At the top of Mauna Kea in Hawaii, a team of scientists led by Quinn Konopacky (University of Toronto), have detected a planet the size of Jupiter that indicates that it contains water and carbon monoxide.
The team managed to come to such a detailed research using the advanced Keck II telescope fitted with the Ohio State Infrared Imager/Spectrometer ( OSIRIS). The atmosphere of the planet shows evidence of water vapour and a high ratio of carbon to oxygen. According to the scientists, those conditions existed on Earth millions of years ago, which shows that the planet formation is in progress.
The planet orbits around a star called HR 8799 at a distance of approximately 130 light years from Earth and is one of four planets that orbits around this star.
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A new study titled, “Detecting Bio-Markers In Habitable-Zone Earths Transiting White Dwarfs”, published by the Royal Astronomical Society, has concluded that dying White Dwarf systems could host planets with life and they might be able to detect it within the next decade.
When a star dies, it ejects its outer layers, leaving behind a hot core called a white dwarf, which is typically about the size of Earth. It slowly cools and fades over time, but it can retain heat long enough to warm a nearby world for billions of years.
White dwarfs help in the search for extra-terrestrial life by first finding the planets that exist in the habitable zone of white dwarfs. This can be achieved by observing lights from a star and checking to see if it dims at regular intervals – a phenomenon that suggests the starlight is being blocked by an orbiting planet.
Once a planet is discovered orbiting around a white dwarf, the next stage is to determine if it can sustain life. For tell-tale signs of life, astronomers are particularly interested in finding oxygen. According to the study, oxygen could be detected in the atmosphere of a white dwarf’s planet much more easily than for an Earth-like planet orbiting a Sun-like star. They found that both oxygen and water vapor would be detectable with only a few hours of total observation time.
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An archaeological dig has uncovered what appears to be evidence that Shiloh, the ancient capital of Israel that was once the site where the Tabernacle and Ark of the Covenant could be found, was destroyed, at least in part, by fire.
Excavators working in Tel Shiloh, the site of the ancient city, have uncovered the remains of a broken clay pitcher which was found lying in a layer of reddish ash, Tazpit News Agency reports. The finding leads them to believe the city was burned after 369 years of being the nation’s religious center. The pitcher is suspected to be from around 1050 B.C. – the time the events described in the biblical book of 1 Samuel would have likely occurred.
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