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Science, Space & Robotics Posts - Page 1

This star moving at hyperdrive-speeds was spat out from our black hole

By: Jak Connor | Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 11 hours, 50 mins ago

Astronomers have confirmed that a star was ejected out the supermassive black hole that is located at the heart of our Milky Way galaxy.

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A team of researchers of Carnegie Mellon University's McWilliams Center for Cosmology spotted the star, which is titled S5-HVS1 in a constellation called Grus. When spotted by the team, it was traveling at insane speeds, 10x the speed of most other stars in our galaxy. According to the team, S5-HVS1 was moving at a ridiculous 3.7 million mph after it was ejected out the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, Sagittarius A*.

The team of researchers was led by Sergey Koposov, who said, "This is super exciting, as we have long suspected that black holes can eject stars with very high velocities. However, we never had an unambiguous association of such a fast star with the galactic center." Douglas Boubert, a researcher at the University of Oxford and a co-author of the study, said: "The velocity of the discovered star is so high that it will inevitably leave the galaxy and never return".

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Morphing stingray-like spacecraft plans to explore dark side of Venus

By: Jak Connor | Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 1 day, 9 hours ago

Researchers are currently designing an extremely unusual but still awesome spacecraft for NASA. The spacecraft resembles a stingray, but it's not all just for show.

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Researchers out of the University of Buffalo are designing the Bio-inspired Ray for Extreme Environments and Zonal Explorations (BREEZE). This is a project that has been selected by NASA to receive funding as it has the potential of changing space exploration forever. The researchers designing the spacecraft are envisioning a morphing spacecraft that can flap its wings and make efficient use of the high winds that are in Venus' upper atmosphere.

Researchers are planning on having BREEZE circumnavigate Venus every four to six days, with solar panels also located on the hull it can charge over two to three days on the planets illuminated side. This solar energy would be stored and then power the other instruments that will take atmospheric samples, track weather patterns, monitor volcanic activity, and more.

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Mercury spotted passing between Sun & Earth in rare 30-year event

By: Jak Connor | Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 1 day, 10 hours ago

Just this past Monday, astronomers viewed Mercury sliding past the face of our Sun in quite a rare celestial event.

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Astronomers equipped themselves to see the most inner-planet in our solar system go in-between Earth and the Sun. From the above image, we can see a tiny black dot, that's Mercury in comparison to the size of the Sun. US, Canada, and Central and South America managed to get the transition for around 5.5 hours, while Asia and Australia only got a brief show.

Why is this a rare transition? Due to the orbit of Mercury, astronomers don't expect to this occur until 2032, and North America, in particular, won't be able to see it again until 2049. Unfortunately, there was some weather coverage in Maryland for NASA solar astrophysicist Alex Young, he said "It's a bummer, but the whole event was still great. Both getting to see it from space and sharing it with people all over the country and world." A set of images have been provided in the entirety of this article.

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SpaceX launches 60 more global internet satellites, only 41,940 to go

By: Jak Connor | Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 1 day, 12 hours ago

On Monday, SpaceX's Falcon rocket took off to the stars, and aboard the rocket was Starlink mini-satellites. 60 mini-satellites in total to be precise.

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The satellites aboard the Falcon rocket are just 575 pounds each (260kg), and have joined the other 60, which were launched back in May. Elon Musk, SpaceX founder and chief executive eventually wants to have thousands of these Starlink satellites floating around in orbit, as the plan is to offer the world a global high-speed internet connection everywhere.

Not only are there 60 more Starlink satellites now in orbit, but SpaceX also achieved two new milestones with this launch. This launch was the first time SpaceX flew a rocket with a previously used nose cone and an orbital booster that has been used three times previously. According to Musk, "These boosters are designed to be used 10 times. Let's turn it around for a fifth, guys".

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16,000 core supercomputer completes best galaxy simulation video ever

By: Jak Connor | Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 2 days, 8 hours ago

The most detailed large-scale simulation has been released showing just after the Big Bang, all the way until the present day.

Scientists have been struggling with the creation of accurate simulations of cosmic-level events due to the limitations of computing power. The computational limitations forced scientists to choose between large-scale designs or fine detail. But now, scientists from Germany and the United States have completed and released the most detailed large-scale simulation of a galaxy forming.

The simulation is called TNG50 and is a state-of-the-art simulation of the formation of a galaxy similar in mass to our neighboring galaxy Andromeda. The video shows a formation of a single massive galaxy, with cosmic gas becoming denser and denser over the course of billions of years. The Hazel Hen supercomputer, located in Stuttgart, created the simulation over the course of a year using 16,000 computational cores. The results are an extremely detailed cosmic visualization that consists of 230 million light-years in diameter and more than 20 billion particles that represent dark matter, stars, cosmic gas, magnetic fields, and supermassive black holes.

