Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 1
NASA's car-sized Mars rover named Curiosity has stumbled across an iron-nickel meteorite while exploring a region of Mars.
NASA has taken to its social channel and explained in a blog post on the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory website that the Curiosity rover found the iron-nickel meteorite on January 28, 2023, in a region around Mount Sharp, a large mountain located in the Gale crater. NASA has written on the Curiosity rover Twitter account that it's not "uncommon to find meteorites on Mars" and that this isn't the first discovery by Curiosity. In 2016 the rover discovered a meteorite now called "Egg Rock", or the golf ball.
As for the meteorite that Curiosity most recently found, NASA writes that its approximately 1 foot wide and has been named Cacao. The space agency explains that Curiosity snapped a panorama with its Mast Camera, or Mastcam, which features a 100-millimeter focal length lens. The panorama consists of 19 individual images that are then stitched together to form the above image. This image is then color corrected to "match lighting conditions as the human eye would perceive them on Earth," writes NASA.
A team of archaeologists in Japan has discovered a massive iron sword that was buried to protect the dead from evil spirits.
In an email to LiveScience, Riku Murase, an archaeologist for Nara City who dug up the burial mound and found the sword, said they were "surprised" at the discovery, and they doubted the existence of the tomb for "so long". The discovery took place last November at the burial mound of Tomio Maruyama, located west of Nara, a city in Japan. The tomb dates back to the fourth century A.D. (1,600 years ago) and contained a Dako, a type of sword known for its wavy, snake-like shape.
Commenting on the discovery of the sword, Murase said that it's twice as big as any other sword that has been found in Japan so far. The below image showcases an X-ray photograph of the sword's original shape and size. Archaeologist Stefan Maeder, an expert in Japanese swords and ancient swords in general, explains that dako swords found in burial mounds are mainly for ceremonial purposes, but aren't "common" as they are "prestigious objects of high society".
Scientists are sharing a new level of both excitement and confusion at the vortex that just formed near the north pole of the sun.
Space weather forecaster Tamitha Skov took to Twitter to share video footage captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which showcases a large filament of solar plasma snapping off of the sun's surface and forming a vortex that moved towards the sun's north pole. According to Skov, there are large implications for this event as it could unlock a deeper understanding of the sun's atmospheric dynamics close to its poles, a region that currently isn't very well understood.
Other scientists, such as Scott McIntosh, a solar physicist and deputy director at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, spoke to space.com and said that he has never seen a vortex quite like this and that research suggests that this event occurs once every 11 years. Notably, the vortex happened at the sun's exact 55-degree latitudes, and while scientists know that it happens once every 11 years, they don't know why it happens or the driving force behind it.
A team of researchers has successfully cloned three "super cows" that are capable of producing nearly double the amount of milk than a typical dairy cow.
According to an article written in the Chinese state-run publication Global Times, a group of scientists from the Northwest University of Agricultural and Forestry Science and Technology has cloned three "super cows". The researchers report that three new calves have been born through surrogacy, the first was on December 30 and weighed 120 pounds, requiring cesarean section due to its immense size. So, why are they "super cows"?
What makes these cows "super" is that they originate from the Holstein Friesian breed that can be traced back to the Netherlands. These cows can produce as much as 18 tons of milk per year, or 100 tons of milk, throughout their lifetime. In comparison, only five in 10,000 cows have a chance at producing 100 tons of milk in their lifetime, and in most cases, it's discovered later in the cow's life that they have achieved this level of production, making breeding these "super cows" particularly difficult.
The team of astronomers from around the world have honed their efforts on one exoplanet in particular, Wolf 1069 b.
In a new paper published in Astronomy and Astrophysics by a team of fifty international astronomers details Wolf 1069, an exoplanet that is only 31 light-years from Earth and is a very similar size to our planet. The astronomers found that Wolf 1069 is about 1.26 the mass of Earth and 1.08 the size. Additionally, researchers found the exoplanet orbits its host red dwarf star much faster than Earth orbits the Sun, with Wolf 1069 only taking 15.6 days to complete one full rotation.
Since the exoplanet is orbiting a red dwarf star, it receives approximately 65% of the solar radiance that Earth receives. Red dwarf stars are much smaller and cooler than the sun, and because of that Wolf 1069's surface temperatures are also much cooler despite its close proximity. According to the paper, the exoplanet's surface temperatures range between -139.27 degrees Fahrenheit (-95.15 Celsius) and 55.13 degrees Fahrenheit (12.85 C), with an average surface temperature of -40.25 F (-40.14 C).
