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Dec 25, 2022

New Superluminal Theory Transforms Our Concept of Time with “Extension” of Special Relativity

Posted by in categories: physics, space

Theoretical physicists from Warsaw and Oxford universities argue that a superluminal world possessing three temporal dimensions and one dimension in space could potentially change our concept of time, according to a new paper.

The researchers involved say they have developed “an extension of special relativity” that incorporates three individual time dimensions with a single space dimension, which helps explain how observations made by “superluminal” observers—inertial observers moving faster than the speed of light—might appear.

Within such a framework, the researchers argue that spontaneous events that can occur in the absence of a deterministic cause and other strange phenomena would be experienced by observers moving faster than the speed of light within a vacuum, concepts that potentially transform our concept of time as we know it.

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Dec 25, 2022

20 jaw-dropping images from NASA’s powerful new James Webb Space Telescope

Posted by in category: space

Images from NASA’s impressive James Webb Space Telescope are changing the way we see the universe — and this is just year one.

Dec 24, 2022

James Webb telescope: Amazing images show the Universe as never before

Posted by in category: space

It’s a year since the James Webb telescope launched, and we’ve marvelled at its pictures ever since.

Dec 24, 2022

Is the Milky Way… Normal?

Posted by in categories: chemistry, evolution, space

Studying the large-scale structure of our galaxy isn’t easy. We don’t have a clear view of the Milky Way’s shape and features like we do of other galaxies, largely because we live within it. But we do have some advantages. From within, we’re able to carry out close-up surveys of the Milky Way’s stellar population and its chemical compositions. That gives researchers the tools they need to compare our own galaxy to the many millions of others in the Universe.

This week, an international team of researchers from the USA, UK, and Chile released a paper that does just that. They dug through a catalogue of ten thousand galaxies produced by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, searching for galaxies with similar attributes to our own.

They discovered that the Milky Way has twins – many of them – but just as many that are only superficially similar, with fundamental differences buried in the data. What they discovered has implications for the future evolution of our own galaxy.

Dec 24, 2022

NASA Discovers Pair of Super-Earths With 1,000-Mile-Deep Oceans

Posted by in category: space

In the 1995 post-apocalyptic action film “Waterworld” Earth’s polar ice caps have completely melted, and the sea level has risen to over 5 miles, covering nearly all of the land. Astronomers have uncovered a pair of planets that are true “water worlds,” unlike any planet found in our solar system.

Slightly larger than Earth, they don’t have the density of rock. And yet, they are denser than the gas-giant outer planets orbiting our Sun. So, what are they made of? The best answer is that these exoplanets have global oceans at least 500 times deeper than the average depth of Earth’s oceans, which simply are a wet veneer on a rocky ball.

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Dec 23, 2022

Wind farms on Mars could power future astronaut bases

Posted by in categories: energy, space

Even though winds on Mars are weak, they could be sufficient to provide power.

Nature Publishing:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-022-01851-4

Dec 23, 2022

OpenAI releases Point-E, an AI that generates 3D models

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space

The next breakthrough to take the AI world by storm might be 3D model generators. This week, OpenAI open sourced Point-E, a machine learning system that creates a 3D object given a text prompt. According to a paper published alongside the code base, Point-E can produce 3D models in one to two minutes on a single Nvidia V100 GPU.

Point-E doesn’t create 3D objects in the traditional sense. Rather, it generates point clouds, or discrete sets of data points in space that represent a 3D shape — hence the cheeky abbreviation. (The “E” in Point-E is short for “efficiency,” because it’s ostensibly faster than previous 3D object generation approaches.) Point clouds are easier to synthesize from a computational standpoint, but they don’t capture an object’s fine-grained shape or texture — a key limitation of Point-E currently.

To get around this limitation, the Point-E team trained an additional AI system to convert Point-E’s point clouds to meshes. (Meshes — the collections of vertices, edges and faces that define an object — are commonly used in 3D modeling and design.) But they note in the paper that the model can sometimes miss certain parts of objects, resulting in blocky or distorted shapes.

Dec 22, 2022

Ultra-light electric motor to feed Australia’s first home-grown rocket

Posted by in categories: energy, space

Equipmake says it’s got the lightest and most power-dense electric motor on the market, and if there’s one place where weight is critical, it’s on a launch pad. The company has developed an ultra-lightweight motor for Australia’s first rocket launch.

Queensland-based Gilmour Space Technologies is on the home stretch making preparations for the launch of its three-stage Eris orbital launch vehicle next April. It’ll be the first orbital launch attempt of an Australian designed and built rocket, and the company hopes it’ll represent the beginning of a new space launch industry Down Under.

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Dec 22, 2022

Ancient Mars did not have atmospheric oxygen, claims new research

Posted by in category: space

That does not mean the planet did not have life.

A new experimental study conducted by Washington University in St. Louis is defeating any hope that scientists have had that atmospheric oxygen once existed on the Red Planet, according to a press release by the institution published on Thursday.

Instead, the scientists have found that under Mars-like conditions, manganese oxides can be readily formed without any presence of atmospheric oxygen.

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Dec 22, 2022

NASA’s Perseverance rover drops first sample on Mars, to return it to Earth one day

Posted by in category: space

“Seeing our first sample on the ground is a great capstone to our prime mission period, which ends on Jan. 6.”

NASA’S Perseverance Mars rover has dropped its first rock sample on the Red Planet’s surface. A titanium tube containing a rock sample on December 21 that was deposited on the surface of Mars is likely to be the first sample that could return to Earth. The event marks a “historic” step in the Mars Sample Return campaign.

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