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Kepler Telescope Studies Star Superflares

from BBC News Online

Nasa's Kepler space telescope has provided fresh insight on the colossal explosions that can afflict some stars. These enormous releases of magnetic energy--known as superflares--could damage the atmosphere of a nearby orbiting planet, putting at risk any lifeforms that might reside there.

Fortunately, Kepler shows superflares to be much less frequent on slow-rotating stars like our Sun. The new observations are reported in the journal Nature.

The biggest recorded flare on the Sun was probably the "Carrington event" of 1 September 1859. Described by the English astronomer Richard Carrington, this outburst sent a surge of electromagnetic radiation and charged particles towards the Earth.

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VIDEO: The Promise and Peril of Drones

CummingsDrones

The automation of tasks at work and at home is just around the corner, including driving cars, piloting planes, delivering packages, and transporting weapons. Unmanned aerial vehicles are rapidly evolving to meet both society’s and the military’s needs in automation and better efficiency.
During her time as one of the first female fighter pilots in the US Navy, Dr. Missy Cummings observed that computers could take off and land a plane more precisely than humans. Because of this breakthrough and her fascination with this growing technology, she began human–drone interaction research.

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