The "Science and Space" Thread #2

ekim68

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Mars has right ingredients for present-day microbial life beneath its surface, study finds


The study, published in the journal Astrobiology, looked at the chemical composition of Martian meteorites -- rocks blasted off of the surface of Mars that eventually landed on Earth. The analysis determined that those rocks, if in consistent contact with water, would produce the chemical energy needed to support microbial communities similar to those that survive in the unlit depths of the Earth. Because these meteorites may be representative of vast swaths of the Martian crust, the findings suggest that much of the Mars subsurface could be habitable.
 

ekim68

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Molecules wrangled into single quantum state in breakthrough experiment


Quantum technology is bursting with potential, but controlling atoms and molecules keeps proving tricky. In a breakthrough new study, physicists have successfully wrangled thousands of molecules into a single unified quantum state for the first time.

The key to the new development is a strange state of matter known as a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC). When a low density cloud of atoms is cooled to just a hair above absolute zero, they settle into the same quantum state. In essence, they begin to act like one giant atom, which brings hard-to-measure quantum behavior up to the macro scale where it can be observed more easily.
 

ekim68

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Parker Solar Probe clocks 330,000 mph as the fastest object ever made

Launched in 2018 on a mission to study the Sun from close proximity, NASA's Parker Solar Probe continues to edge closer and closer to its target, setting one new record after another. The latest came during a close approach today, where the spacecraft exceeded blistering speeds of 330,000 mph (532,000 km/h) as it began its eighth loop of the Sun.

The car-sized Parker Solar Probe is built to travel closer to the Sun than any spacecraft in history, using a carbon composite heat shield to fend off the star's energy and remain cool in temperatures of nearly 2,500 °F (1,377 °C). The probe will use a suite of onboard instruments to study high-energy solar particles in the Sun's atmosphere to better understand the origin of solar winds, which emanate from our star outwards through the solar system.
 

ekim68

Mike
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ekim68

Mike
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Proxima Centauri shoots out humongous flare, with big implications for alien life


"The star went from normal to 14,000 times brighter when seen in ultraviolet wavelengths over the span of a few seconds," lead author Meredith MacGregor, an astrophysicist at the University of Colorado Boulder, said in a statement.

The power of this flare and type of radiation it emitted could change what we know about red dwarfs and the chances of life developing on the planets that orbit them.
 

ekim68

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"Recent" volcanic eruption on Mars boosts subsurface life hypothesis


While there’s evidence of volcanic activity in Mars’ ancient past, it was presumed to have been quiet for millions of years. But now, orbiters have spotted a large volcanic deposit that appears to be relatively fresh – only about 53,000 years old – which may lend weight to the idea that the Red Planet was recently, or still is, habitable for subsurface microbes.
 

ekim68

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SpaceX might try to fly the first Starship prototype to successfully land a second time


SpaceX is fresh off a high for its Starship spacecraft development program, but according to CEO Elon Musk, it’s already looking ahead to potentially repeating its latest success with an unplanned early reusability experiment. Earlier this week, SpaceX flew the SN15 (i.e. 15th prototype) of its Starship from its development site near Brownsville, Texas, and succeeded in landing it upright for the first time. Now, Musk says they could fly the same prototype a second time, a first for the Starship test and development effort.
 

ekim68

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And the beat goes on... :cool: (And video link included..)


NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Completes First One-Way Trip



NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter completed its fifth flight on the Red Planet today with its first one-way journey from Wright Brothers Field to an airfield 423 feet (129 meters) to the south. After arrival above its new airfield, Ingenuity climbed to an altitude record of 33 feet (10 meters) and captured high-resolution color images of its new neighborhood before touching down.
 

ekim68

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Scientists generate the highest-intensity laser pulses ever recorded


Scientists in South Korea have achieved a major milestone in physics – and one pursued by researchers in the field for decades – by generating a record-breaking ultra-high intensity laser. The pulse intensity of over 1023 W per cm sq is the result of a highly advanced optics system that tightly focused the beam on a minuscule target, and opens up entirely new possibilities in research fields ranging from astrophysics to cancer treatments.
 

ekim68

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Space junk removal is not going smoothly


"There is now agreement within the community that the debris environment has reached a 'tipping point' where debris would continue to increase even if all launches were stopped," Kessler says. "It takes an Iridium-Cosmos-type collision to get everyone's attention. That's what it boils down to.... And we're overdue for something like that to happen."
 

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