Closest exoplanet is remarkably Earth-sized

first_imgIn 2012, astronomers reported a planet orbiting Alpha Centauri B, an orange star that belongs to the closest star system to the sun, located a mere 4.3 light-years from Earth (artist’s conception shown). But this detection, which must still be confirmed, left open a major question: Just how massive is this newfound neighbor of ours? The planet’s gravity tugged its sun toward and away from us, inducing a tiny Doppler shift in the star, but deriving the planet’s mass requires knowing whether we view its orbit around the star edge-on, face-on, or somewhere in between. If the orbit is edge-on, then the small Doppler shift means the planet has as little mass as Earth; but if the orbit is nearly face-on, then the planet could be as massive as Jupiter and still pull the star toward and away from us only slightly. Now, as other astronomers report in work submitted to The Astrophysical Journal, computer simulations of the planet’s history indicate that the orbit isn’t face-on, which in turn means the world is only one to three times as massive as Earth. This implies that the planet may have a terrestrial composition. Before you snap up any real estate here, though, be forewarned that the planet’s day side is hot enough to melt lead.last_img read more

Swire Properties announced its fifth partnership w

first_imgSwire Properties announced its fifth partnership with Art Basel in Hong Kong, which will see the company host a specially designed lounge by acclaimed architect Hugh Dutton, as well as a curated programme of high profile talks at the show.Supporting Art Basel in Hong Kong since its 2013 inaugural edition, Swire Properties and has a track record of creating and transforming places into vibrant sustainable communities, through a process that integrates arts and culture throughout. Building on a history of creating and hosting an array of arts and cultural events in its portfolios, Swire Properties will be bringing art to the public in Hong Kong with its programme this March.Guy Bradley, Chief Executive of Swire Properties, said: “Swire Properties believes that art plays a key role in enriching lives and creating sustainable communities. We are delighted to once again partner with Art Basel in Hong Kong, and are thrilled to be bringing high-calibre programmes of international standing to Taikoo Place and Pacific Place at the same time.  In particular, our event space ArtisTree at Taikoo Place has over the years emerged as a serious venue for the arts, and we hope that the exhibition of the late architect Zaha Hadid’s work will inspire and engage art lovers during this exciting month of culture and creativity in Hong Kong.”last_img read more

Economists offer new arguments for US research tax break

first_img Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The credit’s long-term cost is one big reason lawmakers have been so cautious. Analysts estimate making the break permanent would reduce tax revenues by some $100 billion to $150 billion over the next decade, and lawmakers have so far been unable to agree on ways to offset that loss of revenue.It’s almost certain lawmakers will ultimately reinstate the credit for 2015. But NAM and other groups hope Congress will finally agree to make it permanent, perhaps as part of a larger overhaul of the U.S. tax code.Today’s report, titled A Missed Opportunity: The Economic Cost of Delaying Pro-Growth Tax Reform, tries to strengthen the case for taking the plunge. It reviews scholarly studies of the R&D credit and four other business-related elements of tax policy and concludes that proposed reforms could, together, boost annual GDP by 1% and create 500,000 jobs per year. “These estimated impacts are significant and worthy of consideration in the ongoing discussion about the future of pro-growth tax reform,” write the authors, economists Donald Bruce and Matthew Murray of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Tami Gurley-Calvez of the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City. “Additionally, we do not believe they are out of line with the prior literature.”Whether the new numbers will help change the political calculus in Congress, however, won’t be known until lawmakers begin discussing tax policy in earnest, sometime later this year. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Add another study to the sagging bookshelf of reports suggesting that the United States would benefit from permanently allowing companies to get a tax break for investing in research and development.The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), one of the nation’s largest industrial trade groups, today released a report from three academic economists that reviews the scholarly literature on the economic impact of the so-called R&D tax credit, worth some $7 billion annually in recent years. It concludes that making the credit permanent—a long-sought goal of industry and science groups—could boost the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) by 0.16% annually and add between 36,000 and 38,300 jobs each year.The report marks the renewal of what has become a perennial lobbying campaign in Washington, D.C. For years, many economists and a large bipartisan group of lawmakers in Congress have advocated making the credit more generous and permanent, arguing it is an efficient way of promoting investment in scientific advances. Since the credit was created in 1981, however, Congress has allowed it to lapse six times—most recently in January 2014—and temporarily extended it 16 times. Last month, for example, Congress retroactively extended the credit for 2014. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwelast_img read more