Archive for the ‘space’ category: Page 6

Jun 2, 2022

Could We All Be Martians?

Posted by in category: space

Could Life on Earth Have a Martian Origin? — Reevaluating Panspermia. For more info, see:

Revisiting Panspermia: did life come from outside of Earth?

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Jun 2, 2022

Using laser technology to measure the rotational cooling of molecular ions colliding with electrons

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics, space

When it is free in cold space, a molecule will spontaneously cool down by slowing its rotation and losing rotational energy in quantum transitions. Physicists have shown that this rotational cooling process can be accelerated, slowed down and even inverted by the molecule’s collisions with surrounding particles.

Researchers at the Max-Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Germany and the Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory have recently carried out an experiment aimed at measuring the rate of quantum transitions caused by collisions between and electrons. Their findings, published in Physical Review Letters, offer the first experimental evidence of this rate, which had previously only been theoretically estimated.

“When electrons and molecular ions are present in tenuous, ionized gases, the lowest quantum level populations of the molecules can be changed in a collision process,” Ábel Kálosi, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told “One example of this process is in interstellar clouds, where observations reveal molecules predominantly in their lowest quantum states. The between the negatively charged electrons and the positively charged molecular ions makes the process of electronic collisions particularly efficient.”

Jun 1, 2022

The plan to put humans back on the Moon stems from this 15-year-old document

Posted by in categories: policy, space, space travel

The Global Exploration Strategy is a blueprint for understanding space policy today.

15 years ago, the Global Exploration Strategy set out the space policy agenda on course to put humans back on the Moon as soon as possible.

Jun 1, 2022

James Webb Space Telescope’s first full-color images will be revealed on July 12th

Posted by in category: space

After the launched, we’ll get our first look at full-color images captured by the telescope. The European Space Agency says the imagery and first spectroscopic data on July 12th.

“The release of Webb’s first full-color images will offer a unique moment for us all to stop and marvel at a view humanity has never seen before,” Webb deputy program director Eric Smith said. “These images will be the culmination of decades of dedication, talent, and dreams — but they will also be just the beginning.”

JWST required several months of preparation before starting science work. The process included to its operating temperature, calibrating instruments and aligning the mirrors. The ESA, NASA, the Canadian Space Agency and the Space Telescope Science Institute (STSci) spent over five years figuring out what Webb should capture first in order to show off what the observatory can do.

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May 31, 2022

Meet Mercury: Fascinating details about the smallest planet in our solar system

Posted by in category: space

May 31, 2022

The Universe is flat. Here’s what that teaches us

Posted by in category: space

In theory, the fabric of space could have been curved in any way imaginable. So why is the Universe flat when we measure it?

May 31, 2022

Transparency on demand: A novel process can render artificial materials transparent or even entirely invisible

Posted by in categories: energy, space

Space, the final frontier. The starship Enterprise pursues its mission to explore the galaxy, when all communication channels are suddenly cut off by an impenetrable nebula. In many episodes of the iconic TV series, the valiant crew must “tech the tech” and “science the science” within just 45 minutes of airtime in order to facilitate their escape from this or a similar predicament before the end credits roll. Despite spending a significantly longer time in their laboratories, a team of scientists from the University of Rostock has succeeded in developing an entirely new approach for the design of artificial materials that can transmit light signals without any distortions by means of precisely tuned flows of energy. They have published their results in Science Advances.

“When light spreads in an inhomogeneous medium, it undergoes scattering. This effect quickly transforms a compact, directed beam into a diffuse glow, and is familiar to all of us from summer clouds and autumn fog alike,” Professor Alexander Szameit of the Institute for Physics at the University of Rostock describes the starting point of his team’s considerations. Notably, it is the microscopic density distribution of a material that dictates the specifics of scattering. Szameit continues, “The fundamental idea of induced transparency is to take advantage of a much lesser-known optical property to clear a path for the beam, so to speak.”

This second property, known in the field of photonics under the arcane title of non-Hermiticity, describes the flow of energy, or, more precisely, the and attenuation of light. Intuitively, the associated effects may seem undesirable—particularly the fading of a light beam due to absorption would seem highly counterproductive to the task of improving signal transmission. Nevertheless, non-Hermitian effects have become a key aspect of modern optics, and an entire field of research strives to harness the sophisticated interplay of losses and amplification for advanced functionalities.

May 31, 2022

UW-developed, cloud-based astrodynamics platform to discover and track asteroids

Posted by in categories: information science, mapping, space

A novel algorithm developed by University of Washington researchers to discover asteroids in the solar system has proved its mettle. The first candidate asteroids identified by the algorithm — known as Tracklet-less Heliocentric Orbit Recovery, or THOR — have been confirmed by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center.

The Asteroid Institute, a program of B612 Foundation, has been running THOR on its cloud-based astrodynamics platform — Asteroid Discovery Analysis and Mapping, or ADAM — to identify and track asteroids. With confirmation of these new asteroids by the Minor Planet Center and their addition to its registry, researchers using the Asteroid Institute’s resources can submit thousands of additional new discoveries.

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May 31, 2022

Astronomers demonstrate how using the cloud can rev up the rate of discovery for asteroids

Posted by in categories: information science, mapping, space

Astronomers have used a cloud-based technique pioneered at the University of Washington to identify and track asteroids in bunches of a hundred or more. Their achievement could dramatically accelerate the quest to find potentially threatening space rocks.

The technique makes use of a cloud-based, open-source analysis platform known as Asteroid Discovery Analysis and Mapping, or ADAM; plus a recently developed algorithm called Tracklet-less Heliocentric Orbit Recovery, or THOR. The THOR algorithm was created by Joachim Moeyens, an Asteroid Institute Fellow at UW; and Mario Juric, director of UW’s DiRAC Institute.

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May 31, 2022

NASA’s SOFIA flying telescope spots eclipse of odd binary star

Posted by in category: space

NASA’s flying telescope SOFIA has been watching a dance between two stars orbiting each other as they approach the moment of eclipse, allowing astronomers to study how the two exchange stardust.

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