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James Webb Space Telescope confirms its first exoplanet

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James Webb Space Telescope confirms its first exoplanet
GLOBALTIMESPAKISTAN

The James Webb Space Telescope has discovered its first exoplanet — a planet orbiting another star outside our solar system. Scientists say it is roughly the same size as Earth.

The rocky exoplanet could be seen easily and clearly with just two transit observations, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., announced Wednesday at the 241st meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle.

“There is no question that the planet is there. Webb s pristine data validate it,” said Jacob Lustig-Yaeger, a researcher at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. “With this telescope, rocky exoplanets are the new frontier.”

The exoplanet, which has been labeled LHS 475b, measures 99% of the diameter of Earth and is located 41 light-years away in the constellation Octans, according to researchers who reviewed data from NASA s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS.

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LHS 475b is closer to its star than any planet in our Solar System, according to scientists. Given the exoplanet s red dwarf star is less than half the temperature of the Sun, researchers believe it could support an atmosphere.

While Webb is the only operating telescope that is capable of detecting atmospheres of Earth-sized exoplanets, more precise measurements are needed for the team to determine whether there is a pure carbon dioxide atmosphere or no atmosphere at all. Researchers expect to gather more data this summer.

“The telescope is so sensitive that it can easily detect a range of molecules, but we can t yet draw any definitive conclusions about the planet s atmosphere,” said Erin May, of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

“There are some terrestrial-type atmospheres that we can rule out,” said Lustig-Yaeger. “It can t have a thick methane-dominated atmosphere, similar to that of Saturn s moon Titan.”

“Counterintuitively, a 100% carbon dioxide atmosphere is much more compact that it becomes very challenging to detect,” Lustig-Yaeger added.

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Despite the additional research needed, scientists said Webb has already revealed that LHS 475b is a few hundred degrees warmer than Earth and that it completes its orbit in just two days.

Since launching into space in December of 2021, Webb has been beaming back clear and stunning images of the universe.

In November, the $10 billion telescope captured images of two of the farthest galaxies seen to date, located several billion light years behind the giant galaxy cluster Abell 2744, and captured images of a new star forming.

For LHS 475b, it is Webb s first sight of an exoplanet.

“These first observational results from an Earth-sized, rocky planet open the door to many future possibilities for studying rocky planet atmospheres with Webb,” said Mark Clampin, Astrophysics Division director at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

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“Webb is bringing us closer and closer to a new understanding of Earth-like worlds outside the Solar System, and the mission is only just getting started.”

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WhatsApp unveils new text formatting feature for enhanced communication

WhatsApp unveils new text formatting feature for enhanced communication

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WhatsApp unveils new text formatting feature for enhanced communication

WhatsApp has unveiled a groundbreaking feature that revolutionizes text messaging by allowing users to customize their messages like never before.

Prior to this update, users were limited to basic text modifications such as bold and italic; however, the new feature introduces a plethora of formatting options, including numbers, bullets, block quotes, and text highlighting.

The process is simple and intuitive, requiring users to incorporate specific symbols to achieve their desired text format. For monospacing text, users can enclose their message with three backticks on both sides. Adding a quote is as easy as placing an angle bracket and a space before the text.

To strike through a message, users need to flank their text with tilde symbols, while bolding requires asterisks on both sides. One of the standout additions is the ability to create bulleted lists effortlessly. Users can precede each word or sentence with an asterisk or hyphen and a space to generate a neatly organized list.

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Moreover, numbering and spacing at the beginning of text with “1.” facilitates the creation of itemized lists, enhancing the overall clarity and structure of messages.

Inline code can now be seamlessly integrated into messages by enclosing the text with backtick symbols at the start and end. This provides users with a practical way to share code snippets or emphasize specific phrases within their conversations.

The accompanying image showcases the versatility of this new feature, illustrating the various formatting options available to users. WhatsApp users across iOS, Android, and web devices can now leverage this advanced text formatting feature to elevate their communication experience.

The update reflects WhatsApp’s commitment to continually enhance user experience and foster more expressive and organized conversations. Whether you’re conveying information, emphasizing key points, or sharing code snippets, the new formatting options provide a dynamic and engaging communication platform for users worldwide. 

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Meta to set up team to counter disinformation, AI abuse in EU elections

Meta to set up team to counter disinformation, AI abuse in EU elections

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Meta to set up team to counter disinformation, AI abuse in EU elections

 Facebook owner Meta will set up a team to tackle disinformation and the abuse of generative artificial intelligence in the run-up to European Parliament elections in June amid concerns about election interference and misleading AI-generated content.

The rapid growth of generative AI, which can create text, images and video in seconds in response to prompts, has triggered fears that the new technology could be used to disrupt major elections, across the world this year. 

European Parliament elections will take place June 6-9. Its 720 lawmakers, together with EU governments, pass new EU policies and laws.

“As the election approaches, we’ll activate an Elections Operations Center to identify potential threats and put mitigations in place in real time,” Marco Pancini, Meta’s head of EU affairs, said in a blogpost.

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He said experts from the company’s intelligence, data science, engineering, research, operations, content policy and legal teams will focus on combating misinformation, tackling influence operations and counter the risks related to the abuse of generative AI.

Meta, which currently works with 26 independent fact-checking organisations across the European Union covering 22 languages, will add three new partners in Bulgaria, France, and Slovakia, Pancini said.

Meta, Microsoft, OpenAI and 17 other tech companies earlier this month agreed to work together to prevent deceptive artificial-intelligence content from interfering with elections across the globe this year.

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‘X’ faces prolonged suspension across Pakistan

‘X’ faces prolonged suspension across Pakistan

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'X' faces prolonged suspension across Pakistan

The popular microblogging site ‘X,’ formerly known as Twitter, has been inaccessible across Pakistan for over a week. 

Despite a brief interval when the site was accessible, users are now reporting a persistent outage, even when using Virtual Private Network (VPN) services.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the government agency responsible for overseeing telecommunications, hasn’t released any official statement regarding the suspension of the service.

This lack of transparency has only intensified the frustration among users who heavily rely on ‘X’ for information and news updates. Users who initially turned to VPNs as a workaround have also hit a roadblock, as the microblogging site remains inaccessible. 

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The situation has raised concerns about the government’s stance on digital freedom and freedom of speech. The outage has not gone unnoticed by the public, with many expressing their discontent on various platforms. 

Criticism has been directed towards the government and the IT minister for what is perceived as an attack on freedom of speech and a hindrance to the revenue generated by the country’s thriving IT professionals.

Earlier, the Sindh High Court issued a directive to restore access to ‘X’ across Pakistan, recognising the site’s significance for information dissemination. However, despite court’s order, there has been no implementation, leaving users and advocates of digital freedom in a state of dismay.

The suspension of ‘X’ has broader implications, impacting not only the general public but also businesses and professionals who rely on the platform for communication, networking, and staying informed about the latest developments. The longer the outage persists, the more severe the consequences may be for the nation’s digital landscape.

As the public awaits an official statement from the PTA and the government, concerns about the potential ramifications of such a prolonged suspension continue to grow.

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