New Scientist 27 May 2017

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Tabby's star d·ms

mergency spacewalk TWo astronauts ventured outside the ilntemational Space Station on an unplanned two- our spacewalk. The aim was to repair a vital data relay box that controls solar arrays, radiators and cooling on the station. NASA sa1d the five-person crew was not in danger, but had to riely on back p systems until the fix was made.

THE weird st tar in our galaxy is cting u gain. On 19 M y Tabby's star began to dim, carrying on its history of strange di s in brightness. Astronomers r scr mbling o d cipher he

"Some have s ggested the dimming coul be caused by an orbiting a :ie megastructure" ysterious signal from th star which is 1300 light years away in he cons ell tion C gnus. n 20 5, astronomers 1 d by Yale University's Tabeth Boy ·ian saw light from the star, officially ca led 'C 8462852 sudde y a d repea dly dip in brightness by up to 22 per cen . The , in 2016, a rev· w of o p otogra c lat s revealed that it dimmed by 1 per cent etween 1890 and 1989. r ar a y pot tia expl na ions for the s r nge behaviour of Tabby's star, such as ·ts interior dynamics or it bei g orbi ed b s eroids and debris. ome astronomers have suggested the dimming could be c · ed b n orbiting Ii n egastructure. h at st loss of b ·g ·t ess as promp ed swift reposi ioning of t scop s o catc t g in action. If w 'r lucky n w observations may help us figure out w at s ak·ng,this happ bu i 's probably not ali ns.

Why diets don' work

-----------� Niger's elephants could benefit

T REE sites of outstanding biodi ersi could soon be gra ted atura World itag sta us, nd so re eiv new protection. "W 'r ho ·ng w wil s t· s thr e sites on the World eritage List come mid-July," ays Peter Shadie s nior adviser on world h rit g to h Intern ion I Union for Conservation of ature. One site is China's Qinghai oh Xil -th world's I rgest high st

"Los A re s ·so

world's most spectac lar ites, h st·ng 2600-y ar­ ol Patagonia cypress"

New Scientist 27 May 2017

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