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Breakthrough Science

Courtney Dressing: Breakthrough Discuss 2017

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Title: How Common are Potentially Habitable Planets Orbiting Nearby Stars?

The Breakthrough Discuss 2017 conference was held April 20-21, 2017 at Stanford University. The conference was hosted by Stanford University’s Department of Physics and the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and sponsored by the Breakthrough Initiatives. Breakthrough Discuss is an academic forum for scientists focused on novel ideas for space exploration and the search for life in the Universe. The 2017 conference focused on the following three sessions:

1. Observations of Proxima b and Habitable Planets around Nearby Cool Stars – Chaired by Olivier Guyon – Co-chairs: David Charbonneau and Lisa Kaltenegger

2. SETI Observations of Proxima b and Nearby Stars – Chaired by Jill Tarter – Co-chairs: Tabetha Boyajian, Andrew Siemion, Jason Wright and Shelley Wright

3. Scientific Goals and Instrumentation for a Flyby of the Nearest Stars Chaired by Avi Loeb – Co-chairs: Phil Lubin, Zac Manchester and Mason Peck

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Breakthrough Science

Fascinating treasures from the tomb of Tutankhamun

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People have long been fascinated with the treasures and mysteries around King Tut’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings, Egypt. We take a look at some of the amazing artifacts and a brief history behind their discovery.

Artifacts on display at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, where an exhibition titled “King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh” is being held in March and April 2018.

A large flail and a copper Heqa Crook which belonged to King Tut.

The pharaoh’s sarcophagus displayed in Cairo’s Egyptian Museum.

Replica of a sandal found in Tutankhamun’s tomb.

A dagger blade belonging to the pharaoh. Research suggests the iron came from a meteorite, possibly from one found near Mersa Matruh, Egypt.

Breastplate made with gold and lapis lazuli and featuring Isis, Osiris and Nephthys, from the tomb of Tutankhamun.

Several 3,300-year-old jars were found in the tomb of King Tut. These were filled with food, grains, wine and other items the king might need in his afterlife.

Tutankhamun’s golden sarcophagus is displayed at his tomb, in a glass case, at the Valley of the Kings.

The north wall of King Tut’s burial chamber at his tomb.

Tourists look at the tomb of King Tut, which is displayed inside a glass case at the Valley of the Kings.

Ushabti, a funerary statuette in gilded wood, found in the tomb of the king.

A special installer from Egypt places a canopic container in the Denver Art Museum in Colorado, U.S. The artifact was discovered in the king’s tomb.

A funeral mask found in the pharaoh’s tomb.

Archaeologists Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon photographed during the opening of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings in 1922.

The first glimpse of Tutankhamun’s tomb. This was the sight that met the eyes of Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter when they broke down the sealed doorway which divided the ante-chamber of the tomb and the sepulchral hall.

Workers excavate the pharaoh’s tomb.

An aerial view of Howard Carter’s archaeological excavation of the tombs of Pharaohs Ramesses VI and Tutankhamen in Valley of the Kings.

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Breakthrough Science

Breakthrough in Asymmetric TSP (ft. Ola Svensson & Jakub Tarnawski)

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In 2018, the open problem of determining a polynomial-time constant-factor approximation ratio of the asymmetric travelling salesman problem was finally solved by three researchers. Two of them, Ola Svensson and Jakub Tarnawski, are EPFL researchers. They discuss their breakthroughs with us.

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Breakthrough Science

Fossil Ray Discovery

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The second associated specimen ever of a fossil ray (Myledaphus Bipartitus) has been discovered in Dinosaur Provincial Park!

Originally published August 26, 2011.

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