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Dec 9, 2023

Astronomers calculate which exoplanets are most likely to have water

Posted by in categories: energy, space

Astronomers know of about 60 rocky exoplanets orbiting in the habitable zones of their stars. When they try to determine how habitable these planets might be, detecting water in their atmospheres plays a huge role. But what if there was another way of measuring the water content in these worlds?

Researchers are developing a way of modeling these worlds to determine how much water they have.

Habitability likely requires , as far as we can tell. But detecting water is next to impossible. The next best thing is to use the tools we have—like the James Webb Space Telescope—to detect and characterize exoplanet atmospheres. But despite the JWST’s power, it can’t examine every exoplanet atmosphere. Some are beyond its reach. But one team of researchers is using what we do know about exoplanets, tidal heating, and radiogenic heating to try to determine which exoplanets might have oceans, either on the surface or under the surface.

Dec 9, 2023

Memories Help Brains Recognize New Events Worth Remembering

Posted by in categories: futurism, neuroscience

Memories may affect how well the brain will learn about future events by shifting our perceptions of the world.

Dec 9, 2023

NASA Receives Laser Signal From 10 Million Miles Away

Posted by in category: space

NASA has been laser-beamed data from millions of miles away — and it was a message the agency sent itself.

In a press release, the NASA-funded Jet Propulsion Lab at Caltech said that it has achieved “first light” laser communication via its Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) experiment, which was launched last month on the Psyche spacecraft that’s currently making its way to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Continue reading “NASA Receives Laser Signal From 10 Million Miles Away” »

Dec 9, 2023

The (Often) Overlooked Experiment That Revealed the Quantum World

Posted by in category: quantum physics

A century ago, the Stern-Gerlach experiment established the truth of quantum mechanics. Now it’s being used to probe the clash of quantum theory and gravity.

Dec 9, 2023

A new (micro) lens on optics: Researchers develop hybrid achromats with high focusing efficiencies

Posted by in category: 3D printing

Using 3D printing and porous silicon, researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have developed compact, visible wavelength achromats that are essential for miniaturized and lightweight optics. These high-performance hybrid micro-optics achieve high focusing efficiencies, while minimizing volume and thickness. Further, these microlenses can be constructed into arrays to form larger area images for achromatic light-field imagers and displays.

This study was led by and engineering professors Paul Braun and David Cahill, electrical and computer engineering professor Lynford Goddard and former graduate student Corey Richards. The results of this research were published in Nature Communications.

“We developed a way to create structures exhibiting the functionalities of classical compound optics but in highly miniaturized thin from, via non-traditional fabrication approaches,” says Braun.

Dec 9, 2023

Tesla working on ‘tap to park’ feature, says Elon Musk

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, robotics/AI, space

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has alluded to an upcoming “tap to park” feature for the automaker’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta. While it isn’t clear when it’s expected to become available, some have already pointed out how useful such a feature could be.

On Friday, Musk responded to a post on X saying that Tesla is developing a feature in which the car identifies potential parking space options, letting users tap the one they want to use. Upon doing so, the driver will then be able to leave the vehicle before the vehicle parks in the selected space.

The statement came in response to another post claiming that a 360-degree bird’s eye view would be irrelevant in a world of self-driving vehicles, as the driver wouldn’t need to do anything at all for the vehicle to locate and park in a specific spot.

Dec 9, 2023

How do we get our eye color? A genetics expert reveals the fascinating truth

Posted by in category: genetics

Exactly how is a person’s eye color determined? It depends on the amount, type and distribution of melanin, or pigment, in the iris of the eye, a genetics expert reveals — and more.

Dec 9, 2023

Meteor Lake laptop chip performs like Ryzen 7 desktop PC chip in leaked benchmark — next-gen 16-core Ultra 9 185H flaunts 5.1 GHz at 45W

Posted by in categories: computing, mobile phones

A small taste of the Core Ultra 9 185H’s flagship performance.

Dec 9, 2023

Light Can Travel Backward in Time (Sort Of)

Posted by in category: space travel

I’m going to read this later but the idea of light kinda/sorta traveling back in time a bit is intriguing.

Light can be reflected not only in space but also in time—and researchers exploring such “time reflections” are finding a wealth of delightfully odd and useful effects.

By Anna Demming

Dec 9, 2023

When Does Free Speech Cross the Line?

Posted by in category: futurism

FIRE president Greg Lukianoff joins Bill Maher to discuss the standard for free expression on college campuses.

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