The "Science and Space" Thread #2

ekim68

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SpaceX launches 60 Starlink satellites in record 10th liftoff (and landing) of reused rocket


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched 60 Starlink internet satellites into orbit early Sunday (May 9) and then stuck a landing at sea to cap a record 10th flight for the company's reusable booster.

The veteran Falcon 9 rocket blasted off before dawn from Space Launch Complex 40 here at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 2:42 a.m. EDT (0642 GMT), marking the company's 14th launch of the year.
 
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Chickens 'One-Up' Humans in Ability to See Color.

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have peered deep into the eye of the chicken and found a masterpiece of biological design.


All five cone types are interwoven together in the chicken retina so that all cone types are present throughout the retina, but two cones of the same type are never directly next to each other. (Credit: Joseph Corbo/Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis)

-- Tom
It's amazing what evolution can accomplish by accident.
 

ekim68

Mike
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57,533

Voyager 1 detects plasma "hum" in interstellar space


More than 40 years after launch, Voyager 1 is still making new discoveries. The latest achievement by the craft is the detection of a faint, plasma “hum,” indicating that there may be more activity in interstellar gas than previously thought.

When it took off in 1977, Voyager 1 was carrying an instrument called the Plasma Wave System (PWS), which measures electron density. The craft used this to study the magnetospheres of Jupiter and Saturn, and recorded radio waves coming from the gas and ice giants on its tour of the solar system.

But it wasn’t until it left the solar system that the PWS really earned its keep.

satellite.jpg
 

ekim68

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OSIRIS-REx headed back to Earth with "abundance" of asteroid samples


NASA's Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) robotic deep-space probe is returning from the near-Earth asteroid Bennu. On May 10, 2021 at 4:23 pm EDT, the spacecraft began its 2.5-year journey to Earth laden with rock and dust samples as its four high-thrust main engines fired for seven minutes to reach a relative velocity of 600 mph (1,000 km/h).
stars.jpg
 

ekim68

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Extraterrestrial Plutonium Atoms Turn Up on Ocean Bottom

Scientists studying a sample of oceanic crust retrieved from the Pacific seabed nearly a mile down have discovered traces of a rare isotope of plutonium, the deadly element that has been central to the atomic age.

They say it was made in colliding stars and later rained down through Earth’s atmosphere as cosmic dust millions of years ago. Their analysis opens a new window on the cosmos.
 

ekim68

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China's 1st Mars rover 'Zhurong' lands on the Red Planet

China just successfully landed its first rover on Mars, becoming only the second nation to do so.

The Tianwen-1 mission, China's first interplanetary endeavor, reached the surface of the Red Planet Friday (May 14) at approximately 7:11 p.m. EDT (2311 GMT), though Chinese space officials have not yet confirmed the exact time and location of touchdown. Tianwen-1 (which translates to "Heavenly Questions") arrived in Mars' orbit in February after launching to the Red Planet on a Long March 5 rocket in July 2020.
 

ekim68

Mike
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57,533

Highest ever energy light captured by Chinese mountain observatory


Using an observatory on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, astronomers have spotted the highest energy light ever, gamma ray photons up to 1.4 petaelectronvolts (PeV). They have traced these extreme photons back to a dozen of their likely sources: powerful factories in the Milky Way Galaxy that accelerate charged particles called cosmic rays. The results are challenging theorists’ understanding of what these factories are and how they generate such high-energy light.
main_LHASSO_1280p.jpg
 

ekim68

Mike
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European startup builds oxygen-making machine for 2025 moon mission


The oxygen-making machine will rely on the FFC Cambridge process, originally developed in the late 1990s for direct extraction of titanium from titanium oxide, which can be found in nature in the minerals rutile and anatase. The process — named after its inventors George Chen, Derek Fray and Thomas Farthing, and Cambridge University in England where they all worked —uses electrolysis to separate the pure metal from the ore.

In the lunar environment, the technique will split lunar regolith, which is known to consist of up to 45% oxygen, into metal alloys and pure oxygen. The moon dirt in this process is used as a cathode, the electrode through which an electric current enters the electrolytic cell, releasing oxygen in the process.
 

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