Flight above the Mars

OSIRIS_Mars_true_color

Video of the flight: https://vimeo.com/207076450

At the moment, NASA and other space agencies are operating satellites in orbit around Mars. The spacecraft are continuing to produce amazing images of the red planet’s surface back to Earth, and some of the probes have even solved Martian mysteries in the process.  But what would it look like if you were up in space, flying above Mars yourself?

A beautiful new video making use of a high-resolution camera orbiting Mars aboard a NASA spacecraft shows you just that. The images for the video were taken by a camera onboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, a probe that has been exploring the red planet from above for the past 11 years. Jan Fröjdman processed those images by picking reference points in the photos and then spending about three months converting them into 3D images.

NASA actually has a pretty huge fan base devoted to processing images beamed back from satellites in far-reaching parts of the solar system. Plenty of people on the internet spend their time taking raw imaging data sent back from spacecraft all over the solar system and turning it into something beautiful for the world to see.  This is possible because NASA releases their images online for free, and the agency even encourages image processors to turn its photos into something beautiful as a way of bringing the agency’s unique brand of space science to the masses.

At the moment, the space agency is working toward flying people to orbit the red planet in the coming decades for a possible orbital or landing mission on the world’s rusty surface.  For now, however, we’re just going to have to make do with photos sent back from the red planet from the high-powered robots checking out Mars on our behalf.

The future of traveling- Hyperloop

hyperloopconcept.jpg

The first images of a Hyperloop test track built in the middle of the Nevada desert have been released. It was designed by California company Hyperloop One, who has unveiled ambitious plans to transport people or cargo between cities at near-supersonic speed.

Hyperloop One announced in November an agreement with Dubai to evaluate the construction a 500mph train they hope will be capable of travelling to the neighbouring UAE city of Abu Dhabi in just 12 minutes.

“While technology is revolutionising many facets of our lives, we have not seen a radical change in transportation since the Wright brothers introduced air travel over 100 years ago,” explained Rob Lloyd, CEO of Hyperloop One.

“Tying together the Middle East region would produce greater virtual density, without congestion and pollution, spurring innovation, productivity, job growth and more powerful sharing of knowledge, labour and investment.

“Building a Hyperloop would vastly impact the economy and make any major city in the Gulf Cooperation Council accessible within one hour.”

Hyperloop One hope to perform a public trial later this year, with the aim of creating “a faster, more efficient and cleaner system of mobility” featuring Hyperloop pods travelling at 800 miles per hour.

Josh Giegel, co-founder of Hyperloop One, added: “Our team of more than 150 engineers, technicians and fabricators have been transforming what was, just over five months ago, a barren stretch of desert, into a hive of activity and now home to the world’s first full-scale Hyperloop test site.”

The company said the latest photos showed they are “well-positioned to deliver the first working Hyperloop”, the brainchild of US billionaire Elon Musk.

 

Enormous asteroid will pass the Earth!

cd6594d2f88f516c7963610a82df66d8

An asteroid as big as the Rock of Gibraltar will streak past Earth on April 19 at a safe but still uncomfortably close distance, according to astronomers. “Although there is no possibility for the asteroid to collide with our planet, this will be a very close approach for an asteroid this size,” NASA said in a statement.

2014-J25 was discovered in May 2014 by astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona. Dubbed 2014-JO25 and roughly 650 meters across, the asteroid will come within 1.8 million kilometers of Earth, less than five times the distance to the Moon. It will pass closest to our planet after having looped around the Sun. 2014-J25’s will then continue on past Jupiter before heading back toward the center of our Solar System. The last time 2014-JO25 was in our immediate neighborhood was 400 years ago, and it’s next brush with Earth won’t happen until sometime after 2600. Furthermore, besides its size and trajectory, scientists also know that its surface is twice as reflective as that of the Moon. It should be visible with a small optical telescope for one or two nights before moving out of range.

The April 19 flyby is an outstanding opportunity for astronomers and amateur stargazers, NASA said. “Astronomers plan to observe it with telescopes around the world to learn as much about it as possible,” said the US space agency. In addition on April 19, a comet known as PanSTARRS will make its closest approach to Earth at a “very safe” distance of 175 million kilometers, according to NASA.The comet has brightened recently and should be visible in the dawn sky with binoculars or a small telescope.