Researchers have performed an analysis on Saturn's smallest moon Mimas and found evidence that the small moon may actually have an internal ocean.
Mimas is Saturn's smallest and inner-most moon, and according to researchers that published a recent paper in the Geophysical Research Letters journal, NASA's Cassini Mission to Saturn identified an oscillation in Mimas' rotation, which is typically an indicator for that body being geologically active body and able to support an internal ocean. Notably, researchers first believed that Mimas wouldn't be a likely candidate for an internal ocean as its icy surface is peppered with craters and featured one giant crater that makes the moon resemble the iconic Death Star from Star Wars.
This large crater on Mimas was the focal point of the study and is called the Herschel impact basin. Scientists modeled the formation of the Hershel impact basin using simulation software called iSALE-2D. The results indicated that Mimas' crust had to be 34 miles thick when the Hershel impact occurred. Notably, recent observations of Mimas indicate that the crust is approximately 19 miles thick, leading researchers to believe that Mimas has been warming and expanding since the Hershel impact.
A team of astronomers have discovered Jupiter has more moons than what was officially recorded, adding twelve more to the total for the biggest planet in our solar system.
The twelve new moons were discovered using telescopes in Hawaii and Chile throughout 2021 and 2022. Initial data gathered by telescopes was then followed up with additional observations to confirm each orbit of the target moons. According to the results, these moons aren't very big at all, measuring ranging in size from 0.6 miles to 2 miles in diameter. Notably, the new moons have been added to the official list maintained by the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center.
Previous official numbers put Jupiter's total number of moons at 80, giving it a second-place trophy behind Saturn for the planet in our solar system that features the most moons. Saturn currently has 83 confirmed moons, but now Jupiter has added another 12 to its orbit, meaning it has become our solar system's most moon-infested planet with a total of 92 confirmed moons.
A group of scientists have devised a novel way to produce skin in almost any 3D shape, which could then be transplanted as "biological clothing".
The team of researchers from Columbia University published a new study in the journal Science Advances that through their method, they are able to create three-dimensional skin constructs from ears to elbows to entire hands that can then be transplanted as 'biological clothing' to individuals that have suffered from burns those affected regions. This method involves a 3D laser scanning the site on the body that needs a skin graft.
A digital profile is then created of the scanned area, which is then tinkered with in a CAD program. After the touch-ups are complete, the 3D render is then printed. The above skin glove is entirely covered in skin fibroblasts and collagen, along with keratinocytes, which is the most common type of skin cell that makes up the structural component of the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin on the human body. This layer of skin is responsible for repelling your body from harm, keeping your skin hydrated, and producing new skin cells.
A group of scientists looked for assistance from an artificial intelligence to make what they deemed as an accurate prediction for an approaching problem.
A new study published in the journal Proceeding of the National Academy of Science details the combined use of artificial intelligence and current climate models. The researchers behind the study explain that the United Nations Paris Agreement aims to hold global warming below far below 2 degrees Celsius and is really aiming for below 1.5 degrees or more. Since mainstream climate models state that global warming is accelerating, there has been interest in how long it will be until that 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold is hit.
According to the researchers, an artificial intelligence was fed climate models that contain data on historical temperature patterns, and according to the results, global warming is already well on its way to blowing past the 1.5 degrees threshold. Notably, the study states that even if there was a sudden substantial reduction in the amount of greenhouse gasses produced across the planet, there is still a real possibility that global warming will hit 2 degrees Celsius.
A telescope located at the summit area of Maunakea, the highest point in the state of Hawaii, has captured a "mysterious" spiral appearing in the night sky on January 18, 2023.
The Subaru Telescope has published footage of the event, and the observatory explains that its Asahi STAR Camera that's installed at the Catwalk of the Subaru Telescope captured a spiral forming in the night sky that eventually dissipated over the following thirty minutes. The observatory believes that the spiral was caused by SpaceX launching its GPS III Space Vehicle 06 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. SpaceX launched its rocket at 7:24 AM EST on January 18, 2023
Notably, Ichi Tanka, a researcher at the Subaru Telescope, said that he wasn't the first person to spot the phenomena as he was sent a screenshot from an individual that was viewing the timelapse livestream of the Asahi STAR Camera. Tanka described his reaction when he saw the screenshot of the livestream, saying, "When I opened Slack, that is what I saw, and it was a jaw-dropping event for me."