Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 3

All the latest Science, Space, Health & Robotics news with plenty of coverage on space launches, discoveries, rockets & plenty more - Page 3.

How this volcano eruption led to several hours of lightning

Adam Hunt | Thu, Jan 20 2022 4:30 AM CST

The new study was published in the Geological Society of America's journal Geology.

How this volcano eruption led to several hours of lightning 01 | TweakTown.com

The study focuses on the eruption of the Taal Volcano in the Philippines, which began a series of eruptions starting in January 2020, 43 years after its last eruption. The plume of volcanic ash rising led to thousands of land-to-ground lightning strikes occurring over several hours.

The electrical activity arises after the plume rises high enough in the atmosphere to freeze. Radio waves produced by lightning can be detected with remote sensing tools quickly, allowing scientists to collect data quickly. Along with lots of social media posts with pictures and videos of the event, scientists identified a "highly electrified region at the base of the umbrella cloud."

Continue reading: How this volcano eruption led to several hours of lightning (full post)

Hubble spots a black hole creating stars instead of destroying them

Adam Hunt | Thu, Jan 20 2022 4:00 AM CST

A new study on the observation has been published in the journal Nature.

Hubble spots a black hole creating stars instead of destroying them 01 | TweakTown.com

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observed the dwarf starburst galaxy Henize 2-10, found 30 million light-years away in the constellation Pyxis. Hubble saw a gas outflow from the black hole at the center of the galaxy reaching into a star-forming region 230 light-years away and fostering the growth of stars, rather than suppressing it.

"From the beginning I knew something unusual and special was happening in Henize 2-10, and now Hubble has provided a very clear picture of the connection between the black hole and a neighboring star forming region located 230 light-years from the black hole," said Amy Reines, the principal investigator for the new Hubble observations.

Continue reading: Hubble spots a black hole creating stars instead of destroying them (full post)

Tonga volcanic eruption was so powerful NASA detected it in space

Jak Connor | Thu, Jan 20 2022 1:32 AM CST

In a recent article published in The Conversation, Gareth Dorrian, a Post Doctoral Research Fellow in Space Science, University of Birmingham, explains how the recent volcanic eruption was detected in space.

On January 15, an underwater volcano located 40 miles north of the Tongan capital erupted with the power equivalent to 10 megatons of TNT exploding, or more than 500 times as powerful as the nuclear bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. The eruption spawned a tsunami that has devastated Tongan islands, wiping out most houses and structures, the event has been caused an "unprecedented disaster" by the Tongan government.

Dorrian explains in the article that the eruption has generated "atmospheric gravity waves" that were detected by a NASA satellite. These waves that were detected will allow Dorrian and fellow researchers to better understand the top layers of Earth's atmosphere from events happening on Earth, and how volcanic eruptions can impact space, as opposed to the alternative perspective of how space impacts the top layer of Earth's atmosphere.

Continue reading: Tonga volcanic eruption was so powerful NASA detected it in space (full post)

NASA says Tonga eruption was 500 times as powerful than a nuclear bomb

Jak Connor | Thu, Jan 20 2022 12:32 AM CST

A large underwater volcano eruption recently rocked tonga, and now the power of that eruption has been calculated by NASA researchers.

NASA says Tonga eruption was 500 times as powerful than a nuclear bomb 01 | TweakTown.com

According to a new report by NPR, NASA researchers have estimated that the power generated by the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano was equivalent to 10 megatons of TNT exploding. The eruption occurred 40 miles north of the Tonga capital and immediately spawned a large tsunami that has since wiped out the majority of the houses and structures across two islands.

"We come up with a number that's around 10 megatons of TNT equivalent," said James Garvin, the chief scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, told NPR. If NASA's estimations are correct, it means the eruption was more than 500 times as powerful as the nuclear bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. Michael Poland, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey, said that the blast from the eruption was heard as far away as Alaska, and that it may be the loudest eruption since 1883.

Continue reading: NASA says Tonga eruption was 500 times as powerful than a nuclear bomb (full post)

NASA drops update for James Webb Telescope, new milestone achieved

Jak Connor | Thu, Jan 20 2022 12:04 AM CST

The James Webb Space Telescope is not only nearing the end of its journey to Lagrange 2, it's also closing in on completing its deployment.

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) took off from Earth on Christmas Day, 2021, and has now spent a full month in space. Webb has completed the majority of its complicated deployment work, which has taken the observatory from a narrow configuration that was necessary for launch to an extremely expensive unfolded piece of origami that will hopefully be able to answer some of the biggest questions about the universe.

JWST has 18 primary mirrors, and each is hexagonal and is controlled by seven actuators that give teams back on Earth precise movement capabilities. Teams began deploying each of the mirrors on January 12, and now according to NASA administrator Bill Nelson, all 18 mirror segments are now fully deployed. This doesn't mean that the observatory is operational, as Space.com points out, NASA will need to alter each of the positions of the mirrors, so all of the segments combine to form one giant mirror.

