Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 2
Reports indicate that an asteroid has made a relatively close approach to Earth, passing between our planet and the Moon.
According to Space.com, an asteroid named 2021 TG14 that has a diameter between 17.7 - 39.3 feet passed between the Earth and the Moon on Sunday, October 17. According to NASA's asteroid database, the space rock passed at a distance of 155,000 miles, and while that seems like quite a distance here on Earth, when talking in space terms, that is quite close to our small blue planet. For reference, the Moon is around 239,000 miles from Earth.
For those that don't know, an asteroid is an ancient piece of the early solar system when our cosmic neighborhood was just a collection of rock, ice, and debris before planets formed. For these reasons, astronomers see asteroids as valuable prospects for scientific research as they can contain information about the solar system's past and thus provide insightful information about its future. If you are interested in reading more about this story, check out this link here.
A swarm of earthquakes has impacted a volcano in the United States. Officials have recorded 33 earthquakes in just 24 hours.
The US Geological Survey's (USGS) Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO) has detected a new swarm of earthquakes impacting Oregon's Mount Hood volcano. According to officials, Mount Hood is classified as a "very high threat potential". However, the earthquakes it recently experienced are not abnormal and have not caused a change in the volcano alert level nor the aviation color code. The USGS wrote, "Several tens of small earthquakes have occurred near the summit of Mount Hood. This is not a volcanic event."
The USGS continued in its statement and said that the earthquakes began on October 17 and that the largest was an M2.5 at a depth of 1.8 - 3.1 miles below the surface. Additionally, none of the earthquakes were felt, and that swarms of earthquakes hitting the volcano are deemed "common" and "do not indicate a change in the volcanic hazard. Past swarms have lasted several days to a couple of weeks." If you are interested in reading more about the reported activity, check out this link here.
AccuWeather has reported that a "beast of a bomb cyclone" is on its way towards the United States and that it may rival some of the hurricanes that have been seen throughout the Atlantic Ocean.
According to the report from AccuWeather, the monstrous cyclone storm will usher in dangerous amounts of rainfall up and down the West Coast of the United States. The report states that satellite imagery has shown that moisture has been transported all the way from India and other parts of southeast Asia across the northern Pacific and is now headed towards the West Coast of the US. AccuWeather Meteorologist Randy Adkins says that Tropical Storm Namtheun will combine with the non-tropical system in the Pacific on Wednesday.
Officials from the National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center have warned that the incoming storm will bring "heavy rain totals, worrisome for burn scars, and high elevation mountain snow". Adding, "The heaviest precipitation looks to come in two waves, one Thursday and another Sunday into Monday." Forecasters recommend keeping up to date on the movements of the storm if you are in the affected areas as with most storms, things can change quite rapidly. For more information on this story, check out this link here.
On October 9, the Sun blasted out a slew of charged particles directly at Earth. The result was a low-to-moderate geomagnetic storm taking place on our planet.
Earth has a protective shield against the fury of the Sun, and this protective shield is called our magnetosphere. When the Sun shoots out a coronal mass ejection (CME) - which is a significant release of plasma from the Sun - and it collides with our planet's magnetosphere, it can cause some considerable effects. Depending on how powerful the solar wind is from the blast, the CME can cause power outages, internet disruptions, satellite issues, and more.
Luckily, the event of October 9 didn't cause much damage at all since the blast was only relatively small in scale. However, the effects of the blast were seen across the globe in the form of auroras in the sky. Auroras happen when the charged particles from the solar wind get trapped in Earth's magnetic field and travel to the geomagnetic poles of the planet. The result is the stunning colors we see in the sky. The European Space Agency put together a video that is comprised of an image taken every 60 seconds throughout the duration of the solar storm. The video can be found above.
NASA's Perseverance rover is designed for precision, and to achieve that, the rover must move incredibly slow - painfully slow.
NASA's Perseverance rover has a top speed on flat ground of a little less than 0.1 miles per hour. But, the space agency has released a new sped-up video of the rover traversing the Martian surface. The video is sped up by about 200 times, and in-between each frame of the video is about 30 seconds. "In total, the rover drove 574 feet (175 meters). The first 26 feet (8 meters) were based on commands sent up earlier by rover drivers, allowing Perseverance to build a 3D map of the terrain under and around it", wrote NASA.
