Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 4
Astronomers back in 1974 decided to sketch what they thought the lunar mountain named Mons "Pico" would look like if they were standing in front of it.
Mons Pico is a solitary lunar mountain that is located in the northern part of the Mare Imbrium basin. The mountain is very reflective and is known as a bright lunar object. The peak comes in at the height of 7,874 feet, and when blasted with sunlight, it can cause massive shadows across the lunar surface. Astronomers in 1874 were able to view the mountain but weren't able to get an idea of what it looked like if they were standing on the lunar surface looking at it.
So, they decided to draw it. Above is a sketch of Pico, with the caption stating, "An ideal sketch of "Pico," an isolated lunar mountain 8,000 feet high, as it would probably appear if seen by a spectator located on the Moon." Unfortunately, to the astronomers/artists that drew this sketch, their assumptions about the mountain weren't accurate. Below is an image of what Pico looks like today, and as you can see, the two images are very different. While the sketch from 1874 isn't accurate, the measurement for the height of the mountain is, which is certainly something to commend for the times it was estimated.
Last week, a large amount of solar material erupted from our star's surface, which then traveled through space, reaching Earth a few days later.
For those that are unaware of this event, the eruption happened on October 9, 2021, causing a coronal mass ejection (CME) blast to hit Earth on October 12. So, what does this mean exactly? Researchers measure the disturbance in Earth's magnetic field by solar wind using the Kp index metric. The levels range from 0, which is considered "quiet," to 9, which is regarded as "intense". The CME that arrived last week elevated the Kp index to a 6, which is considered mild-moderate.
The CME blast was associated with a solar flare that happened from Active Region 2882 that peaked on October 9 at 6:38 UTC. The solar flare was categorized as an M-class, and much like the Richter scale used to measure earthquakes, M-class solar flares are a tenth the size and intensity of the X-class flares. For example, M2 flares are twice as powerful as an M1. NASA's space instruments measured the speed of the solar wind from the eruption to be 610 miles per second, according to NASA's Moon to Mars Space Weather Operations Office.
A distinguished Harvard professor has speculated that the Milky Way universe could have been created in a lab by an advanced alien species.
Abraham (Avi) Loeb is a best-selling author and former head of Harvard's astronomy department and is known for theories such as alien civilizations not being able to reply to our messages for 3,000 years and Oumuamua possibly being an alien spacecraft. Loeb is more than qualified to speculate these wild theories, and recently he published an op-ed in Scientific American that explores the possibility of the universe merely being a lab experiment by an "advanced technological civilization."
According to Loeb, "Since our universe has a flat geometry with a zero net energy, an advanced civilization could have developed a technology that created a baby universe out of nothing through quantum tunneling." Adding, "This possible origin story unifies the religious notion of a creator with the secular notion of quantum gravity. We do not possess a predictive theory that combines the two pillars of modern physics: quantum mechanics and gravity. But a more advanced civilization might have accomplished this feat and mastered the technology of creating baby universes."
A new study has detailed the possible discovery of four new alien worlds located 160 light-years from Earth.
The new study explains that researchers detected shimmering radio flashes of auroras in each of those planets' atmospheres. So what is an aurora? An aurora occurs when solar wind, which is charged particles from the Sun, collides with a planet's magnetic shield. Earth experiences auroras at its poles and in other locations when it's blasted with solar wind.
The researchers behind the study detected bright flashes of radio signals from the auroras on the supposed planets' atmospheres, which could confirm the existence of four new planets with more research. The astronomers discovered these radio signals using the Low Frequency Array radio telescope located in the Netherlands while observing Red Dwarf stars. Out of the nineteen Red Dwarf stars that were observed, four of them seemed strange as they shined bright with radio signals.
Solar eclipses are a thing of beauty that every human should witness at least once during their life as it's one of the many spectacles that the universe we live in offers.
Back in 2017, the Great American Eclipse occurred over North America, leaving millions of onlookers in awe as the Moon completely blocked out the Sun for a small period of time. So, when is the next one going to happen? According to AccuWeather, the next solar eclipse will happen on October 14, 2023, but it won't be a total solar eclipse.
The difference between a total solar eclipse and an annular solar eclipse is that the Moon doesn't completely block out the Sun on an annular solar eclipse, it leaves a "ring" around the outside of the Moon, hence the recently adopted name "ring of fire" eclipse. AccuWeather reports that the solar eclipse in 2023 will be an "appetizer" for the main event that will occur on April 8, 2024, when the Moon will completely black out the Sun - a total solar eclipse.
