Yahoo Science News
Abidjan wants to build the world's first biomass power station fired by cocoa production waste, Ivory Coast and US officials said Monday. If the 235-million-euro (273-million-dollar) scheme gets the go-ahead, Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa grower, could go on to construct nine more power stations burning cocao waste. The first plant could be up and running in 2023, said Yapi Ogou, the head of the Société des énergies nouvelles (Soden or New Energies Company) which is in charge of the project.
A French director said Monday he would abandon filming at a Mediterranean wetlands after a pilot sparked a panic among a huge flock of pink flamingos, causing hundreds of them to abandon their eggs. The pilot of an ultralight aircraft was scouting locations for Nicolas Vanier's film "Give Me Wings" in the Camargues region this month when he zeroed in on the only wild flock of flamingos in France. "A flight plan had indeed been given to the pilot indicating the precise areas to avoid," Vanier told AFP, adding that the operator was not directly employed by his production company.
Australia's iconic koala, its very existence imperilled by disease, bushfires, car strikes, and dog attacks, faces a more hopeful future thanks to scientists cracking its genetic code, a study said Monday. "The genome has allowed us to understand the koala immune genes in detail for the first time," said Rebecca Johnson of the Australian Museum Research Institute, a co-author of the study published in Nature Genetics. "These genes (are) directly contributing to vaccines for koalas," she told AFP.
Neither are plastic utensils in a push to reduce marine plastic pollution. The Seattle Times reports that it's believed to be the first major U.S. city to ban single-use plastic straws and utensils in food service. Seattle Public Utilities says a 2008 ordinance has phased out various plastic products from the food industry.
DENPASAR, Indonesia (AP) — The Mount Agung volcano on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali erupted Monday evening, ejecting a 2,000-meter-high (6,560-foot-high) column of thick ash and hurling lava down its slopes.
A SpaceX capsule arrived at the International Space Station carrying an Artificial Intelligence robot on Monday. The robot Cimon is slightly bigger than a basketball. It will assist German astronaut Alexander Gerst with science experiments. (July 2)
Even by astronomical standards it is a discovery that is out of this world. Scientists have for the first time witnessed the birth of a planet, a huge gas giant many times the size of Jupiter, swirling into existence 370 light years from Earth. The theory of how gas planets form from a vortex of hydrogen and helium molecules captivated by their own gravity, is now widely accepted by scientists. But it has never been seen before, until now. Today scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg and the SPHERE instrument consortium at the Very Large Telescope of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile, released a spectacular image of the birth The planet, currently known as PDS 70b, is shown orbiting within a huge spinning ‘protoplanetary disc’ of gas and dust, which proves it is continuing to accumulate matter, and so is not yet fully formed. The newborn sits within a 5.4 million year old solar system, orbiting a star called PDS 70 at a distance of 1.8 billion miles. The planet stands out clearly in the image, visible as a bright point to the right of the blackened centre. The dark region at the centre of the image is due to a coronagraph, a mask which blocks the blinding light of the central star and allows astronomers to detect the faint light from the planet. “For our study, we selected PDS 70, a star that was already suspected of having a young planet circling around it,” says Miriam Keppler, doctoral student at MPIA. “These discs around young stars are the birthplaces of planets, but so far only a handful of observations have detected hints of baby planets in them. Space exploration | Recent exciting discoveries “The problem is that until now, most of these planet candidates could just have been features in the disc." This glimpse of the dust-shrouded birth of a planet was only possible because of ESO's SPHERE instrument, which studies exoplanets and discs around nearby stars using a technique known as high-contrast imaging. Using the instrument, astronomers were able measure the brightness of the planet at different wavelengths, and find out its composition. It is located roughly three billion kilometres from the central star, roughly equivalent to the distance between Uranus and the Sun. The planet takes about 120 years to orbit its host star. Spectral analysis shows PDS 70 b is a giant gas planet, with a mass a few times that of Jupiter and a surface temperature of around 1,000C, making it much hotter than any planet in our own solar system. Signs of life in our Solar System Thomas Henning, director at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy and leader of the teams, summarises the scientific adventure: "After more than a decade of enormous efforts to build this high-tech machine, now SPHERE enables us to reap the harvest with the discovery of baby planets.” To date, astronomers have discovered around 3,800 exoplanets outside of the solar system but have never seen one being born. “The results give us a new window onto the complex and poorly-understood early stages of planetary evolution," said Dr André Müller, leader of the second team to investigate the young planet. “We needed to observe a planet in a young star's disc to really understand the processes behind planet formation."
A second fire has been declared a major incident in the north of England, just days after an "apocalyptic" fire raged a week on Saddleworth Moor, near Manchester. SEE ALSO: Striking photos show the 'apocalyptic' blaze engulfing UK moorland The blaze at Winter Hill, near Bolton, has been burning for five days and reports say up to 100 firefighters from across the country have been called in to deal with the fire. Firefighters tackle a wildfire on Winter Hill near Bolton.Image: Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty ImagesLancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) declared a major incident on Sunday morning after the Winter Hill wildfire merged with a separate hillside fire to the northwest of Bolton due to strong winds. Firefighters tackle a wildfire on Winter Hill near Bolton. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)Image: PA Images via Getty ImagesAccording to the BBC, 17 fire engines were on the scene at Winter Hill "overnight from Sunday into Monday" and LFRS said "full firefighting operations" were in operation at day break. Per a LFRS tweet, the number of fire engines at the scene was increased as of first thing this morning. "At first light this morning, the number of fire engines at the scene increased to 22 from 17 overnight," reads the tweet. Firefighters beat out wildfires on Winter Hill near Rivington in Lancashire, north west England on July 1, 2018. - Firefighters in northern England launched a "large-scale attack" on a new moorland blaze July 1, 2018, as emergency responders continued to battle another nearby wildfire that has been burning all week. (Photo by Lindsey Parnaby / AFP) (Photo credit should read LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)Image: AFP/Getty ImagesThe fire service tweeted footage taken from the top of Winter Hill early this morning, where crews were "beating down hot spots." One local fire station tweeted that it had "lost count of how many hours" they had spent "up on the hills and the moors." They thanked locals for their support that has spurred them on, "be it a kind word shouted from a passing car or donated refreshments." Like all the other crews, we’ve lost count of how many hours we’ve been up on the hills and the moors.To see first hand the generosity and kindness of the public supporting us is truly humbling. Be it a kind word shouted from a passing car or donated refreshments it spurs us on — Tarleton Fire Station (@TarletonFire) July 1, 2018 Lancashire Police warned members of the public to avoid Winter Hill as the fires raged on, but one man had to be rescued after collapsing at Pike Tower. Firefighters tackle a wildfire on Winter Hill near Bolton. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)Image: PA Images via Getty Images"We’re really concerned that members of the public are heading up onto the moors. We really appreciate your offer to help but public safety is a priority and we ask people to stay away," read one tweet posted by LFRS. Firefighters tackle a wildfire on Winter Hill near Bolton. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)Image: PA Images via Getty ImagesResidents have been warned to keep windows and doors shut until the fire is under control. WATCH: A tiny satellite could be the key to cleaning up our space trash