Cyprus Rocky Testing Ground For Mars

International and Cypriot experts on Friday discussed a research project to test space equipment on the Mediterranean island before sending it to Mars to measure the age of its rocks, officials said.

Planetologists and geologists arrived in Cyprus earlier this month to test out the equipment in the Troodos mountains, which officials say has geological similarities with the red planet.

The project is funded by the European Commission and on Friday a first meeting involving the Cyprus Space Exploration Organisation (CSEO) and the Geological Surveys Department got underway.

“The meeting discussed the objectives of the international space programme, the geological needs and the most suitable locations for the project,” the government’s Geological Survey Department said.

The rock-measuring project is “very innovative since there are no previous accurate measurements of the age of the rocks of Mars from previous missions”, it added in a statement.

Planetologists and geologists arrived in Cyprus to test out the equipment in the Troodos mountains, which officials say has geological similarities with Mars Planetologists and geologists arrived in Cyprus

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Nextdoor’s rocky road to going public

Nextdoor is a local social media app that acts as a digital public message board for neighborhoods where users can sell furniture, organize events and alert neighbors of danger.

In the past year, monthly active users on Nextdoor grew 20 percent, according to Sensor Tower. It’s provided neighbors and public agencies a platform to spread useful and important information during the pandemic.

But the app, along with crime-focused apps like Citizen and Amazon Ring’s Neighbors, has been scrutinized for years for not doing enough to curb the racism prevalent on the platform.

Unlike Citizen and Neighbors, Nextdoor is more than a crime-fighting app. It helps small businesses connect to their local customers and gain new customers with free business postings. Local news outlets, which have been dwindling for years, have used the platform to reach a larger local audience with articles that are relevant to their community. But its reputation

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Leaf-cutter ants have rocky crystal armor, never before seen in insects

Leaf-cutter ants are named for their Herculean feats: they chomp foliage and carry unwieldy pieces, like green flags many times their size, long distances to their colonies. There they chew up the leaves to feed underground fungus farms. Along the way, the insects brave all manner of predators—and regularly engage in wars with other ants.



a close up of an animal: The fungus-farming ant Acromyrmex echinatior has a newfound type of biomineral covering that serves as armor.


© Photograph by Eduard Florin Niga / Eddimage Photography

The fungus-farming ant Acromyrmex echinatior has a newfound type of biomineral covering that serves as armor.




Acromyrmex echinatior’s armor helps it survive wars with other ant species


© Photograph courtesy of Eugenia Okonski, Smithsonian Institution

Acromyrmex echinatior’s armor helps it survive wars with other ant species


But these insects are even tougher than previously thought.

A new study shows that one Central American leaf-cutter ant species has natural armor that covers its exoskeleton. This shield-like coating is made of calcite with high levels of magnesium, a type found only in one other biological structure: sea urchin teeth,

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Leaf-cutter ants are coated in rocky crystal armor, never before seen in insects

Leaf-cutter ants are named for their Herculean feats: they chomp foliage and carry unwieldy pieces, like green flags many times their size, long distances to their colonies. There they chew up the leaves to feed underground fungus farms. Along the way, the insects brave all manner of predators—and regularly engage in wars with other ants.

But these insects are even tougher than previously thought.

A new study shows that one Central American leaf-cutter ant species has natural armor that covers its exoskeleton. This shield-like coating is made of calcite with high levels of magnesium, a type found only in one other biological structure: sea urchin teeth, which can grind limestone.

Bones and teeth of many animals contain calciferous minerals, and crustaceans, such as crabs and lobsters, have mineralized shells and other body parts. But before this finding, no type of calcite had been found in any adult insect.

Acromyrmex echinatior’s

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Twitter, Facebook face rocky future post-Donald Trump

Much of the debate, including how to stop the spread of disinformation, is focused on a 1996 law known as Section 230 that protects social media companies from being sued over how they moderate third-party content posted on their sites. For instance, Twitter cannot be sued for labeling Trump’s posts, and Facebook cannot be sued for deleting a #StopTheSteal group.

Lawmakers from both parties have floated changes to Section 230 as a way to wield more control over the companies. Two bipartisan Senate proposals picked up momentum in the months leading up to the election and could lay the groundwork for a legislative compromise at some point during the next session of Congress.

Silicon Valley is largely opposed to changing Section 230, which has been credited with the technology industry’s meteoric rise in the past two decades. But the results of the election don’t change much when it comes to

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This lava planet has a magma ocean and ‘rocky’ weather

That’s the portrait painted in a new study by scientists from McGill University, York University and the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in Kolkata published on Tuesday in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The researchers described conditions on this planet, called K2-141b, which is located about 210 light-years from Earth. It orbits extremely closely around its star, which is just slightly smaller than our sun.

This “lava” planet completes a revolution in about six or seven hours, just about grazing the star’s surface as it hurtles through space.

By contrast, Mercury, the closest planet to the sun in our solar system, takes 87 days to orbit the sun.

“Almost half of the planet is molten magma,” said lead study author Tue Giang Nguyen, a doctoral student at York University in Toronto. “The atmosphere created by vaporized rocks spreads around the planet.”

That vaporized silicon dioxide,

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About half of Sun-like stars could host rocky, potentially habitable planets — ScienceDaily

Since astronomers confirmed the presence of planets beyond our solar system, called exoplanets, humanity has wondered how many could harbor life. Now, we’re one step closer to finding an answer. According to new research using data from NASA’s retired planet-hunting mission, the Kepler space telescope, about half the stars similar in temperature to our Sun could have a rocky planet capable of supporting liquid water on its surface.

Our galaxy holds at least an estimated 300 million of these potentially habitable worlds, based on even the most conservative interpretation of the results in a new study to be published in The Astronomical Journal. Some of these exoplanets could even be our interstellar neighbors, with at least four potentially within 30 light-years of our Sun and the closest likely to be at most about 20 light-years from us. These are the minimum numbers of such planets based on the most

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We’ve Found Oceans Of Molten Lava And ‘Rocky Rain’ On The Most Extreme Planet Yet, Say Scientists

Scientists have found an exoplanet of molten lava oceans where they forecast supersonic winds and “rocky rain.”

A fiery hot world that orbits its star so closely that a year takes less than seven hours, K2-141b is among the most extreme planets discovered thus far beyond the Solar System.

According to a study published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, scientists from McGill University, York University and the Indian Institute of Science Education, K2-141b has a surface, ocean and atmosphere all made up of the same thing—rock.

It’s thought that K2-141b is a place where rock is vaporized and falls as a mineral “rocky rain” that replenishes an ocean of molten lava.

MORE FROM FORBESThis Week Jupiter Aligns With Saturn. What Happens Next Will

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Supersonic winds, rocky rains forecasted on lava planet — ScienceDaily

Among the most extreme planets discovered beyond the edges of our solar system are lava planets: fiery hot worlds that circle so close to their host star that some regions are likely oceans of molten lava. According to scientists from McGill University, York University, and the Indian Institute of Science Education, the atmosphere and weather cycle of at least one such exoplanet is even stranger, featuring the evaporation and precipitation of rocks, supersonic winds that rage over 5000 km/hr, and a magma ocean 100 km deep.

In a study published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, the scientists use computer simulations to predict the conditions on K2-141b, an Earth-size exoplanet with a surface, ocean, and atmosphere all made up of the same ingredients: rocks. The extreme weather forecasted by their analysis could permanently change the surface and atmosphere of K2-141b over time.

“The study is the first

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