Archive for the ‘space’ category: Page 3

Sep 18, 2023

NASA releases ‘baby picture’ of a star that will grow up to be much like our sun

Posted by in category: space

Ever wondered what the Sun looked like in its infancy?

A new image from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has captured what Earth’s sun looked like when it was only a few tens of thousands of years old.

Sep 18, 2023

A Billion-Mile Journey: OSIRIS-REx’s Meteoric Return With a Space Rock Treasure

Posted by in category: space

Recovery teams participate in field rehearsals in preparation for the retrieval of the sample return capsule from NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission at the Department of Defense’s Utah Test and Training Range. The sample was collected from the asteroid Bennu in October 2020 by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft and will return to Earth on September 24th, landing under parachute at the Utah Test and Training Range. Credit: NASA/Keegan Barber.

The OSIRIS-REx team also thought a lot about conditions on the ground itself. Late summer is monsoon season in the desert, so heavy rains could saturate the silty ground. Wet-cement-like mud would make driving difficult if off-road vehicles are required to help helicopters find and transport the capsule.

“We should know by the end of monsoon season how much precipitation we’ve received and the condition of the salt flats,” said Eric Nelson, a U.S. Army meteorologist supporting the mission. “A good indicator is Bonneville Speed Week, an annual racing event in August.” Since it went off without a hitch, “we’re probably okay.”

Sep 17, 2023

ESA and NASA join forces to answer the Sun’s heating riddle

Posted by in categories: physics, space

A 65-year old perplexing question may have finally been answered: Why is the Sun’s atmosphere hotter than its surface?

For over six decades, scientists have been baffled by a cosmic mystery of scorching proportions: Why is the Sun’s atmosphere, known as the corona, hotter than its surface?

Continue reading “ESA and NASA join forces to answer the Sun’s heating riddle” »

Sep 17, 2023

NASA shows how human life can be supported on Mars

Posted by in category: space

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover has generated oxygen on Mars for the 16th and final time with the agency saying it exceeded expectations.

A device on the rover is known as MOXIE (Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment).

Since Perseverance first landed on Mars in 2021, MOXIE has generated 122 grams of oxygen. According to a NASA blog post about the success of MOXIE’s mission, this is about the amount a small dog breathes in 10 hours. Its 16th run on August 7 saw the microwave-sized device produce 9.8 grams of breathable oxygen.

Sep 17, 2023

Vertical farms could take over the world | Hard Reset by Freethink

Posted by in categories: energy, food, space, sustainability

Vertical farming saves water, land, and energy — and it could be how we grow food on Mars.

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Sep 17, 2023

Neutrinos: ‘Ghost Particles’ Can Interact With Light After All

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space

Neutrinos, the tricky little particles that just stream through the Universe like it’s virtually nothing, may actually interact with light after all.

According to new calculations, interactions between neutrinos and photons can take place in powerful magnetic fields that can be found in the plasma wrapped around stars.

It’s a discovery that could help us understand why the Sun’s atmosphere is so much hotter than its surface, say Hokkaido University physicist Kenzo Ishikawa and Yutaka Tobita, a physicist from Hokkaido University of Science – and, of course, to study the mysterious ghost particle in greater detail.

Sep 17, 2023

Electrons from Earth may be forming water on the Moon

Posted by in categories: energy, space

A team of researchers, led by a University of Hawai’i (UH) at Manoa planetary scientist, discovered that high energy electrons in Earth’s plasma sheet are contributing to weathering processes on the Moon’s surface and, importantly, the electrons may have aided the formation of water on the lunar surface. The study was published today in Nature Astronomy.

Understanding the concentrations and distributions of water on the Moon is critical to understanding its formation and evolution, and to providing water resources for future human exploration. The new discovery may also help explain the origin of the water ice previously discovered in the lunar permanently shaded regions.

Due to Earth’s magnetism, there is a force field surrounding the planet, referred to as the magnetosphere, that protects Earth from space weathering and damaging radiation from the Sun. Solar wind pushes the magnetosphere and reshapes it, making a long tail on the night side. The plasma sheet within this magnetotail is a region consisting of high energy electrons and ions that may be sourced from Earth and the solar wind.

Sep 16, 2023

Titan-Like Submersible To Take India Four Miles Underwater

Posted by in categories: space, sustainability

India is building its first manned submersible to study the deep sea and conduct a biodiversity assessment, an announcement that comes days after the country successfully landed a spacecraft near the moon’s south pole.

Sep 16, 2023

Researchers suggest how to make space telescopes cheaper and better

Posted by in categories: futurism, space

The JWST is just the beginning of a new era of space astronomy.

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has been a spectacular success so far, revealing new insights into the cosmos with its powerful vision. But the JWST also has a history of cost overruns, delays, and near-cancellations that have raised questions about the feasibility of future space telescopes.

Source: Northrop Grumman/NASA via Flickr.

Continue reading “Researchers suggest how to make space telescopes cheaper and better” »

Sep 16, 2023

Answering AI’s biggest questions requires an interdisciplinary approach

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

When Elon Musk announced the team behind his new artificial intelligence company xAI last month, whose mission is reportedly to “understand the true nature of the universe,” it underscored the criticality of answering existential concerns about AI’s promise and peril.

Whether the newly formed company can actually align its behavior to reduce the potential risks of the technology, or whether it’s solely aiming to gain an edge over OpenAI, its formation does elevate important questions about how companies should actually respond to concerns about AI. Specifically:

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