Smaller asteroids whizz by Earth several times a week. But the last time one at least this size came as close was in 2004, when Toutatis—five kilometers across—passed within four lunar distances. The next close encounter with a big rock will not happen before 2027, when the 800-meter wide asteroid 199-AN10 will fly by at just one lunar distance, about 380,000 kilometers.

Visible light from a black hole

p02rz7np

Nothing – including light – can escape a black hole once it’s fallen in, but the process of swallowing gas, dust, or ripping apart whole stars can cause the formation of an accretion disknear the event horizon. These disks can thrust streams of plasma called relativistic jets across the entire length of a galaxy, while hitting temperatures of 10 million degrees Celsius or more.

First detected by NASA’s Swift space telescope, the event was then tracked by the Japanese researchers, who called on scientists from 26 locations around the world to point their optical telescopes at V404 Cygni.

For two weeks, the astronomers were able to observe flashes of light being released by the newly active V404 Cygni, which is one of the closest known black holes to Earth. It was woken up when the gravitational pull of its partner star pulled the two in too close, causing the black hole to strip away the surface matter of the star, before the whole thing fell in to release an incredible burst of radiation.

For the first time, astronomers have witnessed the light produced by this event using an optical telescope.

Team hypothesizes that the light originates from X-rays produced in the centre of the accretion disk, and these X-rays irradiate and heat up the outer region of the disk, which causes it to emit optical rays.

While more research is needed to confirm this, it’s beyond exciting to think of how much more we stand to learn about black holes now that we have a new way of observing them – and it’s something anyone can help with if they have a good telescope at home.

If you enjoyed this post, find more information about black holes in https://worldinnovationsblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/03/nasa-approves-a-mission-to-look-inside-a-black-hole/

Edible robots??

PH5-CTS-15.jpg

Swiss city of Lausanne Federal Institute of Technology scientists have announced a scientific paper that describes the creation of mechanisms from gelatin. This technology may eventually allow robots to be edible.

The research is still at an early stage and teaching staff are not yet fully aware of who might benefit from this technology. Institute of intelligent systems laboratory director Dario Floreano has confirmed that the team’s work is not completely logical. The project evolved solely out of a desire to create something new- to create such a mechanism the researchers initially did not plan to resolve any concerns.

“A year ago, grad student and co-author Jun Shintake came to me and said, ‘we are doing all of these bio-inspired robots, but biological systems are eaten and our systems are not’,” D.Floreano explains. “I thought that’s very interesting. Food and robots have very different constraints and properties. Even before thinking about what we could make out of them, I though it was a very interesting challenge to see if we can marry these two fields.”

Floreano lists off a number of potential applications for edible robots, including food that can walk itself to hotter or colder locations or inch its way toward the human or animal it’s looking to feed. What’s more immediately compelling is the possibility of delivering automated medication.

“That’s definitely a very interesting application,” says Floreano, “because you may carry pharmaceutical components to a location where you want them to have an effect.”

The research follows a similar study issued by MIT last year that detailed the creation of an origami robot made from dried pig intestines that essentially unfolds in an attempt to capture and removed harmful swallowed items, like batteries. What potentially sets EPFL’s research apart is the creation of fully digestible actuators that can be broken down by the human body.

The creation of the actuators is part of the team’s ongoing research into soft robotics, a sub-field of robotics inspired by nature that make for components that better comply with their environment. Notable applications for the technology include robotic grippers capable of conforming to a wide variety of different shapes.

Once inside the body, the robots could utilize internal chemical reactions to drive movement. They could also leverage non-toxic batteries designed as part of the growing field of edible electronics that can’t be digested but can pass through the body without harm.

 

5 unbelievable discoveries in the Solar System

Solar-System.jpg

Our solar system is full of attractions: some of which have already been made clear and some of which are still surprising scientists. Here are a few interesting facts about the solar system and the planets that exist within it:

Most comets are discovered by monitoring the Sun.

Previously, tracking comets was the activity of amateur astronomers, who spent the whole nights watching the sky. However, everything changed in 1995, when space observatory SOHO was launched into the space. Although the primary purpose of the mission was to track the sun, there was discovered more than 2,400 comets, which mostly fly very close to the sun.

There could be a life in the Solar System

So far, the researchers did not find evidence of life in other Solar System’s places. But more and more we learn about the “extreme” microbes that are able to survive underwater volcanoes or extremely cold environment, the bigger is the chance of finding life on other planets. Microbe presence on Mars is so likely that scientists take special protection and sterilize the spacecraft. Scientists also believe that there could be such a microbes in Jupiter satellite’s oceans and under the ice of Saturn’s Enceladus.

