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NASA releases images captured at a record
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
NASA has a whole lot of fancy image-gathering hardware on Earth and in space, and we've seen countless of stunning snapshots taken from here on Earth as well as nearby planets like Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The pictures are often gorgeously detailed eye candy, but the latest batch of images from the space agency is remarkable for an entirely different reason. Captured by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, the images were gathered at a greatest distance from Earth than any in the history of mankind. So, just how far is "the farthest ever"? Right around 3.79 billion miles. Yeah, it's kind of crazy. There are three images in total, each focusing on a different distant object. The subjects include the 'Wishing Well' star cluster as well as two large objects in the Kuiper Belt which have never been observed from such a distance before. "New Horizons has long been a mission of firsts — first to explore Pluto, first to explore the Kuiper Belt, fastest spacecraft ever launched," New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, notes in a statement. "And now, we've been able to make images farther from Earth than any spacecraft in history." The images, as seen above (Kuiper Belt objects) and below (Wishing Well cluster), are somewhat grainy and not the most detailed we've seen from NASA, but that doesn't make the feat any less remarkable. New Horizons originally launched way back in early 2006, and it the spacecraft has made close passes of a number of planets during its more than a decade of cruising through our Solar System. Its primary mission was set to last roughly 10 years, but was extended once it became clear that the spacecraft was healthy enough to continue sending back observations for a while longer. Its new extended mission will wrap up in early 2021 after it performs a number of flybys of large objects in the Kuiper Belt that scientists want to learn more about. However, that might not be the last we hear from New Horizons, as its power source could continue to provide life into 2026 and beyond. If it makes it that long, NASA plans to use the spacecraft to study the outer heliosphere.
Dow Jones Jumps More Than 400 Points, Still Recovering After a Big Correction
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Apple led a rally in tech companies
Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell Predict a Tough Road Ahead for an Immigration Deal
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Even with a bipartisan budget agreement, reaching an immigration deal will be difficult
Melinda Gates: President Trump’s ‘Misguided’ Budget Shows U.S. Doesn’t Care About Women and Children
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The philanthropist argues that cuts in international health programs can harm Americans back home
Trump budget again targets regional water cleanup programs
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — For a second consecutive year, President Donald Trump is trying to drastically reduce or eliminate federal support of cleanups for iconic U.S. waterways including the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay.
SpaceX amazes with rocket launch, landings
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Rachel Maddow reports on the launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy, the spectacle of it leaving a Tesla floating in space, and the utterly amazing feat of landing two of the rockets back on Earth simultaneously.
Former Olympic Swimmer Ariana Kukors Says She Wants to Save Others From 'Being Groomed' For Sexual Abuse
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
She alleges that her coach sexually abused her starting when she was a minor, which he denies.
President Trump's Budget Cuts Amtrak Funding in Half Despite a String of Deadly Crashes
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
There have been three fatal crashes since December
Organizers Are Confronting Sexual Abuse at the #MeToo Olympics
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
This year, for the first time, the Olympics includes staff appointed to help sexual assault victims
Girl power: life's going swimmingly for all
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An all-female freshwater fish species called the Amazon molly that inhabits rivers and creeks along the Texas-Mexico border is living proof that sexual reproduction may be vastly over-rated. Scientists said on Monday they have deciphered the genome of the Amazon molly, one of the few vertebrate species to rely upon asexual reproduction, and discovered that it had none of the genetic flaws, such as an accumulation of harmful mutations or a lack of genetic diversity, they had expected. "The Amazon molly is doing quite well," said biologist Manfred Schartl of the University of Wuerzburg in Germany.
'I Feel Trapped.' Rohingya Muslims Describe a Life of Fear in Myanmar's Biggest City Yangon
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
“I feel trapped,” one Muslim says. “There is no guarantee for our future"
South Africa's Ruling Party Has Given President Jacob Zuma 48
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Zuma has refused repeated calls to relinquish the presidency amid mounting graft scandals
The Obamas' Official Portraits Are Being Unveiled. Here's What to Know About the History of Presidential Paintings
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Here's what to know about the history of presidential portraits, from George Washington's famous Lansdowne Portrait to today
Can gene therapy be harnessed to fight the AIDS virus?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Scientists are trying gene therapy to fight HIV, the virus that causes AIDS
Mother Sobs in Court as She Faces the Man Accused of Raping and Murdering Her Daughter, 8
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Donald Smith is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and rape
25 Cute and Easy Easter Cakes
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
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What Adam Rippon Was Thinking During His Olympic Debut
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Not shy about sharing his thoughts, Rippon described what was going through his head during his Olympic debut
President Trump's Budget Would Add $7.2 Trillion in Federal Deficits Over 10 Years
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The new budget sees accumulating deficits of $7.2 trillion over the coming decade
Does Climate Change Cause More War?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
It’s one of the most important questions of the 21st century: Will climate change provide the extra spark that pushes two otherwise peaceful nations into war?
