Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 391
Pyle rolls out the Bluetooth fitness scale
Pyle Audio recently introduced the Bluetooth Fitness Scale (PHLSCBT4), a custom designed scale including a smartphone app so owners can better track their health and fitness.
Scale owners are able to track data with the free Pyle Health Fitness Tracker app, and everything can be sent wirelessly via Bluetooth to a smartphone or tablet. Designed for Apple and Google Android products, and all data can be shared on Twitter or Facebook - or in an online password-protected workout log. Collected data includes: weight, body fat, hydration levels, muscle level and bone level percentages - and provides a great baseline of overall health.
The scale is available immediately with a $59.99 USD retail price. Pyle is best known as an audio company often specializing in consumer electronics, sports products, and professional audio - so this is a rather interesting product offering.
Continue reading: Pyle rolls out the Bluetooth fitness scale (full post)
Comet ISON is no more, new images show that it has fizzled out
Back when I first reported on Comet ISON, the entire astronomical community was convinced that if given the chance, ISON would bloom into the brightest comet in recorded history. ISON was deemed something special because this visit was its first into the inner solar system, and no one knew how it might react to the suns immense heat.
As ISON passed earth and headed towards the sun, it brightened a great bit and it looked as though we might get the spectacular once in a lifetime show that had been promised, but on Thanksgiving day that all changed. As the comet approached perihelion it seemed to take a quite sharp turn into the sun and hours passed without any sign of the ball of ice and rock. Shortly after many had declared ISON dead, a glimmer of hope appeared in the form of a bright v shaped cloud of dust that was heading away from the sun.
Many though that a fraction of ISON may have survived and that just a rocky nucleus was all that was left. If true, ISON could have flared back up to naked eye visibility once it was far enough away from the sun to not be out-shown by the suns glare. Unfortunately what we though was a solid intact nucleus turned out to be fragments of the comet that were rapidly disintegrating, and new images have shown that the bright dust trail left by ISON's remains have began to fade into obscurity. As of today, the official word appears to be that ISON has met its fate and was mostly vaporized upon its entry into the Suns coronasphere.
Continue reading: Comet ISON is no more, new images show that it has fizzled out (full post)
Chinese scientists use water to create metal, can print it, too
Yeah, science, b****. You all know the show, but science really is a magical thing, isn't it? Well, three Chinese scientists have found a new way to create metal, from liquid at room temperatures.
This metal can then be printed onto pretty much anything, as would ordinary ink. It will stick to surfaces such as rubber, paper, t-shirts, or even a leaf. Yes, a leaf, from an actual tree. The biggest thing to take away from this, according to the MIT Technology Review,e is that the alloy of gallium and indium that the scientists discovered.
It's printable at room temperature, compared to other circuit inks that require massive temperatures, upwards of 400C/752F. This is an issue when you want to print onto something that much catch fire, or perish, such as paper. The three scientists explain: "Different from the former direct writing technology where large surface tension and poor adhesion between the liquid metal and the substrate often impede the flexible printing process, the liquid metal here no longer needs to be pre-oxidized to guarantee its applicability on target substrates."
Continue reading: Chinese scientists use water to create metal, can print it, too (full post)
NASA set to launch the MAVEN mission to Mars today, watch it live
We know quite a bit about the surface of Mars, and have visited the red planet's surface several times now. One thing we do not know very much about though is the composition of the clouds and the very thin Atmosphere that surrounds Mars. Today NASA will launch a new probe aimed at the 4th planet that will study these things and lend us further insight into what Mars once was, and what it is today.
Today at 1:30pm Eastern, NASA will "Light the candle" otherwise known as an Atlas 5 rocket, and set MAVEN on its way to the Martian atmosphere. The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution or "MAVEN" probe will be put into a highly elliptical orbit around Mars and the probe will actually dip deep into the atmosphere to collect and study gasses that are present in clouds and the atmosphere in general. The purpose is to understand how Mars' atmosphere reacts with the Sun and what might have caused it to mostly disappear over the last several hundred million years.
MAVEN will orbit the planet and when its mission is done, the orbiter will be crashed into the surface of the planet. While this may seem like a waste, after several thousand dips deep into the atmosphere of Mars, MAVEN will have become quite weathered and its instruments, surface, solar panels, and other hardware will be near failure. Crashing the probe into the surface is the safest way to decommission the probe at the end of its life. For those who wish to watch the launch take place today at 1:30PM Eastern, NASA is streaming the launch live on NASA TV.
Continue reading: NASA set to launch the MAVEN mission to Mars today, watch it live (full post)
GravityLight, the portable light that is powered by gravity
A gravity powered LED light has been introduced by the designers of GravityLight. This light produces its own energy by, you guessed it, gravity. A string on one side of the light is pulled, lifting a bag attached to the other side. After letting go, the bag gradually falls back down to the starting point. This turns gears inside that produce enough energy to power the LED for up to 30 minutes. The weight of the bag determines how long the light will last. Brighter light settings can be selected but also shorten the amount of time it lasts.
This easy to use, portable light that uses no costly batteries or fuel also allows light in areas without electricity. It can replace dangerous kerosene lamps in those areas.
After raising a sufficient $400,000, which is $345,000 more than their original $55,000 goal, the designers are testing the new product and are expecting it to be available to the market soon after.
Continue reading: GravityLight, the portable light that is powered by gravity (full post)
Russia to open the Commercial Space Station hotel, in space, by 2016
I haven't traveled too much in my life, but if there's one place I'd love to visit it would be space, and it looks like it's becoming more of a reality each day, especially thanks to Russia.
