Nearby Barnards Star hosts an icy planet with new hope for alien

first_img Now playing: Watch this: Best places in space to search for alien life Tags The team’s findings are based on over 15 years worth of high-precision observations of Barnard’s Star that’ll be included in an upcoming report in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Guinan hopes it might be possible to get a better look at Barnard b with the coming generation of very large telescopes. “Such observations will shed light on the nature of the planet’s atmosphere, surface, and potential habitability.” While the exoplanet Proxima b is closer, at only four light-years, it orbits the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri that appears to have a rather rude habit of blasting it with sterilizing solar flares. Barnard’s Star, by contrast, is an older red dwarf and the good news for potential life in its orbit is that powerful flares from the old sun are believed to be a rarity. The bad news, though, is that just such a rare flare was observed from Barnard’s Star only 20 years ago. Hopefully any primitive aliens on Barnard b were able to survive in their geothermal hot tubs under a thick shield of ice. NASA turns 60: The space agency has taken humanity farther than anyone else, and it has plans to go further.Crowd Control: A crowdsourced science fiction novel written by CNET readers. 0 Newfound frigid super-Earth found is the second-closest… Space Post a commentcenter_img 26 Photos 1:31 This doesn’t necessarily curse Barnard b to a lifeless existence, though, according to astrophysicists from Pennsylvania’s Villanova University who say the planet might have a hot liquid iron core producing geothermal energy.”Geothermal heating could support ‘life zones’ under its surface, akin to subsurface lakes found in Antarctica,” Edward Guinan, one of the researchers, said in a statement. The news coincided with the team’s presentation Thursday at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle.Any life in such heat pockets would likely be pretty primitive. Scientists are also keen to check for evidence of life in subsurface oceans hidden beneath the frozen shells of Jupiter’s moon Europa and Saturn moon Enceladus.”We note that the surface temperature on Jupiter’s icy moon Europa is similar to Barnard b,” Guinan adds, “but, because of tidal heating, Europa probably has liquid oceans under its icy surface.”    Share your voice Sci-Tech Last year we learned Barnard’s Star, the second closest star system, is circled by a frozen super-Earth. But new research offers hope that at least primitive life might have a warm enough place to survive on the otherwise chilly world. The super-Earth Barnard b (or GJ 699 b) is also the second closest planet discovered beyond our solar system so far, at just six light-years away. Although it orbits Barnard’s Star at about the same distance Mercury orbits our sun, the surface of the planet is likely very cold (-274 Fahrenheit, or -170 Celsius) because the star is a relatively dim red dwarf providing the planet with only about 2 percent of the solar energy we get from our sun.last_img read more

Economy and markets All you need to know to start your day

first_imgA trader reacts as he watches screens on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York on Feb 5, 2018.ReutersTrading in Asia is likely to be subdued on Friday as most of the Asian markets are shut for the Lunar New Year holiday.Overnight, U.S. stocks ended higher for a fifth straight session as investors shrugged off strong inflation data and kept piling into technology stocks.MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced 0.4 percent. Wall Street surged overnight, with the the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbing 1.23 percent to close at 25,200.37.China, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia markets are closed on Friday as celebrations for the Year of the Dog have begun. Chinese mainland markets are closed from February 15 till 21.Back home, SGX Nifty, an early indicator of the Nifty 50’s trend in India, signals a positive start for the domestic markets after the benchmark Sensex rose 141 points or 0.41 percent to close at 34,297 on Thursday.The Indian rupee ended at 63.91 per dollar on Thursday from its previous close of 64.09 per dollar.So far this year, the rupee has fallen 0.14 percent against the U.S. dollar, while overseas investors have bought $1.13 billion from local equity and $2.11 billion in debt markets.Economic data: India’s trade deficit grew to $16.3 billion in January, the highest monthly figure since May 2013, compared with $14.88 billion for December.Gold loses sheen: Indian gold imports declined 22 percent in January, the government data showed.Earnings: Varun Beverages will report its fourth-quarter earnings later in the day.last_img read more

