Science, Space & Robotics News - Page 3
Astronomers around the world have their observational eyes fixed on the red giant Betelgeuse, as they are patiently awaiting any signs of detonation.
If this is the first time you are hearing about Betelgeuse, don't stress we aren't in any immediate danger. Betelgeuse is located around 650 light years away, and astronomers have estimated that due to it's dimming cycles the star could explode anytime within the next 100,000 years. What's concerning, and what has caused astronomers from around the world to focus their attention on Betelgeuse is the fact that the red giant seems to be dimming at an unprecedented rate.
Betelgeuse is currently sitting at around 35% of it's normal brightness, which has moved it from it's normal position of the 11th brightest star in the sky to the 24th bright star in the sky. These variations in Betelgeuse's brightness are normal, as the internal temperatures inside the star rises and falls. What isn't normal is how rapidly it's doing it. Astronomers used the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope instrument called 'SPHERE', SPHERE allows astronomers to capture polarized infrared light of objects.
WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, spoke to reporters in Geneva and said that the coronavirus has been given a "pronounceable" name that's "related to the disease". The new name for the coronavirus is now COVID-19, and here's how that name was conceived. The "CO" is for coronavirus, the "VI" is for virus, the "D" is because it's a disease and "19" is for the year it was discovered - 2019.
According to Tedros, "Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatizing. It also gives us a standard format to use for any future coronavirus outbreaks." The WHO has also said that a vaccine for COVID-19 could be around 18 months away and until then the virus is worse than terrorism. "To be honest, a virus is more powerful in creating political, economic and social upheaval than any terrorist attack", said Tedros.
League of Legends is one of the biggest games ever created with a player base of over 100 million players. So how much carbon are those players generating?
In a new study, it has been estimated that League of Legends' 115 million players throughout 2019 resulted in around 3,139,385 tonnes of CO2 emissions, based on the average player game time. This amount of output of CO2 is estimated to be around the same as charging 400,372,745,210 smartphones or driving 7,790,037,221 miles.
Both gaming companies and consoles manufacturers are working towards minimizing their carbon footprint, and with study's such as these and others coming out estimating how much carbon they are producing, they are really putting them in a not-so-good spotlight. I don't know if a few studies will push big game companies such as Riot Games to implement a carbon reduction strategy, but it's a start, I suppose.
At the moment, SpaceX is gearing up for the first crewed flight to the International Space Station with their Dragon spacecraft.
According to recent reports, paperwork is the main problem before SpaceX is given the green light to take astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station. While it hasn't been publically announced, Ars Technica says that NASA is currently working towards a May 7th launch of Crew Dragon, but that date is lucrative.
Above is a video SpaceX released onto their official Twitter account. The video is of the Dragon spacecraft, and according to the post, it's currently undergoing electromagnetic interference testing. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk originally said that Dragon should launch within the second quarter of 2020, and judging on recent reports, that estimation is quite accurate. Dragon will take to the skies sometime in April, May, June. May is most likely the month when a launch will happen.
A new discovery has been made in the world of astrophysics, but unfortunately, this has got people scratching their heads as it's broken any existing explanations.
Fast Radio Bursts (FRB) was first detected back in 2007, and while humans first came across them, then it was most likely that there were bouncing around the universe since it's creation. Now, researchers have detected some FRB's coming all the way from deep space, while the occurrence of FRB's is initially quite rare, that isn't what has got researchers both excited and puzzled. These FRB's are coming in the form of a pattern.
Usually, when an FRB is detected, its source is traced back to what is assumed to stars colliding with each other. What has puzzled researchers this time around is the pattern of the new FRB, as it suggests something else is going on out in the universe and that the source is pumping out radio energy in certain timing. Researchers from Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment Fast Radio Burst Project detected the FRB back in 2019. Then in January 2020, they published a paper detailing that they found more than one burst from the source.
Astronomers around the world have their eyes fixed on one supergiant star at the moment, Betelgeuse. This star is acting really strange and could very well explode into a glorious supernova.
