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SpaceX launch boosts Starlink network to 480 satellites

SpaceX launch boosts Starlink network to 480 satellites

Science
ORLANDO, Fla., June 3 (UPI) -- A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off on time Wednesday night from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, propelling 60 Starlink communications satellites into orbit. The successful launch boosted the number of Starlink satellites circling the Earth to 480, by far the greatest number of any communications network. Advertisement Liftoff at 9:25 p.m. EDT came on a warm, humid night after skies cleared sufficiently to ensure a safe launch and adequate monitoring. At about 2 minutes, 45 seconds after launch, the nine main engines of the rocket's first stage shut off, and that stage re-entered the Earth's atmosphere for recovery off Florida on the SpaceX barge named Just Read the Instructions. The first stage landed mostly inside a bull's-eye on the flat dec...
Ancient burial site in Belize reveals when people started eating maize

Ancient burial site in Belize reveals when people started eating maize

Science
June 3 (UPI) -- Maize is a staple crop across much of the Americas, and new research suggests it's been that way for at least 4,700 years. Reconstructing the diets of early human populations in tropical regions like Central America has proven quite difficult, but scientists recently discovered a burial site in present-day Belize that has been continuously used for over 10,000 years. Advertisement Given the shallow nature of most graves and burial sites, it's rare for human remains to end up layered sequentially -- let alone a burial site featuring well-preserved remains. "Finding intact burials from any time period is rare in tropical environments as the high temperatures and humidity are favorable to bacteria and other decomposers," archaeologist Mark Robinson, a postdoctoral research fe...
Coronavirus: Public told to cut water use amid surge in lockdown demand

Coronavirus: Public told to cut water use amid surge in lockdown demand

Science
Water companies are urging people to use water more carefully during the coronavirus lockdown. They are asking people to avoid hoses and sprinklers, and not to fill paddling pools. However, so far a full hosepipe ban has not been imposed.Companies are responding to a double water whammy from the record dry spring and a surge in demand as people spend more time at home during the lockdown. February this year was the wettest on record and you might have thought the UK had enough H2O - following a drenching winter, rivers and reservoirs were full.But then it barely rained for three subsequent months – another record. Then came coronavirus and lockdown meant people stayed home in the sunshine. May was sunniest UK month on record Water firm 'can't keep up' w
Grooming bees help boost colony immunity

Grooming bees help boost colony immunity

Science
June 2 (UPI) -- New research suggests designated bee groomers, or allogroomers, are essential to the health of their colony. Varroa mites and other ectoparasites, parasites that reside on the outside of a host's body, are a major threat to the health of honeybees and their colonies all over the world. Advertisement Fortunately, bees have allogroomers to keep them clean. Allogroomers are worker bees that help remove bits of debris, including parasites and pathogens, from their peers. It's a dangerous job, but new research suggests allogroomers are equipped with especially powerful immune systems. "Here, we found worker bees that specialize in allogrooming are highly connected within their colonies, and have developed stronger immune systems," Alessandro Cini, researcher at the University ...
Astronomers find hot stars peppered with massive magnetic spots

Astronomers find hot stars peppered with massive magnetic spots

Science
June 1 (UPI) -- Astronomers have discovered giant magnetic spots on the surfaces of hot stars hidden away in stellar clusters. Scientists also found evidence of superflare events, eruptions featuring several times more energy than those observed on the surface of the sun. The new survey of extreme horizontal branch stars, published Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy, could help scientists unravel some of the mysterious of these unusual stellar objects. Advertisement "These hot and small stars are special because we know they will bypass one of the final phases in the life of a typical star and will die prematurely," lead researcher Yazan Momany, scientist at the INAF Astronomical Observatory of Padua in Italy, said in a news release. "In our galaxy, these peculiar hot objects are gene...