Orbital Technologies, a Russian company, has announced plans to build a hotel... in space. The hotel would be for commercial use, and is officially known as the Commercial Space Station, which will be capable of housing 7 guests throughout 4 cabins. The Commercial Space Station will float about the Earth at 350km, with guests enjoying the zero-gravity feel.
There'll be no flowing water, so if you want to shower, you'll have to use wet wipes. What about going to the bathroom? Well, that will be carried through flowing air, with both water and air being filtered and recycled in the satellite itself, and then reused by the occupants of the hotel. There is a strict no-alcohol law on the space hotel, too.
Continue reading: Russia to open the Commercial Space Station hotel, in space, by 2016 (full post)
LeakedTT: AMD Hawaii R9 290X GPU specs, lick your lips, folks
We're all used to the naming scheme that AMD has adopted for its GPUs, with the current high-end single GPU being the Radeon HD 7970. This is all going to change with the next generation of GPUs from the chipmaker, and we have some leaked specifications to now share with you.
The next-gen GPUs from AMD will adopt a new name, with the high-end GPU to arrive as the Hawaii R9 290X GPU. This GPU is set to be based off of AMD's second generation Graphics CoreNext architecture, based on a 28nm process and will go head-to-head with NVIDIA's best GPU, the GTX Titan. We should expect an estimated die area of 430 mmÂ², which is 18% bigger than Tahiti.
On top of that, the R9 290X - this is going to get very confusing, but we'll get used to it soon enough - will feature 2,816 stream processors across 44 clusters of 64 stream processors each. This represents a 37.5% increase over its predecessor, Tahiti. Base clock speeds should float at around 900MHz, but we should see overclocked models that will pass this easily.
Continue reading: LeakedTT: AMD Hawaii R9 290X GPU specs, lick your lips, folks (full post)
SpaceTT: Saturn, Venus and the Moon to appear side by side tonight
Tonight will be one of the last nights that you will be able to catch a trio of heavenly bodies hanging out in the night sky in the same neighborhood. This evening's sky watchers in the northern hemisphere will be treated to Saturn, Venus, and the Crescent Moon all within a few degrees of each other.
Tonight around 45 minutes after sunset, you will be able to look toward the southwestern sky and see the waxing crescent moon. To the lower right, you will see a very bright star which is actually the planet Venus. Above Venus, you will see another brightly lit star that will actually be the planet Saturn. The distance between the moon and Saturn will be roughly 5 degrees, which is equal to about half your fist or 3 fingers held at arm's length.
This will also be one of the last spectacular shows Saturn provides us for the year, because in just a few weeks, it will have dipped below the horizon and become visible to those in the southern hemisphere. For those of you with medium power binoculars or a telescope of at least 30-power, you would be able to view Saturn's rings tonight, even with it so close to the moon. I plan on taking out my telescope and imaging gear and getting a couple nice still shots of the trio. If you get any good shots, post them up in the comments and I will share them on our TweakTown Facebook Page.
Continue reading: SpaceTT: Saturn, Venus and the Moon to appear side by side tonight (full post)
ScienceFriday: The Sun unleashes massive solar storm aimed at Earth
It's that time again: it's Friday and that means more Science Friday news posts here at TweakTown! Today, a new report straight from NASA says the sun fired off an intense solar storm in the form of a Coronal Mass Ejection, or CME, that was aimed directly at the Earth early Wednesday morning.
The event took place around 1:24 AM EDT and sent billions of tons of charged particles steaming full speed ahead straight at Earth at a rate of 380 miles per second, or 1.3 million miles per hour. The storm is expected to reach the Earth on Saturday, however, do not let that scare you as our atmosphere will effectively block all of the harmful radiation that is headed our way. Those in the extreme north and south of both hemispheres can expect to see some awesome aurora over the next few days.
A statement from NASA confirmed that no one need to fear as this sort of event happens all the time. "These particles cannot travel through the atmosphere to harm humans on Earth, but they can affect electronic systems in satellites and on the ground," NASA officials explained in a statement. Head over to Source #2 to see an animated GIF of Wednesdays CME taking place.
Continue reading: ScienceFriday: The Sun unleashes massive solar storm aimed at Earth (full post)
SpaceTT: Nova in Delphinus brightens to magnitude 5.0
What a treat! I get to write two SpaceTT posts in one day! Stargazers across the northern hemisphere are witnessing a rare occurrence happening right before our eyes. A nova in the constellation Delphinus has brightened over the last couple of days to a magnitude 5.0 and has allowed naked eye viewing of the astronomical phenomenon.
In the upper left-hand corner of the image above, you can see Nova Del 2013 appearing as a large star shining brightly in a sea of fainter stars. What you are actually witnessing is a binary star system in which the larger star is having its hydrogen stripped off by the much smaller white dwarf star. As is fresh layer of hydrogen grows thicker and more dense, the lower layers erupt in a runaway hydrogen-fusion reaction. As the reaction takes place, the star grows much hotter and brightens in the night sky.
To get an idea of how large this explosion is, one can simply imagine what a hydrogen bomb the size of the Earth would look like. The nova was discovered on August 14 by astronomer Koichi Itagaki of Yamagata, Japan, around 2PM EDT. It was originally listed as a magnitude 17 in brightness, and has since grown 100,000 times in brightness. The event will most likely only last for a few more days, so if you have clear, dark skies, you might just be able to see it with your naked eye. Tossing in visual aid from binoculars or a telescope will greaten one's chance at observing the nova.
Continue reading: SpaceTT: Nova in Delphinus brightens to magnitude 5.0 (full post)