Since late September, the La Palma volcano has been erupting and judging by reports, the rivers of lava don't seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
The eruption began on September 19, and since then, lava has been spewing out of the volcano, causing residents in the area to evacuate. The temperature of the lava is up to 2,264 degrees Fahrenheit and is destroying everything in its path. At the moment, officials are saying that the lava is moving at 1,640 feet to 2,300 feet per hour, and so far, it has destroyed more than 1,186 buildings in the area - covering nearly two square miles of land.
On Sunday, the northern region of the conical crater collapsed, causing new lava streams to form downhill towards the ocean. The volcanic company Involcan posted a video of the lava moving through the industrial park on October 10. The video shows a beautiful yet haunting example of how the lava is moving through parts of the island, destroying everything in its path. If you are interested in reading more about the La Palma volcano eruption, check out the links below.
New reports are indicating that a coronal mass ejection (CME) is heading relatively close to Earth, which may result in an impact.
The report comes from SpaceWeather.com, which states a magnetic filament connected to the sunspot AR2882 erupted on October 12, and that the debris from that eruption are expected to near-miss Earth. Now, this CME isn't like the one that happened earlier this week where Earth took the impact head-on that resulted in minor-moderate geomagnetic storms. This new CME is much less severe, and may not cause any impact at all due to its position.
The publication states that the near-miss CME that's expected to pass close to Earth on October 15 may cause Arctic auroras, with minimal chance of a geomagnetic storm. As for the CME that caused a geomagnetic storm on October 12, the impact caused Northern Light-like auroras across select regions of the planet. If you are interested in checking out images of those auroras, or would like to learn more about CMEs, check out the below links.
NASA has released a new incredible image of a supernova remnant that looks an awful lot like a cosmic Pac-Man munching its way across the galaxy.
The supernova remnant is called N 63 A, and its located in the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy. While the image certainly does look like the iconic video game character Pac-Man, it's actually the remains of a violent supernova explosion that happened when a star's life came to a tragic end. The remains of the star are located some 163,000 light-years away from the Milky Way galaxy and inside what is referred to as a stellar nursery (a region in space that contains large amounts of gases that condense into baby stars).
NASA explains that when N 63 A went supernova, it appears to have stalled star formation for other stars in its region, which is the opposite of what usually happens when a supernova occurs. However, NASA says that N 63 A is relatively young, and once it begins to settle, it will likely start to trigger its own star-forming region in space. For more information on this story, check out this link here.
NASA researchers have detected the presence of persistent water vapor on one of Jupiter's icy moons using the Hubble Space Telescope.
Jupiter has many moons, and NASA is planning on exploring them as they could hold secrets about the evolution of Jupiter and Jupiter-like exoplanets that may be found in other parts of the Milky Way. According to a new post by NASA, Hubble's observations from 1999 to 2015 have led researchers to believe that one of Jupiter's moons, Europa, is showing signs of water vapor being present in the moon's atmosphere, which is only one-billionth the surface pressure of Earth's atmosphere.
Europa is scared by cracks and fissures and averages -275 degrees Fahrenheit, but researchers believe that life could be present in a vast ocean beneath its icy crust. Hubble previously observed 60 mile-high plumes of water vapor being shot into the atmosphere, which is very similar to a geyser on Earth. These results suggest a "long-term presence of a water vapor atmosphere only in Europa's trailing hemisphere," writes NASA. The results from these observations will assist NASA in its upcoming mission to Europa called the Europa Clipper mission.
Earlier this year astronomers detected what could be the largest comet ever discovered, and it's the first comet on an incoming path with our solar system.
The comet is named Bernardinelli-Bernstein after the astronomers that detected it, Pedro Bernardinelli and Gary Bernstein, from the University of Pennsylvania. The comet was originally thought to be a dwarf planet due to its immense diameter of 62 - 124 miles, but after further analysis researchers found that it wasn't a dwarf planet, but a large comet travelling from the Oort Cloud.
The researchers performed heavy analysis on the newly discovered comet with data sets from multiple observations. What the researchers found was the comet made its previous closest approach to the Sun around 3.5 million years ago, coming in at a distance of 18 AU (1 AU = the distance between Earth and the Sun - 93 million miles.) Additionally, the researchers were able to predict when the comet will make its closest approach to Earth, and according to the results, Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein will approach the Sun in 2031.