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NASA Launches Ocean-Watch Satellite

The U.S. space agency on Friday launched a satellite to observe levels of salt on the surface of the world's oceans and measure how changes in salinity may be linked to future climate.

The $400 million Aquarius/SAC-D spacecraft, a partnership with Argentina, launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 7:20 am Pacific time (1420 GMT).

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School's Flower Opens to Rancid Stink

After nearly three years, the bloom of a rare flower at a Washington state university finally came up, but it didn't smell like roses.

The University of Washington Biology department says its so-called corpse flower opened after midnight and unleashed its stink of rotting meat on the hundreds waiting.

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NASA Says Solar System Edge 'Bunches' in Magnetic Bubbles

A pair of NASA probes wandering in deep space discovered that the outer edge of the solar system contains curious magnetic bubbles and is not smooth as previously thought, astronomers said Thursday.

The NASA Voyager twin spacecraft, which launched in 1977, are currently exploring the furthest outlays of the heliosphere, where solar wind is slowed and warped by pressure from other forces in the galaxy, the U.S. space agency said.

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2 New Elements Officially Added to Periodic Table

They exist for only seconds at most in real life, but they've gained immortality in chemistry: Two new elements have been added to the periodic table.

The elements were recognized by an international committee of chemists and physicists. They're called elements 114 and 116 for now — permanent names and symbols will be chosen later.

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New Mega-Telescope Unveils Stunning Images

A new telescope designed to map the stars in unprecedented detail has delivered astonishing images in its trial run, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) said on Wednesday.

The VLT Survey Telescope, or VST, has been built on a mountain top in northern Chile's Atacama Desert, benefitting from viewing conditions in one of the driest and least light-polluted places on Earth.

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'Dramatic' Solar Flare Could Disrupt Earth Communications

An unusual solar flare observed by a NASA space observatory on Tuesday could cause some disruptions to satellite communications and power on Earth over the next day or so, officials said.

The potent blast from the Sun unleashed a firestorm of radiation on a level not witnessed since 2006, and will likely lead to moderate geomagnetic storm activity by Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

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Japanese Astronaut Plans to Grow Space Cucumbers

Cucumbers may be out of favor on earth, but a Japanese astronaut said Monday that he plans to harvest the vegetable on board the International Space Station.

Satoshi Furukawa is set to blast off early Wednesday for a half-year stint in orbit along with Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov and NASA astronaut Michael Fossum.

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Apple Poised to Introduce iCloud

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs is taking a break from medical leave on Monday to preside over the opening of the company's annual conference for software developers.

And in a break from Apple's usual practice of shrouding its events in an air of mystery, the California gadget-maker this time revealed ahead of time what it plans to announce at the event in San Francisco.

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Tropical 'Hotspots' May Get Too Warm to Farm

Tropical 'Hotspots' May Get Too Warm to Climate change is on track to disrupt lifeline food crops across large swathes of Africa and Asia already mired in chronic poverty, according to an international study released Friday.

More than 350 million people face a "perfect storm" of conditions for potential food disaster, warns the report by scientists in the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

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Companies Look For Power Way, Way Up in The Sky

The world's strongest winds race high in the sky, but that doesn't mean they're out of reach as a potentially potent energy source.

Flying, swooping and floating turbines are being developed to turn high-altitude winds into electricity.

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