The footage has been released onto the official Perseverance Twitter account and shows the rover taking the surface of the Red Planet head-on. Recently, NASA's Perseverance rover captured a panorama of the Martian surface that shows it in incredible detail. The image is a mosaic piece that is comprised of 84 separate images. If you are interested in checking out that image, click this link here.
The idea of advanced aliens being out there somewhere in the cosmos has been an idea much speculated by everyday people as well as scientists.
There are people on both sides of the metaphorical fence that claim aliens are somewhere out there in the void and others who claim we are the first since we haven't detected them yet. Perhaps the problem isn't that they are real or not, perhaps, the problem is a limitation in our technology to detect them (if they are there). A new study has appeared on a preprint server that details the possibility of China's new radio telescope being capable of detecting alien probes within and beyond our solar system.
The paper explains through calculations that China's Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) could be able to detect alien probes within its radio spectral band that is a key feature of the telescope. The idea behind the telescope being able to detect alien probes is that these probes would emit some kind of radiation that China's new instrument could then detect. If you are interested in reading more about this story, check out this link here.
Researchers have analyzed limestone samples and have discovered that Earth tipped millions of years ago while dinosaurs were still walking around.
The new study has been published in Nature Communications and details an analysis of limestone samples from Italy that date back 65.5 to 100.5 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period. The researchers were looking for evidence of a shift in Earth's magnetic record that would indicate True Polar Wander (TPW), which can cause whole planets and moons to tilt.
According to the study results, the researchers were able to identify evidence of a tilt occurring with bacteria fossils trapped within the limestone. These bacteria fossils provide evidence that during the aforementioned periods, the Earth's surface, which is made up of mantle and crust, tipped by 12 degrees around 84 million years ago and then corrected itself within about 5 million years.
A group of researchers has proposed a new method of planetary defense that would explode a potentially life-threatening asteroid that was on track to impact Earth.
The technical paper has been published in the journal Advances in Space Research on the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) Experimental Cosmology Group website and details what are described as "penetrator rods". These rods would be launched on the back of the rocket and directed straight for the asteroid that was on its way towards Earth.
The rods are between 6 and 10 feet long and equipped with explosives that could potentially be nuclear. The idea behind this strategy is that the rods would enter the asteroid surface and explode, which would cause the asteroid to shatter into small pieces. The researchers state in the paper that the damage caused by the smaller pieces of the asteroid wouldn't even be close to the amount of damage a larger asteroid would do.
NASA recently launched its spacecraft that is scheduled to inspect ancient asteroids located near the largest planet in our solar system - Jupiter.
NASA's Lucy spacecraft took off on Saturday, October 16, aboard the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, and while the launch was deemed an overall success, the space agency has announced the spacecraft has experienced a slight problem with one of its solar panels. The two solar panels Lucy is equipped with are crucial components of the spacecraft's very ambitious mission to visit the ancient Trojan asteroids as they give the spacecraft power.
According to the announcement from NASA's associate administrator for science who wrote on Twitter, Lucy is "safe and stable". However, "The two solar arrays have deployed, but one may not be fully latched." Adding, "The team is analyzing data to determine next steps. This team has overcome many challenges already and I am confident they will prevail here as well." NASA gave its own statement on the matter, saying, "Lucy's two solar arrays have deployed, and both are producing power and the battery is charging. While one of the arrays has latched, indications are that the second array may not be fully latched."
Astronomers used one of NASA's satellites to observe a white dwarf star seemingly switching "on and off" for the first time.
The research has been published in the journal Nature Astronomy. It details a first-time discovery of astronomers from Durham University, UK, using NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) to look at a white dwarf star around 1,400 light-years. The astronomers' new observations detail the white dwarf losing brightness in just 30 minutes, which is something that was only previously observed over a period of several days to months.
So, why did this happen? According to Phys.org, the brightness of a white dwarf star is affected by the amount of material surrounding it that it can potentially feed on. When the white dwarf is bright, it's feeding off the accretion disk of its companion star, and when dull, it's not "eating" as much. From the results, the researchers suspect that there was an interference of some sort with the star's food supply which led to the dramatic rise and fall of its brightness.