BEIJING: A giant star, recently identified as the most lithium-rich star ever known, has been added to the list of distinguished discoveries of a telescope in Xinglong, in north China’s Hebei Province.
The Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) began regular surveys in 2012. It has collected about 10 million spectra over six years and established the world’s largest databank of stellar spectra.
“The number of stellar spectra released by LAMOST is 1.8 times more than the total of other astronomic surveys,” said Zhao Gang, a lead astronomer at the National Astronomical Observatories of China of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Spectra are key for astronomers to read celestial bodies’ chemical compositions, densities, atmospheres, and magnetism.
The telescope can observe about 4,000 celestial bodies at one time and has made a massive contribution to the study of the structure of the Milky Way galaxy, Zhao said.
With LAMOST, astronomers have found the Milky Way could be twice as wide as previously thought. They also have a clearer picture of the structure of the halo around our galaxy, and new evidence that it was formed by merges of small galaxies.
Using data from the telescope, they estimated that dark matter makes up over 90 percent of the total mass in our galaxy. But the density of dark matter is low in the location of our sun, which makes it very difficult to detect dark matter directly.
The telescope can also help calculate the age of more than a million stars, providing basic data to study the evolution of our galaxy.
Astronomers measured the magnetic activity index of about 6,000 sun-like stars, as well as the eccentricity and inclination angle of the orbits of about 700 exoplanets, and found that almost 80 percent of their orbits are near circular, similar to the orbits of planets in the solar system. This indicates the solar system is not special in the universe, giving scientists more confidence in the search for Earth-like exoplanets and extraterrestrial life.
From the spectra collected by LAMOST, astronomers have discovered some unusual stars. For instance, five “hypervelocity stars” which travel fast enough to escape the gravitational grasp of the Milky Way have been found. Astronomers have also discovered more than 12,000 quasars at the far reaches of the universe.
Facebook says data breach affected 29 million users
Cyber attackers stole data from 29 million Facebook accounts using an automated program that moved from one friend to the next, Facebook Inc (FB.O) announced as the social media company said its largest-ever data theft hit fewer than the 50 million profiles it initially reported.
The company said it would message affected users over the coming days to tell them what type of information had been accessed in the attack.
The breach has left users more vulnerable to targeted phishing attacks and could deepen unease about posting to a service whose privacy, moderation and security practices have been called into question by a series of scandals, cybersecurity experts and financial analysts said.
The attackers took profile details such as birth dates, employers, education history, religious preference, types of devices used, pages followed and recent searches and location check-ins from 14 million users.
For the other 15 million users, the breach was restricted to name and contact details. In addition, attackers could see the posts and lists of friends and groups of about 400,000 users.
Lawmakers and investors have grown more concerned that Facebook is not doing enough to safeguard data. Facebook cut the number of affected users from its original estimate after investigators reviewed activity on accounts that may have been affected. Still, cybersecurity experts warned that attackers could use stolen information in targeted phishing scams.
Facebook said it was continuing to investigate whether the attackers took actions beyond stealing data, such as posting from accounts but had not found additional misuse. Hackers did not steal personal messages or financial data and did not use their access to accounts to access users’ accounts on other websites, Facebook said.
Jetliner lands in the US after world’s longest flight
NEW YORK: An Airbus jetliner arrived in Newark on Friday after a nearly 18-hour trip from Singapore, completing the world’s longest commercial flight.
It marked the revival of a route that had been eliminated in 2013. Singapore Airlines Flight SQ22 arrived at 5:29 am (0929 GMT), having left Singapore’s Changi airport at 11:23 pm, the Newark Liberty International Airport website said. That made for a flight of 17 hours and 52 minutes. The flight had been scheduled to take 18 hours and 25 minutes.
The plane was carrying 150 passengers and 17 crew members as it traveled 10,250 miles (16,500 kilometers). “I feel perfectly well rested,” said Kristopher Alladin, a 37-year-old Canadian. “I’m lucky because I’m able to sleep on the plane.” Flying from New York to Singapore would be a longer journey, lasting an estimated 18 hours and 45 minutes. The first flight in that direction took off from Newark at 11:10 am Friday.
Singapore Airlines only offers premium economy and business seats on the flight – no regular economy seats. “Although you’re in premium eco, you feel like you’re in first class,” said Alladin, adding that he had taken the same flight in 2008. “The flight was very smooth, very quiet.”
Air India jet hits wall on takeoff
NEW DELHI: Air India today grounded two pilots after one of its jets carrying 136 people hit an airport perimeter wall on takeoff and then flew for almost four hours with a damaged body, officials said.
The Boeing 737 suffered the damage as it left Trichy in southern India bound for Dubai. Officials at the airport in Tamil Nadu state “observed that aircraft might have come in contact with the airport perimeter wall,” said an Air India statement.
“The matter was conveyed to the pilot in command. The pilot in command reported that the aircraft systems were operating normally. It was decided to divert the aircraft to Mumbai as a precautionary measure.”
The jet landed in Mumbai four hours later and pictures of the damaged aircraft went viral on social media soon after it landed safely. The 130 passengers were moved to a new flight to Dubai.