The "Science and Space" Thread #2

ekim68

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Scientists discover new phase of water, known as "superionic ice," inside planets


Scientists have discovered a new phase of water — adding to liquid, solid and gas — know as "superionic ice." The "strange black" ice, as scientists called it, is normally created at the core of planets like Neptune and Uranus.

In a study published in Nature Physics, a team of scientists co-led by Vitali Prakapenka, a University of Chicago research professor, detailed the extreme conditions necessary to produce this kind of ice. It had only been glimpsed once before, when scientists sent a massive shockwave through a droplet of water, creating superionic ice that only existed for an instant.
 

ekim68

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NASA Wants Your Help Improving Perseverance Rover’s AI


NASA’s Perseverance rover is the most advanced machine ever sent to the red planet with a boatload of cameras and a refined design that should stand the test of time. Still, it’s just a robot, and sometimes human intuition can help a robot smarten up. If you’re interested in helping out, NASA is calling on any interested humans to contribute to the machine learning algorithms that help Perseverance get around. All you need to do is look at some images and label geological features. That’s something most of us can do intuitively, but it’s hard for a machine.
 

ekim68

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NASA proposes playbook for communicating the discovery of alien life


Imagine you’re the very first scientist to discover aliens. Maybe it’s a clear message picked up by a radio telescope or life swimming through the ocean below Europa’s icy crust, or perhaps it’s signs of microbes wriggling in harsh Martian lakes or microscopic fossils in a meteorite.

But how do you go about telling the rest of the world about such a momentous discovery? And what happens if you’re wrong?

NASA scientists have just published a commentary article in Nature calling for a framework for reporting extraterrestrial life to the world.
 

ekim68

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An asteroid barely missed Earth last week, and no one knew it was coming


An asteroid about the size of a refrigerator shot past Earth last week, and astronomers didn't know the object existed until hours after it was gone.

It was a close call (from a cosmic perspective); the space rock's trajectory on Oct. 24 carried it over Antarctica within 1,800 miles (3,000 kilometers) of Earth — closer than some satellites — making it the third-closest asteroid to approach the planet without actually hitting it, CNET reported.
 

ekim68

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NASA picks landing site at the moon's south pole for ice-drilling robot


This week, the space agency and the company Intuitive Machines announced Shackleton Crater landing site at the south pole of the moon for a small lander set to launch next year. The location is called the "Shackleton connecting ridge" and NASA data hint at ice lurking below the surface, the agency said in a statement Wednesday (Nov. 3).

The robotic mission includes NASA's Polar Resources Ice-Mining Experiment-1 (PRIME-1) that requires solar power and a view of Earth for communications. The ridge zone should provide both, NASA said.
 

ekim68

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Star System With Right-Angled Planets Surprises Astronomers


In 2016, astronomers discovered two planets orbiting the star HD 3167. They were thought to be super-Earths — between Earth and Neptune in size — and circled the star every one and 30 days. A third planet was found in the system in 2017, orbiting in about eight days.

What’s unusual is the inclinations of the outer two planets, HD 3167 c and d. Whereas in our solar system all the planets orbit in the same flat plane around the sun, these two are in polar orbits. That is, they go above and below their star’s poles, rather than around the equator as Earth and the other planets in our system do.
 

ekim68

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Scientists detect a 'tsunami' of gravitational waves


A team of international scientists, including researchers from The Australian National University (ANU), have unveiled the largest number of gravitational waves ever detected.

The discoveries will help solve some of the most complex mysteries of the Universe, including the building blocks of matter and the workings of space and time.

The global team's study, published on ArXiv, made 35 new detections of gravitational waves caused by pairs of black holes merging or neutron stars and black holes smashing together, using the LIGO and Virgo observatories between November 2019 and March 2020.
 

ekim68

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Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys Instrument Resumes Science, Investigation Continues


The Hubble team successfully recovered the Advanced Camera for Surveys instrument Nov. 7. The instrument has started taking science observations once again. Hubble’s other instruments remain in safe mode while NASA continues investigating the lost synchronization messages first detected Oct. 23. The camera was selected as the first instrument to recover as it faces the fewest complications should a lost message occur.

Over the past week, the mission team has continued investigating the root cause of the synchronization issues and has seen no additional problems. The team will continue looking into possible short-term solutions this week and develop estimates for implementation. Once this occurs, the team will discuss returning the other instruments to operational status and resuming their science observations.
 

ekim68

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Adventures in Space... :eek:


International Space Station to manoeuvre higher to swerve satellite junk


MOSCOW, Nov 10 (Reuters) - The International Space Station will perform a brief manoeuvre on Wednesday to dodge a fragment of a defunct Chinese satellite, Russian space agency Roscosmos said.

The station crewed by seven astronauts will climb 1,240 metres higher to avoid a close encounter with the fragment and will settle in an orbit 470.7 km (292 miles) above the Earth, Roscosmos said. It did not say how large the debris was.
 

ekim68

Mike
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SpinLaunch's rocket-free kinetic launch system conducts first test flight


For more than half a century we've been sending vehicles and humans into space with the help of rockets, but what if there was another way? Startup SpinLaunch has been exploring such possibilities through the development of what it calls the world's first kinetic space launch system, and it's recently completed its first test flight.

SpinLaunch has been developing its alternative launch system since 2015, imagining a future where satellites and spacecraft can escape the Earth's atmosphere with zero emissions. It aims to achieve this with the help of a giant accelerator powered by an electric drive that it says could cut fuel use by four times and the costs by 10 times compared to traditional rocket launches, while also firing multiple payloads into orbit each day.
 

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