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NASA scientists have broken the record for the smallest planet beyond our solar system! The newly-found planet, Kepler 37b, is rocky and only slightly larger than our moon at a mere 3865 kilometers in diameter. It is hellishly hot—it’s so close to its host star that it has a 13-day orbit. This planet may be tiny, but it’s making a big splash in the realms of science!

 

1382364 galaxy landscape

 

Kepler 37b’s host star, Kepler 37, is one of about 150,000 stars being watched by the space-based Kepler Observatory every minute of every day. The mission was launched in 2009 to look for Earth-sized planets positioned in “habitable zones” where liquid water, believed to be necessary for life, can exist on their surfaces. In the beginning, the Kepler team could only find large planets similar in size to Jupiter and Neptune. However, the recent success in finding small planets like Kepler 37b is indicative of amazing technological achievements.

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They brought the science; we brought the challenge!

On Saturday, March 16, Orlando Science Center held the 2013 Science Challenge! Presented by Bright House Networks, Science Challenge encourages excellence in science education and provides an intermediate event between the county science fairs and the state science fair. Participants are the first place winners in the physical science competitions in county Science Fairs in the nine surrounding counties (Brevard, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia). These middle and high school students bring their A-game as they strive to win top honors.

Check out the photos from the competition!




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If you've been following our weekly installments about “Corrosion: The Silent Menace,” you already know that corrosion is a serious issue in the U.S. America’s infrastructure gets a report card every year, and its current grade is a D!

This problem is met with dire consequences. The corrosion that is attacking America’s infrastructure is causing more than 25 percent of our bridges to fail. 800,000 corroded water pipes are ready to burst, and these rusty pipes are leaking seven billion gallons of drinking water every day! Sadly, these issues aren't even the half of it.

corrosionrack

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Have you ever wondered what your brain looks like when you think? Science just got one step closer to solving the mystery!

Scientists at Japan's National Institute of Genetics announced last month that they have succeeded in catching the thought of a young zebrafish on camera!

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As citizens living in a constantly expanding universe, it is very important to understand not only how it works, but also, how it originated. Today, scientists around the world are examining particles that are evidence of the main matter from which everything we know around us emerged and obtained a certain mass.

Last summer, scientists announced the finding of a particle that could very well be a Higgs boson particle (or God Particle). This particle was found in the world’s largest high-energy particle accelerator called Large Hadron Collider (LHC) located near Switzerland.

Further studies indicate that this particle is, in fact, a Higgs boson particle. The Higgs boson is an elementary particle of nature discovered by the European Organization of Nuclear Research (CERN) which explains the presence of mass and symmetry in the fundamental particles of the universe.

Scientists will continue to study the particle to finitely determine that the Higgs Field exists, which will allow science to explain how universe really works.

higgsboson



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“An essential element in developing improved corrosion control and management practices throughout the national infrastructure is better education of the nation's engineers.” - Committee of Assessing Corrosion Education of the National Research Council (2009).

The corrosion crisis in America is growing faster than we can fix it. Corrosion endangers our nation’s safety and economy, causing broken infrastructure, oil leaks and even one-half of power outages. More than one-fourth of the bridges in the country are structurally deficient due to corrosion.

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As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is certainly true when it comes to corrosion prevention.

The correct approach to keeping corrosion at bay helps save both money and lives. Although many corrosion prevention techniques are costly, they more than pay for themselves by increasing the safety of our infrastructure and lowering maintenance costs.

preventing-corrosion-web

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777 E. Princeton Street • Orlando, Florida 32803 • Phone: 407.514.2000 • TTY: 407.514.2005 • Toll Free: 888.OSC.4FUN • Email: gservices@osc.org
  Orlando Science Center is supported by United Arts of Central Florida, host of power2give.org/centralflorida and the collaborative Campaign for the Arts.
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