NASA has unveiled mini robots that can roll, fly, float, swim, and then morph into a single machine, making them shape-shifters. You can it at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory robotics yard in Pasadena, California, where the team is currently testing a 3D-printed prototype. It looks like a drone encased in an elongated hamster wheel rolling across the yard at first glance, but it then splits in half and reveals two halves with small propellers that become flying drones for aerial exploration. It’s essentially a self-assembling robot made of smaller robots called “cobots,” with each one housing a small propeller capable of moving independently of one another to fly along cliffsides of scientific interest. Read more for a video and additional information.
Storm chaser and videographer Dustin Farrell who hails from Arizone has just released “Transient 2″. This sequel to his 2017 short is approximately 3.5-minutes long and features the skies opening up to reveal flashes of lightning as well as puffed up clouds rolling across open plains. Capturing all this wasn’t easy, as he had to travel 35,000 miles over the span of 2-years to get the raw footage, and that’s not including the 300 hours spent editing. Read more for the video and additional information.
What if there were a safe way to approach a black hole, like in the movie Interstellar? It would probably look something like this NASA visualization. This simulated black hole is surrounded by accumulated matter being pulled toward it, and the particles are in a thin accretion disk, where the swirling pace nears the speed of light, thus heating up the material, causing it to glow, while the outer part of the disk spins at a slower rate. Read more for the video and additional information.
Photo credit: NASA | JPL-Caltech | SwRI | MSSS | Kevin M. Gill
Yes, solar eclipses really do occur on Jupiter, and they happen when any of the natural satellites of the planet pass in front of the Sun. NASA recently released a series of images captured on September 12th, 2019 of a solar eclipse on Jupiter as its moon, Io, casts a shadow on the gas giant’s north equatorial belt. There are five satellites capable of completely occulting the Sun: Amalthea, Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. All the others are either too small or distant to be able to completely conceal the Sun, so it can only transit the star. Read more for another picture and additional information.
The Great Pacific garbage patch is a collection of plastic and floating trash originates from the Pacific Rim, including countries in Asia, North America, and South America. Cleaning the “two enormous masses of ever-growing garbage” is quite the daunting task, but with technologies like the 4Ocean Mobile Skimmer, we may be closer than ever to solving this issue. Some of the plastic found in the patch is over 50 years old, and includes fragments of plastic lighters, toothbrushes, water bottles, pens, baby bottles, cell phones, and plastic bags. Read more for a video and additional information.
Scientists announced this week that NASA’s Mars InSight lander has detected strange magnetic pulses during the nighttime – exactly at midnight, a phenomenon that can’t yet be explained, that are raising “interesting questions.” They’re unexpected because these pulses are distinct from what are typically observed on the Earth’s surface at the same local time. Researchers suggest that they are associated with fluctuations in the induced magnetotail and on the magnetospheric boundary. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: Ittiz | CC BY-SA 3.0
NASA researchers claim that Venus could have been temperate planet hosting liquid water with an Earth-like atmosphere for around 2-3 billion years, until a dramatic transformation starting over 700 million years ago that resurfaced 80% of the planet. The Pioneer Venus mission that the planet may have once had a shallow ocean’s worth of water and to see if this was true, Dr. Way and his colleague, Anthony Del Genio, created a series of five simulations assuming different levels of water coverage. Read more for a video and additional information.
Remember ‘Oumuamua? It was the first known interstellar object detected that through the Solar System. Since it can’t be captured into a solar orbit, the object will eventually leave the Solar System and resume traveling through interstellar space. However, it will take the object roughly 20,000 years to travel the Solar System before leaving. Now, amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov has discovered a second interstellar object, called “C/2019 Q4”. Read more for a video and additional information.
Say goodbye to plastic / aluminum headphones, and hello to fungus. Design studio Aivan unveiled Korvaa, the world’s first headphones made from microbial-grown materials. The studio created two versions of the Korvaa headphones, with each consisting of six microbe-grown components with different properties: enzymatically produced, lignin-free cellulose; 3D-printed biodegradable microbial bioplastic PLA for the frame; a leather-like fungal mycelium for the soft foam inside the headset; biosynthetic spider silk for the mesh inside the earphone; and protein foam with plant cellulose. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
MIT engineers have created the blackest ever material, or to be more specific 10 times blacker than anything that has previously been reported. The yet to be named material is made from carbon nanotubes that were grown on the surface of aluminum foil. Why? The chlorine-etched aluminum foil captures more than 99.96% of any incoming light, making it the darkest on record. Read more for a video and additional information.