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The past few days have been quite exciting for scientist and astronomers world wide due to a very bright super nova appearing in the galaxy M82. While a super nova appearing is not a rare event, one happening in a galaxy as close as M82 is quite the rarity indeed.
M82 is just 12 million light years away making this one of the closest nova events recorded by modern science. Furthermore, this event is quite special for amateur astronomers as well as causal star gazers as the super nova is bright enough for viewing with binoculars and is quite spectacular in even the most modest amateur telescopes. The super nova is expected to brighten to about the 8th magnitude which would last for a few days.
In the image above you can see the super nova appear in the bottom image. Nothing is known about the star that exploded, but one thing is for sure... anything orbiting the star pre-nova was vaporized in the blink of an eye. With the galaxy being roughly 12 million light-years away, the star actually went super nova about 12 million years ago, and we are just now begging to see the photons emitted from the explosion. Some scientist say that with a super nova this close, we could even see neutrinos from the event making their way to Earth.
It seems that the United States military is investing in some next-gen firearms, which feature an internal computer, sensors that gauge environmental factors to help soldiers aim, and more, according to tech startup, Tracking Point.
Tracking Point has announced that the US military purchased six of its "smart" rifles, which are priced at between $10,000 and $27,000 each. The smart rifles feature technology so advanced that the initial investment should pay itself off over and over again in the future. A soldier equipped with a smart rifle would simply need to tag a target viewable on a screen, which is found on the gun's scope. The internal computer will then tell the shooter exactly how to hold the gun, and when to press the trigger.
Oren Schauble, a Marketing Official for the company: "Rifles can communicate with each other. We can enable a more information-driven combat in the sense that you can tag targets. You can pass off those targets to someone else with a scope. There's a whole layer of communication that comes with having a rifle that can designate and track targets."
Intel and other established tech companies are showing interest in the blossoming brain-computer-interface (BCI) market, according to Mind Solutions. BCI is a dedicated communication pathway between the human brain and a device - with early focus on helping medical patients recover from severe physical injuries.
With the help of Intel and other companies, Mind Solutions hopes to see BCI become more common place over the next few years. As the number of transistors powering PCs and mobile devices increases, especially as technology surpasses neurons in the human brain, there is great potential for long-term development.
"We will finally remove the fiction from the science fiction," said Mooly Eden, Intel head of perceptual computing, during CES. It will be possible to "open a car door with our finger, receive constant information about our health" along with using devices that "interface directly with your brain."
Ultimately, Mind Solutions hopes a major tech company enters the market and hopes to acquire the smaller boutique firm.
Don't you hate it when you see an advertisement for a burger, but when you buy it, it looks nothing like it? Well, Momentum Machines has unveiled the 'Smart Restaurants' machine, a robot that is capable of making 360 gourmet burgers, per hour.
These burgers can be customized, which is nothing for this robot. The robot is 24 square foot machine, which is pictured above. Momentum Machines has said: "Fast food doesn't have to have a negative connotation anymore. With our technology, a restaurant can offer gourmet quality burgers at fast food prices. Our alpha machine replaces all of the hamburger line cooks in a restaurant. It does everything employees can do except better."
Better yet, it will make custom orders like a pro. The robot will only slice the toppings seconds before it places them onto the burger, ensuring you get the freshest burger possible. It will slide up specific slices of meat and toppings, and is a more sanitary, cleaner way of making gourmet burgers. Momentum Machines says that because of these robots' efficiency, restaurants can cut down on labor costs, and spend more on better quality ingredients.
San Francisco-based Skybox Imaging has snapped some gorgeous imagery of the planet we all live on, all the way from space. The footage was taken at 600km above the ground, where you can easily make out cars, trucks, shipping containers and more.
Skybox Imaging's SkySat-1 was launched in November as part of the Ukraine's Dnepr-1 rocket program. Skybox Imaging's official website stated that the SkySat-1 is capable of capturing 1920x1080 at 30FPS, and up to 90 seconds per clip. The video above gives you a good look at what the Full HD-capable satellite is capable of.
The Google X team has met with the FDA's medical device team, with the FDA staff involved in the meeting specializing in devices that target the eyes and heart, and one of the three Google X team members being Brian Otis, who holds a patent on a wireless contact-lens biosensor.
The FDA classified the meeting with the Google X team as a "meet and greet," so we probably won't know what they actually talked about. We do have something to take away from this: Google met with the FDA, which would lead us to believe the Mountain View-based search giant is looking to move into the medical field, with Glass maybe?
Electronics company Withings showed off a new Smart Blood Pressure Monitor, providing users with a wireless product with Google Android compatibility. High blood pressure tends to be overlooked, and can prove to be extremely dangerous - and sometimes easily avoidable - which is what Withings is hoping for in this case. The Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor will be available soon with a $129.95 MSRP.
"At-home monitoring, when done in conjunction with a health care provider, is an important way patients can measure, monitor, and improve their high blood pressure," said Donald Fisher, American Medical Group Associated President and CEO, in a statement. "AMGA and our Foundation look forward to working with our medical groups and Withings to improve patient health and learn more about the effectiveness of home blood pressure monitors."
There is a growing demand for connected medical devices that make it easy to carry out at-home tests - and collect information that can be shared with doctors.
One would think that NASA would have some incredible next-gen technology, devices that the normal human being doesn't get to see - but nope - the US space agency has revealed it used an Xbox One sensor and Oculus Rift to control a robot arm in real-time.
NASA used the consumer technology to control the arm by combining positional tracking from the Kinect, mixed with the rotational tracking and first-person perspective provided by the Oculus Rift. It's viewable in the video above, which makes a mere human being into a robot. NASA wants to use the technology in space, so we should see more of this going into the future.
Today NASA confirmed that the Sun has flipped its magnetic field and has began its 25th solar cycle. This means that the Sun has flipped its magnetic field 24 times since we have began keeping record. The magnetic reversal occurs every 11 years and despite what many tin-foil hatters would lead you to believe, this is totally natural.
In the video above NASA has illustrated how the process takes place, and provides a complete timeline of Suns magnetic field since 1997, the end of the 23rd Solar Cycle. Other than some increased Sun Spots, and a few more flairs than normal, NASA says that we should not worry too much about the poles reversal.
Four days ago we reported that NASA had ordered urgent repairs to the International Space Station (ISS), with these repairs now beginning with a 6.5-hour spacewalk.
Astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins will begin the repairs, where they will hopefully replace a faulty piece of cooling equipment. This is the first of three spacewalks the astronauts will do, with the last one happening on Christmas Day, just a dew days from now.