Archive for the ‘space’ category

Mar 15, 2024

James Webb telescope confirms there is something seriously wrong with our understanding of the universe

Posted by in category: space

Depending on where we look, the universe is expanding at different rates. Now, scientists using the James Webb and Hubble space telescopes have confirmed that the observation is not down to a measurement error.

Mar 14, 2024

World’s largest computer chip WSE-3 will power massive AI supercomputer 8 times faster than the current record-holder

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space, supercomputing

Cerebras’ Wafer Scale Engine 3 (WSE-3) chip contains four trillion transistors and will power the 8-exaFLOP Condor Galaxy 3 supercomputer one day.

Mar 14, 2024

IceCube identifies seven astrophysical tau neutrino candidates

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory, a cubic-kilometer-sized neutrino telescope at the South Pole, has observed a new kind of astrophysical messenger. In a new study recently accepted for publication as an Editors’ Suggestion by the journal Physical Review Letters and available on the arXiv preprint server, the IceCube collaboration, including Penn State researchers, presented the discovery of seven of the once-elusive astrophysical tau neutrinos.

Mar 14, 2024

NASA Engineers Make Progress Toward Understanding Voyager 1 Issue

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, space

Since November 2023, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft has been sending a steady radio signal to Earth, but the signal does not contain usable data. The source of the issue appears to be with one of three onboard computers, the flight data subsystem (FDS), which is responsible for packaging the science and engineering data before it’s sent to Earth by the telemetry modulation unit.

On March 3, the Voyager mission team saw activity from one section of the FDS that differed from the rest of the computer’s unreadable data stream. The new signal was still not in the format used by Voyager 1 when the FDS is working properly, so the team wasn’t initially sure what to make of it. But an engineer with the agency’s Deep Space Network, which operates the radio antennas that communicate with both Voyagers and other spacecraft traveling to the Moon and beyond, was able to decode the new signal and found that it contains a readout of the entire FDS memory.

The FDS memory includes its code, or instructions for what to do, as well as variables, or values used in the code that can change based on commands or the spacecraft’s status. It also contains science or engineering data for downlink. The team will compare this readout to the one that came down before the issue arose and look for discrepancies in the code and the variables to potentially find the source of the ongoing issue.

Mar 14, 2024

Breaking Barriers: Groundbreaking All-Light Network Bridges Space, Air, and Sea

Posted by in categories: computing, space

Scientists have created a communication network entirely based on light that enables seamless connectivity across space, air, and underwater environments. The new network design combines different types of light sources to ensure connectivity no matter the environment.

“In today’s world, data transmission is critical for communication, navigation, emergency response, research, and commercial activities,” said research team leader Yongjin Wang from Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications and Suzhou Lighting Chip Monolithic Optoelectronics Technology Co. Ltd., both in China. “This new wireless network enables uninterrupted connectivity across environments, facilitating two-way real-time data transmission between the network nodes that carry out communication and data exchange within and between networks.”

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Mar 14, 2024

Water found on asteroid surfaces

Posted by in category: space

The first detection of water molecules on the surface of asteroids has been confirmed, following spectral analysis of two large main‑belt objects.

Credit: Courtesy of NASA/Carla Thomas/SwRI

Using data from the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) – a joint project of NASA and Germany’s space agency – scientists have, for the first time, discovered water molecules on the surface of an asteroid. A team of researchers looked at four silicate-rich asteroids using an instrument known as Faint Object infraRed CAmera for the SOFIA Telescope (FORCAST), which isolated the mid-infrared spectral signatures indicating molecular water on two of them.

Mar 14, 2024

US ditches LIDAR, develops self-driving stealth tech to tackle lasers

Posted by in categories: food, military, robotics/AI, space

Researchers at the US Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) have developed camera-based autonomous driving tools that can work without deploying technologies like LIDAR and RADAR.

The technology can potentially deliver stealth capabilities for the military while finding applications in space and agriculture.

Modern autonomous driving solutions rely extensively on light detection and ranging (LIDAR) sensors to visualize objects around the vehicle. A software solution then identifies the objects nearby and helps the vehicle’s computer decide whether to halt or slow down.

Mar 13, 2024

Unraveling the origins of life: Scientists discover ‘cool’ sugar acid formation in space

Posted by in categories: biological, nanotechnology, space

A critical molecule for the metabolism of living organisms has been synthesized for the first time by University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researchers at low temperatures (10 K) on ice coated nanoparticles mimicking conditions in deep space, marking a “cool” step in advancing our understanding of the origins of life.

Mar 13, 2024

The LIFE telescope passed its first test, detecting biosignatures on Earth

Posted by in category: space

We know that there are thousands of exoplanets out there, with many millions more waiting to be discovered. But the vast majority of exoplanets are simply uninhabitable. For the few that may be habitable, we can only determine if they are by examining their atmospheres. LIFE, the Large Interferometer for Exoplanets, can help.

Mar 13, 2024

Unveiling Mars’ Hidden Giant: The Discovery of the Noctis Volcano

Posted by in category: space

Sourabh Shubham: “This area of Mars is known to have a wide variety of hydrated minerals spanning a long stretch of Martian history. A volcanic setting for these minerals had long been suspected. So, it may not be too surprising to find a volcano here. In some sense, this large volcano is a long-sought ‘smoking gun’.”

The planet Mars is known for its vast array of inactive shield volcanoes, and a new volcano could be added to the family with a recent study presented at the 55th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, as a team of researchers announced the discovery of a massive volcano on Mars that is buried underneath the surface and could even possess a base comprised of glacier ice. This study holds the potential to help scientists better understand past volcanism and glaciation on the Red Planet that could provide clues to Mars’ geologic history.

For the study, the researchers used images from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera and data from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM), which are both onboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), along with data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) that was onboard the Mars Global Surveyor to analyze “Noctis Mons” (official name pending), which is located southeast of Mars’ Tharsis volcanic region and in the western region of Valles Marineris, known as the largest and deepest canyon in the solar system.

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