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Students from minority communities explore space

As with most scientific disciplines, leaders in the field of astronomy are looking for ways to ensure that students from traditionally minoritized populations have ample opportunities to participate in research and contribute to the advancement of science. Northern Arizona University professor David Trilling, chair of the Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science, is one of the leaders

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Want to pretend to live on Mars? For a whole year? Apply now

Want to find your inner Matt Damon and spend a year pretending you are isolated on Mars? NASA has a job for you. To prepare for eventually sending astronauts to Mars, NASA began taking applications Friday for four people to live for a year in Mars Dune Alpha. That’s a 1,700-square-foot Martian habitat, created by

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Robotic police dogs: Useful hounds or dehumanizing machines?

If you’re homeless and looking for temporary shelter in Hawaii’s capital, expect a visit from a robotic police dog that will scan your eye to make sure you don’t have a fever. That’s just one of the ways public safety agencies are starting to use Spot, the best-known of a new commercial category of robots

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Largest US quake in half-century causes Alaska little damage

The largest earthquake in the United States in the last half century produced a lot of shaking but spared Alaska any major damage in a sparsely populated region, officials said Thursday. The magnitude 8.2 earthquake was reported about 10:15 p.m. Wednesday, and struck just south of the Alaska Peninsula, nearly 500 miles (804.67 kilometers) southwest

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First sign of animal life on Earth may be a sponge fossil

A Canadian geologist may have found the earliest fossil record of animal life on Earth, according to a report published Wednesday in the journal Nature. Around a billion years ago, a region of northwest Canada now defined by steep mountains was a prehistoric marine environment where the remains of ancient sponges may be preserved in

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Arizona professor will lead NASA project to locate menacing objects near Earth

NASA has appointed a University of Arizona professor to lead a project to track asteroids that potentially could crash into Earth. The mission involves launching a telescope into a high orbit to locate such near-Earth objects using the infrared radiation they emit. Amy Mainzer, a professor of planetary sciences, will lead a team building the

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