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July 31, 2018

Total lunar eclipse occurs in July 2018

Total lunar eclipse occurs in July 2018

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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Observation from Chelsea, Victoria, Australia at 06:07am AEST (UTC+10).
Image: Ian Fieggen.

On Friday–Saturday —depending on observer’s timezone— a total lunar eclipse occurred as the Moon was in the shadow of the Earth. As normal during such an eclipse, the Moon became faint and turned completely red as bluer light was scattered by the Earth’s atmosphere. Totality of 1 hour and 43 minutes was the longest in the 21st century.

People were able to observe the eclipse from Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. A volunteer named José Jiménez uploaded a photo of the incident today from Alt Empordà in Girona, Catalonia, Spain, featuring the Moon, Mars, and the milky way on the same photo.

German astronaut Alexander Gerst took photos of the Moon from the International Space Station and uploaded them to Flickr on the same day.

According to timeanddate.com, the timeline of the eclipse was as follows.

Event Time (UTC)
July 27
Start penumbral eclipse 17:14:47
Start partial eclipse 18:24:27
Start full eclipse 19:30:15
Maximum eclipse 20:21:44
End full eclipse 21:13:11
End partial eclipse 22:19:00
End penumbral eclipse 23:28:38

Mars was also visible near the Moon; coming this week, reported 9News, closer to Earth than at any time since 2003.



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July 20, 2018

This whale can fly! Airbus Beluga XL makes maiden flight

This whale can fly! Airbus Beluga XL makes maiden flight

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Aviation

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Friday, July 20, 2018

On Thursday, after five years of development, the Airbus Beluga XL, painted with eyes and a smile to match its cetacean namesake, made its maiden flight, taking off from and landing at Toulouse, France, in front of a crowd of 10,000. The craft is expected to enter service next year.

Airbus plans to use the Beluga XL to shuttle airplane parts among its facilities in France and Germany. The XL has roughly 30% more cargo space than existing Beluga planes, and it can carry over 50 tons 2500 miles (4000 km) without refueling. It can carry two wings for the Airbus 350 plane in one trip, while the standard Beluga, which entered service in 1995, can carry only one. The Beluga XL is propelled by two Rolls-Royce Trent 700 Turbofan engines.

The plane is named for its resemblance to a Beluga whale. The front of the fuselage hinges upward to allow front-loading into the cargo space, creating the illusion of a round forehead. This feature was added by slinging the cockpit lower in the plane’s body, so cargo is passed over the pilots’ perch.

The Beluga joins such cargo planes as the Antonov An-225 Mriya was designed by the Soviet space program to carry spacecraft parts, and has a lifting capacity over five times that of the Beluga, but only one was ever built. Other massive planes include NASA’s Super Guppy, which is also used to carry spacecraft parts, and the United States military’s Lockheed C-5 Galaxy.



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July 19, 2018

US astronomers announce discovering ten tiny Jovian satellites

US astronomers announce discovering ten tiny Jovian satellites

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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Space
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On Tuesday, astronomers of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, DC, United States, announced the discovery of ten small satellites orbiting Jupiter. With this discovery, Jupiter now has 79 known satellites.

The team led by Scott Sheppard had discovered twelve of the 79 Jovian satellites, including Tuesday’s ten, mostly using a Blanco 4-meter telescope of Chile’s Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. The observatory is operated by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in the US. The tiny satellites, none more than five kilometres in diameter, were first observed in 2017. Orbits of these new Jovian satellites were calculated by International Astronomical Union‘s Minor Planet Center‘s Gareth Williams. Williams explained, “It takes several observations to confirm an object actually orbits around Jupiter […] So, the whole process took a year.”

The astronomers were looking for planets much farther out than Pluto. Sheppard said, “Jupiter just happened to be in the sky near the search fields where we were looking for extremely distant Solar System objects, so we were serendipitously able to look for new moons around Jupiter while at the same time looking for planets at the fringes of our Solar System”.

Of the twelve satellites discovered by the team, nine were found to be retrograde, revolving around the gas giant in the direction opposite to the planet’s spin. These nine new retrograde satellites take about two years to complete one revolution around Jupiter.

The remaining three satellites were prograde, spinning in the same direction as Jupiter’s rotation. One of the prograde satellites, newly announced on Tuesday, took about one-and-half years to complete one revolution around Jupiter, and its orbit intersected with the outer retrograde satellites. Sheppard said, “Our other discovery is a real oddball and has an orbit like no other known Jovian moon […] It’s also likely Jupiter’s smallest known moon, being less than one kilometre in diameter”. The astronomer also said, “This is an unstable situation […] Head-on collisions would quickly break apart and grind the objects down to dust.”

Sheppard said of the composition of those satellites, they “started orbiting Jupiter, instead of falling into it. So we think they are intermediate between rocky asteroids and icy comets. So they are probably half ice and half rock.”

Valetudo” is the name suggested for the “oddball” satellite. Valetudo was the Roman god Jupiter‘s great-granddaughter, regarded as the goddess of health and hygiene.

