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BBC World Service

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Nepal Quake Explained

January 14th, 2016

Episode 72 of 158 episodes

An international team of scientists have discovered what caused the Nepal Earthquake of 2015, which killed almost 9,000 people. The study, published in Nature Geoscience, also explains why the highest mountains in the Himalayas appear to grow between quakes. Using satellite data the scientists have determined that quake activity was spread across what they term a "hinge point" (a kink in the fault lines), where the main fault in the region transitions from being fairly straight to being sharply angled into the Earth. This, they say, explains why the ground around Kathmandu rose up about 1m during the quake, yet dropped by about 60cm in the northern mountains. Dr. John Elliott from Oxford University explains the findings. Mountain Lion A mountain lion killed in Idaho in the United States had a set of fully formed teeth growing out of its forehead. Biologists think they may be the remains of a conjoined twin. Milky Way Map Astronomers have measured the age of 70,000 stars across the Milky Way and put the results into the largest ever galactic map. The team now hopes to be able to start determining the chemical composition of some of the stars. Farewell Philae Scientists at the European Space Agency fear they may have lost contact with the Philae lander on Comet 67P forever. A signal was sent earlier in the week, but there was no response. If nothing is heard within the next few days it’s very unlikely to have enough power to make contact again as the comet moves away from the Sun. Presenter: Jack Stewart Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz Assistant: Lauren Hutchinson

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