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Scientists Discover 'Ghostlike' Octopus Off Hawaii

Scientists have discovered a "ghostlike" octopus in deep water off Hawaii that appears to belong to a previously unknown species, researchers said.

A submersible research craft spotted the small, translucent octopus by chance around 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) underwater off Necker Island on the northwestern end of the Hawaiian Archipelago, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said.

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Possible New Octopus Species Found near Hawaii

Scientists say they have discovered what might be a new species of octopus while searching the Pacific Ocean floor near the Hawaiian Islands.

On Feb. 27, a team found a small light-colored octopus at a depth of about 2.5 miles in the ocean near Necker Island, said Michael Vecchione of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The octopus did not have fins and all of its suckers were in one row on each arm, Vecchione said.

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Sore, but No Taller, Astronaut Scott Kelly Adjusts to Earth

U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly said Friday he is battling fatigue and super-sensitive skin, but is back to his normal height after nearly a year in space.

Kelly's 340-day mission -- spent testing the effects of long-term spaceflight ahead of a future mission to Mars, along with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko -- wrapped up early Wednesday when they landed in frigid Kazakhstan aboard a Soyuz spacecraft.

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NASA: Drought in 1998-2012 in Mideast Worst in 900 Years

A recent, 14-year dry spell in the Middle East was the worst drought in the past 900 years, according to a new NASA study released this week.

NASA's researchers examined records of rings of trees in several Mediterranean countries to determine patterns of dry and wet years across a span of 900 years. They concluded that the years from 1998 to 2012 were drier than any other period, and that the drought was likely caused by humans.

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Mutations, DNA Damage Seen in Fukushima Forests

Conservation group Greenpeace warned on Friday that the environmental impact of the Fukushima nuclear crisis five years ago on nearby forests is just beginning to be seen and will remain a source of contamination for years to come.

The March 11, 2011 magnitude 9.0 undersea earthquake off Japan's northeastern coast sparked a massive tsunami that swamped cooling systems and triggered reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

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Conservationists: Asian Wildlife Traders Harness Social Media

Social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram are increasingly being used in Asia as platforms for the illegal trade in threatened species ranging from rare birds to orangutan and sun bears, conservation groups said Thursday.

The trend poses a new and worrying threat in a tech-savvy region where products derived from endangered species are sought for traditional medicines and exotic animals are prized as pets, said wildlife-trade monitor Traffic and conservation group WWF.

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International Space Station's 'One Year Crew' Returns to Earth

U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko returned to Earth Wednesday after spending almost a year in space in a ground-breaking experiment foreshadowing a potential manned mission to Mars.

The 340-day mission saw Kelly break the record for the longest single stay in space by a U.S. astronaut, while Kornienko is now fifth on the list for lengthiest mission by a Russian cosmonaut.

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At Last Second, SpaceX Delays Satellite Launch again

In the very last second before liftoff Sunday, SpaceX scrubbed the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket to send a communications satellite into orbit, marking the third delay since last week.

A fuel problem forced the sudden delay, following a postponement -- known as a hold -- earlier in the evening due to a ship that ventured into the waters off Cape Canaveral, Florida, said SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

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Solar Impulse Plane Makes First Maintenance Flight in Hawaii

The sun-powered plane Solar Impulse 2 has made a successful test flight in Hawaii, where it has been grounded for repairs on its round-the-world trek, the Swiss-based project said Saturday.

"The first Solar Impulse 2 maintenance flight took place on Friday 26 of February (and) was uneventful. The plane took off from Kalaeloa airport at 4:32PM UTC [GMT] with our test pilot, Markus Scherdel, in the cockpit, and landed at 6:05PM UTC," it said on its blog.

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Australian Icebreaker Refloated in Antarctica after Grounding

An Australian icebreaker that ran aground in Antarctica during a blizzard has been refloated, officials said Saturday as they work to bring the vessel's expeditioners home.

The Aurora Australis ran aground with 68 people on board after breaking its moorings on Wednesday and was stuck on rocks at Horseshoe Harbor, close to Australia's Mawson station.

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