Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 337
3D model of our Milky Way galaxy mapped like never before
Researchers have announced that they have formed a brand new 3D model of our Milky Way galaxy, giving us a much better understanding of the surrounding stars.
Researchers Dorota M. Skowron, Jan Skowron, Przemek Mroz and more published an article in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, revealing a new large-scale model of our Milky Way galaxy and the thousands of Cepheid stars. Cepheid stars are a type of star that pulsates radially and are found scattered across galaxies.
The new scale that has been devised by the researchers enables us to gain a better understanding of the S-like structure inside the Milky Way's warped stellar disc. Co-author, Przemek Mroz said "Our map shows the Milky Way disk is not flat. It is warped and twisted. This is the first time we can use individual objects to show this in three dimensions." Traditional maps of the Milky Way are built upon indirect measurements to celestial landmarks and interference's of other galaxies in the universe.
Continue reading: 3D model of our Milky Way galaxy mapped like never before (full post)
Astronomers locate 'first nearby super-Earth', possible life
Scientists and astronomers led by Cornell's Lisa Kaltenegger have announced that they have discovered a 'super-Earth' planet in a nearby solar system.
The planet was found using NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite or TESS for short. Kaltenegger, associate professor of astronomy, director of Cornell's Carl Sagan Institute and a member of the TESS science team spoke out about the discovery, saying "This is exciting, as this is humanity's first nearby super-Earth that could harbor life-uncovered with help from TESS, our small, mighty mission with a huge reach."
Astronomers from the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands and the University of La Laguna, both in Spain, said that this planet is located in the Gj 357 system to the journal of Astronomy & Astrophysics. The solar system GJ 357 contains a sun that is about one-third the size of our own, and only has three other planets in the entire system. GJ 357 d, the Earth-like planet is located in what seems to be habitable zone in comparison to its position with the star.
Continue reading: Astronomers locate 'first nearby super-Earth', possible life (full post)
NASA partners with SpaceX & Blue Origin for future Moon tech
NASA has announced that they have partnered up with Elon Musk's space exploration company SpaceX, and Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos' aerospace manufacturer Blue Origin to advance Moon landing technology.
According to the announcement, NASA has identified areas in which private and public companies can assist them in developing further advancements in space technology. SpaceX and Blue Origin will be working with NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia and Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama to develop and evaluate materials that could be used on future lunar rovers.
Other technological advancements that are in the pipeline are a navigation and guidance system for more precise and accurate Moon landings. A SpaceX spokesperson gave a statement regarding the new deals between the company and NASA, saying "We believe SpaceX's fleet of advanced rockets and spacecraft, including Falcon Heavy and Starship, are integral to accelerating NASA's lunar and Mars plans." Jim Reuter, associate administrator of NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) also gave a statement, saying "NASA's proven experience and unique facilities are helping commercial companies mature their technologies at a competitive pace."
Continue reading: NASA partners with SpaceX & Blue Origin for future Moon tech (full post)
First-ever photo of Quantum Entanglement in action captured
Scientists have just captured the first-ever image of the naturally occurring and extremely interesting phenomenon called 'Quantum Entanglement'.
Quantum Entanglement has perplexed scientists for quite some time, even going back to the creator of the general theory of relativity, Albert Einstein. Einstein called Quantum Entanglement "spooky action at a distance" as particles can remain connected to each other such that their physical properties will influence one another no matter the distance between them.
Scientists at the University of Glasgow recently conducted an experiment with an array of lasers and crystals that allowed for them to entangle photons, or light particles. The scientists hit the crystals with the ultraviolet (UV) laser that caused some of the photons to break off, resulting in some of the photons entangling and giving the scientists an opportunity to capture the entanglement in action. Miles Padgett, the professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Glasgow commented on the experiment, saying this is "the pivotal test of quantum entanglement" and that "this is the first time anyone has used a camera to confirm [it]."
Continue reading: First-ever photo of Quantum Entanglement in action captured (full post)
Apollo 11's glass Moon prisms is science we still use today
NASA's Apollo 11 mission was not only a pivotal point in human history, but also a gift that keeps on giving as the work the astronauts did aboard the massive space rock still is helping us out today.
In 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin blasted off to the surface of the Moon, after a successful landing and an adventure out onto the wasteland-like surface, science needed to be conducted. One of the experiements the two astronauts did was the installation of glass prism arrays on the Moon's surface. These prisms were placed there so scientists back on Earth could fire lasers at them and measure the distance between Earth and the Moon.
While those prisms were placed there back in 1969, they are still being used today and have delivered an extraordinary amount of valuable information. Observatories on Earth have fired lasers at these prisms and waited for the light to return back to Earth to measure the distance between the two floating objects. It was discovered that the Moon is actually moving 1.5 inches away from Earth each year, and that at the moment the Moon is currently 384,400km away from Earth.
