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Sunday Science: 9/15/13 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Sunday Science: 9/15/13

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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. -

NASA says its Voyager One probe has become the first man-made object to leave the solar system. A new study suggests it drifted off about August of last year, though that is up for debate because the device that measures the density around it broke decades ago. But at about 12 billion miles from Earth, tt's still collecting data.

A new study out of New Zealand says electronic cigarettes may be as effective as nicotine patches for helping people quit smoking. Previous studies had shown that the e-cigarettes helped smokers kick the habit, but no one had yet compared them to the patches, which are considered the "gold standard" for quitting. And the study suggests e-cigarettes may even be better because they have the same look and feel as real cigarettes.

And in a dramatic illustration of the importance of physics, a driver of this Jaguar in London got a nasty surprise when he returned to his luxury car to find it warped. Turns out, a nearby skyscraper may have been responsible. On a hot day, sunlight reflected in the building's windows at a bizarre angle, causing the 'melt-down'. Developers are now taking another look, and drivers are being warned not to park there.

And while most of us like to root for cute animals like pandas, the Ugly Animal Preservation Society is taking a stand for the endangered animals that don't tug at our heartstrings. They held a contest to choose their mascot, with creatures ranging from a proboscis monkey to the flightless dung beetle to the dromedary jumping slug and even the pig-nosed turtle. This week they announced the winner, the blobfish.

For more information, we've included links to related sources:

NASA Voyager:

http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/where/

E-Cigarettes Study:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24166-ecigarettes-help-you-quit-as-well-as-nicotine-patches.html#.UjDTrD_wq24

Skyscraper Melts Car:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57601062/london-skyscraper-blamed-for-melting-cars/

Ugly Animals Society:

http://uglyanimalsoc.com/

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