October 16, 2012

Planet Found Orbiting Two Suns – The Daily Orbit

It’s a proud day for citizen scientists everywhere!

Sitting at your desk might cost you more than you think,

And Smile!  It’s contagious!

Getting ready to get moving on the Daily Orbit!

Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I’m Emerald Robinson. If you’ve been sitting there at your desk almost all day, I want you to get up and move! Go ahead move people! A new study says that sitting for long periods of time doubles your risk of diabetes, heart disease and death– despite diet and exercise. That’s really bad news for most people as the study reported that the average adult spends 50-70% of their time sitting. And you might think you’re in the safe zone if you exercise regularly, but the study says you might still be at risk even if you’re getting the recommended amount of exercise. Researchers recommend breaking up long periods of sitting as often as possible. They suggest having standing meetings, and just walking around whenever possible. And I suggest you follow my lead — remember my Jane Fonda…you with me?

What’s in a smile? Well according to a new study…it’s power! New research has found that people who feel powerful are more likely to mimic the smiles of those they feel are less powerful, such as service workers. On the other hand, they are less likely to return a smile when they feel powerful but encounter someone they consider as a being in a higher status than themselves. People who felt overall powerless were found to return everyone’s smiles across the board. Researchers say that “mimicry has been shown to help build relationships, and both power and status seem to affect how we unconsciously employ this strategy.”

You mean to tell me he moves faster than the speed of sound? It’s true! Yeager recently reached supersonic speeds for the second time in his long life. Unlike our man Fearless Felix, 89-year–old Yeager was traveling in an experimental X-1 aircraft over the Mojave Desert. This was a familiar scenario for the speed junkie who had set the original record during a 1947 flight that occurred on the same day, same region of the sky, and nearly at the same minute. When asked about flying at those speeds, Yeager replied, “flying is flying.” Well, in my book flying at supersonic speeds is a little different. That’s one spunky old man!

(Whining) I don’t want to do the next story. Do I have to? Oh what, that only counts for kids? A new study says that kids who get more sleep are better behaved! The study found that children who averaged about 27 minutes more sleep a night were less cranky and had less behavioral issues. During the study, half the kids were put to bed early while the other half stayed up a little past their bedtime. Children who slept more had a better handle on their emotions, were less irritable and impulsive, and were more alert . So parents — do the teacher a favor and put those kids to bed early!

And here’s a cool story — citizen scientists spotted a planet orbiting two suns. No, they weren’t just looking through their telescope out their bedroom window. The two amateur scientists were part of a Yale Volunteer program, called Planet Hunters, that asks public volunteers to look at astronomical data from NASA’s Kepler spacecraft. The newly found planet PH1 has a radius 6.2 times that of Earth and it orbits outside the 20-day orbit of a pair of eclipsing stars that are 1.5 and .041 times the mass of the Sun. PH1 is now one of only 6 planets known to orbit two stars. Astronomers at Yale say they might have missed this unusual system had it not been for the eyes of the public. Well, done citizen scientists!

That’s it for the Daily Orbit! See you tomorrow!

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