Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 267

All the latest Science, Space, Health & Robotics news with plenty of coverage on space launches, discoveries, rockets & plenty more - Page 267.

Bizarre new objects found at Milky Way's center, right near black hole

Jak Connor | Jan 16, 2020 4:05 AM CST

At the center of our Milky Way galaxy, we have a supermassive black hole called Sagittarius A*, and astronomers have found some weird objects floating around it.

Bizarre new objects found at Milky Way's center, right near black hole | TweakTown.com

The new research has been published in the journal Nature and has indicated that astronomers have located some objects that were originally believed to be gasses. The strange part about this though, is that astronomers observed the objects and found that they moved like stars. The objects which have been titled G1 and G2 have been observed getting close to the black hole and stretching into an elongated shape.

Andrea Ghez, UCLA's Lauren B. Leichtman and Arthur E. Levine Professor of Astrophysics and director of the UCLA Galactic Center Group, said, "At the time of closest approach, G2 had a really strange signature. We had seen it before, but it didn't look too peculiar until it got close to the black hole and became elongated, and much of its gas was torn apart. It went from being a pretty innocuous object when it was far from the black hole to one that was really stretched out and distorted at its closest approach and lost its outer shell, and now it's getting more compact again."

Continue reading: Bizarre new objects found at Milky Way's center, right near black hole (full post)

The first living robots have been created, and they can work together

Jak Connor | Jan 16, 2020 3:35 AM CST

Scientists have done the unthinkable; they have combined frog embryo stem cells with robotics and created the first 'living' robot.

Researchers from the University of Vermont (UVM) and Tufts University have used stem cells from frog embryos and combined them with tiny robots to create "xenobots". The robots are technically alive, and they measure in at about a millimeter-wide, can self-heal if sliced in half, can work cooperatively with other live robots, and even swim.

According to Joshua Bongard, a computer scientist and robotics expert at UVM and one of the leads on the research, said, "These are novel living machines. They're neither a traditional robot nor a known species of animal. It's a new class of artifact: a living, programmable organism." So how did scientists and researchers do this? Using a supercomputer, the team at UVM ran an algorithm to find out the best design, then the team at Tufts implemented the design with the stem cells from frog embryos. If you are after more information on this topic, check out this article here.

Continue reading: The first living robots have been created, and they can work together (full post)

Astronomers found two super-Earth's that could host & sustain life

Jak Connor | Jan 16, 2020 12:31 AM CST

Astronomers have peered out into the vastness of space and located two more potentially habitable alien planets.

Astronomers found two super-Earth's that could host & sustain life | TweakTown.com

The two new worlds that could be our new homes someday are called 'GJ180 d' and 'GJ229A c' and orbit two red dwarf stars 'GJ229A' and 'GJ180', respectively. Both of the planets are located in the habitable zone of the red dwarf stars and are not total locked. Tidal locking is common for planets found next to red dwarfs, but it isn't good for survivability or an overall habitable planet as it can render the days extremely hot and the nights freezing.

Fabo Feng, of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C, said the planet 'GJ180 d' has a temperature close to Earths, so much so that the planet can be called a super-Earth. 'GJ180 d' is actually larger than Earth as well, its estimated that the exoplanet has 7.5 times the mass of Earth. "GJ180 d is the nearest temperate super-Earth to us that is not tidally locked to its star, which probably boosts its likelihood of being able to host and sustain life." If you are after more information check out this link here.

Continue reading: Astronomers found two super-Earth's that could host & sustain life (full post)

Last images from Cassini satellite give insight into Saturn's auroras

Jak Connor | Jan 15, 2020 12:33 AM CST

NASA's Cassini satellite ended its 13-year mission in September 2017, but scientists and researchers are analyzing some of the final data sets sent back from it.

Last images from Cassini satellite give insight into Saturn's auroras | TweakTown.com

The new data was analyzed, and two new studies have been published in Geophysical Research Letters and JGR: Space Physics detailing some new understanding regarding Saturn's rings. For those that don't know, Cassini's main mission was to observe Saturn, and it did so very well. Throughout the course of its life, it gave scientists numerous vital pieces of information that helped piece together our now present understanding of Saturn.

Cassini was moved to an orbit that brought it closer to Saturn than ever before, and at this length, scientists and researchers were able to obtain images of Saturn's ultraviolet auroras at some never before seen resolution. So what's Saturn's aurora? Saturn's auroras are generated by the interaction between the solar wind from the sun, which shoots out energized particles, and Saturn's rapidly rotating magnetic field. The auroras are found at the planet's poles and are known to flash and pulsate at different speeds.

Continue reading: Last images from Cassini satellite give insight into Saturn's auroras (full post)

SpaceX are going to test out their astronaut escape system in January

Jak Connor | Jan 13, 2020 4:48 AM CST

SpaceX are in preparation for their Crew Dragon launch and before the launch gets underway some crucial tests need to be carried out.

SpaceX are going to test out their astronaut escape system in January | TweakTown.com

One of those tests are for Crew Dragon's launch escape system. According to the official SpaceX Twitter account, which posted a recent update that described that on January 18th the space exploration company will be performing an in-flight demonstration of Crew Dragon's launch escape system.

The test will verify whether or not the spacecraft has the capabilities to safely bring astronauts back down to Earth in the event of an emergency landing occurring. This will be the last big test for SpaceX's Crew Dragon before it can be checked off as ready-to-go. During one of SpaceX's last tests with Starship, the rocket actually blew its top, check that video out here.

