Micro Files


Astronomers find gassy Earth-mass planet 

A group of international astronomers recently discovered the first Earth-mass planet that crosses its host star. According to the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, KOI-314c is the lightest planet of which both its size and mass has been measured. However, this planet is not Earth-like. For example, its diameter is surprisingly 60 per cent larger than Earth, and its estimated temperature is about 104 degrees Celsius. This discovery proves that there is no clear dividing line between a rocky Earth-like planet and fluid or gassy giants. 


Guide dogs need better harnesses

Guide dogs help blind people find their way, and their training is very costly and time-consuming. It is important to make sure dogs feel comfortable when they are in service.

As reported in <em>e! Science News</em>, researchers from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria recently performed an experiment to test the distribution of pressure on working blind dogs.

Pressure sensors show that dogs&rsquo; chests are particularly stressed while they are working. Researchers therefore recommend using flexible and adjustable harnesses on guide dogs, such as those with telescopic handles.


Jupiter produces the best french fries

According to Discovery News, Jupiter might be the best place to cook french fries in the solar system.

Greek scientists recently used a European Space Agency centrifuge to simulate different gravitational conditions and see which one produces the perfect french fries. The result indicates that a french fry needs to be cooked &ldquo;at a zero degree inclination (i.e. flat) under three times Earth gravity (Gs)&rdquo; for an optimally crispy french fry crust. The gassy giant Jupiter happens to have a &ldquo;surface&rdquo; gravity of nearly three Gs. However, water vapour would ruin the bottom of the centrifuged fries. Thus, you may waste half of your potatoes if you want to enjoy the most amazing fries.


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