Tuesday, June 30, 2015

'Leap second' added for first time in three years

Midnight will come later tonight as for the first time in three years an extra second is added to the official time set by atomic clocks.
The "leap second" means the last minute of June will have 61 seconds in it.
Leap seconds - and leap years - are added as basic ways to keep the clock in sync with the Earth and its seasons.
However, there are concerns the extra second could cause problems for some computer systems because it has to be added manually.
Timekeepers are divided over whether to keep the additional unit of time - and the issue is set to be debated at a meeting later this year
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Monday, June 29, 2015

Next Week, Watch Venus And Jupiter High-Five In The Night Sky

The two brightest stars in the sky aren’t actually stars. They’re the planets Venus and Jupiter, and next week, they’ll be snuggled up next to each other in the evening sky. The configuration, called a conjunction, isn’t all that rare, but it does look cool.
In the next week, on a clear night, look for the conjunction in the two hours after sunset. The union will be visible even from a city street. The highlight will come on June 30 when—at closest approach—the two bright planets will appear just one moon-width apart
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Scientists in South Asia struggle to understand heatwave

Scientists in India and Pakistan say higher temperatures were just one factor behind the recent heatwaves and other causes have yet to be established.
They say low air pressure, high humidity and an unusually absent wind played key roles in making the heat unbearable but they do not know why such conditions prevailed at this time of the year.
The temperature forecast for the heatwave peak in Karachi last week was 43C, according to meteorologists in Pakistan.
The prediction was accurate but other factors made the heat feel unbearable, they say.
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Solar Impulse passes 'point of no return' over Pacific

Solar Impulse took off from Japan's Nagoya Airfield at 18:03 GMT on Sunday.
The journey to Hawaii is expected to take approximately 120 hours.
The team spent nearly two months waiting for clear weather to cross the Pacific, and a developing cold front forced the plane to make an unscheduled landing in Japan earlier this month.
"Andre Borschberg has passed the point of no return and must now see this 5 days 5 nights flight through to the end," Solar Impulse said on its website.
The pilot now no longer has the option to turn around and return to Japan, if the weather forecast changes.
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The women whom science forgot

One of the few women to receive a mention is Marie Curie, a physicist and chemist who basically discovered radiation and helped apply it in the field of X-rays.
She won two Nobel Prizes, in physics and chemistry. Yet even so, she was turned down for membership of the prestigious French Academie des Sciences in 1911, the very year she went on to win her second Nobel Prize.
The larger truth is that women have made big and important discoveries in science - think of Dorothy Hodgkin, the brilliant crystallographer who mapped the structure of penicillin and went on to be awarded a Nobel Prize in 1964.

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