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Robot Scientist Amniote

Photo credit: Geek.com
Ever wonder how the earliest land animals moved? If so, you’ll be glad to know that scientists, led by evolutionary biologist John Nyakatura at Humboldt University in Berlin, have used a 290-million-year old fossil skeleton to create a moving robot model of prehistoric life. This four-legged plant-eater lived before the dinosaurs and believed to be called a “stem amniote”, or an early land-dwelling animal that later evolved into modern mammals. It fascinates scientists “because of its position on the tree of life,” said Nyakatura. The team partnered with robotics expert Kamilo Melo at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne to develop a model of how the creature moved before building OroBOT. This robot is made of motors connected by 3D-printed plastic and steel parts and “helps us to test real-world dynamics, to account for gravity and friction,” said Melo. Read more for a compilation of interesting images gathered from around the web.

NASA Juno Great Red Spot Jupiter
NASA’s Juno space probe recently captured an incredible image of two powerful storms brewing near Jupiter’s iconic Red Spot during a recent flyby in late December. It was approximately 23,000 to 34,000 miles from the top of the planet’s clouds at the time. “Two massive storms in Jupiter’s turbulent southern hemisphere appear in this new image captured during my latest flyby of the planet. The storm reached its current size when three smaller spots collided and merged in the year 2000. The Great Red Spot, which is about twice as wide as Oval BA, may have formed from the same process centuries ago,” said NASA. Read more for a video and additional information.

Sony A6400

The Sony Corporation today introduced the latest addition to its E-mount mirrorless camera lineup – the a6400 (model ILCE-6400). This camera brings Sony’s most advanced technologies from their acclaimed full-frame lineup to a compact, lightweight 24.2MP APS-C camera, and it’s designed for vloggers. Featuring the world’s fastest autofocus (AF) acquisition of 0.02 seconds, while also introducing the new advanced “Real-time Eye AF” and “Real-time Tracking” capabilities. Plus, it’s capable of high-speed shooting at up to 11 fps with AF/AE tracking, while utilizing a next-generation BIONZ X image processing engine that produces excellent image quality, 4K video recording, a fully 180-degree tiltable LCD touch screen and more. Read more for two hands-on video, additional pictures and information.

Super Earth Barnard's Star

Astronomers have evidence of an icy Super Earth, named “Barnard’s Star b”, that is about 3.2 times more massive than our planet, orbiting Barnard’s Star, a dim red dwarf that lies a mere 6 light-years away from the sun. Barnard’s Star is actually our sun’s nearest neighbor, next to the Alpha Centauri system, which is approximately 4.3 light-years away. Since it’s twice as old as Earth’s sun, one-sixth as massive and just three-perecent luminous, its “habitable zone” lies extremely close-in, or 0.06 AU to 0.10 AU from the star to be exact. Scientists believe the planet is extremely cold with temperatures around -150° C and its core could be made of hot iron or nickel, but due to enhanced geothermal activity, extraterrestrial life could flourish. Read more for more interesting images.

CES Sharp 8K Micro Four Thirds Camera

Sharp unveiled today at CES 2019 in Las Vegas their first 8K Micro Four Thirds camera, and it’s also the first 8K camera priced under $5,000. There’s no official specifications list, but the prototype camera is using an Olympus lens and can reportedly shoot 8K footage at 30 fps, with the company aiming for 60 fps by the time the production model is released. It will use the H.265 codec and boasts a 5-inch swiveling touchscreen, an SD card slot, HDMI / USB ports, a headphone jack, microphone, and mini XLR ports. Read more for another video and additional information.

Lexar 1TB SDXC Card
Lexar’s new 1TB 633x SDXC UHS-I card is the world’s first, or at least one that isn’t just a concept, and it features a read speed of up to 95MB/s as well as a video recording speed class of V30. “Almost fifteen years ago, Lexar announced a 1GB SD card. Today, we are excited to announce 1TB of storage capacity in the same convenient form factor. As consumers continue to demand greater storage for their cameras, the combination of high-speed performance with a 1TB option now offers a solution for content creators who shoot large volumes of high-resolution images and 4K video,” said Lexar Senior Marketing Manager Joey Lopez. Read more for additional pictures and information.

Hubble Space Telescope Triangulum Galaxy

Photo credit: Hubble Site
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has captured the most detailed image of the Triangulum galaxy (M33) yet, and it’s composed of 54 Hubble fields of view stitched together, revealing nearly 25 million individually resolved stars. “The borders of individual Hubble images trace the jagged edge of the mosaic, which spans 19,400 light-years across. Striking areas of star birth glow bright blue throughout the galaxy, particularly in beautiful nebulas of hot, ionized hydrogen gas like star-forming region NGC 604 in the upper left,” said NASA. Read more to see the full image, another video and for additional information.

Apple CES Privacy Ad

Photo credit: Engadget
Apple may not have its own booth at CES 2019, but it has found a way to catch the attention of the tradeshow goers this week by plastering a massive privacy bill board on the side of a SpringHill Suites by Marriott hotel, which overlooks the Las Vegas Convention Center. The “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone” Apple used is a play on the famous “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” slogan. The company may also have sent a few undercover employees to see how people react to the ad and / or what people are saying about their current “bendgate” iPad Pro controversy. Read more for more interesting images from around the web.

Protostar Observation Cat's Paw Nebula
Photo credit: George Varouhakis
Researchers have spotted massive jets of water vapor streaming away from a protostar in the Cat’s Paw Nebula, the star-forming region located approximately 5500 light-years from Earth. The observations were made by a team from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory using the Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA), a collection of radio telescopes in Chile, owned by the European Southern Observatory (ESO). The jets are a result of star formation, and as it begins to coalesce out of massive clouds of dust and gas, most of the material surrounding it is pulled towards the mass at the center, but some is propelled away from the growing protostar as a pair of jets. Read more for a video and additional information.

Sony Mirrorless Camera LEGO Skin
Photo credit: LIFE+GUARD
Have you always wanted a functional LEGO camera, and already own a Sony mirrorless shooter? Well, Taiwan-based company LIFE+GUARD has the LEGO skin just for you. Not only does it look cool, but this colorful brick pattern also acts as a protective skin for the Sony a7 III and a7R III cameras. Each piece was carefully cut and is designed to fit snugly around the camera. Read more for additional pictures and information.