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NASA spacecraft begins search for new planets

NASA spacecraft begins search for new planets

Technology
NASA's Tess spacecraft has blasted off from Earth in a search for new planets that could support life.Tess lifted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida on Wednesday evening local time, riding a SpaceX Falcon rocket.The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite will spend two years scouring 85% of the sky and hundreds of thousands of its brightest stars.The satellite, about the size of a washing machine, will scan the stars for signs of periodic dimming, which may mean that planets are orbiting around them.It is hoped that Tess will find around 20,000 exoplanets - planets outside our solar system - with more than 50 expected to be Earth-sized.There are already 3,700 exoplanets that we know of, with another 4,500 on the not-yet-verified list.Tess is looking for the ones that are Earth-like and clos...
Martian moons Phobos and Deimos carved out by violent impact

Martian moons Phobos and Deimos carved out by violent impact

Science
April 18 (UPI) -- The Martian moons Phobos and Deimos were formed after a large object struck the Red Planet a few billion years ago, according to a new model developed by scientists at the Southwest Research Institute.Scientists have considered a number of origin scenarios for Phobos and Deimos, including the possibility that the satellites are asteroids captured by Mars' gravity.The most promising formation theory is one involving an impact and an equatorial disk of debris. The two small moons formed from the disk of rocky fragments. But until now, attempts to model such a scenario have failed to convince."Ours is the first self-consistent model to identify the type of impact needed to lead to the formation of Mars' two small moons," Robin Canup, an associate vice president in the SwRI S...
Graham Norton leads tributes to Dale Winton

Graham Norton leads tributes to Dale Winton

Entertainment
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceGraham Norton has led tributes to TV and radio presenter Dale Winton, who has died at the age of 62.Norton paid tribute, thanking him for the "the best bit of showbiz advice I ever got - don't quit the hit!"The former Supermarket Sweep host died at his home on Wednesday, his long-term agent Jan Kennedy said.Winton spent nearly a decade hosting the ITV daytime hit but also hosted the BBC's lottery show In It To Win It and game show Hole In The Wall.Friend and fellow TV presenter Davina McCall described him as a "lovely, warm, kind, sensitive, generous soul with a touch of naughty!"Comedian David Walliams said he was "heartbroken" to hear of the death of his friend.Winton's agent did not give details on the cause of death but said: "While we know m...
Australia will reduce sledging – new captain Paine

Australia will reduce sledging – new captain Paine

Sports
New Australia captain Tim Paine says the team will reduce their levels of sledging under his leadership.Paine replaced Steve Smith as Australia skipper after Smith was banned for his part in the ball-tampering scandal.Australia have also been criticised for an aggressive on-field approach and Cricket Australia launched a review into the team's culture."I think what's said and how it's said will be very different going forward," wicketkeeper Paine, 33, said."A lot of this stuff we were actually starting to speak about under Steve [Smith's captaincy]."How do you tamper with a cricket ball?Ball-tampering & why it is so serious for AustraliaSmith and vice-captain David Warner were given year-long bans by Cricket Australia and batsman Cameron Bancroft a nine-month suspension after admitting...
Trump's warning on talks with North Korea's Kim

Trump's warning on talks with North Korea's Kim

World
Donald Trump has said he wants a successful meeting with Kim Jong Un, but warned he will call the talks off if he does not think they will produce results.The President told reporters on Wednesday: "If I think that it's a meeting that is not going to be fruitful, we're not going to go."If the meeting when I'm there is not fruitful, I will respectfully leave the meeting."Video:August 2017: 22 times Trump took on North KoreaMr Trump was speaking at a news conference with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Florida.He said that his campaign of "maximum pressure" on North Korea would continue until Pyongyang gave up nuclear weapons.North Korea has continued to pursue its nuclear programme and missile tests over recent years, ignoring international condemnation and UN sanctions.However, it has...