Sheppard said, “Jupiter is like a big vacuum cleaner because it is so massive”. Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar System, with a diameter about 142,984 kilometres. The largest known satellite in the Solar System is Jupiter’s Ganymede, whose diameter is approximately 5268 kilometres. Saturn has the second-most known satellites: 62, while Uranus has 27.



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August 15, 2016

Scientists Develop Natural Nanorobots to Treat Cancer

Filed under: Disputed,Health,Science and technology — admin @ 5:00 am

Scientists Develop Natural Nanorobots to Treat Cancer

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Scientists at Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal and McGill University have recently developed a natural “nanorobot” to treat colorectal cancer in mice according to a paper published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

The technique involves engineering flagellated bacteria to seek out specific cancer cells. The researchers load them with the chemotherapy drug of choice and the modified bacteria can autonomously seek out the cancer cells by detecting region of low oxygen concentration, a key characteristic of rapidly-growing tumors. The bacteria then deliver the anti-cancer drug precisely to the tumor without significantly affecting the healthy tissue surrounding it.

However, in order to get the bacteria close enough to the tumor to detect it, the researchers exploited a natural sensor within the bacterial cells that allows them to respond to magnetic fields. By exposing them to a magnetic field, they were able to successfully point the drug-carrying bacteria toward the tumor so that the drugs could ultimately be administered.

While this technique has only been tested in mice at this point, the researchers are hopeful that this will be an effective treatment for cancer in humans in the future.



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July 19, 2016

ARM to be bought by SoftBank

ARM to be bought by SoftBank – Wikinews, the free news source

ARM to be bought by SoftBank

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Economy and business
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The United Kingdom‘s (UK) largest technology company, ARM Holdings, confirmed on Monday morning that it had accepted an offer from the Japanese company, SoftBank.

ARM logo

ARM designs microchips used in many devices, including smart phones made by Apple and Samsung. It is expected to invest in the so-called Internet of Things, where many everyday items are expected to be connected to the internet into the future.

The deal, worth £24 billion (US$32 billion), is now expected to be presented to shareholders. The amount offered per share is 43% above the value at the close of trading on Friday. Shares rose by 45% on Monday morning in response to the announcement. Three-quarters of shareholders will need to approve the deal for it to go ahead.

ARM has said its headquarters will remain in Cambridge. Simon Segars, ARM’s Chief Executive, also said a pledge by SoftBank to double ARM’s workforce on the UK would be legally binding.

Philip Hammond, the UK Chancellor, said it would be the biggest investment into the UK from Asia, as well as showing that “Britain remains one of the most attractive destinations globally for investors to create jobs and wealth”. Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister, had recently questioned the benefit to the nation of such takeovers, but has said this one shows the UK can remain successful outside the European Union.



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July 6, 2016

Final panel added to China\’s FAST radio telescope

Final panel added to China’s FAST radio telescope

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

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Photo of the construction of FAST, 2015
Image: Psr1909.

On Sunday, China announced the attachment of the final panel to its telescope named Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST). This piece marks the end of a five-year-long US$180 million (CNY¥1.2 billion) construction project.

FAST comprises about 4,500 panels and spans a diameter of 500 meters (about 1640 feet). The telescope is part of a series of ventures into space exploration by China, including planning another robotic Moon mission and creating a Chinese space station, with its core module set to be launched into space in 2018. With the country’s founding centenary coming in 2049, Chinese President Xi Jinping said during a Beijing conference, “great scientific and technological capacity is a must for China to be strong”.

In order to achieve optimal electromagnetic performance for FAST with minimal signal interference, it was built in the South China Karst. This ultimately forced the relocation of about 9,100 inhabitants within a 3.1-mile (5km) radius of the telescope. The residents received about US$1,800 (CNY¥12,000) in reimbursement, with those experiencing difficulties with housing receiving about US$1,500 (CNY¥10,000) in extra compensation. The Chinese government supports the resettlement, with senior party official Li Yuecheng saying the relocation would provide a “sound electromagnetic wave environment”.

The telescope is now the largest-diameter single-dish radio telescope. It took the spot from the 305-meter diameter Arecibo Observatory telescope in Puerto Rico. Russia‘s RATAN-600 multi-element radio telescope has a diameter of 576 meters. This adds to China’s record-defying achievements; it contains the world’s largest bridge and the world’s longest wall, the Great Wall of China.

The telescope is set to be ready for use in September. Its possible uses include exploration for pulsars, a special type of neutron stars detected through their emission of radio pulses. Scientists have also described the telescope’s potential to explore alien civilization, with NAO Radio Astronomy Technology Laboratory director Peng Bo saying FAST’s “potential to discover an alien civilization will be 5 to 10 times that of current equipment, as it can see farther and darker planets”.



