Sci-tech


Reformed Tropical Cyclone Owen an unpredictable beast Reformed Tropical Cyclone Owen an unpredictable beast
- December 14, 2018

The Bureau of Meteorology said Tropical Cyclone Owen was now northwest of Mornington Island. As the remnants of Owen continued westward, they left the coast and moved over the Gulf of Carpentaria, where conditions were flawless for cyclone development. (more...)
NASA probe finds water on asteroid Bennu NASA probe finds water on asteroid Bennu
- December 14, 2018

Data collected by the probe's two spectrometers, OVIRS and OTES, revealed the presence of hydroxyls, molecules featuring bonded oxygen and hydrogen atoms. Knowing Bennu's mass will also help the science team understand the asteroid's structure and composition. It is also worth noting the fact that NASA are considering the possibility that Benn is actually not an asteroid in the strict sense of the word, and the "dead" part of a planetary ecosystem, which is located not so far from the Earth, ... (more...)
Look up: Geminid meteor shower on display December 13 Look up: Geminid meteor shower on display December 13
- December 14, 2018

At its peak, people watching the sky could witness as many as 100 to 150 meteors per hour , per Mashable . Meteors can be seen under a dark and cloudless sky and just after midnight of its peak activity, PAGASA said. The best showing is slated for 2 a.m., Friday morning, but meteors are possible anytime after sunset. In 2017, some celestial observers counted as many as 160 meteors in an hour during the Geminid meteor shower, according to AccuWeather. (more...)
NASA's InSight Lander Takes Its First Selfie From The Surface of Mars NASA's InSight Lander Takes Its First Selfie From The Surface of Mars
- December 14, 2018

NASA's new Mars lander has snapped its first selfie on the Red Planet. "This image was made up of a mosaic of 11 images, in the same way". Those instruments include a self-burrowing heat probe and a suite of incredibly sensitive seismometers, both of which must be placed directly on the red dirt by InSight's arm . (more...)
Astronauts Complete Nearly 8-hour Spacewalk to Investigate Space Station Mystery Hole Astronauts Complete Nearly 8-hour Spacewalk to Investigate Space Station Mystery Hole
- December 14, 2018

The space station's commander at the time flatly denied any wrongdoing by himself or his crew. The Soyuz capsule had been used to deliver a new crew to the laboratory 400km (250 miles) above the Earth in June. Astronauts Sergey Prokopyev and Alexander Gerst repaired the 0.07-inch-wide (2 millimeters) hole with material soaked in an epoxy sealant. Three returning spacefliers will take their seats in a separate area of the Soyuz spacecraft , the descent module, and the habitation module ... (more...)
More glaciers in Antarctica losing ice More glaciers in Antarctica losing ice
- December 13, 2018

Changes recorded in the Bay area Vincennes, on the Denman glacier, near the shore of George VI and some other areas. Previously, scientists had been aware that the region's Totten Glacier was experiencing melting, most probably as a result of its terminus being affronted by warm water coming up from the deep ocean. (more...)
Deep down: 'Zombie' bacteria found miles below Earth's surface Deep down: 'Zombie' bacteria found miles below Earth's surface
- December 13, 2018

Scientists in the long-term study drilled several kilometres into the seafloor and collected samples from continental mines more than 5 km deep to formulate their results that will be presented at the American Geophysical Union's annual meeting , taking place 10-14 December. (more...)
Virgin Galactic headed into space for the first time Virgin Galactic headed into space for the first time
- December 13, 2018

Keep an eye on the skies, as Branson & Co. gear up to finally take their first trip to space. The multi-millionaire admitted earlier this year that the number of spurious claims he has made about Virgin Galactic flight dates was "embarrassing". (more...)
EPA Proposes Major Overhaul Of Obama-Era Water Protections EPA Proposes Major Overhaul Of Obama-Era Water Protections
- December 13, 2018

Not covered would be "features that only contain water during or in response to rainfall (e.g., ephemeral features); groundwater; many ditches, including most roadside or farm ditches; prior converted cropland; storm water control features; and waste treatment systems". (more...)
Great Barrier Reef resilient to spikes in temperatures Great Barrier Reef resilient to spikes in temperatures
- December 12, 2018

The team of researchers used the data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's satellite-based tools to monitor the extent of the damage of last year's heatwave to the coral reef. Usually, corals are recovering themselves if ocean warming drops or algae are recolonizing the corals, even though "families" of corals died or were harmed by the unique and consecutive coral bleaching events which mainly affected the heat-susceptible corals which look like tables. (more...)
Walkers launch crisp packet recycling scheme after campaign Walkers launch crisp packet recycling scheme after campaign
- December 12, 2018

Working with TerraCycle, which is headquartered in Trenton, New Jersey, the scheme will tap into an established network of recycling collection points around the United Kingdom and is free to consumers. A spokesman for Walkers said: "Crisp packets are technically recyclable, the issue until now has been that they weren't being separated or collected for recycling". (more...)
COP24 negotiations: Why reaching agreement on climate action is so complex? COP24 negotiations: Why reaching agreement on climate action is so complex?
- December 12, 2018

The past year saw the United States surpass Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation as the biggest crude oil producer in the world after years of steadily leading the charge in the shale oil revolution. New studies show global carbon emissions may have risen as much 3.7 percent in 2018, marking the second annual increase in a row. "If we are serious about the Paris Agreement, we need to see different numbers", Taalas said. (more...)
China launches Chang'e-4 rover to land on Moon's dark side China launches Chang'e-4 rover to land on Moon's dark side
- December 12, 2018

