Branson's Virgin Galactic to go public: report

Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic will become the first publicly-traded space tourism project thanks to a New York-listed company's investment worth about $800 million, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Chile, Argentina prepare for spectacular solar eclipse

Day will briefly turn to night Tuesday over large parts of Chile and Argentina as a total eclipse of the Sun plunges a vast swath of the southern Pacific and the cone of South America into darkness.

Is a great iron fertilization experiment already underway?

It's no secret that massive dust storms in the Saharan Desert occasionally shroud the North Atlantic Ocean with iron, but it turns out these natural blankets aren't the only things to sneeze at. Iron released by human activities ...

Massive brown dwarf detected by astronomers

An international team of astronomers has found a new brown dwarf, one of the most massive objects of this type discovered to date. The newly detected brown dwarf, designated EPIC 212036875 b, turns out to be about 50 times ...

Directed evolution comes to plants

A new platform for speeding up and controlling the evolution of proteins inside living plants has been developed by a KAUST-led team.

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Desert

A desert is a landscape or region that receives an extremely low amount of precipitation, less than enough to support growth of most plants. Most deserts have an average annual precipitation of less than 400 millimetres (16 in). A common definition distinguishes between true deserts, which receive less than 250 millimetres (10 in) of average annual precipitation, and semideserts or steppes, which receive between 250 millimetres (10 in) and 400 to 500 millimetres (16 to 20 in). Deserts can also be described as areas where more water is lost by evapotranspiration than falls as precipitation. In the Köppen climate classification system, deserts are classed as BWh (hot desert) or BWk (temperate desert). In the Thornthwaite climate classification system, deserts would be classified as arid megathermal climates.

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