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Oct 27, 2020

‘Fireball’ that fell to Earth is full of pristine extraterrestrial organic compounds, scientists say

Posted by in categories: chemistry, space

The meteorite crashed on earth on 2018. But it seems the news just came out. The good news is that it crashed on a frozen lake.


A fireball that fell to Earth in 2018 contains “pristine extraterrestrial organic compounds” that could help tell us how life formed, scientists say.

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Oct 27, 2020

Water exists on the moon, scientists confirm

Posted by in categories: chemistry, space

Now, Casey Honniball at NASA’s ASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, US, and colleagues have detected a chemical signature that is unambiguously H2O, by measuring the wavelengths of sunlight reflecting off the moon’s surface. The data was gathered by the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (Sofia), a modified Boeing 747 carrying a 2.7-metre reflecting telescope.

The water was discovered at high latitudes towards the moon’s south pole in abundances of about 100 to 400 parts per million H2O. “That is quite a lot,” said Mahesh Anand, professor of planetary science and exploration at the Open University in Milton Keynes. “It is about as much as is dissolved in the lava flowing out of the Earth’s mid-ocean ridges, which could be harvested to make liquid water under the right temperature and pressure conditions.”

The existence of water has implications for future lunar missions, because it could be treated and used for drinking; separated into hydrogen and oxygen for use as a rocket propellant; and the oxygen could be used for breathing. “Water is a very expensive commodity in space,” said Anand.

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Oct 27, 2020

NASA’s SOFIA Discovers Water on Sunlit Surface of Moon

Posted by in categories: chemistry, physics, space

NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) has confirmed, for the first time, water on the sunlit surface of the Moon. This discovery indicates that water may be distributed across the lunar surface, and not limited to cold, shadowed places.

SOFIA has detected water molecules (H2O) in Clavius Crater, one of the largest craters visible from Earth, located in the Moon’s southern hemisphere. Previous observations of the Moon’s surface detected some form of hydrogen, but were unable to distinguish between water and its close chemical relative, hydroxyl (OH). Data from this location reveal water in concentrations of 100 to 412 parts per million – roughly equivalent to a 12-ounce bottle of water – trapped in a cubic meter of soil spread across the lunar surface. The results are published in the latest issue of Nature Astronomy.

“We had indications that H2O – the familiar water we know – might be present on the sunlit side of the Moon,” said Paul Hertz, director of the Astrophysics Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Now we know it is there. This discovery challenges our understanding of the lunar surface and raises intriguing questions about resources relevant for deep space exploration.”

Oct 25, 2020

Scientists make digital breakthrough in chemistry that could revolutionize the drug industry

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, robotics/AI

At the Cronin Lab at the University of Glasgow chemists developed a robotic chemist called a “chemputer” that turns words into molecules.

Oct 25, 2020

New nuclear engine concept could help realize 3-month trips to Mars

Posted by in categories: chemistry, nuclear energy, space travel

Seattle-based Ultra Safe Nuclear Technologies (USNC-Tech) has developed a concept for a new Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) engine and delivered it to NASA. Claimed to be safer and more reliable than previous NTP designs and with far greater efficiency than a chemical rocket, the concept could help realize the goal of using nuclear propulsion to revolutionize deep space travel, reducing Earth-Mars travel time to just three months.

Because chemical rockets are already near their theoretical limits and electric space propulsion systems have such low thrust, rocket engineers continue to seek ways to build more efficient, more powerful engines using some variant of nuclear energy. If properly designed, such nuclear rockets could have several times the efficiency of the chemical variety. The problem is to produce a nuclear reactor that is light enough and safe enough for use outside the Earth’s atmosphere – especially if the spacecraft is carrying a crew.

According to Dr. Michael Eades, principal engineer at USNC-Tech, the new concept engine is more reliable than previous NTP designs and can produce twice the specific impulse of a chemical rocket. Specific impulse is a measure of a rocket’s efficiency.

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Oct 25, 2020

Chernobyl fungus could shield astronauts from cosmic radiation

Posted by in categories: chemistry, nuclear energy, space

Will astronauts have fungi shields as protection against radiation in the future? 😃


When astronauts return to the moon or travel to Mars, how will they shield themselves against high levels of cosmic radiation? A recent experiment aboard the International Space Station suggests a surprising solution: a radiation-eating fungus, which could be used as a self-replicating shield against gamma radiation in space.