China's going over to the Dark Side - of the Moon, that is. Chang'e-5's launch is now planned for next year, and that lunar lander will collect samples to bring back to Earth. It isn't particularly hard to study either (relative to other astral bodies, ) since you can actually see it pretty well through amateur telescopes. The scientific tasks of the Chang'e-4 mission include low-frequency radio astronomical observation, surveying the terrain and landforms, detecting the mineral ... (more...)
Geminid meteor shower reaches its peak Thursday night Geminid meteor shower reaches its peak Thursday night
- December 12, 2018

And this week also heralds the start of the biggest meteor shower of the year - the Geminids . In flawless conditions-which is to say under clear skies and away from light pollution-you might be able to see as many as 120 Geminid meteors per hour during peak activity. (more...)
A 'Christmas Comet' will pass over Ireland this month A 'Christmas Comet' will pass over Ireland this month
- December 12, 2018

Things like that will be etched into your mind forever. We don't yet know whether it's going to be bright enough to be visible by the naked eye this time around. And while the comet is expected to be visible across Ireland's various towns and cities, Astronomy Ireland will also be setting up telescopes for special viewings at its Dublin headquarters. (more...)
Space station crew to inspect mysterious hole on spacewalk
- December 12, 2018

The Russian space agency is reportedly still in the midst of its investigation into the hole and its origins. The fix halted the leak, and the space station has since maintained a steady pressure. With the spacewalk running long on time, flight controllers made a decision to forgo having Kononenko and Prokopyev install a replacement insulation blanket over the spacecraft's exposed skin. (more...)
NASA’s asteroid probe already found water on Bennu NASA’s asteroid probe already found water on Bennu
- December 11, 2018

As well, NASA says that observations made by OSIRIS-REx have confirmed that a 2013 model of the asteroid "closely predicted" its actual shape, rotation rate, diameter, and other aspects. Based on their model, the team expected the largest boulder on the asteroid to be about 33 feet (10 meters) tall. "We have not discovered any insurmountable issues at Bennu so far", said Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator and professor of planetary science and cosmochemistry at LPL. (more...)
NASA’s Voyager 2 probe enters interstellar space NASA’s Voyager 2 probe enters interstellar space
- December 10, 2018

Its twin, Voyager 1, crossed the boundary and entered interstellar space in 2012 . Despite the great distance, flight controllers are still in contact with Voyager 2. That can mean several things, though: the end of the reach of the Sun's light; or the edge of the Sun's magnetic field and solar wind (what Voyager 2 is on the brink of); or alternatively the influence of the Sun's gravity (which could push out the edge much farther than the Voyager probes, if the speculative Planet Nine is ... (more...)
NASA's InSight Mars Lander 'Hears' Martian Wind, a Cosmic First NASA's InSight Mars Lander 'Hears' Martian Wind, a Cosmic First
- December 10, 2018

NASA's InSight lander touched down on the Red Planet Nov. 26, and since its arrival, the robot has focused on acclimating to its new environment on Elysium Planitia. The reason for having a seismometer on the lander is to see if earthquakes (which on Mars are called Marsquakes) behave in the same way as they do on earth. (more...)
China set to launch spacecraft to moon's far, China set to launch spacecraft to moon's far, "dark" side
- December 09, 2018

So, here on Earth, we always see the same face of our cosmic neighbor. It's official. At 2:23 am in southern China , a rocket carrying unique payload successfully launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. Chang'e 4 will also conduct some radio-astronomy work, taking advantage of the peace and quiet on the far side, which is shielded from the radio chatter coming from Earth. (more...)
Premiers head to Montreal for tough meeting with Trudeau Premiers head to Montreal for tough meeting with Trudeau
- December 09, 2018

Alberta and Saskatchewan are especially concerned about the bill, and claim it will throw up more barriers for major resource projects. In the lead up to the Montreal-hosted first premiers meeting, $84,000 has been spent by Alberta to purchase advertising in and around the city. (more...)
SpaceX Falcon 9 crashes into sea in dramatic video of failed landing SpaceX Falcon 9 crashes into sea in dramatic video of failed landing
- December 08, 2018

It appeared to be undamaged and was transmitting data, Musk said, adding that a recovery ship was sent to retrieve it. While the Dragon capsule is now on its way to the ISS, the rocket's spent first stage rocket failed to land properly at its designated "Landing Zone 1" pad along the Cape Canaveral coast. (more...)
China launches probe to explore dark side of Moon China launches probe to explore dark side of Moon
- December 08, 2018

The biggest challenge will be establishing communication with the far side of the moon, which is unreachable by direct signal and invisible from Earth, said professor Ouyang Ziyuan of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the chief scientist of the China Lunar Exploration Plan. (more...)
Rocket carrying turkey, fruitcake heads to International Space Station Rocket carrying turkey, fruitcake heads to International Space Station
- December 08, 2018

Groans filled SpaceX Mission Control in Hawthorne, California, as live video showed the first-stage booster spinning out of control, still high above Cape Canaveral. Canadarm2 ) to capture the Dragon spacecraft and attach it to the orbiting laboratory. And the Dragon brings a special treat for one class of spacecraft: It's carrying a satellite deployment system called SlingShot that can fit inside the Cygnus spacecraft's berth to deploy up to 18 cubesats. (more...)
NASA InSight hears 'haunting low rumble' on Mars NASA InSight hears 'haunting low rumble' on Mars
- December 07, 2018

The Nasa InSight lander captured a "haunting, low rumble caused by vibrations from the wind", which is the only audio that's ever been heard from the Red Planet. 'It's like InSight is cupping its ears'. NASA also released an audio track from InSight's air pressure sensor, with the data sped up by a factor of 100 to bring it into human hearing range. (more...)