It wasn't too long ago that I reported on Betelgeuse, and how astronomers are witnessing the supergiant star pulsating and dimming. Astronomers estimate that the star has about 100,000 years left in its life, but what they don't know is why it's dimming at unprecedented rates, raising the question of whether or not it's going to explode sooner rather than later.
Veteran Villanova University astronomer Edward Guinan and his team have collated some brand new data, which indicates that Betelgeuse could be in the middle of a 430-day pulsation period. The end of that pulsation period is estimated to be on February 21st and should bring the star to its dimmest state yet. Guinan says, "So something very unusual is going on" as Betelgeuse even now appears to be dimmer than what he and his team expected it to be.
A new report has come out regarding two Russian satellites that are closing in on a billion-dollar U.S spy satellite that is currently orbiting Earth.
According to John W. Raymond, who is the General of the United States Space Force, and serves as the Space Force's first Chief of Space Operations, "It has the potential to create a dangerous situation in space". The Russian satellite is only 100 miles from the U.S spy satellite, and other U.S experts have expressed their concerns on what the Russian craft will be able to learn from close-up images.
Fox News reports that the Russian's have said that the satellites are simply conducting experiments. Fox News also says that an amateur satellite tracker used public data to check out the motives of the Russian satellite, and found that it's "clearly designed" to monitor the U.S satellite. Raymond said to Time, " It's clear that Russia is developing on-orbit capabilities that seek to exploit our reliance on space-based systems that fuel our American way of life."
If you are a fan of space, then it's most likely one of your dreams to be able to see Earth from space. You'd imagine that the first moment you gaze out at our blue planet would be incredible, right?
Garret Reisman, a former NASA Astronaut and currently a Professor of Astronautical Engineering at USC and a Senior Advisor at SpaceX, sat down with Joe Rogan on his podcast to explain just what that's like. Reisman was asked by Joe, "the first day you actually got up there, was that the first time you have been in space? So your first view of the Earth from above? What is that like?" Reisman then began to describe what that was like, and what kind of experience it was to see everyone's home from space.
Here's what Reisman said, "Wow. Well, I didn't see it right away cause I was in the mid-deck the downstairs of the shuttle, and there's only one window down there, and it's in the corner, ok, so it's in the hatch and it's like the size of a dinner plate. You had a lot of work to do as soon as you get up there, so I'm working like crazy, and after about 30 minutes I see this pale blue glow coming from that window. I was like, "that's the Earth... I should have a look at that". I was super excited for this, ya know? So I wanted to be ready, so I paused, closed my eyes, meditated -- call it whatever you want, I just got ready."
There's no doubt that humans have influenced the world's climate to at least some degree since we have been around, but how much of the now changing climate is our fault?
A new study has been released in the PNAS journal by scientists who have examined the global climate and carbon cycle that occurred millions of years ago. The scientists from Trinity College Dublin looked ancient mudstone deposits in Wales and discovered that the position of Earth's orbit played a major role in carbon-cycle and global climate as a whole throughout the Triassic-Jurassic Mass Extinction period around 201 million years ago.
The scientists found that volcanic activity in these periods of time played a big role in the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that were present in both the ocean and atmosphere. This discovery revealed that both the global climate and carbon cycles were constantly changing. Dr. Micha Ruhl, Assistant Professor in Sedimentology at Trinity, said, "Periodic changes in the shape of Earth's orbit around the sun impacted on the amount of energy received by Earth from the sun, which in turn impacted climatic and environmental processes, as well as the carbon-cycle, on local, regional and global scales."
A former NASA and International Space Station astronaut has sat down with Joe Rogan revealing many facts about space travel and the eventuality of humans going to Mars.
On the Joe Rogan Podcast, former NASA astronaut and now Professor of Astronautical Engineering at USC and Senior Advisor at SpaceX, Garret Reisman deep-dived into how humans will eventually make it to Mars and the precautions we will need to take. At about an hour into the podcast, Joe asks Reisman how long does he think it will be before humans can go to another planet?
Reisman says, "going to Mars is something we could do in a decade if we really, really wanted to. It's not a question of technology, the big missing piece I think in understanding about what that would be like [travelling to Mars] is the effect of radiation on the human body." Reisman then continues to explain that there are currently solutions to this problem in the works to mitigating against deadly radiation.