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Huge asteroid to fly close to earth on Tuesday

A massive asteroid will make a rare fly-by Tuesday, and although it poses no danger of crashing to Earth, US scientists said this week they are eager for a closer look. “This is not a potentially hazardous asteroid, just a good opportunity to study one,” said National Science Foundationastronomer Thomas Statler.…

White House: No contact yet from E.T.

WASHINGTON — In a galaxy, far, far away, there is a mathematical chance that alien life exists — but the White House says it has no evidence that extraterrestrials have ever tried to contact humans. In a blow to conspiracy theorists everywhere, a senior Barack Obama administration official also says…

Russia aims for first conquest of Mars

MOSCOW — Russia on Wednesday launches a probe for Mars that aims to collect a chunk of a Martian moon and become Moscow’s first successful planetary mission since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Phobos-Grunt probe is to blast off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a Zenit-2SB…

Kilogram faces quantum diet after weight problem

The guardians of the world’s most important standards of weights and measures have turned to the weird universe of quantum physicsto try to resolve a dilemma. To the bafflement of scientists, a cylinder of metal sitting in a closely-guarded strongbox that is the global benchmark for the kilogram is changing mass. The enigma…

Scientists reveal jealousies on ‘mission to Mars’

It was not always smooth sailing for the six young men who huddled in uncomfortably close quarters on a 520-day fake mission to Mars, a Russian scientist has revealed. The multinational crew emerged blinking from its Moscow isolation module on Friday and was quickly bundled away for further observation after…

Halliburton sued over groundwater pollution

(Reuters) Halliburton Co faces lawsuits over groundwater pollution near a now-closed facility in Oklahoma that cleaned missile casings for the U.S. Defense Department during the Cold War, the company said on Friday. Halliburton, which now specializes in oilfield services, said one of its units cleaned solid fuel from missile casings…

Biggest spike ever in global warming gases: U.S.

Harmful carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels made their biggest ever annual jump in 2010, according to the US Department of Energy’s latest world data released this week. China led the way with a spike of 212 million metric tons of carbon in 2010 over 2009, compared to 59 million…

Federal medical marijuana patient: Cannabis worked a ‘miracle’ for me

LOS ANGELES — In 1988, Elvy Musikka (pictured, left) became the first woman in the United States to be legally permitted by the federal government to smoke marijuana for medicinal purposes, due to a case of Glaucoma that threatened to render her blind. Armed with a mountain of paperwork, a…

UN pushes energy projects to stop deforestation in the Congo

Forest conservation is a major challenge for the Democratic Republic of Congo, the world’s second biggest green lung after the Amazon, amid a paucity of energy production and renewable alternatives. The country’s massive tropical forest, four times the size of France, covers some 1.55 million square kilometres (600,000 square miles),…

Giant crack glimpsed in Antarctic ice sheet

A massive crack is growing wider in the Antarctic ice sheet and could break apart in the coming months, forming an iceberg the size of New York City, NASA scientists warned on Thursday. The crack in western Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier stretches for at least 18 miles (30 kilometers) and…

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