunspot count and over the past several days the sun has been almost spotless.

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ESO: Neutron Star Provides First Observation of Strange Quantum Effect in Space

 

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By studying the light emitted from an extraordinarily dense and strongly magnetized neutron star using ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers may have found the first observational indications of a strange quantum effect, first predicted in the 1930s. The polarization of the observed light suggests that the empty space around the neutron star is subject to a quantum effect known as vacuum birefringence.

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StarTalk Radio With Neil deGrasse Tyson –Artificial Intelligence, Life on Exoplanets and Asteroid Mining

 

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Join StarTalk Radio for a panel discussion and questions from the audience that run the gamut from mutant cyborgs and artificial intelligence, to life on exoplanets and asteroid mining. You’ll hear about the potential for life on Proxima B, an exoplanet only 4 light years from Earth, and NASA’s efforts to avoid contaminating alien life, similar to Star Trek’s prime directive.

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Life on Early Earth Survived Without Oxygen –“Existed Two Billion Years Before Plants and Trees”

 

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"These are the oldest reported fossil sulfur bacteria to date," says Andrew Czaja, University of Cincinnati assistant professor of geology. "And this discovery is helping us reveal a diversity of life and ecosystems that existed just prior to the Great Oxidation Event, a time of major atmospheric evolution.

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