Why GOP is largely silent over Trump's deficit
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
The Trump administration’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year, released Monday, reflects a stark new reality of the Republican Party: Balancing the federal budget just isn’t a priority. Combined with last year’s tax reform, which cut taxes by $1.5 trillion over 10 years, and last week’s two-year budget deal, which increased federal spending by $300 billion, the nation’s fiscal picture is awash in red ink. Recommended: What do you know about Donald Trump?
Can This Company Convince You to Love GMOs?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
BOSTON—Out on an old Navy dry dock, a biotech company called Ginkgo Bioworks is growing genetically modified organisms by the billions, and it would very much like to tell you about them.
From Alien DNA to the Placebo Effect: Mysteries That Science Still Can’t Fully Explain
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Scientists have unraveled many mysteries, but even they can't explain these bizarre phenomena!
That bizarre ‘alien probe’ asteroid is spinning and scientists can only guess as to why
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Hey, so, remember that really bizarre cigar-shaped asteroid that flew through our Solar System late last year? It whipped around the Sun and back out into space so fast that astronomers almost missed it, but we now know that it actually came from very far away, and it's the first interstellar asteroid ever observed by mankind. It was such a strange event, and the asteroid's shape was so peculiar, that some scientists thought it might actually be an alien probe of some kind. That idea was largely debunked, but the story of the odd space rock just took an unexpected turn: it's apparently spinning. The long, narrow rock — called Oumuamua in case you had forgotten — has apparently been tumbling for quite some time, and it began its awkward spin long before it entered our Solar System, but researchers only just noticed its behavior due thanks to observations of the amount of light the object reflects towards Earth. The research was published in Nature Astronomy. Researchers still aren't sure where Oumuamua originated, so it's impossible to say when or how the rock began its odd journey or started flipping around, but they're going with the theory that it must have been involved in some kind of violent collision. The rock is tumbling, rather than rotating around horizontal axis, and that motion has likely caused great pressure over time. "At some point or another it's been in a collision," Dr Wesley Fraser of Queen's University explains. "The tumbling actually causes stresses and strains internal to the object, and that slowly but surely squeezes and pulls on the object just like tides on the Earth to remove energy from the spin." Ever since it was first spotted, scientists have been trying to come up with some kind of an explanation for why Oumuamua looks the way it does. It's unlike any space rock we've ever seen before, and early assumptions seemed to focus on its long journey through space as one possible reason for its strange shape, slowly growing longer as it flew like an arrow towards our Solar System. The fact that it's actually tumbling through space rather than flying like a thrown spear would seem to throw that theory right out the window, but it also suggests that the pressure of its spinning may have gradually stretched it out over time. In any case, it's easily the most interesting visitor mankind has ever spotted.
The Promise of Indoor, Hurricane
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
They might be an efficient way to produce food in a world with more-extreme weather—but only if growers can figure out a successful business model.
Abraham Lincoln Was Our Tallest President Ever. This May Be Why
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
He may have had Marfan syndrome
Trump's New NASA Budget Aims to Scrap Critical Telescope Project That Could Help Solve Dark Matter Mystery
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A troubled NASA telescope designed to crack some of the biggest mysteries in our universe may be headed to the chopping block. That's according to a NASA document the agency posted publicly today that outlines its budget request as part of President Trump's administration for fiscal year 2019. The telescope was due to launch in the mid-2020s, but there have been warning signs for the project, which has had major problems with cost control: estimates place its price tag at $3.9 billion, rather than the budgeted $2 billion. In October, an independent review team hired by NASA to check up on WFIRST concluded that the project was scientifically crucial, but that a whole lot of work had been done without major progress toward launch.
Puerto Rico Is Facing a Major Blackout After a Power Station Exploded
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Much of the island was already without power after Hurricane Maria struck months ago
Sea level rise is accelerating: study
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Sea level rise is accelerating and could reach 26 inches (66 centimeters) by century's end, in line with United Nations estimates and enough to cause significant problems for coastal cities, a study said Monday. The past annual rate of sea level rise -- about three millimeters (0.1 inches) per year -- may more than triple to 10 millimeters per year by 2100, said the report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a peer-reviewed US journal. The findings are "roughly in agreement with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 5th Assessment Report (AR5) model projections," said the report, based on 25 years of satellite data.
Trump's history of defending men — and attacking the women who accuse them
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
President Trump appeared this weekend to express doubt about the multiple accusations of domestic violence that led to the resignations two White House staffers. For Trump, it was a familiar refrain.
More than a third of all US ex
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
The first time the Florida poet Devin Coleman voted was also his last. It was 2000, Gore v. Bush – when his was among millions of votes in play as the US Supreme Court called the winner and set the eventual arc of American affairs.
