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Antarctica both Alluring and Forbidding

Their beady little eyes, squarish torsos and adorable waddling make penguins one of the main attractions for tourists who come to Antarctica. But far from the surface waters where they swim with seals and whales, deep in the oceans and across thousands of miles of frozen continent is another side of Antarctica that is both forbidding and mysterious.

It's in those places that scientists study the rapid melting of icebergs and global warming, look for clues about humanity's past that could help us see the future and even find forms of life that survive and thrive in extremely harsh conditions.

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Earth Hour Kicks off in Australia, Lebanon Joins in at 8:30 Local Time

The Sydney Harbour Bridge and the sails on the nearby Opera House went dark Saturday, as lights on landmarks around Australia were switched off for the global climate change awareness campaign Earth Hour.

Millions are expected to take part around the world in the annual event, including Lebanon which is set to join in at 8:30 Beirut time, organised by conservation group WWF, with hundreds of well-known sights including the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Seattle Space Needle set to plunge into darkness.

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Europe Resumes Galileo Satnav Deployment

Europe resumed deployment of its beleaguered Galileo satnav programme on Friday, launching a pair of satellites seven months after a rocket malfunction sent two multi-million euro orbiters awry.

Galileo's seventh and eighth satellites blasted off from Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, at 2146 GMT (6:46 pm local time), to join four orbiters already in the constellation.

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Soyuz Spacecraft Docks at ISS for Year-long Mission

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft with three crew on board successfully docked at the International Space Station Saturday after blasting off from Kazakhstan, NASA said, launching a year-long mission on the orbiting outpost.

The Soyuz-TMA16M spacecraft's crew included a U.S. astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut who will be the first to spend an entire year on the ISS.

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The Salton Sea: A Time-bomb amid California Drought

At first sight the Salton Sea looks putrid, with dead fish scattered among patches of fetid water in a vast salty lake in the middle of the Californian desert.

In the fourth year of a historic drought in the western United States, some say the wetland is an environmental time bomb.

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Ice Around Antarctica Shrank by almost 20 Percent

The ice floating around Antarctica has thinned by nearly 20 percent, according to research published Thursday, depleting the bulwark that prevents the permanent collapse of glaciers covering the southern continent.

The study, based on satellite measurements between 1994 and 2012 by the European Space Agency, sheds new light on how Antarctic ice responds to climate change.

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Japan Launches Replacement Spy Satellite

Japan on Thursday successfully launched a replacement spy satellite, its aerospace agency said, as an existing device comes to the end of its working life.

Tokyo put spy satellites into operation in the 2000s after its erratic neighbour North Korea fired a mid-range ballistic missile over the Japanese mainland and into the western Pacific in 1998.

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Science Researchers Battle on in DR Congo Conflict Zones

"That day, we were almost in mourning," said Luc Bagalwa, a geophysics researcher in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, recalling the 2002 eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano.

While the ash and deep lava destroyed part of the northeastern city of Goma and prompted the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people, the recording apparatus in Bagalwa's laboratory had no paper to note the spectacular seismic events.

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The Salton Sea: A Time-bomb amid California Drought

At first sight the Salton Sea looks putrid, with dead fish scattered among patches of fetid water in a vast salty lake in the middle of the Californian desert. 

In the fourth year of a historic drought in the western United States, some say the wetland is an environmental time bomb.

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Feud on Earth but Peace in Space for U.S. and Russia

Hundreds of kilometers below on Earth, their governments are locked in a standoff over Ukraine -- but up in space, Russian cosmonauts and American astronauts are still working together side by side.

The International Space Station (ISS) is one of the rare areas of U.S.-Russian cooperation that has not been hit by the Ukraine crisis and in the latest show of commitment, the next joint mission is set to blast off from Kazakhstan on Friday.

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