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NASA-funded institute wants to help protect astronauts in spaceflight

Adam Hunt | Science, Space, Health & Robotics | Thu, Dec 2 2021 7:02 AM CST

The Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) at Baylor College of Medicine, along with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is seeking scientific proposals to counteract wear and tear on astronauts during spaceflight.

NASA-funded institute wants to help protect astronauts in spaceflight 01 | TweakTown.com

The NASA-funded Institute's Biomedical Research Advances for Space Health (BRASH) solicitation is investing in science to protect astronauts on future Artemis missions and more. Deep space exploration presents astronauts with many physiological stressors, such as increased radiation exposure and gravity changes, and psychological stressors from isolation, confinement, and the inherent danger in such an environment.

Consequently, astronaut health is impacted as tissues degrade, DNA is damaged, and more. The BRASH solicitation aims to reduce risks to crew member health through supporting the development of disruptive technologies, therapies, or novel approaches to enhancing pre-existing internal cellular repair functions, improving the body's endogenous repair and maintenance systems.

Continue reading: NASA-funded institute wants to help protect astronauts in spaceflight (full post)

New type of binary star finally observed, confirms theories

Adam Hunt | Science, Space, Health & Robotics | Thu, Dec 2 2021 6:32 AM CST

Long after it was theorized to exist, a new class of stars has been discovered by astronomers.

New type of binary star finally observed, confirms theories 01 | TweakTown.com

Using the Shane Telescope at Lick Observatory in California and data from multiple astronomical surveys, researchers from the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian made this discovery.

"We have observed the first physical proof of a new population of transitional binary stars. This is exciting; it's a missing evolutionary link in binary star formation models that we've been looking for," says Kareem El-Badry, the postdoctoral fellow responsible for the discovery.

When a star dies, it will almost always become a typical white dwarf but may rarely become an extremely low mass (ELM) white dwarf. Standard stellar evolution calculations would take the mass of such a star and conclude that it must be older than itself, so these stars cannot have come to be on their own after burning away their fuel. Therefore, astronomers theorized ELM white dwarfs must result from an interaction with another star in a binary pair, which would siphon mass from it faster than it would lose otherwise.

Continue reading: New type of binary star finally observed, confirms theories (full post)

Mark Zuckerberg's Meta is investing $10 billion into the Metaverse

Jak Connor | Business, Financial & Legal | Thu, Dec 2 2021 4:02 AM CST

Mark Zuckerberg has sat down with Vayner Media CEO Gary Vaynerchuk on November 12, 2021, to discuss the next platform shift called the Metaverse or Web 3.0.

Zuckerberg is at the helm of what was formerly called Facebook, and is now Meta, and explains why he thinks the Metaverse is the next big thing on the technological advancement horizon. Zuckerberg explains that, simply put, the Metaverse is a combination between augmented reality and virtual reality. "Virtual reality" can be easily defined as being in an entirely digital world that you can interact in, and "augmented reality" is the virtual world projected onto the world that we see today.

The head of Meta says that the company is investing $10 billion dollars into the future of the Metaverse and that money will be going towards connecting people via this new digital experience. Zuckerberg recounts the timeline of the internet, with its beginning primarily being text-based to its transition to mobile phones with cameras and the shift in focus images. Zuckerberg says that video format is primarily how we share social experiences and that the Metaverse will be what's next.

Continue reading: Mark Zuckerberg's Meta is investing $10 billion into the Metaverse (full post)

62-mile wide comet, the largest ever found, just surprised researchers

Jak Connor | Science, Space, Health & Robotics | Thu, Dec 2 2021 3:34 AM CST

The comet called Bernardinelli-Bernstein (BB) has just surprised researchers once again as it makes its way through to the edges of our solar system.

62-mile wide comet, the largest ever found, just surprised researchers 01 | TweakTown.com

BB is a 62-mile wide comet that was first discovered back in 2014 and since then has been a focus point for researchers that want to understand the nature of comets and retrace their life-spans. Researchers analyzed data from the Transient Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) that was acquired between 2018 and 2020, what they found was that BB was "active" much earlier than anticipated.

A comet becomes "active" when light from the Sun heats up the comets surface, melting the icy crust and turning it into water vapor, causing the iconic "tail", or "coma" that defines a comet. The researchers found that BB was active when it was much farther away from the Sun than previously anticipated, which has now pushed the possible distance for active comets out much further than researchers have previously estimated.

Continue reading: 62-mile wide comet, the largest ever found, just surprised researchers (full post)

Pentagon responds to Russia's dangerous anti-satellite weapon test

Jak Connor | Science, Space, Health & Robotics | Thu, Dec 2 2021 3:01 AM CST

Russia recently tested an anti-satellite weapon out on one of its decommissioned satellites, sparking global debate over the new space debris caused by the test.

Pentagon responds to Russia's dangerous anti-satellite weapon test 01 | TweakTown.com

The anti-satellite weapon test caused new 1,500 pieces of space debris to join the already thousands of pieces floating around low-Earth orbit. Some of these space debris are travelling at extremely high speeds and can be a hazard to satellites, the International Space Station (ISS), and astronauts. Shortly after the weapon test was conducted, astronauts aboard the ISS were told to take cover in escape vehicles by NASAas space debris from the satellite break up were in-bound.

Russia's Minister-general of the army, Sergei Shoigu, commented on the space debris having the potential to pose a threat to future space activities, saying "the resulting fragments do not pose any threat to space activities". Now, the Pentagon has called for all global halt to testing anti-satellite weaponry, which was further backed up with condemnation for Russia's recent actions.

