- Sep 24, 2004
The team measured the object’s spectrum, the pattern of light that reflects off its surface. Because different elements reflect and absorb different wavelengths of light, scientists can use an object’s spectrum to determine what it’s composed of. In this case, Kamo`oalewa was mostly silicate-based.
That fingerprint didn’t match any other known near-Earth asteroid, the team says. The closest match was to lunar rocks brought back by Apollo astronauts, suggesting Kamo`oalewa is a piece of the Moon that broke off at some point, perhaps during some kind of impact event. That would make it the first known asteroid of lunar origin, and its unusual orbit lends weight to that hypothesis.
A research team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has identified a new way to convert ammonia to nitrogen gas through a process that could be a step toward ammonia replacing carbon-based fuels.
The discovery of this technique, which uses a metal catalyst and releases—rather than requires—energy, was reported Nov. 8 in Nature Chemistry and has received a provisional patent from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.
The cloud of debris will increase the number of avoidance maneuvers performed by satellite operators all over the world by more than 100% in the next few years.
The images were captured by Numerica Corp., a Colorado-based company provides tracking of space debris objects, and shared by the company's partner Slingshot Aerospace on Twitter. They show images and video of the debris in the wake of a direct-ascent anti-satellite test by Russia Monday that sent a missile from the ground to destroy a defunct satellite called Cosmos-1408.
IBM has announced the development of a 127-qubit quantum processor, both on its IBM Quantum page and during IBM Quantum Summit 2021. As part of its announcement, IBM also announced that computers running the new processor will be made available to IBM Quantum Network members and that the company has plans for launching two other, presumably more powerful processors it has named Osprey and Condor over the next two years. The current processor has been named Eagle.
An experimental spacecraft testing solar sails as a means of cost-effective space propulsion that could power future missions to distant places is still riding the sunbeams in Earth's orbit more than two and a half years after its launch.
The spacecraft, called LightSail 2, is a cubesat about the size of a loaf of bread but fitted with a solar sail the size of a boxing ring: It covers about 433 square feet (32 square meters). This sail captures incoming photons from the sun, just as a wind sail catches the moving air, to propel the spacecraft.
Japanese start-up Astroscale has already demonstrated how it can use satellites to capture bits of debris in space.
Nanorocks, in the US, is working on a plan using advanced robotics to store and cut up that debris while it is still in orbit. Another US company, Cislunar, is developing a space foundry to melt debris into metal rods.
And Neumann Space’s propulsion system can use those metal rods as fuel – their system ionises the metal which then creates thrust to move objects around orbit.
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