Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 2
At the end of October 2023, a new island appeared on the surface of the Pacific Seas off Japan, and now satellites have imaged its continuous growth.
The new island has been officially called Niijima, which translates to "new island" in Japanese. According to the University of Tokyo, the new island was caused by an underwater volcanic eruption that occurred on October 21, 2023, and then on October 30, magma interacted with the ocean water, producing a massive explosion. This interaction created massive rock chunks several feet long, with reports indicating some were hurled more than 160 feet into the air.
The European Space Agency's Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite snapped the below image of the new island on November 27, which shows the underwater volcanic activity is still proceeding. On November 27, the Japan Coast Guard took to X to share footage of the island being rocked by a following volcanic eruption, which is still ongoing. Notably, Japan Meteorological Agency's volcanic division expert Yuji Usui spoke to AP and said that the survival of Niijima may depend on its rock composition.
A new paper published on November 30 in the journal Science details the discovery of a planet that is more than 13 times as massive as Earth.
What is interesting about this planet's discovery is that it shouldn't exist, or at least according to the researchers from Penn State University that discovered it, as this massive planet is orbiting an "ultracool" star called LHS 3154, which is only one-ninth the size of our Sun. The mass ratio between the newly discovered massive planet and the star LHS 3154 is more than 100 times the mass ratio between Earth and the Sun.
The press release posted on the Penn State website states that the discovery of this planet orbiting the coolest and smallest star in the universe goes against current theories that would predict planet formation around small stars. Notably, this discovery marks the first time a planet with such a high mass has been discovered orbiting such a low-mass star.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk shared a graph to his personal X account showcasing how far ahead SpaceX is compared to its competition on how much mass it has launched into orbit.
The graph was created by Bryce Tech, a mission-focused SETA contractor that applies analytics and engineering expertise to program management, and specifically, in this case, how much weight in kilograms has been launched to orbit and by whom. The graph shows SpaceX leading the pack by a country mile with 381,278 kg to orbit, or "upmass", with the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) coming in second with 24,560 kg, Roscosmos with 17,475 kg and Northrop Grumman Space Systems with 8,051 kg.
The graph illustrates what Musk wrote in his caption on the initial X post, "SpaceX is tracking to launch over 80% of all Earth payload to orbit this year". Furthermore, the graph showcases that SpaceX is the global leader in transporting mass to orbit, and with bigger and better rockets on the way, such as the recently tested Starship launch vehicle, capable of launching 100 tons to orbit, the competition will find it very difficult to catch up.
Using data from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, researchers have confirmed a massive, monstrous hole has opened up in the Sun's atmosphere, and it's spewing solar wind directly at Earth.
The surface of the Sun is constantly going through changes as the massive fireball powering life on Earth's magnetic field contorts, causing solar flares, coronal mass ejections, and coronal holes. Researchers discovered that a massive hole has opened up in the Sun's atmosphere starting on December 2, officially called a "coronal hole," and within 24 hours, it reached its maximum size of an astounding 497,000 miles wide.
Beginning on December 4, the massive coronal hole has been pointing directly at Earth, spewing fast radiation or solar wind in the direction of our planet. When the massive hole was discovered, space weather experts predicted it would cause geomagnetic storms in the Earth's upper atmosphere, which could potentially trigger radio blackouts and auroras closer to the equator. Initial predictions for the severity of the storm this coronal hole could cause were a moderate G2-level storm.
Last Friday, genetic testing company 23andMe announced it was hacked, and the personal data of 0.1% of its customers, or 14,000 people, were stolen.
However, that isn't the worst of the news, as the company has said that due to the hackers accessing those accounts, they were able to gain access to a "significant number of files containing profile information on other users' ancestry."
What was the number of "other users"? In an email sent to TechCrunch, 23andMe spokesperson Katie Watson confirmed the hackers were able to gain access to the personal information of 5.5 million people who chose to opt-in to 23andMe's DNA Relatives feature.
The world's most powerful space telescope, NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, has honed its extremely sensitive instruments on a mysterious object millions of light years away from Earth.
The object in question is officially called AzTECC71, a dusty star-forming galaxy that dates back to the early stages of the universe, nearly 1 billion years after the occurrence of the Big Bang. Notably, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope was unable to see the galaxy with its instruments, but follow-up observations from Webb has captured a faint image of the distant galaxy, revealing qualities that previously went unnoticed.
Webb has captured an image of one of the oldest objects in the known universe, and while that is exciting in itself, astronomers are more excited for the implications of such a discovery - stellar nurseries like AzTECC71 could be three to ten times more common than previously thought.
The project behind the world's biggest nuclear fusion reactor, which is a device that is designed to replicate the process that takes place within the fun, consists of a collaborative effort between 500 scientists and engineers, plus more than 70 different companies throughout Europe and Japan.
Achieving nuclear fusion is the process of combining two elements into one. The conditions on which to do this are tough and require a large six-story high machine that is capable of swirling plasma that is heated up to 2200 million degrees. Once the conditions reach the appropriate levels, fusion takes place between the elements, and heat and light are created as a result. Being able to replicate the process that takes place within the Sun would mean unlimited clean energy and would change the energy crisis globally.
However, it's extremely difficult to maintain the right conditions to make nuclear fusion take place, but researchers at the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the United States achieved what is called "net energy gain," which means they were able to generate more energy than what it costs them to run the experiment. A critical step toward achieving a sustainable nuclear fusion reactor.
Meta has a problem with pedophiles on its platforms, as a new report from The Wall Street Journal has found instances where the algorithms powering the company's platforms have actually promoted pedophile accounts.
It was back in June that the WSJ and Stanford University worked together to find an underground pedophile network on Instagram. The June report revealed Instagram's algorithm was connecting a distribution network of underage sex content, which was promptly responded to by Meta, who formed a child-safety task force dedicated to solving underage sexual content on the platform. However, it isn't just Instagram that has problems.
The WSJ report found there are still entire Facebook groups that are dedicated to sharing content that sexualizes children, pedophile-related hashtags are abundant, and many other Facebook groups that are currently celebrating incest and sex with children. The WSJ report states it flagged these grounds to Meta, which responded to the publication by saying the groups weren't violating any of the platform's community standards.
A new study published in the journal Advanced Science details the creation of tiny biological robots that are designed to assist the growth of wounds and tissue and even help cure diseases.
The study details these micro-robots called "anthrobots," and according to the new paper, the researchers behind them have already been able to demonstrate their repair capabilities on damaged neurons. However, these tests were carried out in a petri dish and not within a human, where there are many factors at play.
While the demonstration has been limited to a petri dish, what the team has achieved is nonetheless impressive as the microbots were constructed out of human cells, meaning doctors will be able to take cells from a patient to make custom bots for that individual. Having the robots made out of the patient's cells reduces the chances of the body rejecting them.
The 50-year-long journey of returning humans back to the moon for the first time since 1972 is being undertaken by NASA, and according to a new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the space agency's target date for the launch of 2025 is unlikely to be hit.
The new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has thrown a wet blanket on NASA's plans for humans returning to the surface of the moon in 2025, as the report has pointed out "multiple challenges" with the space agency's schedule, particularly with the development of the Human Landing System (HLS).
The report released on November 30 outlines development problems with the HLS, which is a modified version of SpaceX's Starship launch vehicle, transportation to the surface of the moon, and design problems such as including larger oxygen tanks within spacesuits used by astronauts exploring the surface of the moon.