Solar System is full of rings

When the telescope was invented in 17th century, scientists discovered the rings of Saturn. However, it took even more spacecraft and much more powerful telescopes to make more discoveries about the rings. Now we know that Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune has the rings. However, it appears that the rings are not specific to the planets. For example, in 2014, astronomers determined that the asteroid Chariklia is also surrounded by rings. Why such a small cosmic body has rings remains a mystery, but one theory is that they formed of decomposed fragments of the satellite.

Neptune emits more heat than it receives from the Sun.

Neptune is very far away from the Earth and scientists wants to send another one of their spacecraft to observe the planet. Perhaps the new mission would help to solve several mysteries of this planet. For example, why the blue planet emits more heat than it receives, which is very strange, because Neptune is very far away from the sun.

Pluto has mountains

Pluto is a tiny planet on the edge of the solar system. Therefore, scientists initially thought that the dwarf planet’s landscape is fairly same. The opinion has changed after the New Horizons space probe mission in 2015, when sent photos changed approach on Pluto. It was found out that Pluto has a 3300 meters high ice mountains, which shows that Pluto was a geologically active planet over the past 100 million years. However, geological activity requires energy, which source on Pluto is still a mystery. The Sun is too far away from Pluto that it could generate enough energy from the star and there is no other energy sources around the dwarf planet.

Also Check the 5 strangest facts about the Solar System here: https://worldinnovationsblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/5-strangest-facts-about-the-solar-system/

Declassified videos of nuclear weapons tests

uD4ADHi.jpg

US declassified more than 750 videos where they are trying a variety of bombs, some of which was nuclear weapons. These images can be seen in public after the 55 years of guarding: records were made from 1945 to 1962. Sights were carefully kept, but now videos can be seen on YouTube.

US Lawrence Livermore National team, which worked on the images for the last five years, has contributed to the rescue of the old bands from extinction. “We have taken this project just in time, – said nuclear weapons physicist Greg Spriggsas in the video about video tapes digitization project – We knew that these records starts to decompose, so it will eventually become worthless.”

The project objective was not only to make the controversial nuclear century frames public, but also to get more knowledge about the bombings, which are currently prohibited to make. It is expected that the published data will help to better understand the effects of nuclear explosions and to better deal with unused weapons.

Videos of the explosions:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnCxJhDnzo8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZIkG1kWRng

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYbNlgQyz84

Will we reach the Moon next year?

christmas2015fullmoon

Elon Musk has made a very Elon Musk announcement: mentioning, via a Tweet, that SpaceX is going to send two tourists to the Moon and back by the end of next year.

That’s pretty ambitious for a company that hasn’t tested its heavy lift rocket yet. But whoever the two people are, they’ve already plopped down a deposit on the flight and are training for their mission to where humanity hasn’t visited in person since 1972.

Whoever the anonymous duo is, they’ll strap into a Dragon 2, be lifted by the Falcon Heavy, and fly around the Moon before coming back to Earth. This will all reportedly happen at the end of next year, just a few months after the Dragon 2 was to haul its first occupants to the International Space Station via a contract with NASA.

But the Falcon Heavy has been behind schedule almost since it was announced. The vehicle, three first stages strapped side-by-side with payload sitting on top of the center stage, was announced in 2005 and slated for a 2013 launch once the dust settled, but no launch test has transpired since. Issues with Falcon 9 have set that date back a few times, though a test is reportedly coming in the next few months. In addition, NASA has been preparing for the possibility that the Dragon 2 and its Boeing competitor, the Starliner, may not take ISS occupants up until 2019.

Also read about China’s scientific mission in the Moon: https://worldinnovationsblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/10/mission-for-moon-rocks/

5 strangest facts about the Solar System

Planets2013.svg.png

The Solar System is a strange place with its distant planets, strange satellites and even stranger phenomena that are difficult to explain. Some of the Solar System’s planets are inclined, suffer from storms or volcanic eruptions on their satellites. In addition, it is worth knowing that the largest volcano in the solar system is not on Earth, the Moon is not the most active satellite and Earth does not have the strongest winds. Interestingly enough, researchers have not found the explanation for the majority of these specificities. Here are the 5 strangest facts about the Solar System:

Uranus strange rotation

Seemingly Uranus is inexpressive blue ball. However, this gas giant has one odd thing. This planet rotated around its axis leaning on the side and scientist do not have the explanation for this. The most likely explanation is that long time ago Uranus collided with one or more, about five Earth masses, bodies. Furthermore, Uranus has several rings. This fact was confirmed in 1977, when scientists saw that the light was blocked not just by the planet, but also by its rings. In addition, astronomers recently found out that there are storms in Uranus atmosphere

Jupiter satellite’s Io volcanoes

For those of us who are accustomed to a rather sedentary Earth satellites, Jupiter’s satellite Io landscape may seem really chaotic and full of surprises. Hundreds of volcanic eruptions take place in this satellite and it is considered to be the most active in the Solar system. Furthermore, some of the volcanoes caused the smoke burst of up to 250 miles. Some spacecraft managed to capture this phenomenon. “New Horizons” recorded one such burst in 2007. Io volcanic eruptions causes a huge thrust force acting on the satellite. This leads to enough energy to such volcanic activity. Researchers are still seeking to find out how heat spreads inside the satellite Io, although it is difficult to predict where the volcanoes are using purely scientific modeling.

Biggest volcano in the Solar System

Although Mars looks calm at the moment, it is known that something in the past led to the formation of enormous volcanoes. Among them there is a Mount Olympus called volcano, which is the largest ever discovered volcano in the solar system. Its diameter is 602 kilometers, and its size is equivalent to the US state of Arizona. This volcano is also 25 kilometers in height – three times higher than Mount Everest, which is the highest mountain on Earth. Volcanoes on Mars can grow to such an impressive size because of the weaker gravity force than on Earth. However, it is unknown, how these volcanoes formed in the first place. There is debate about whether Mars is a tectonic plate system, and whether it is active.

Crazy winds on Venus

Venus is harsh planet, which has a very high temperature and a high pressured surface. 10 of the Soviet Union’s highly protected spacecraft were able to stay for only a few minutes on the surface of this planet. However, a strange environment is above the planet’s surface. Scientists have discovered that there is a breeze blowing 50 times faster than the planet rotates itself. Unmanned spacecraft “Venus Express”, which orbit Venus from 2006 to 2014, recorded winds and found their periodic changes. It also found that the power of the wind is increasing over time.

Ice everywhere

Previously it was thought that the ice is a rare material in space. But now it is known that scientists were not looking in the right places. In fact, Solar System is full of ice. For example, ice is common component in comets and asteroids. It is in Mercury’s craters and even the Moon itself, although it is not known whether there is enough to maintain the entire colony. There is ice even in the smaller Solar system bodies such as Jupiter’s moon Europa, Saturn’s moon Enceladus, and even the dwarf planet Ceres.

 

 

Astronomers are about to photograph a black hole

57e2cc49dd0895f2598b45fd-2400.jpg

The effort to better understand Black Hole will be ramped up in April, when the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) attempts to capture our first image of a Black Hole and its event horizon.

The target of the EHT is none other than Sagittarius A*, the monster black hole that lies in the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. Though the EHT will spend 10 days gathering the data, the actual image won’t be finished processing and available until 2018.

The EHT includes super-stars of the astronomy world like the Atacama Large Millimeter Array(ALMA) as well as lesser known ‘scopes like the South Pole Telescope (SPT.) Advances in very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) have made it possible to connect all these telescopes together so that they act like one big ‘scope the size of Earth.

The combined power of all these telescopes is essential because even though the EHT’s target, Sagittarius A*, has over 4 million times the mass of our Sun, it’s 26,000 light years away from Earth. It’s also only about 20 million km across. Huge but tiny.

The EHT is impressive for a number of reasons. In order to function, each of the component telescopes is calibrated with an atomic clock. These clocks keep time to an accuracy of about a trillionth of a second per second.

The effort requires an army of hard drives, all of which will be transported via jet-liner to the Haystack Observatory at MIT for processing. That processing requires what’s called a grid computer, which is a sort of virtual super-computer comprised of 800 CPUs.

The power of the EHT will help us clarify our understanding of black holes enormously. If we see what we think we’ll see, it confirms Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, a theory which has been confirmed observationally over and over. However, if EHT sees something else, something we didn’t expect at all, then that means Einstein’s General Relativity got it wrong. Not only that, but it means we don’t really understand gravity.

In physics circles they say that it’s never smart to bet against Einstein. He’s been proven right time and time again. To find out if he was right again, we’ll have to wait until 2018.