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NASA and many other organizations are searching the universe for evidence that life exists on other planets. while the near term search is focusing on looking on and under the surface of Mars and other planets in our solar system, other researchers are looking much further away.
One of the planets being closely looked at for signs of possible life is called Kepler-186f. This is the first validated Earth-size planet to orbit a distant star in the habitable zone. That means it is the right distance from the sun for liquid water to pool on the surface.
For more than 100 years now, astronomers have gazed into space and attempted to figure out what fuels the massive hurricane-like storm that orbits just below Jupiter's equator. During the 1800's the storm was estimated to measure more than 25,000 miles across, and recent images from the Hubble Space Telescope show that it is just a mere 10,250 miles across today. To put that into perspective, back in 1890, three Earth's could fit inside the storm, and today only one would could squeeze in.
At the moment, scientist have no conclusive theory on why the storm is shrinking, it has been able to figure out that the storm is shrinking faster as they years go by, and that it is currently losing about 580 miles in diameter per year. One early theory suggest that Jupiter's atmosphere is losing some of its volatility and bleeding off energy, which in turn is causing the storm to slowly die down.
According to reports, the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX Elon Musk agreed to help fund the Nikola Tesla Museum, thanks to Matthew Inman's illustration in The Oatmeal.
Inman led the fundraising via Indiegogo to bring up a museum based on Nikola Tesla's invention by using one of his facilities which was going to be torn down. Inman was able to successfully raise $1.5 million to buy the property in time. He needed to raise $8 million more so that the facility can be converted into a museum.
Recently he posted a two-part comic about owning a Tesla Model S. In part One he called it as a 'magical space car' and in Part 2, it was about asking Tesla Motor's Elon Musk to help him fund for the museum via twitter. Inman explained why it would be a good gesture for the electric car company to help fund this project.
For countless decades, scientists have been gagged and bought when it comes to "global warming" or "climate change". You might not want to hear it, but if you dig deep enough, the rabbit hole begins to make sense. For those who have never heard of "Suspicious0bservers" on YouTube, you might want to check out his videos - he's quite the expert and spokesperson to the masses.
Suspicious0bservers, or Ben Davidson, has over 180,000 subscribers on YouTube, but his latest video "Why Global Warming Failed" should be an eye-opener for you. The video above has plenty of data and links to papers he cites from, with some very large points to be made. It's not just the Earth that is experiencing changes, but virtually every single planet in our solar system is going through some form of change. Those planets aren't having changes due to man now, are they?
We, mankind, are causing some form of pollution and "climate change" but it is in no way near the numbers scientists, governments and corporations are reporting. During the video (at around the 8:30 mark), you can see the CO2 levels on Earth are skyrocketing - something that man is surely doing. But, the temperature - "global warming" - is right on the models that have been tracked over the last 300,000 years. We're actually seeing the temperature in Antarctica dropping a few degrees in the last 300,000 years - where every 100,000 years we're seeing a drop of a couple of degrees.
Over the weekend, a very expensive and important research submersible was lost off the coast of New Zealand. The research vessel was unmanned and was owned by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The sub is called the Nereus and a portion of it is believed to have imploded.
The sub was working at a depth of 6.2 miles under the surface of the ocean. At that dept, the pressure on the outside of the submersible was 16000 pounds per square inch. The sub was built-in 2008 and was 30 days into a 40-day expedition of a deep ocean trench. The researchers controlling the sub lost contact with it eight hours into a planned nine-hour dive in the deepest part of the trench.
Back in 2011, the Islamic Republic took down one of the United States' Lockheed Martin Sentinel RQ-170 drones, but between that event and now, Iran has been working on making a copy of the US spy drone, something the country just started showing off.
Iran will be doing some test flights soon, according to officials at the IRGC's Aerospace Exhibition. Iran showcased its reverse-engineered drone next to the original US built on, with the exhibition seeing Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khamenei, state that the Iranian model sports an advanced system of data collection, video and radar telecommunications.
During a broadcast on Iranian TV, an officer said: "Our engineers succeeded in breaking the drone's secrets and copying them. It will soon take a test flight". When Khamenei looked at the drone, he said: "This drone is very important for reconnaissance missions". The United States used its Sentinel RQ-170 UAV during covert operations in Afghanistan from 2005-2007. It was used as it is one UAV that is hard to detect with long range radar thanks to its special stealth coating - making it visible from a distance of around 40km.
Scott White from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been working on something quite incredible: a plastic that is lined with something similar to an artificial vascular system, just like the veins and arteries that see the blood flow through your body, that can repair for larger breaks.
This new system features two different liquids, with the first containing long, thin molecules, and the other with three-sided molecules, in separate channels. Once these fluids mix, a reaction sees them joining together to create a scaffold, which forms a thick gel. Mixing in some other ingredients causes the gel to solidify over a few hours.
Once the plastic is fractured, the vascular system is damaged, with the two liquids pouring out. The liquids mix together, forming a restorative gel. This gel can fill a 4mm hole with 35mm of surrounding cracks within 20 minutes, hardening in a 3-hour span of time. The patch that is created is around 60% as strong as the original plastic, so we're not talking about a complete 100% strength, but this is an incredible feat nonetheless.
The researchers working on this new liquid have said that it is possible to create giant sheets of plastic with cross-crossing channels, which would see entire structures capable of recording from damage. One of the researchers, Jeff Moore, explained to New Scientist: "You pay the price for being able to repair this damage, but it is certainly one that nature has figured out how to tolerate. If you just look to things like bone or trees, they are all vascularised".
"Alien" DNA has been created, with scientists creating the first organism using "alien" DNA. When it comes to normal DNA, which is found in the genes of every single organism, the twin strands of the double helix are bonded with each other with four bases - known as T, G, A, and C.
This new organism adds two new bases, X and Y, which creates a new strand of DNA that has never occurred in the billions of years of Earth's evolution, or anywhere else in the universe. The created, "alien" DNA also reproduces normally, preserving the new DNA during its reproduction. This new breakthrough should pave the way for highly customized organisms, which include bacteria, animals and even humans.
This study was 15 years in the making, had scientists at the Scripps Research Institute working hard for over a decade, with their research published in Nature Today, with "A semi-synthetic organism with an expanded genetic alphabet". If you want to read more on the alien DNA, check out the source here.
As NASA and other space programs ramp up Mars research, the U.S. space agency is interested in creating a plant-growth experiment in mid-2020. As part of the Mars Plant Experiment (MPX) project, it could be an important step towards potential manned missions and colonization endeavors.
"In order to do a long-term, sustainable base on Mars, you would want to be able to establish that plants can at least grow on Mars," said Heather Smith, MPX deputy principal investigator, in a statement. "This would be the first step in that... we just send the seeds there and watch them grow."
MPX would focus more on being a self-contained project, rather than trying to plant seeds in the Martian dirt. The rover would provide water and researchers will check back within 15 days to see if the greenhouse project is successful.
NASA takes a lot of time to kill bacteria and other contaminants on spacecraft that it sends into space. It's particularly important to kill off any bacteria that might be on a spacecraft that will land on the surface of another planet to prevent contamination. The problem NASA is having is that some of the bacteria on spacecraft are nearly impossible to kill.
In fact, some have proven so resilient that NASA is looking for new ways to kill bacteria on future spacecraft. Some of those bacterial spores can survive space and NASA fears that it might be sending life out into space away from Earth. This poses problems for future missions that may send probes to other world's.