Archive for the ‘asteroid/comet impacts’ category: Page 6

Oct 23, 2022

DART Asteroid Impact Aftermath: Hubble Spots Unexpected Twin Tails in “Stunning Surprise”

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks, government

Unexpected Aftermath of First-of-Its-Kind Test Intrigues Astronomers


Established in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government that succeeded the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). It is responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Its vision is “To discover and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity.” Its core values are “safety, integrity, teamwork, excellence, and inclusion.”

Oct 19, 2022

What’s next after NASA’s asteroid crash? A New Study on the Environmental Impact of Bitcoin & more

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, bitcoin, existential risks, mathematics, quantum physics, sustainability

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Welcome everybody to our first episode of Science News without the gobbledygook. Today we’ll talk about this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics, trouble with the new data from the Webb telescope, what’s next after NASA’s collision with an asteroid, new studies about the environmental impact of Bitcoin and exposure to smoke from wildfires, a test run of a new electric airplane, and dogs that can smell mathematics.

Continue reading “What’s next after NASA’s asteroid crash? A New Study on the Environmental Impact of Bitcoin & more” »

Oct 13, 2022

Largest asteroid ever to hit Earth was twice as big as the rock that killed off the dinosaurs

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

New research suggests that the asteroid responsible for forming Earth’s largest impact crater was even bigger than researchers had previously estimated.

Oct 6, 2022

The End of Programming

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks, information science, robotics/AI

The end of classical Computer Science is coming, and most of us are dinosaurs waiting for the meteor to hit.

I came of age in the 1980s, programming personal computers like the Commodore VIC-20 and Apple ][e at home. Going on to study Computer Science in college and ultimately getting a PhD at Berkeley, the bulk of my professional training was rooted in what I will call “classical” CS: programming, algorithms, data structures, systems, programming languages. In Classical Computer Science, the ultimate goal is to reduce an idea to a program written by a human — source code in a language like Java or C++ or Python. Every idea in Classical CS — no matter how complex or sophisticated — from a database join algorithm to the mind-bogglingly obtuse Paxos consensus protocol — can be expressed as a human-readable, human-comprehendible program.

When I was in college in the early ’90s, we were still in the depth of the AI Winter, and AI as a field was likewise dominated by classical algorithms. My first research job at Cornell was working with Dan Huttenlocher, a leader in the field of computer vision (and now Dean of the MIT School of Computing). In Dan’s PhD-level computer vision course in 1995 or so, we never once discussed anything resembling deep learning or neural networks—it was all classical algorithms like Canny edge detection, optical flow, and Hausdorff distances. Deep learning was in its infancy, not yet considered mainstream AI, let alone mainstream CS.

Oct 6, 2022

Tailless comets could threaten Earth

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

But they also offer an explanation of the solar system’s earliest days | Science & technology.

Sep 27, 2022

DART asteroid impact impresses in ESA’s view from the ground

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

Last night at 23:14 UTC, NASA’s DART spacecraft successfully struck asteroid Dimorphos, the 160-metre moonlet orbiting around the larger Didymos asteroid. About 38 seconds later, the time it took for the light to arrive at Earth, people all over the world saw the abrupt end of the live stream from the spacecraft, signalling that the impact had happened successfully – DART was no more.

Astronomers on a small slice of our planet’s surface, extending from southern and eastern Africa to the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Peninsula, could actually watch it live with their telescopes. Among those were a half dozen stations joined together for a dedicated observing campaign organised by ESA’s Planetary Defence Office and coordinated by the team of observers of the Agency’s Near-Earth Object Coordination Centre (NEOCC). As usual, when such a timely astronomical event happens, not all stations were successful in their observations: clouds, technical problems and other issues always affect real-life observations.

Continue reading “DART asteroid impact impresses in ESA’s view from the ground” »

Sep 24, 2022

NASA gears up to deflect asteroid, in key test of planetary defense

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

Bet the dinosaurs wish they’d thought of this.

NASA on Monday will attempt a feat humanity has never before accomplished: deliberately smacking a spacecraft into an asteroid to slightly deflect its orbit, in a key test of our ability to stop cosmic objects from devastating life on Earth.

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spaceship launched from California last November and is fast approaching its target, which it will strike at roughly 14,000 miles per hour (23,000 kph).

Sep 24, 2022

JWST observes Earendel — the most distant star known — 12.8 billion ly away | Night Sky News Sep ‘22

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, chemistry, existential risks, information science, physics

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Continue reading “JWST observes Earendel — the most distant star known — 12.8 billion ly away | Night Sky News Sep ‘22” »

Sep 22, 2022

Countdown to DART Impact

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

In a first-of-its-kind test for planetary defense, NASA’s DART spacecraft is scheduled next week to crash into an asteroid and alter the celestial body’s course.

If all goes according to plan, on September 26th at 7:14 pm Eastern Daylight Time, NASA’s DART spacecraft will meet a fiery end. DART, whose name stands for Double Asteroid Redirection Test, is poised to intentionally crash into an asteroid that, at the time of impact, will be 11 million km from Earth. The goal of the mission is to alter the speed and trajectory of the impacted space boulder. The technology developed for the mission could one day aid in shifting the orbit of an asteroid that—unlike this one—is on a collision course with Earth.

“Our DART spacecraft is going to impact an asteroid in humanity’s first attempt to change the motion of a natural celestial body,” said Tom Statler, a scientist in NASA’s planetary defense team, in a recent press conference about the mission. “It will be a truly historic moment for the entire world.”

Sep 13, 2022

Can we reverse engineer the brain like a computer?

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, biotech/medical, computing, existential risks, neuroscience

Circa 2019 face_with_colon_three

By Tyler Benster.

Neuroscientists have a dizzying array of methods to listen in on hundreds or even thousands of neurons in the brain and have even developed tools to manipulate the activity of individual cells. Will this unprecedented access to the brain allow us to finally crack the mystery of how it works? In 2017, Jonas and Kording published a controversial research article, “Could a Neuroscientist Understand a Microprocessor?” that argues maybe not. To make their point, the authors turn to their “model organism” of choice: a MOS 6502 processor as popularized by the Apple I, Commodore 64, and Atari Video Game System. Jonas and Kording argue that for an electrical engineer, a satisfying description of the processor would break it into modules, like an adder or subtractor, and submodules, like the transistor, to form a hierarchy of information processing. They suggest that, while popular methods from neuroscience might reveal interesting structure in the activity of the brain, researchers often use techniques that would fail to reveal a hierarchy of information processing if applied to the (presumably much simpler) computer processor.

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