Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 1
In a newly released data dump by the European Space Agency's (ESA) Gaia mission, what we thought of as satellite galaxies to the Milky Way are not all they seem.
For decades scientists have believed the dwarf galaxies surrounding the Milky Way to be satellites, galaxies orbiting our own that have been doing so for billions of years. However, new data from ESA's Gaia mission has been used to calculate the movements of these galaxies, revealing they aren't orbiting the Milky Way at all.
Researchers computed the three-dimensional velocities for forty dwarf galaxies around the Milky Way, then used them to calculate the galaxy's orbital energies and angular (rotational) momentum. They found the galaxies to be moving significantly faster than other giant stars and star clusters known to orbit the Milky Way. The research team concluded that the dwarf galaxies could not yet be orbiting the Milky Way, as it would have attenuated their orbital energies and angular momentum.
The Milky Way has consumed smaller galaxies in the past, such as the dwarf galaxies Gaia-Enceladus and Sagittarius, 8-10 billion years ago and 4-5 billion years ago, respectively. Stars from both galaxies can be seen in the data from Gaia, where stars absorbed from Sagittarius possess higher orbital energies compared to those from Gaia-Enceladus, indicating their shorter exposure to the Milky Way's influence. The even higher energies of the dwarf galaxies now being studied indicate they have been around the Milky Way for even less time than Sagittarius.
The Russian cargo ship "Progress 78" has departed the International Space Station (ISS), freeing up space for the inbound Prichal module.
Also known as Progress MS-17, Progress 78 launched on June 29th, 2021, to the ISS, delivering over 3,600 pounds (1,630 kilograms) of supplies two days after it launched. Progress 78 undocked from Russia's Nauka science module at 11:22 UTC, November 25th, set on a destructive trajectory into Earth's atmosphere. A new Russian docking port module named Prichal (Russian for "pier") is set to take its place, launching toward the ISS on November 24th.
Prichal's role will be for "testing architecture for potentially permanent settlements in space" according to RussianSpaceWeb.com. Another Progress spacecraft is bringing the Prichal module to the ISS, after which it will undock from Prichal and meet the same fate as Progress 78. Progress 78 was expected to burn up upon re-entry to Earth's atmosphere above the Pacific ocean, roughly four hours following undocking.
New research has been published in Nature Communications, describing how a team of scientists from the University of Manchester used gene editing to manufacture new antibiotics.
The team used CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to create new non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) enzymes, critical in the natural production of antibiotics like penicillin. Previously, manipulating these enzymes to create more potent antibiotics that are less susceptible to growing microbial antibiotic resistance has been a challenge.
The UK government has estimated that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) will lead to 700,000 deaths each year globally and predict this will climb to 10 million by 2050, costing the global economy ~$100 trillion.
"The emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens is one of the biggest threats we face today. The gene-editing approach we developed is a very efficient and rapid way to engineer complex assembly line enzymes that can produce new antibiotic structures with potentially improved properties," said Jason Micklefield, Professor of Chemical Biology at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB).
Black Friday is around the corner and to lead into the sales madness Amazon has slashed prices across a select range of microphones.
A good quality microphone is a staple part of any streaming setup, and while you can take a cheaper microphone and tweak it to sound like a higher-end microphone, sometimes it's just better to pick up a reputable brand of microphone that you know is going to be acceptable quality.
Blue Microphones certainly comes to mind when the topic of high-quality microphones is brought up and Amazon has discounted a large range of its microphone solutions by up to 25%. Amazon's early Black Friday deals feature discounts for popular Blue products such as the Blue Yeti, Blue Yeti X, Blue Yeti Nano, and Blue Snowball iCE. In the entirety of this article you will find the best deals for Blue's range of on sale products.
A team of researchers has stumbled across a mammoth tusk deep beneath the ocean surface, which is perfect for preserving fossils.
A team of researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute was exploring an underwater mountain off the coast of California back in 2019 when they discovered what looks like a wood log. 10,000 feet below the surface, the research team found a 3-foot mammoth tusk fossil that had been preserved by the cold temperatures of the deep sea, much like how food is preserved by being frozen.
Researchers suspect that the tusk was from a large Columbian mammoth that was likely a creature that came from crossbreeding a woolly mammoth and another species of mammoth. As for the exact age of the creature, researchers are working on analyzing the radioisotopes, which can be indicators for finding out an approximation of how old a specimen is. ScienceAlert reports that the mammoth tusk is "much more than 100,000 years old."
