NASA’s Juno spacecraft discovered a new cyclone at Jupiter’s south pole. This discovery was made on Nov. 3, 2019 during the 22nd flyby where the solar-powered spacecraft collected science data on the gas giant, soaring a mere 2,175 miles above its cloud tops. It also marked a victory for the mission team, whose collective efforts kept the solar-powered spacecraft clear of what could have been a mission-ending eclipse. Read more for a video and additional information.
NASA published in a new paper that provides a map of water ice believed to be as little as an inch below the surface of Mars. This finding will be a key consideration for any potential landing site due to such little room to spare aboard a spacecraft, any human missions to Mars will have to harvest what’s already available for drinking water and making rocket fuel. Liquid water can’t be sustained in the thin air of Mars since due to its minimal air pressure, it evaporates from a solid to a gas when exposed to the atmosphere. Read more for a video and additional information.
Laser cleaning is essentially the process of clearing away undesired material from a solid surface by irradiating it with a laser beam. How does it work? Well, by absorbing the energy of the laser beam, the targeted material is heated very quickly, thus making it evaporate or sublimate, and since the surface below does not absorb any energy, it stays untouched. Read more for a video and additional information.
NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) will carry astronauts to the moon in 2024 as part of the Artemis project and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine gave the public a first view of the most powerful rocket ever built at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The core stage is the powerhouse of the SLS rocket, with five major structures: the forward skirt, liquid oxygen tank, intertank, liquid hydrogen tank and engine section. Read more for a video and additional information.
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe was launched into space in August 2018 and soon became the closest-ever spacecraft to the Sun. Equipped with cutting-edge scientific instruments to measure the environment around the spacecraft, it’s completed three of twenty-four planned passes through never-before-explored parts of the Sun’s atmosphere, the corona. On Dec. 4, 2019, four new papers in the journal Nature describe what scientists have learned from this unprecedented mission. Read more for a video and additional information.
Carnegie Mellon University’s Biorobotics Lab have developed a modular snake robot’s that mimics its real-life counterpart, thanks to 16 joints that enable it to twist around a cylindrical shape, like a leg as well as climb up / down. The current prototype is tethered by a power and control cable, but future versions may be completely wireless. Read more for a video and additional information.
University of Waterloo computer scientists have developed a computer input device that works by simply touching the fingertips in different ways. Called Tip-Tap, it doesn’t require batteries or other modes of power, but instead uses radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to sense when fingertips touch, thus making them perfect for disposable surgical gloves. This means they would have access to things like x-rays and diagrams, without having to touch anything. Read more for a video demonstration and additional information.
ETH Zurich researchers have developed a new technique to create complex glass objects with 3D printing. It’s based on stereolithography, one of the first 3D printing techniques developed during the 1980s. David Moore, Lorenzo Barbera, and Kunal Masania in the Complex Materials group led by ETH processor André Studart needed to create a special resin that contains a plastic, and organic molecules to which glass precursors are bonded to make this possible. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: Jingchuan Yu
Astronomers in China have discovered LB-1, a stellar black hole that is so massive it shouldn’t exist based on our current theories of black-hole formation. It has a mass 70-times that of our sun, but astronomers had previously believed that stellar black holes in our galaxy could not be bigger than 20-times the mass of the sun. A team used the LAMOST telescope in China and discovered some stars orbiting an invisible object and with other telescopes in Spain and the U.S., the astronomers pinpointed one star orbiting the black hole every 79 days. Read more for a video and additional information.
Ever wonder what happens when a noble gas meets electricity? This video should answer that question. Why does this happen? Well, all noble gases conduct electricity and light up when a current runs through them. They are odorless, colorless and monatomic (exist as individual atoms) and due to its relative inertness, neon does not form any known stable compounds in nature. Read more for the clip and additional information.