Scientist superstar Katie Bouman designed algorithm for black hole image

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Anonymous to the public just days ago, a US computer scientist named Katie Bouman has become an overnight sensation due to her role in developing a computer algorithm that allowed researchers to take the world’s first image of a black hole. “I’m so excited that we finally get to share what we have been working on for the past year!” the 29-year-old Bouman, a postdoctoral researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian […]

Israeli spacecraft crashes during moon landing: mission control; Beresheet supposed to be Israel’s 1st moon landing

  By Agence France Presse Israel’s attempt at a moon landing failed at the last minute Thursday when the craft suffered an engine failure as it prepared to land and apparently crashed onto the lunar surface. “We didn’t make it, but we definitely tried,” project originator and major backer Morris Kahn said in a live videocast from mission control near Tel Aviv. “I think that the achievement of getting to where we got is really […]

Most Asian markets fall, while pound holds ground after Brexit delay

Asian equity markets mostly fell on Thursday, April 11, with few catalysts to drive buying and investors still on edge over a brewing trade battle between the United States and Europe. White House threats this week to hammer $11 billion worth of EU goods with tariffs jolted markets, which have been rallying this year on optimism that China and the US were close to ending their own battle. The warning revived concerns about US President […]

Battle for space more stealth than Star Wars

by Ivan COURONNE Agence France Presse Colorado Springs, United States (AFP)– At tens of thousands of kilometers above the Earth, a Russian satellite slowly approached the French-Italian satellite Athena-Fidus in October 2017, a move France later denounced as “an act of espionage.” What is less widely known is that just a few days before that, the same Russian satellite — known as Luch or Olymp-K — had been approached by an American military satellite named […]

The real deal: Astronomers deliver first photo of black hole

by Marlowe Hood and Laurence Coustal PARIS, France (AFP) — Astronomers on Wednesday unveiled the first photo of a black hole, one of the star-devouring monsters scattered throughout the Universe and obscured by impenetrable shields of gravity. The image of a dark core encircled by a flame-orange halo of white-hot plasma looks like any number of artists’ renderings over the last 30 years. But this time, it’s the real deal. “The history of science will […]

New York mandates vaccine to contain Brooklyn measles outbreak

by Thomas URBAIN New York’s mayor declared a public health emergency in parts of Brooklyn on Tuesday, ordering all residents to be vaccinated to fight a measles outbreak concentrated in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. The order concerns all people living or working in four zip codes of Williamsburg, northwest Brooklyn, where some residents oppose vaccines on religious grounds — although neither Jewish texts nor local Jewish authorities advise against vaccination. “It was time to take […]

Boeing shares slump as 737 earnings hit is weighed

  NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Boeing shares slumped Monday on the company’s weakened profit outlook after it announced last week it will cut production of 737 planes following two deadly crashes. Shares were down 4.5 percent at $374.02 in afternoon trading, weighing on the Dow in the first session since Boeing announced late Friday it would trim production to 42 planes per month, down from 52 per month. Several analysts downgraded profit estimates, […]

China’s virtual reality arcades aim for real-world success

by Lianchao LAN Agence France Presse Shanghai, China (AFP) — Chen Jiuxiao puts on virtual-reality goggles and is immediately transported to a snow-covered ski slope, down which she slaloms without ever leaving Shanghai. “I felt weightless skiing down the mountain,” Chen, 25, gushes after re-emerging in the material world. “The scenery around me was so authentic,” she adds. Chen, a hospitality worker, said she ventured into one of Shanghai’s VR arcades due to word of […]

Australia ramps up measles warnings as cases jump

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Australia on Monday launched a major education campaign to encourage its residents, particularly those traveling overseas, to get vaccinated against measles as a sudden spike in cases amid a global resurgence causes alarm. Measles — an airborne infection causing fever, coughing and rashes that can be deadly in rare cases — was declared officially eliminated from Australia by the World Health Organisation in 2014. In developed nations including Australia however, the […]

Team in Florida captures huge python using tracking devices

MIAMI, United States (AFP) — Researchers in Florida using a new approach to combating a destructive invasion by enormous pythons have captured one of the biggest ever, a 17-foot-long (5.2 meters) specimen large enough to eat a deer, they said. The female snake is longer than a one-story building is high, and weighs 140 pounds (64 kilograms). It is one of the biggest pythons ever caught in southern Florida, according to a post on the Facebook […]

Four-legged prehistoric whale fossil found in Peru

Washington, United States (AFP) — Paleontologists have found a well-preserved fossil of a four-legged amphibious ancestor of whales, a discovery that sheds new light on the mammals’ transition from land to the ocean. The ancestors of whales and dolphins walked on Earth about 50 million years ago in the regions that now comprise India and Pakistan. Paleontologists have previously found partial fossils of the species in North America that were 41.2 million years old suggesting […]