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Oct 24, 2020

Niobium — A Metal Which REPLACES GOLD!

Posted by in category: chemistry

Thanks for the niobium metal: http://www.samaterials.com/
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Do not repeat the experiments shown in this video!
So, today I will tell you about the metal that can replace gold, about niobium.
In the periodic table of chemical elements, niobium is placed in the 5th group, between vanadium and tantalum.
It got its name in the honor of Niobe, the daughter of the ancient Greek king Tantalus, and this is not a coincidence, because the properties of niobium and tantalum are very similar and at first sight they are quite hard to distinguish.
Niobium is mined from the mineral columbite, where tantalum is also present.
Because of that, until 1949 in the US, niobium was also called columbium, as in the 19th century, American scientists sometimes considered tantalum and niobium the same element and did not think about new names.
Now, when obtaining niobium from ore, it is purified from tantalum and other metals, and so pure niobium pentoxide is acquired, which is then subsequently dissolved with hydrofluoric acid, thereby obtaining complex niobium compounds.
Which are then reduced by the metallic sodium to a metallic state.
After such a process, what is obtained is a high-purity niobium which in its appearance resembles a white and a malleable metal.
If you compare its appearance with tantalum, then you can immediately see the difference in that tantalum has a more shiny surface, though it might be just the way they produce these rods.
Also niobium is about 3 times cheaper than tantalum.
Due to its high plasticity, it is easy to make a niobium foil, which is much harder to distinguish from the foil of tantalum.
Although, there is one way, as the density of niobium is almost 2 times less than that of tantalum, therefore these metals can be easily distinguished by means of scales.

Oct 22, 2020

Scientists identify compound that stimulates muscle cells in mice

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry

UCLA researchers have identified a compound that can reproduce the effect of exercise in muscle cells in mice. The findings are published in the journal Cell Reports Medicine.

Normally, muscles get stronger as they are used, thanks to a series of chemical signals inside . The newly identified compound activates those signals, which suggests that like it could eventually be used to treat people with limb girdle , a form of adolescent-onset muscular dystrophy.

When muscles aren’t worked regularly, they gradually atrophy. (The phenomenon is familiar to anyone who’s had a cast on their leg for several weeks.) Fortunately, for people with healthy muscles, that deterioration is reversible. Muscle use stimulates chemical messengers inside the muscle cells that increase muscle mass and strength.

Oct 21, 2020

The new heavy isotope mendelevium-244 and a puzzling short-lived fission activity

Posted by in categories: chemistry, particle physics

Gaining a better understanding of the limiting factors for the existence of stable, superheavy elements is a decade-old quest of chemistry and physics. Superheavy elements, as are called the chemical elements with atomic numbers greater than 103, do not occur in nature and are produced artificially with particle accelerators. They vanish within seconds.

A team of scientists from GSI Helmholtzzentrum fuer Schwerionenforschung Darmstadt, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM) and the University of Jyvaeskylae, Finland, led by Dr. Jadambaa Khuyagbaatar from GSI and HIM, has provided new insights into the processes in those exotic and for this, has produced the hitherto unknown nucleus mendelevium-244. The experiments were part of “FAIR Phase 0,” the first stage of the FAIR experimental program. The results have now been published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

Heavy and superheavy nuclei are increasingly unstable against the fission process, in which the nucleus splits into two lighter fragments. This is due to the ever-stronger Coulomb repulsion between the large number of positively charged protons in such nuclei, and is one of the main limitations for the existence of stable superheavy nuclei.

Oct 20, 2020

Energy scavenging nanogenerator finds power all around us

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, mobile phones, nanotechnology

Imagine a mobile phone charger that doesn’t need a wireless or mains power source. Or a pacemaker with inbuilt organic energy sources within the human body.

Australian researchers led by Flinders University are picking up the challenge of “scavenging” invisible power from low-frequency vibrations in the surrounding environment, including wind, air or even contact-separation energy (static electricity).

“These so-called triboelectric nanogenerators (or TENGs) can be made at low cost in different configurations, making them suitable for driving such as personal electronics (mobile phones), biomechanics devices (pacemakers), sensors (temperature/pressure/chemical sensors), and more,” says Professor Youhong Tang, from Flinders University’s College of Science and Engineering.

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