Continue reading: NASA drops update for James Webb Telescope, new milestone achieved (full post)

NASA and HeroX launch waste reprocessing and air quality challenges

Adam Hunt | Wed, Jan 19 2022 6:00 AM CST

The challenges were created by NASA's Tournament Lab in collaboration with crowdsourcing platform HeroX.

NASA and HeroX launch waste reprocessing and air quality challenges 02 | TweakTown.com

The first challenge, Waste to Base Materials Challenge: Sustainable Reprocessing in Space, is seeking solutions to the problems caused by waste generated in space. Long spaceflights such as those to Mars, which for a round trip would take at least 12 to 18 months, would generate a lot of waste. Each submission for the challenge will be evaluated based on how it handles four categories: trash, fecal waste, foam packaging material, and carbon dioxide processing.

"This is exactly what our crowd is poised to do: solve intractable problems with an eye for efficiency and sustainability. I am eager to see the submissions," said HeroX President & CEO Kal K. Sahota.

Continue reading: NASA and HeroX launch waste reprocessing and air quality challenges (full post)

Tiny electricity-generating bandages show promise for helping recovery

Adam Hunt | Wed, Jan 19 2022 5:30 AM CST

A new review on the technology was published in the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials.

Tiny electricity-generating bandages show promise for helping recovery 01 | TweakTown.com

Scientists in Taiwan reviewed the latest advances in small dressings that generate electricity, and can accelerate wound healing and tissue regeneration. In the mid-to-late 20th century, scientists found that stimulating tissue with an electric field could improve wound healing. Current research is focused on developing small patches that can achieve this without external electric equipment.

Candidate materials for these technologies are piezoelectric materials, which generate electric currents when exposed to mechanical stress. These include natural materials such as quartz, silk, wood, bone, hair, and rubber. Synthetic materials such as quartz analogs, ceramics, and polymers are also piezoelectric.

Continue reading: Tiny electricity-generating bandages show promise for helping recovery (full post)

Research shows we're adapting to climate change, but not quick enough

Adam Hunt | Wed, Jan 19 2022 5:00 AM CST

A review of the current situation was published in an article in the journal Nature Climate Change by researchers from Concordia University.

Research shows we're adapting to climate change, but not quick enough 01 | TweakTown.com

The article synthesizes findings from 1,682 articles distilled from over 50,000 scientific documents on adaptations made by humans and society to respond to climate change. It shows that humans are implementing strategies to combat climate change; however, there is insufficient data to ascertain whether any responses reduce the overall climate change risks. So far, no significant transformative change has arisen.

Some of the reviewed articles suggested a link between adaptation and mitigation, but the limited data doesn't show a direct influence on adverse outcomes such as extreme weather events resulting from the risk mitigation strategies currently in place. Lack of transformative adaptations such as moving communities out of high-risk areas or radically changing agricultural practices was a cause of concern for the researchers, who noted only relatively small steps being taken so far.

Continue reading: Research shows we're adapting to climate change, but not quick enough (full post)

Pollutants and plastics have exceeded safe planetary boundaries

Adam Hunt | Wed, Jan 19 2022 4:30 AM CST

A new study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology discusses the updated planetary boundaries framework.

Pollutants and plastics have exceeded safe planetary boundaries 01 | TweakTown.com

In 2009, nine planetary boundaries were identified by researchers, which describe the relatively stable state of Earth since the dawn of civilization approximately 10,000 years ago. Some of the boundaries have yet to be quantified, but in 2015 scientists concluded that at least four of the boundaries have been breached. The boundary for novel entities is now being breached with significantly increased chemical and plastic production.

"There has been a 50-fold increase in the production of chemicals since 1950. This is projected to triple again by 2050. The pace that societies are producing and releasing new chemicals and other novel entities into the environment is not consistent with staying within a safe operating space for humanity," says co-author Patricia Villarubia-Gomez from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University.

Continue reading: Pollutants and plastics have exceeded safe planetary boundaries (full post)

ExxonMobil is targeting 'net zero' operational emissions by 2050

Adam Hunt | Wed, Jan 19 2022 4:00 AM CST

ExxonMobil made its pledge on Tuesday, January 18th, 2022.

ExxonMobil is targeting 'net zero' operational emissions by 2050 01 | TweakTown.com

The pledge covers what is known as "Scope 1" and "Scope 2" emissions, referring to the carbon emissions from ExxonMobil's operations and emissions associated with heating and cooling used at its facilities. "Scope 3" emissions are not covered by the pledge, which refers to those from the products sold, including gasoline purchased by consumers.

ExxonMobil has also announced other projects that will see more funding put into lower-emissions technologies, such as carbon capture and storage projects. "Detailed roadmaps" will be released by the end of 2022, addressing ninety percent of operations-related greenhouse gas emissions, with the remaining ten percent in 2023.

Continue reading: ExxonMobil is targeting 'net zero' operational emissions by 2050 (full post)

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