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May 21, 2024

Nicoll-Dyson Beams: Weaponizing Stars

Posted by in category: space

Continuing our look at Dyson Spheres we examine the concept of the Nicoll-Dyson Beam, a type of advanced weapon that uses the output of an entire sun to create a laser that can strike target across the galaxy.

May 21, 2024

Project Astra demo | Solving math problems

Posted by in categories: mathematics, robotics/AI, space

Watch Project Astra factorise a maths problem and even correct a graph. All shot on a prototype glasses device, in a single take in real time.

Project Astra is a prototype that explores the future of AI assistants. Building on our Gemini models, we’ve developed AI agents that can quickly process multimodal information, reason about the context you’re in, and respond to questions at a conversational pace, making interactions feel much more natural.

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May 21, 2024

Citizen Scientists help Discover Record-Breaking Exoplanet in Binary Star System

Posted by in category: space

A team of astronomers and citizen scientists has discovered a planet in the habitable zone of an unusual star system, including two stars and potentially another exoplanet.

The planet hunters spotted the Neptune-like planet as it crossed in front of its host star, temporarily dimming the star’s light in a way akin to a solar eclipse on Earth. This “transit method” usually identifies planets with tight orbits, as they are more likely to follow paths that put them between Earth and their host star and, when following such paths, move into light-blocking positions more frequently. That’s why this newly discovered planet is considered unusually far out, with the planet taking 272 days to lap its star.

Furthermore, the star is now by far the brightest one known to host a transiting planet in the habitable zone where liquid water can exist.

May 20, 2024

Could Dyson spheres exist in our galaxy?

Posted by in category: space

A Dyson sphere is a hypothetical giant structure that surrounds a star and can capture its solar output. Two separate groups of astronomers have claimed that they have detected dozens of possible Dyson spheres within the Milky Way galaxy. NBC’s Gadi Schwartz speaks with Dr. Michio Kaku about what it would take to create a Dyson sphere and how advanced a civilization would need to be to make it happen.

May 20, 2024

New Findings on WASP-107 b Challenge Assumptions About Gas Giant Composition

Posted by in categories: chemistry, evolution, space

“The planet has a hot core, and that heat source is changing the chemistry of the gases deeper down, but it’s also driving this strong, convective mixing bubbling up from the interior,” said Zafar Rustamkulov.


Gas giant planets within our solar system and exoplanets outside our solar system are known to possess large amounts of gas and small cores, but what if an exoplanet was found to exhibit opposite characteristics? This is what a study published today in Nature hopes to address as a team of international researchers investigated the physical and atmospheric characteristics of WASP-107 b, which is located just over 200 light-years from Earth and has been found to have unique interior characteristics compared to previously discovered exoplanets. These unique findings hold the potential to challenge our understanding of the formation and evolution of gas giant exoplanets, which continue to demonstrate stark contrasts to planets within our solar system.

For the study, the researchers used NASA’s powerful James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to observe WASP-107 b, discovering that while its radius is slightly less than Jupiter, its mass is only 10 percent of the largest planet in our solar system. Additionally, WASP-107 b possesses methane levels that are one thousand times less than what astronomers anticipated finding, along with having a core whose mass is 12 times larger than the Earth.

Continue reading “New Findings on WASP-107 b Challenge Assumptions About Gas Giant Composition” »

May 20, 2024

Dozens of stars show signs of hosting advanced alien civilisations

Posted by in categories: energy, space

I don’t subscribe but if you do, you’ll get more but the short summary kinda gives a general idea. Astronomers spotted 60 stars with potential Dyson sphered around them but it isn’t 100% verifiable. It could be a simpler explanation they say.


Sufficiently advanced aliens would be able to capture vast quantities of energy from their star using a massive structure called a Dyson sphere. Such a device would give off an infrared heat signature — and astronomers have just spotted 60 stars that seem to match.

By Jonathan O’Callaghan

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May 19, 2024

Mapping the Milky Way’s Magnetic Field in 3D

Posted by in categories: mapping, particle physics, space

We are all very familiar with the concept of the Earth’s magnetic field. It turns out that most objects in space have magnetic fields but it’s quite tricky to measure them. Astronomers have developed an ingenious way to measure the magnetic field of the Milky Way using polarized light from interstellar dust grains that align themselves to the magnetic field lines. A new survey has begun this mapping process and has mapped an area that covers the equivalent of 15 times the full moon.

Many people will remember experiments in school with iron filings and bar magnets to unveil their magnetic field. It’s not quite so easy to capture the magnetic field of the Milky Way though. The new method to measure the field relies upon the small dust grains which permeate space between the stars.

The grains of dust are similar in size to smoke particles but they are not spherical. Just like a boat turning itself into the current, the dust particles’ long axis tends to align with the local magnetic field. As they do, they emit a glow in the same frequency as the cosmic background radiation and it is this that astronomers have been tuning in to.

May 19, 2024

Could The UNIVERSE Be Someone’s MIND?

Posted by in category: space

Explore the profound question at the heart of the cosmos: Could the universe be someone’s mind? Delve into the enigma of the Boltzmann brain paradox as we ponder the possibility of conscious entities emerging spontaneously in the cosmic void. Join us on a journey through the mysteries of existence, where science meets philosophy in a quest for understanding.

0:00 Introduction.
0:46 The Brain and the Universe.
02:35 A Paradox Revealed.
04:30 Delving Deeper.
06:48 Resolution and Conclusion.
08:55 Parting Thoughts

May 19, 2024

Space ‘warehouse’ to deliver cargo in 1 hour, anywhere on Earth

Posted by in category: space

Inversion Space is developing reusable reentry capsules to store cargo in orbit. That cargo will be on standby for delivery to Earth. When called upon, the company will be able to deliver it anywhere on Earth within an hour.

May 18, 2024

A New Dimension of Quantum Materials: Topological Phonons Discovered in Crystal Lattices

Posted by in categories: mathematics, particle physics, quantum physics, space

An international research team has shown that phonons, the quantum particles behind material vibrations, can be classified using topology, much like electronic bands in materials. This breakthrough could lead to the development of new materials with unique thermal, electrical, and mechanical properties, enhancing our understanding and manipulation of solid-state physics.

An international group of researchers has found that quantum particles, which play a key role in the vibrations of materials affecting their stability and other characteristics, can be classified through topology. Known as phonons, these particles represent the collective vibrational patterns of atoms within a crystal structure. They create disturbances that spread like waves to nearby atoms. Phonons are crucial for several properties of solids, such as thermal and electrical conductivity, neutron scattering, and quantum states including charge density waves and superconductivity.

The spectrum of phonons—essentially the energy as a function of momentum—and their wave functions, which represent their probability distribution in real space, can be computed using ab initio first principle codes. However, these calculations have so far lacked a unifying principle. For the quantum behavior of electrons, topology—a branch of mathematics—has successfully classified the electronic bands in materials. This classification shows that materials, which might seem different, are actually very similar.

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