Archive for the ‘space’ category: Page 646

May 25, 2018

In S.Africa, a unique telescope link-up scans deep space

Posted by in category: space

Scientists in South Africa on Friday launched the world’s first optical telescope linked to a radio telescope, combining “eyes and ears” to try to unravel the secrets of the universe.

The device forms part of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project in the remote Karoo desert, which will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope system.

The latest move combines the new optical telescope MeerLITCH — Dutch for ‘more light’ — with the recently-completed 64-dish MeerKAT radio telescope, located 200 kilometres (125 miles) away.

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May 24, 2018

Ignore the hype over big tech. Its products are mostly useless

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, space

Despite this, a regular ritual of hype and hysteria is now built into the news cycle. Every now and again, at some huge auditorium, a senior staff member at one of the big firms based in northern California – ordinarily a man – will take the stage dressed in box-fresh casualwear, and inform the gathered multitudes of some hitherto unimagined leap forward, supposedly destined to transform millions of lives. (There will be whoops and gasps in response, and a splurge of media coverage – before, in the wider world, a palpable feeling of anticlimax sets in.)

It’s years since Silicon Valley gave us a game-changer. Instead, from curing disease to colonies on Mars, we’re fed overblown promises, says Guardian columnist John Harris.

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May 23, 2018

Unprecedented detail in pulsar 6,500 light-years from Earth

Posted by in category: space

A team of astronomers has performed one of the highest resolution observations in astronomical history by observing two intense regions of radiation, 20 kilometres apart, around a star 6500 light-years away.

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May 23, 2018

Beams of antimatter spotted blasting towards the ground in hurricanes

Posted by in categories: climatology, particle physics, space

Although Hurricane Patricia was one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, that didn’t stop the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from flying a scientific aircraft right through it. Now, the researchers have reported their findings, including the detection of a beam of antimatter being blasted towards the ground, accompanied by flashes of x-rays and gamma rays.

Scientists discovered terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs) in 1994, when orbiting instruments designed to detect deep space gamma ray bursts noticed signals coming from Earth. These were later linked to storms, and after thousands of subsequent observations have come to be seen as normal parts of lightning strikes.

The mechanisms behind these emissions are still shrouded in mystery, but the basic story goes that, first, the strong electric fields in thunderstorms cause electrons to accelerate to almost the speed of light. As these high-energy electrons scatter off other atoms in the air, they accelerate other electrons, quickly creating an avalanche of what are known as “relativistic” electrons.

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May 22, 2018

Orbits of Jupiter Moons Transformed into Mind-Bending Optical Illusions and Music

Posted by in categories: media & arts, space converts the orbits of Jupiter moons Io, Europa, Ganymede and Calisto into a mind-bending visual and audio experience.

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May 22, 2018

Star Wars-inspired flying robots joining space station crew

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space

Smart NASA Astrobee robots the size of Jedi training droids will help astronauts on the International Space Station work faster and be more productive.

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May 22, 2018

3D Printers And Robotic Arms: How One Startup Plans To Build Colonies In Space

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, robotics/AI, space

When history’s pilgrims and pioneers arrived in a new territory, they used the land’s natural resources to build their settlements. Space colonists, on the other hand, will have to bring materials from Earth and assemble them on Mars. Andrew Rush, president and CEO of space-based manufacturing firm Made In Space, believes the process of creating off-world infrastructure will be similar to building IKEA furniture. Only the parts will be made with an advanced 3D printer and put together by an autonomous robot.

“We think the future of in-space operation is one of manufacturing and assembly, just like how you built the table you’re sitting on right now,” Rush says. “That table is a multi-material object, and its pieces were all manufactured in different ways. I don’t think space colonies are going to take a different approach.”

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May 21, 2018

There’s New Evidence for the Mysterious “Planet Nine”

Posted by in category: space

The strange orbit of a distant object is likely due to a massive, undiscovered ninth planet traveling deep beyond Neptune, according to new models.

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May 21, 2018

A little-known feature in Google Maps lets you explore our local solar system — here’s how to visit Mercury, Venus, and other planets and moons in Google Maps

Posted by in categories: education, space

Most people just use Google Maps to get directions from A to B, but it’s also an incredible educational tool in its own right.

Using Google Maps is a great way to learn more about the various cities and countries around the world. But many people might not know that Google Maps can also be used to explore other worlds besides Earth.

That’s right: If you visit Google Maps and zoom out far enough, you’ll have the option to explore several planets and moons in our own solar system.

Continue reading “A little-known feature in Google Maps lets you explore our local solar system — here’s how to visit Mercury, Venus, and other planets and moons in Google Maps” »

May 21, 2018

How NASA Will Unlock the Secrets of Quantum Mechanics Aboard the ISS

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

An Antares rocket launched from Virginia before sunrise this morning and is on its way to the International Space Station. Its 7,400 pounds of cargo include an experiment that will chill atoms to just about absolute zero—colder than the vacuum of space itself.

The Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) is set to create Bose-Einstein condensates on board the ISS. But what’s a Bose-Einstein condensate? And why make it in space?

“Essentially, it’s going to allow us to do different kinds of things than we’d be able to do on Earth,” Gretchen Campbell, co-director of the University of Maryland’s Joint Quantum Institute, told Gizmodo.

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