Continue reading: Apollo 11's glass Moon prisms is science we still use today (full post)
Tesla Megapack battery could power San Francisco for 6 hours
Tesla has just announced its new Megapack, a new gigantic battery system that will replace "peaker" power plants that will see energy being generated when the local electricity grid gets overloaded.
The new Tesla Megapack is already being deployed, with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) using multiple Megapacks at Moss Landing on Monterey Bay, California. This is just 1 of 4 locations that will see Tesla's new Megapack batteries installed, with each of them storing up to 3 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy at a time.
They can be daisy-chained to store over 1GWh of energy storage, something that Tesla claims is enough energy to power every home in San Francisco for six hours. In typical Tesla engineering fashion, the new Megapacks will include "battery modules, bi-directional inverters, a thermal management system, an AC main breaker and controls".
Continue reading: Tesla Megapack battery could power San Francisco for 6 hours (full post)
ISS uses Earth's atmosphere as a fiery garbage disposal
The International Space Station (ISS), just like anyone's room or house, accumulates garbage or rubbish over time. ISS astronauts have now disposed some of their built up garbage by using Earth's atmosphere.
Just recently, Elon Musk's space exploration company, SpaceX launched a cargo ship to the ISS via their Falcon 9 rocket. The Falcon 9 was carrying their Dragon Capsule that contained supplies for numerous scientific experiments, and other necessities for the astronauts aboard. This morning, the docking compartment on the Russian section of the ISS released the Progress 72 cargo spacecraft. This craft was at the ISS for 4 months and once its supplies were extracted after its arrival it was literally used as one big bin.
When re-entering the Earth's atmosphere, the object is introduced to extreme friction which causes sparks and intense flames to be produced. This is the disposal method for the rubbish on the ISS as Progress 72 is now currently making its way down to Earth's atmosphere loaded with "trash and discarded gear for a fiery, but safe disposal over the Pacific Ocean." In other news about the ISS, the supplies that SpaceX's Dragon Capsule were carrying will allow for scientists to test 3D human tissue printing in low gravity, more on that here.
Continue reading: ISS uses Earth's atmosphere as a fiery garbage disposal (full post)
Blink twice and zoom in +32% with these contact lenses
Considering the thought that glasses technology will soon be adopted by the mainstream, what would be the extent of that technology? Perhaps some sci-fi level contact lenses that allow the user to have mini-binoculars in their eyes.
Scientists at the University of California, San Diego have designed and created some brand new contact lenses that can do just that. The lenses are capable of measuring the electrooculographic signals the eye creates when it is moved up and down. Since these signals are tracked, the lenses measure the impulses that are generated by the eye and when users blink twice the focal length on the lenses is adjusted.
The focal length on these contact lenses can be changed by as much as 32%, simply by the user of the contacts moving their eyes and blinking twice. Shengqiang Cai, a lead researcher for the new contacts told New Scientist, "Even if your eye cannot see anything, many people can still move their eyeball and generate this electro-oculographic signal." Since these signals are always being sent from the eye, researchers say that these contacts could have applications in "visual prostheses, adjustable glasses, and remotely operated robotics in the future."
Continue reading: Blink twice and zoom in +32% with these contact lenses (full post)
France wants GUNS and LASERS on its satellites by 2030
In something out of an evil villain from a superhero movie, the French government is pushing to have lasers and guns on its satellites by as early as 2030.
French President Emmanuel Macron announced news of a French space force defending its satellites recently, which has quickly morphed into seeing France's Ministry of Defense announcing a new project that would see guns and lasers attached to satellites. The country is spending $780 million of its military budget in space defense, adding to the existing $4 billion military program for 2019-2025.
The country has planned for its military to build next-gen satellites that are capable of detecting enemies and other objects with cameras, and then the successor to that gets huge upgrades with on-board submachine guns, and even lasers that will be used in a destructive force to "disable other satellites" by shooting their solar panels.
Continue reading: France wants GUNS and LASERS on its satellites by 2030 (full post)
Nuclear explosion level asteroid had close-shave with Earth
Before you freak out, asteroids whizz past Earth all the time and NASA is currently tracking 90 percent of the most dangerous asteroids in space. There is no immediate global level threat at the moment, but astronomers did just miss an asteroid that could of caused a nuclear-level destruction.
The asteroid was called 2019 OK and on July 25th, it flew passed Earth at a range of 45,000 miles. The asteroid ranged in size from 187-427 feet and according to Michael Brown, an associate professor in astronomy at Monash University in Australia, if the asteroid collided with Earth the destruction would devastating. "The lack of warning shows how quickly potentially dangerous asteroids can sneak up on us" said Brown.
This also isn't the first time an asteroid has appeared out of nowhere to us, back in 2013 a meteor exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk and the blast was stronger than a nuclear explosion. This meteor injured over 1,000 people and was only 66 feet in diameter which is much smaller than 2019 OK which just flew past Earth. Astronomers will still continue to monitor asteroids and better yet NASA are currently working on ways to deflect asteroids that are in route to collide with Earth.
Continue reading: Nuclear explosion level asteroid had close-shave with Earth (full post)