Fiscal stimulus is back. So are bigger deficits
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
In piling a huge spending bill on top of a huge tax cut without the requisite revenues to pay for either one, US policymakers are putting extraordinary faith in the economy. “The economy's going to be running hot,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, a risk-management subsidiary of Moody’s Corp. in New York. If Congress makes permanent the temporary tax cuts for individuals and doesn't ratchet down its spending after the new two-year budget plan expires, annual deficits could swell to $2 trillion a year in a decade, says Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a bipartisan watchdog group.
India links women’s safety and economic growth
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
India reached a globe-shaking threshold this year. Its economy is now growing at a faster clip than China’s. That might be a source of pride for the country and its prime minister, Narendra Modi. In its latest economic report, the government stated that India’s future development hinges on how women and girls are treated in society.
Here's How Many Medals Every Country Has Won at the 2018 Winter Olympics So Far
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Team USA's two medals puts the United States fourth in the leaderboard after the opening weekend
Photos: UV Light Reveals Surprising Hidden Message on the Beaks of Atlantic Puffins
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
While studying a bird called a twite, ornithologist Jamie Dunning got sidetracked and discovered something incredible in puffin beaks. “Originally it was a bit of a mess around,” Dunning told Newsweek. “I’m the kind of guys that people send dead birds to,” Dunning explained.
Openly Gay U.S. Olympian Adam Rippon Says His Feud With Mike Pence Isn't Distracting Him
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
“You know, I've worked my entire life for this moment"
What Makes Something Funny?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
“Humor can be dissected, as a frog can,” E. B. White wrote, “but the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the purely scientific mind.” True to form, philosophers, scientists, and certain left-brained comedians have been scrutinizing humor’s innards for centuries, seeking a serious understanding of what makes things funny.
NASA budget proposal boosts commercial role in space station and moon missions
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The White House’s proposed five-year budget plan would provide a bigger boost to commercial space efforts, including a potential handover of operations on the International Space Station by 2025 and private-sector moon landings. It also calls for zeroing out funding for some high-profile Earth science missions, such as the Earth-watching DSCOVR satellite and the next Orbiting Carbon Observatory. NASA’s $8.8 billion James Webb Space Telescope is still go for launch next year, but the next-next-generation WFIRST space telescope would be canceled “due to significant cost and higher priorities.” Overall, NASA would receive $19.9 billion for the fiscal year beginning in… Read More
This London Airport Is Shut Down After Workers Found a World War II Bomb Nearby
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A 500 kg German WW2 bomb was found in the nearby River Thames
Obamas' official portraits revealed at the Smithsonian
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery unveiled its commissioned portraits of former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama on Monday.
Herman Cain says Trump doesn't have a racist bone in his body
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Herman Cain says President Trump is not a racist and that he thinks his own time in the limelight as a 2012 Republican presidential candidate gives him an idea of what the president is going through right now.
New Jersey capital to use lasers, audio to get rid of crows
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey's capital city is taking a high-tech approach to rid the city of an estimated 30,000 crows that are waking up residents and leaving droppings behind.
Police: 'Obit bandit' targets homes of mourners at funerals
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
BARNSTABLE, Mass. (AP) — Police have arrested a man they say broke into people's homes in Massachusetts while they attended wakes or funerals.
In Russia, a grass
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Just about every former Soviet city has a place outside town, usually a forest or piece of scrubland, where Joseph Stalin’s secret police brought thousands of executed “enemies of the people” and dumped them into mass graves, especially during the nightmare years of the Great Terror of 1936-38. 
President Trump to Unveil a $1.5 Trillion Infrastructure Plan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Trump has repeatedly blamed the "crumbling" state of infrastructure for preventing the American economy from reaching its full potential
'Oumuamua: Space Cigar Is Still Spinning From Mysterious Violent Collision
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The solar system’s strange cigar-shaped visitor 'Oumuamua—Hawaiian for “scout” or “messenger”—is tumbling chaotically as the result of a violent collision. This is the latest of several revelations following the first-ever discovery of a solar system invader last October. Initially believed to be a comet, then an asteroid, scientists think the wandering “interstellar object” is a hunk of ice wrapped in organic sun-blocking material.
A New Exhibition Finds Hope in Moths and Monsters
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A former “obsessive prodigy” takes on the art world, and Darwin’s theory of evolution, while he’s at it.
Democrats Will 'Clean Up' Their Blocked Memo Into the Russia Investigation
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The document tries to counter Republican allegations of surveillance excesses
Millions flock to Carnival street parades across Germany
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Millions of dressed-up revelers and schoolchildren took to the streets across Germany on Monday to celebrate Carnival with elaborate costumes, chocolates and fervor. Shrove Monday’s street parades in traditional Carnival strongholds like Cologne, Duesseldorf and Mainz in western Germany were drawing huge crowds of locals and tourists alike. Schools were closed throughout the region so children could attend the popular street parades that have floats, brass bands and dance groups who throw candy, chocolates and flowers to spectators.