BNP cannot but demonstrate for polls under neutral govt

first_imgMoudud AhmedBangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) does not see any alternative to organising a mass upsurge to compel the government to hold the next general elections under a non-party neutral administration.”This government doesn’t believe in a peaceful negotiation with the opposition. That’s why we don’t have any other option but to wage a movement to force the government to hold the next polls under a neutral administration,” senior leader Moudud Ahmed said on Friday.Speaking at a discussion, he further said, “We’ll have to take preparation both for the movement and the election together. I believe our demand will be met through a mass upsurge.”Zia Sangskritik Sangstha (ZISAS) arranged the programme at the Jatiya Press Club marking the 82nd birth anniversary of BNP founder Ziaur Rahman.Moudud, a BNP standing committee member, said the government is mainly working to annihilate the BNP and suppress its leaders and activists. “They’re also giving Rab and police training as to how to repress their opponents.”He said their party wants to restore democracy, people’s voting and other rights and the rule of law. “We must wage a movement under the leadership of Khaleda Zia to restore people’s rights and impendence of the judiciary,” he said.The BNP leader alleged that the government is unwilling to hold a fair and credible election in fear of facing a debacle.He regretted that the ministers are apparently in a competition to lie as they are doing negative and immoral politics.Moudud also warned that the ministers and the ruling party leaders will have to pay a heavy price someday for spreading lies among the new generation.UNB also reports: Describing Awami League as the beneficiary of the 1/11 political changeover, BNP senior leader Abdullah Al Noman on Friday alleged that the party is now trying to restore one-party rule by establishing its unilateral control on politics.”The country now lacks democracy. Awami League which is the beneficiary of the 1/11 has already snatched people’s all the basic rights. The party is making efforts to establish its unilateral supremacy on politics to restore one-party Baksal rule. But our party wants a democratic government and the good governance,” he said.Speaking at a human chain programme, the BNP leader further said, “We’re ready to engage in talks for the restoration of democracy. We’ll also wage a movement, if necessary, as we won’t make any compromise on the issue of reinstatement of democracy.”Jatiya Ganotantrik Mancha arranged the programme demanding the withdrawal of all the ‘false’ cases filed against BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman.Noman, a BNP vice chairman, warned that people will foil the government’s all plots to burry democracy by casting their ballots in favour of BNP in the next general election. “Awami League will be thrown into the dustbin of history if people can exercise their voting rights in the next polls as ballot is stronger than bullet.”He also said the government will neither be able to eliminate BNP nor suppress people with its repressive acts.The BNP leader urged the government to come to the path of understanding shunning repressive acts to hold a fair and meaningful election under a non-party neutral administration.He also urged the people of all walks of life to get united to restore democracy by establishing a pro-people government through the 11th parliamentary polls.last_img read more

Nawaz Sharif rejects resignation call

first_imgMaryam Nawaz .Photo : ReutersPakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday rejected calls for his resignation at an emergency cabinet meeting to chart out a counter to the Panamagate probe panel’s report that recommended the filing of a graft case against Sharif and his family.Addressing the cabinet members, Sharif termed the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report a “concoction of allegations and stories” regarding his family’s private businesses, Geo News reported.”Without any hesitation I presented myself and family before the JIT,” the prime minister said, adding that his family business predates the entry of any family member into politics.”My family didn’t earn anything from politics but did lose a lot,” Sharif said, adding that despite reservations he accepted the formation of the JIT to probe allegations of money laundering against him and his family.The Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) leader said that the language used in the JIT report displayed “malafide intentions”, Dawn newspaper reported.Pointing to the opposition parties who were demanding his resignation following the release of the JIT report, Sharif said that the PML-N had bagged more votes than those of the opposition parties combined.”Those demanding my resignation on false and unwarranted claims should first look at themselves,” said Sharif. He said he will not let the country’s development become a “target of conspiracies”.”The people of Pakistan have elected me and only they can remove me from this post,” Sharif said.The members of the meeting agreed that there’s no legitimacy to the demands for Sharif’s resignation and expressed their complete support in him, said the report.Interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan expressed the hope that Sharif will be exonerated.”We are not one to be worried as we have faced such difficulties before with the people’s help,” said Khawaja Asif, water and power and defence minister.Several projects related to power generation and other economic initiatives of the government were also discussed in the meeting.On Wednesday, Sharif presided over an informal consultative meeting where he was briefed by legal and constitutional experts regarding the preparations of the government’s stance on the JIT report, Geo News reported.The JIT in its 10-volume report submitted to the apex court earlier this week recommended that a corruption case should be filed against Sharif and his sons Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz, as well as daughter Maryam Nawaz, under the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) ordinance 1999.Maryam Nawaz Sharif had on Wednesday expressed the party’s resolve in a tweet that Sharif will not step down.”Insh’Allah he won’t resign. Should Nawaz Sharif resign because not a single allegation of misuse of public money has been proven against him?” she said.last_img read more