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Apr 12, 2024

A New Approach to Analyze Exoplanetary Light Curves

Posted by in categories: futurism, space

“The problems arising when interpreting the data from WASP-39b are well known from many other exoplanets — regardless whether they are observed with Kepler, TESS, James Webb, or the future PLATO spacecraft,” said Dr. Nadiia Kostogryz.


While there is currently a myriad of techniques used to both discover exoplanets and calculate their physical characteristics, could other methods be developed to overcome specific data errors? This is what a recent study published in Nature Astronomy hopes to address as an international team of researchers investigated how a star’s magnetic field can be used to ascertain additional data for an exoplanet, which is traditionally done using conventional exoplanet detection methods, specifically the transit detection method. This study holds the potential to help astronomers establish new methods for discovering and characterizing exoplanets throughout the cosmos.

For the transit method, an exoplanet passes in front of its parent star, causing its starlight to slightly decrease and has been instrumental in discovering and characterizing thousands of exoplanets. However, astronomers have also discovered that a star’s limb darkening, which is the observed edge of the star, causes errors in transit light curves for exoplanets, despite using state-of-the-art atmospheric models to predict observations.

Continue reading “A New Approach to Analyze Exoplanetary Light Curves” »

Apr 12, 2024

BepiColombo Mission Offers New Insights into Venus’s Atmospheric Loss

Posted by in categories: evolution, particle physics, space

How much of Venus’s atmosphere is being stripped by the Sun, and what can this tell us about how the planet lost its water long ago? This is what a recent study published in Nature Astronomy hopes to address as a team of international researchers examined data obtained from a 2021 Venus flyby by the BepiColombo spacecraft, which is a joint mission between the European Space Agency (ESA) and Japan Aerospace and Exploration Agency (JAXA) currently en route to Mercury. This study holds the potential to help researchers better understand the formation and evolution of planetary atmospheres, both within our solar system and beyond.

“Characterizing the loss of heavy ions and understanding the escape mechanisms at Venus is crucial to understand how the planet’s atmosphere has evolved and how it has lost all its water,” said Dr. Dominique Delcourt, who is a CNRS researcher at the Plasma Physics Laboratory (LPP) and the Principal Investigator of the Mass Spectrum Analyzer (MSA) instrument onboard BepiColombo, and a co-author on the study.

During its journey to Mercury, BepiColombo needs to conduct several gravity assists to slow down enough to enter Mercury’s orbit, with one such gravity assist occurring at Venus on August 10, 2021. During this flyby, BepiColombo passed through Venus’s magnetosheath, which is Venus’s version of a weak magnetic field that is produced by charged particles from the Sun interacting with Venus’s upper atmosphere. Over the course of 90 minutes, BepiColombo and its powerful instruments successfully measured data on how much atmospheric loss Venus is currently experiencing, which could help researchers better understand the formation and evolution of Venus’s atmosphere, and specifically how the planet lost its water long ago.

Apr 12, 2024

Artificial intelligence sparks ‘Game of Thrones’ in the chip industry

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

The unstoppable advance of AI is changing the rules, creating new winners and losers in the increasingly important semiconductor sector. Here is a review of the battles being waged in the supply chain and the main players fighting for dominance.

Apr 12, 2024

Brightest-ever cosmic explosion solved but new mysteries sparked

Posted by in category: cosmology

The brightest burst of light ever recorded was caused by a supernova, but that prompts new questions.

Apr 12, 2024

Study reveals no causal link between neurodevelopmental disorders and acetaminophen exposure before birth

Posted by in categories: health, neuroscience

NIH-funded research in siblings finds previously reported connection is likely due to other underlying factors.

What

Acetaminophen exposure during pregnancy is not linked to the risk of developing autism, ADHD, or intellectual disability, according to a new study of data from more than 2 million children in Sweden. The collaborative research effort by Swedish and American investigators, which appears in JAMA, is the largest of its kind and was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Apr 12, 2024

South Korea to tackle CO2 & saltwater with clever tech

Posted by in categories: innovation, sustainability

An integrated plant that will remove 50,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year and create new freshwater from salty seawater is planned in the Daesan Industrial Complex in South Korea. When ready, this will be the world’s first such facility.

As countries work on their promises to go carbon neutral in a few decades, there is a strong push for innovative approaches that capture and utilize carbon. Carbon capture facilities work onsite to help reduce the release of carbon into the atmosphere. In contrast, direct air capture (DAC) technology focuses on removing the released carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Apr 12, 2024

CATL unveils Tesla Megapack competitor, claims zero degradation and more capacity

Posted by in category: energy

CATL has unveiled Tener, a new large scale energy storage system to compete with Tesla Megapack.

The system has almost twice the energy capacity of the Megapack, and CATL claims zero degradation after 5 years.

Tesla Megapack is the poster boy of large-scale energy storage.

Continue reading “CATL unveils Tesla Megapack competitor, claims zero degradation and more capacity” »

Apr 12, 2024

Novel Quantum Effect Observed in a Crystalline Material

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

Physicists have observed a novel quantum effect termed “hybrid topology” in a crystalline material. This finding opens up a new range of possibilities for the development of efficient materials and technologies for next-generation quantum science and engineering.

The finding, published on April 10th in the journal Natur e, came when Princeton scientists discovered that an elemental solid crystal made of arsenic (As) atoms hosts a never-before-observed form of topological quantum behavior. They were able to explore and image this novel quantum state using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) and photoemission spectroscopy, the latter a technique used to determine the relative energy of electrons in molecules and atoms.

This state combines, or “hybridizes,” two forms of topological quantum behavior—edge states and surface states, which are two types of quantum two-dimensional electron systems. These have been observed in previous experiments, but never simultaneously in the same material where they mix to form a new state of matter.

Apr 12, 2024

SpaceX slow-motion video shows Raptor engine shutting down

Posted by in category: space travel

SpaceX has shared dramatic slow-motion footage showing a Raptor engine powering down at the end of a recent test fire.

“Shutdown of a Raptor vacuum engine in slow motion,” SpaceX said in a message accompanying the video (below). It added that the engine’s nozzle “is sized for use by Starship in the Earth’s upper atmosphere and outer space, so operation at sea level and low chamber pressures results in flow separation creating visible rings in the exhaust.”

Apr 12, 2024

Novel hydrogel removes microplastics from water

Posted by in categories: health, materials

Microplastics pose a great threat to human health. These tiny plastic debris can enter our bodies through the water we drink and increase the risk of illnesses. They are also an environmental hazard; found even in remote areas like polar ice caps and deep ocean trenches, they endanger aquatic and terrestrial lifeforms.

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