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Feb 22, 2024

Unearthing Mars’ Watery Past: Insights from Groundwater Recharge Dynamics

Posted by in categories: computing, space

“The fact that the groundwater isn’t as big of a process could mean that other things are,” said Eric Hiatt. “It might magnify the importance of runoff, or it could mean that it just didn’t rain as much on Mars. But it’s just fundamentally different from how we think about [water] on Earth.”


How much water on ancient Mars fell into aquifers to refill groundwater? This is what a recent study published in Icarus hopes to address as a team of international researchers led by The University of Texas at Austin (UTA) used computer models to calculate groundwater recharge rates in the southern highlands of ancient Mars. This study holds the potential to help scientists better understand the amount of water that potentially existed on ancient Mars and what this could mean for finding ancient life on the Red Planet.

For the study, the researchers used a combination of previously used and new computer modeling techniques to estimate how much groundwater recharge occurred in the Martian southern highlands, since most of the liquid water that existed on Mars billions of years ago resided in a vast ocean in the northern lowlands. In the end, the researchers found the aquifers in the southern highlands on Mars experienced an average groundwater recharge of only 0.03 millimeters (0.001 inches) per year. For context, the Trinity and Edwards-Trinity Plateau aquifers that are responsible for providing water for the city of San Antonio range between 2.5 to 50 millimeters (0.1 inches to 2 inches) per year, or between 80 and 1,600 times that of the Martian aquifers.

Continue reading “Unearthing Mars’ Watery Past: Insights from Groundwater Recharge Dynamics” »

Feb 22, 2024

Sagittarius A*: Spinning Black Hole Shapes Spacetime into Football

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

“A spinning black hole is like a rocket on the launch pad,” said Dr. Biny Sebastian. “Once material gets close enough, it’s like someone has fueled the rocket and hit the ‘launch’ button.”


The center of our Milky Way Galaxy is exhibiting spinning behavior while warping the spacetime environment, according to a recent study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. A team of international researchers led by Penn State University investigated the spinning patterns of the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, Sagittarius A* (Sgr A, which is located approximately 26,000 light-years from Earth, and holds the potential to help astrophysicists better understand the behavior of black holes throughout the cosmos.

“A spinning black hole is like a rocket on the launch pad,” said Dr. Biny Sebastian, who is a researcher in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Manitoba and a co-author on the study. “Once material gets close enough, it’s like someone has fueled the rocket and hit the ‘launch’ button.”

Continue reading “Sagittarius A*: Spinning Black Hole Shapes Spacetime into Football” »

Feb 22, 2024

The Zombie Star That Could Solve the Mystery of the Universe’s Strongest Magnets

Posted by in category: space

Magnetars are the strongest magnets in the universe. These super-dense dead stars with ultra-strong magnetic fields can be found all over our galaxy but astronomers don’t know exactly how they form.

Now, using multiple telescopes around the world, including European Southern Observatory (ESO) facilities, researchers have uncovered a living star that is likely to become a magnetar. This finding marks the discovery of a new type of astronomical object—massive magnetic helium stars—and sheds light on the origin of magnetars.

Despite having been observed for over 100 years, the enigmatic nature of the star HD 45,166 could not be easily explained by conventional models, and little was known about it beyond the fact that it is one of a pair of stars, is rich in helium and is a few times more massive than our sun.

Feb 22, 2024

Man feels hot and cold again with prosthetic hand breakthrough

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs

Researchers have built a device that helps users feel temperature through a prosthetic arm. A new study shows it works with high accuracy.

Feb 22, 2024

24 Best Longevity Conferences and Events for 2024

Posted by in category: life extension

For this long overdue update of top longevity conferences we’ve removed 5 old events no longer happening and added a whopping 12 new ones!


We’ve put together the most up-to-date list of longevity conferences where you can learn about life-extension research in-person and online.

Feb 22, 2024

Power-efficient neural network with artificial dendrites

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

A memristor-based artificial dendrite enables the neural network to perform high-accuracy computation tasks with reduced power consumption.

Feb 22, 2024

AI billionaire crowns ‘whole new industry’ amid ‘tipping point’ after his company passes Google for third most valuable in the world

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

He’s worth $60 billion. I wouldn’t say I didn’t see it coming. The company has been good for a while.


Nvidia cofounder and CEO Jensen Huang, worth over $60 billion after his $1.9 trillion AI giant reported blowout earnings, crowns a “whole new industry.”

Feb 22, 2024

OpenAI’s Sora Unleashes New Text-to-Video Generative AI: It’s Shockingly Powerful

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Late last week, OpenAI announced a new generative AI system named Sora, which produces short videos from text prompts.

Feb 22, 2024

Report claims Apple’s smart ring is arriving ‘imminently’

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, wearables

The rumor mill has fired up again, with a new supply chain report claiming that the “Apple Ring” will arrive sooner, rather than later.

Samsung’s tease of the Galaxy Ring during its Unpacked event in January will help expand the smart ring market considerably. However, a report claims Apple isn’t too far away from introducing its own.

According to an industry insider speaking to ETNews on Tuesday, Apple is getting very close to launching the rumored wearable. After filing many patent applications, and spurned on by Samsung, it could soon be Apple’s turn.

Feb 22, 2024

What the U.S. can learn from Norway when it comes to EV adoption

Posted by in categories: climatology, government, sustainability

Norway boasts the highest electric vehicle adoption rate in the world. Some 82% of new car sales were EVs in Norway in 2023, according to the Norwegian Road Federation (OFV). In comparison, 7.6% of new car sales were electric in the U.S. last year, according to Kelley Blue Book estimates. In the world’s largest auto market, China, 24% of new car sales were EVs in 2023, according to the China Passenger Car Association.

“Our goal is that all new cars by 2025 will be zero-emission vehicles,” said Ragnhild Syrstad, the state secretary of the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, “We think we’re going to reach that goal.”

The Norwegian government started incentivizing the purchase of EVs back in the 1990s with free parking, the use of bus lanes, no tolls and most importantly, no taxes on zero-emission vehicles. But it wasn’t until Tesla and other EV models became available about 10 years ago that sales started to take off, Syrstad said.

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