Atoms in superposition state can successfully measure Earth's gravity

By: Jak Connor | Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 2 days, 9 hours ago

Researchers have devised a new way to measure gravity, and they have done this by measuring the differences in atoms while they are in a superposition state.

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To give a bit of background on this new way of gravity measuring, we must understand the traditional way of measuring gravity. Currently, the standard way of conducting an experiment to measure gravity is to drop objects down tubes that fly past measuring instruments. Unfortunately, with this method, some of the test results get obscured by stray magnet fields.

The team of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, has managed to create a new way of measuring that doesn't require any objects to be dropped. Instead, researchers released a cloud of cesium atoms into the air of a small chamber; they then used flashing lights to split the atoms into a superposition state.

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Here's a herd of MIT's Mini Cheetah robots synchronise back-flipping

By: Jak Connor | Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 2 days, 11 hours ago

MIT can have fun too, and it's not in the same way that normal everyday people would. Instead, it's much cooler as they take they their Mini Cheetah robots out to do flips and kick a soccer ball around.

In a new video that has been posted onto the MIT Biomimetics YouTube Channel, we observe nine new Mini Cheetah robots being taken outside for some testing. The video begins with the robots merely making their way to the testing area, and some are kicking around a soccer ball and others and just enjoying bouncing around in one spot.

The testing also shows some coordinated dancing, body-slams, and a not-so-friendly game of uncoordinated soccer ball kicking. This video proves that MIT has made some leaps and bounds when it comes to robot improvement and range of motion. Eventually, as MIT perfect the designs of the Mini Cheetah's, some could be sent out to hazardous work sites, be used in search-and-rescue missions, and perhaps save some human lives.

NASA has opened up a flawless extraterrestrial Moon rock from 1972

By: Jak Connor | Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 5 days, 6 hours ago

Just this past Tuesday, NASA opened up some lunar samples that were brought back from the Apollo 17 mission. One of those samples was an untouched Moon rock.

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NASA has said that the purpose of opening up tests into Apollo 17's samples is to gain insight into the correct techniques to practice for samples that will be returned from the Artemis mission. Francis McCubbin, NASA's astromaterials curator, said that "Opening these samples now will enable new scientific discoveries about the Moon and will allow a new generation of scientists to refine their techniques to better study future samples returned by Artemis astronauts."

CNN reports that most of the samples that were brought back from the Apollo 17 mission have already been under study by scientists at NASA, but a separate group of samples was set aside and stored for testing with more advanced technology. Dr. Sarah Noble, an ANGSA program scientist, said: "We are able to make measurements today that were just not possible during the years of the Apollo program."

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A massive 2,000 feet wide asteroid will just miss Earth by 0.029 AU

By: Jak Connor | Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 5 days, 10 hours ago

Who doesn't love a good asteroid story, right? We know NASA does, and so should everyone else that is on Earth, as we can still sit in peace and watch another potentially dangerous one fly on by.

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This 2,000 foot wide asteroid has been given the name 481394 (2006 SF6), and in just a couple weeks, it will have a close call with our blue planet. NASA scientists believe that the asteroid will come within 0.029 astronomical units of Earth on November 20th. While that sounds like an extremely small amount of space between the asteroid and Earth, it's still actually quite far away.

An astronomical unit (AU) is the average measured distance between Earth and the Sun, which comes in at 93 million miles. This means that the asteroid still manages to be around 2.7 million miles away from Earth, or to put it into a better perspective, more than ten times farther away than the distance between Earth and our Moon. It should also be noted that after the space rock passes Earth, it won't be a threat again for several hundred years as its orbit takes it off course.

Ships and boats to soon be 'unsinkable' with this newly invented metal

By: Jak Connor | Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 5 days, 12 hours ago

Imagine if ships could be made unsinkable, it seems like a pipe dream of some sort because everyone knows that metal sinks quite quickly once submerged.

Scientists from the University of Rochester have been working on a solution to this problem, and from the above video, it seems they have come up with quite a great idea. The researchers have created a metal that repels against water by having pockets of air under it keeping it afloat. The researchers have done this by etching into the surface of the metal special patterns which were inspired by the natural world.

The team explains that some spiders and fire ants are hydrophobic, meaning that they repel against water. So, the researchers took this insight and created an etching technique called "superhydrophobic" and applied it to modern-day metals. The results could be revolutionary as described in the paper, "The key insight is that multifaceted superhydrophobic (SH) surfaces can trap a large air volume, which points towards the possibility of using SH surfaces to create buoyant devices."

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