Continue reading: Pentagon responds to Russia's dangerous anti-satellite weapon test (full post)

Fiery space rock filmed lighting up the night sky over many US states

Jak Connor | Science, Space, Health & Robotics | Thu, Dec 2 2021 2:33 AM CST

The American Meteor Society (AMS) has tracked another fireball event across the United States, as more than 50 people have reported a sighting.

The new listing appears on the American Meteor Society website and states the AMS received 52 reports about a fireball appearing in the night sky over several US states. Reports came from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Ohio, and Indianapolis. The AMS says that the sighting occurred on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021, around 03:14 UT.

Reports indicate that the fireball was visible for around 2.5 seconds before it disintegrated in Earth's atmosphere, seemingly disappearing in front of onlookers. For those that don't know, the AMS categorizes a meteor as a "fireball" if it is brighter than the planet Venus. There is two videos of the entry of the fireball, one above and one below. If you are interested in reading more about meteors, check out this link here.

Continue reading: Fiery space rock filmed lighting up the night sky over many US states (full post)

Strange massive black hole found, experts say there's 'no explanation'

Jak Connor | Science, Space, Health & Robotics | Thu, Dec 2 2021 2:04 AM CST

Astronomers were trying to measure the dark matter profile for one of the Milky Way's satellite galaxies and discovered a massive black hole at the galaxy's center.

Strange massive black hole found, experts say there's 'no explanation' 01 | TweakTown.com

Astronomers from The University of Texas at Austin's McDonald Observatory were inspecting a Milky Way dwarf galaxy called Leo I in an attempt to find out of dark matter density increases or decreases towards a galaxy's center. Leo I lacks dark matter, hence its selection as an inspection candidate. The astronomers compiled the data and implemented it, along with models, into a supercomputer and were shocked at the results.

"The models are screaming that you need a black hole at the center; you don't really need a lot of dark matter. You have a very small galaxy that is falling into the Milky Way, and its black hole is about as massive as the Milky Way's. The mass ratio is absolutely huge. The Milky Way is dominant; the Leo I black hole is almost comparable," said UT astronomer, Karl Gebhardt.

Continue reading: Strange massive black hole found, experts say there's 'no explanation' (full post)

NASA explains what it's like landing on the surface of Mars

Jak Connor | Science, Space, Health & Robotics | Thu, Dec 2 2021 1:31 AM CST

A NASA expert has answered the following question in a new video posted to the NASA YouTube channel, "What's it Like Landing on Mars?"

Answering this week's question is NASA thermal engineer Alex Scammell, who explains that landing on Mars is a complicated process that is quite challenging, but after every attempt, the agency gains more knowledge on how to execute the landing process more effectively and efficiently. The latest rover to land on the surface of Mars is NASA's Perseverance rover that went from traveling 13,000 mph to a soft landing in just seven minutes. This process included using parachutes, thrusters, and a sky crane.

Scammell goes on to explain that majority of the decrease in speed can be attributed to the Martian atmosphere creating drag on the rover's heat shield. The NASA thermal engineer explains that understanding what the heat shield experienced while it was plummeting towards the surface of the Red Planet would allow for NASA engineers to improve upon future design iterations, which is why NASA engineers equipped instruments under Perseverance's heat shield that measure its conditions.

Continue reading: NASA explains what it's like landing on the surface of Mars (full post)

Valve confirms Steam Deck won't have any exclusive games

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Thu, Dec 2 2021 1:17 AM CST

Valve has confirmed that its upcoming Steam Deck portable handheld gaming device will not have any exclusive games; meaning there will be no Steam Deck exclusives that aren't available on the PC or other platforms.

Valve confirms Steam Deck won't have any exclusive games 04 | TweakTown.com

Unlike every other platform which has exclusives like Microsoft with Halo, Sony with The Last of Us or Uncharted, Nintendo with Mario and Zelda, and so on -- Valve will instead not have any Steam Deck exclusives -- and there's a very good reason (from Valve themselves) on why.

Valve explains in its updated FAQ, with a question "Would Valve be interested in having any Steam Deck exclusive titles?" to which the developer answers: "No, that doesn't make much sense to us. It's a PC and it should just play games like a PC".

Continue reading: Valve confirms Steam Deck won't have any exclusive games (full post)

NASA drops number of asteroids near Earth, and what hasn't been found

Jak Connor | Science, Space, Health & Robotics | Thu, Dec 2 2021 1:02 AM CST

NASA 360 posted a video to its YouTube that's a part of its Planetary Defense series that is detailing asteroids that are close to Earth.

The video was posted to the channel back in October and was recently shared to the NASA 360 Twitter account, where NASA posed itself the question, "What do we know about the asteroids and comets in Earth's neighborhood?". The video showcases what NASA knows about near-Earth asteroids by the numbers, and explains that while the majority of the potentially dangerous near-Earth asteroids have been found, there are still some thousands of undiscovered asteroids still out there in our neighborhood.

For those that don't know, Near-Earth objects (NEOs) are asteroids and comets that are orbiting the Sun and come within 30 million miles of Earth's orbit. The space agency explains in the description of the video that NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office was conceived to track, study NEOs, and if the situation presented itself, provide guidance into deflecting a potential threat to Earth. Below are the numbers outlined by NASA in the video.

Continue reading: NASA drops number of asteroids near Earth, and what hasn't been found (full post)

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