Continue reading: SpaceX are going to test out their astronaut escape system in January (full post)

There's buried treasure on Mars, and NASA will land humans to find it

Jak Connor | Jan 13, 2020 2:41 AM CST

NASA is constantly working on getting humans to our Red Planet neighbor, but there is one big question that needs to be answered first -- where are they going to land and why?

There's buried treasure on Mars, and NASA will land humans to find it | TweakTown.com

In a new paper published in Geophysical Research Letters, scientists managed to create a map through the analysis of satellite data (MRO & Mars Odyssey orbiter) that shows where martian water is located. This martian water is more accurately called 'water ice', and according to NASA's website, "Water ice will be a key consideration for any potential landing site". This is because if humans can harvest resources on Mars, they will have a steady means of fuel replacement and drinkable water.

Due to the air pressure on Mars being so thin, liquid water can't last on its surface for very long as it evaporates. This is why NASA has identified some key spots across the planet that have "buried treasure". This 'treasure' is, in fact, water ice and its located just under the martian surface. According to Sylvain Piqueux of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, "You wouldn't need a backhoe to dig up this ice. You could use a shovel. We're continuing to collect data on buried ice on Mars, zeroing in on the best places for astronauts to land."

Continue reading: There's buried treasure on Mars, and NASA will land humans to find it (full post)

Billionaire starts 'female partner' contest, winner goes to the Moon

Jak Connor | Jan 13, 2020 1:04 AM CST

Sometimes a little companionship is all you need, especially if you are blasting off to space to be the first prospective rider aboard SpaceX's deep-space rocket.

Billionaire starts 'female partner' contest, winner goes to the Moon 02 | TweakTown.com

Japanese billionaire, Yusaku Maezawa is after just that as he has launched a campaign to find a suitable "female partner" to accompany him in his flight around the Moon. Maezawa has started a new website promoting the "girlfriend" campaign, and according to the website "He wants to visit such a special place together with a special someone." There are conditions to applying, they aren't very strict so don't worry.

The website states that applicants have to be; "Single women aged 20 or over, bright personality and always positive, interested in going into space and able to participate in the preparation for it, want to enjoy life to the fullest, be someone who wishes for world peace." Back in September last year, Maezawa put down a large deposit to be the first private customer to ride on SpaceX's Starship once it was completed and ready for flight. Starship won't land on the Moon with passengers. Instead, it will take passengers around the Moon, giving them a perfect look at it.

Continue reading: Billionaire starts 'female partner' contest, winner goes to the Moon (full post)

Jupiter is meant to shield Earth from asteroids, not sling them at us

Jak Connor | Jan 10, 2020 3:40 AM CST

Jupiter is meant to protect the Earth from space rocks, not slingshot them towards our direction. Or at least that's what astronomers originally thought, the contrary might shape up to be true.

Jupiter is meant to shield Earth from asteroids, not sling them at us | TweakTown.com

Astronomers originally thought Jupiter's massive size and gravitational pull were saving Earth from experiencing many dangerous space rocks. While that theory might still be relatively true, it might be as full proof as once thought. Kevin Grazier, a former NASA scientist and now planetary physicist, used computer models to simulate the solar system and how space rocks interact with its planets.

What he found in these simulations was, "Our simulations show that Jupiter is just as likely to send comets at Earth as deflect them away, and we've seen that in the real solar system." In the early days of Earth forming, this principle of asteroids crashing into Earth was a good thing, as essential ingredients for life to occur (ice, minerals etc) were redistributed on Earth's surface. Today though, it could end in millions of lives being lost. Remember what happened to the dinosaurs?

Continue reading: Jupiter is meant to shield Earth from asteroids, not sling them at us (full post)

Major scientific 'oxygen' breakthrough could help NASA find aliens

Jak Connor | Jan 10, 2020 3:12 AM CST

A new breakthrough in being able to measure oxygen levels on distant planets has just happened, meaning NASA now has more assistance in locating alien life.

Major scientific 'oxygen' breakthrough could help NASA find aliens | TweakTown.com

The breakthrough was published in Nature Astronomy and describes a new technique that can be used by NASA's telescopes to measure oxygen levels on distant planets. Oxygen being one of the vital building blocks of life, is what NASA is searching for on distant planets, so any help towards making that location process easier is most-welcomed. The new technique can be used by the James Webb Space Telescope.

Thomas Fauchez, from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and lead author of the study, said "Before our work, oxygen at similar levels as on Earth was thought to be undetectable with Webb. This oxygen signal is known since the early 1980s from Earth's atmospheric studies but has never been studied for exoplanet research." While spotting oxygen on distant planets isn't a 100% guarantee that there is extraterrestrial life located there, it does give NASA and scientists some conclusive evidence that a particular planet has a building block of life.

Continue reading: Major scientific 'oxygen' breakthrough could help NASA find aliens (full post)

Astronomers caught two supermassive black holes merging on camera

Jak Connor | Jan 10, 2020 2:48 AM CST

Two galaxies that both have supermassive black holes are merging together and astronomers caught it on camera.

Astronomers caught two supermassive black holes merging on camera 02 | TweakTown.com

It takes billions of years for galaxies to merge, the process is long but it is a gorgeous one to observe. An team of astronomers used the extremely powerful telescope called Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA) to observe the collision between two galaxies that both have supermassive black holes. Above is the images that were taken with ALMA.

The images don't show the black holes as its extremely difficult to take images of them. But what we can see is all of the light and gas that has failed to escape their ridiculous gravitational pull. That gas that's surrounding the black hole is feeding the black holes, causing them to grow larger and larger as gravity moves both the galaxies closer together to form a new galaxy called NGC 6240.

Continue reading: Astronomers caught two supermassive black holes merging on camera (full post)

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