NASA's highly anticipated next-generation space telescope titled the James Webb Space Telescope is getting extremely close to launching.
Earlier this week, NASA announced that the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) had to be delayed due to a "A sudden, unplanned release of a clamp band - which secures Webb to the launch vehicle adapter - caused a vibration throughout the observatory". NASA explained in its announcement that engineers were working on testing if the telescope was damaged, and now the agency has given an update.
"Engineering teams have completed additional testing confirming NASA's James Webb Space Telescope is ready for flight", writes NASA. The space agency explains that JWST underwent "additional testing" and that a "NASA-led anomaly review board concluded no observatory components were damaged in the incident." Additionally, the update states that NASA has given approval for the fueling of the observatory to begin. Fueling operations will begin on Thursday, November 25, and take about 10 days to complete. NASA is targeting December 22 for the launch of the JWST.
The Sun has released a coronal mass ejection (CME) into space, and Earth will get impacted by a small portion of it.
Spaceweather.com reports that one of the plasma filaments located on the Sun's southern hemisphere snapped and collapsed, pushing a large amount of particles out at a wide-angle. The majority of the burst is expected to head south past Earth, but a small portion will still impact our magnetic field, which has resulted in forecasters predicting minor G1-class geomagnetic storms for November 27.
When the plasma filament snapped, a "canyon of fire" was carved into the surface of the Sun that was visible for more than 6 hours after the event. Additionally, the blast that is headed our way may be powerful enough to cause Arctic auroras, which always makes for an incredible photography opportunity. In other Sun-related news, a satellite is going to perform its riskiest fly-by of Earth yet on its way to the Sun, check out that story here.
Five astronauts aboard the International Space Station have discussed what Thanksgiving means to them and what they will be doing to celebrate.
Five of the seven NASA astronaut crew gathered around a camera to let the world know that they will be celebrating Thanksgiving while traveling aboard a floating laboratory that is currently orbiting the Earth at around 17,150 miles per hour. NASA astronaut Raja Chari explained that even though it's Thanksgiving, the astronauts are still required to perform their 90 minutes to two hours of daily exercise in order to maintain health during their six-month stay aboard the station, but there is something good to look forward to when it comes to dinner.
As with most Thanksgiving celebrations, the food is an important part, and the International Space Station is no different. The astronaut's joke about how they won't be doing any cooking as all of the food aboard the station just needs to be reheated. The crew will be enjoying a wonderful meal of crab bisque, candied yams, and cherry blueberry cobbler, as well as turkey. Additionally, the crew will be performing their Thanksgiving treadmill sessions which are referred to as the "turkey trot".
The very first fully-scaled mission to test a specific technology that would be used to defend Earth in the event of an asteroid or comet hazard has been launched by NASA.
NASA dubbed the mission the "Double Asteroid Redirection Test," and it involves sending a vending-machine-sized spacecraft to collide with a Great Pyramid of Giza-sized asteroid in an attempt to change the asteroid's orbit around its larger companion asteroid. NASA's spacecraft will be traveling at 15,000 mph, or 4 miles per second, when it collides with the asteroid named Dimorphos.
The results from this test will then be used to prepare for an asteroid threat, and if one ever presents itself, which it currently hasn't, researchers will have a much better idea of to handle the situation by taking already tested methods. Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, said, "At its core, DART is a mission of preparedness, and it is also a mission of unity. This international collaboration involves DART, ASI's LICIACube, and ESA's Hera investigations and science teams, which will follow up on this groundbreaking space mission."
NASA's next-generation space telescope that is pinned as the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope is teed up to unlock the secrets of the universe.
The James Webb Space Telescope has been in development for many years now and has experienced many delays for numerous reasons. The delays have driven up the cost of the space telescope, but now it's finally nearing the end of the road to completion as it's scheduled to launch next month.
In a video posted to the Interesting Engineering YouTube channel, it's explained how important space telescopes are to developing our understanding of the universe and how the James Webb Space Telescope is "currently the most advanced piece of observational equipment ever built." With the JWST, astronomers will be able to observe what the universe was like as far as 250 million years after the Big Bang, which may be further back enough to unlock some secrets of the universe.