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NASA\’s Juno spacecraft enters Jupiter Orbit

NASA’s Juno spacecraft enters Jupiter orbit

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

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Yesterday, NASA announced their spacecraft Juno has reached Jupiter orbit. It was launched almost five years ago to investigate the largest planet of the Solar System, especially its past.

Juno approaching Jupiter; simulation.
Image: NASA.

Charles Bolden, NASA administrator, said, “Independence Day always is something to celebrate, but today we can add to America’s birthday another reason to cheer — Juno is at Jupiter”. He also added the spacecraft would help study the evolution of the Solar System and explore Jupiter’s radiation belts.

NASA spent US$1.1 billion for Juno. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) reported Juno was confirmed in Jupiter’s orbit at 0353 UTC. Including the camera, the probe has nine scientific instruments. Juno has covered 2.7 billion kilometres (1.7 billion miles) to reach Jupiter.

NASA said non-essential equipment was turned off for the approach. They expect photos in some days. The first orbital revolution period is 53 days. Juno is expected to orbit the planet 37 times keeping an altitude of 5000 kilometres (3100 miles) above the Jovian clouds and then fall into the planet in 2018.

NASA’s Galileo, launched in 1989, found evidence of saline water on Jovian satellites Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.

The electronics have been encased in titanium to protect them from high-energy radiation.



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Final piece added to China\’s new radio telescope

Final piece added to China’s new radio telescope

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

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Photo of the construction of FAST, 2015
Image: Psr1909.

On Sunday China announced the final panel attached to its telescope named Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST). This piece marks the end of a five-year-long US$180 million (CNY¥1.2 billion) construction project.

FAST comprises about 4,500 panels and spans a diameter of 500 meters (about 1640 feet). The telescope is part of a series of ventures into space exploration by China, including planning another robotic Moon mission and creating a Chinese space station, with its core module set to be launched into space in 2018. With the country’s founding centenary coming in 2049, Chinese President Xi Jinping said during a Beijing conference, “great scientific and technological capacity is a must for China to be strong”.

In order to achieve optimal electromagnetic performance for FAST with minimal signal interference, it was built in the South China Karst. This ultimately forced the relocation of about 9,100 inhabitants within a 3.1-mile (5km) radius of the telescope. The residents received about US$1,800 (CNY¥12,000) in reimbursement, with those experiencing difficulties with housing receiving about US$1,500 (CNY¥10,000) in extra compensation. The Chinese government supports the resettlement, with senior party official Li Yuecheng saying the relocation would provide a “sound electromagnetic wave environment”.

The telescope is now the largest-diameter single-dish radio telescope. It took the spot from the 305-meter diameter Arecibo Observatory telescope in Puerto Rico. Russia‘s RATAN-600 multi-element radio telescope has a diameter of 576 meters. This adds to China’s record-defying achievements; it contains the world’s largest bridge and the world’s longest wall, the Great Wall of China.

The telescope is set to be ready for use in September. Its possible uses include exploration for pulsars, a special type of neutron stars detected through their emission of radio pulses. Scientists have also described the telescope’s potential to explore alien civilization, with NAO Radio Astronomy Technology Laboratory director Peng Bo saying FAST’s “potential to discover an alien civilization will be 5 to 10 times that of current equipment, as it can see farther and darker planets”.



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June 9, 2016

IUPAC proposes four new chemical element names

IUPAC proposes four new chemical element names

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

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The periodic table as it stands today. The four newly discovered elements are officially added by IUPAC following the five months of public review. The new names would replace the current placeholder names.
Image: Sandbh.

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) announced yesterday the proposed names of four chemical elements recently discovered by scientists around the world. According to the rules of IUPAC, the four names — nihonium, moscovium, tennessine, and oganesson — are to be subject to a five-month period of public scrutiny which ends November 2016. IUPAC allows the teams of scientists who discover and synthesize new elements to name them, subject to process.

Element number 113, nihonium, is named after the Japanese name for the country of JapanNihon — where it was first synthesized and discovered by researchers at the RIKEN institute.

Elements 115 and 117, moscovium and tennessine, were co-discovered by researchers in the United States and Russia. Moscovium’s name comes from the Moscow-based Joint Institute of Nuclear Research where researchers discovered the element. Similarly, tennessine is named after the US state of Tennessee where chemical research is commonly conducted.

Lastly, element number 118, oganesson, is named for a Russian physicist, Yuri Oganessian, team leader from the synthesis of tennessine, element 117.

Elements 113, 115, 117, and 118 complete the bottom row of the current periodic table. Further discoveries would likely add a new row on the table. Currently, these elements are given the systematic placeholder names ununtrium, ununpentium, ununseptium and ununoctium, respectively.

The elements are formed as a result of colliding two smaller atoms together to form a larger atom. These resultant atoms are made in small amounts, are generally unstable, and decompose into smaller components in periods of time less than a second.

IUPAC confirmed discovery of these four elements in December. These were the first confirmed discoveries since IUPAC confirmed elements 114 and 116, flerovium and livermorium, in 2011.



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May 16, 2016

Australian scientists reveal photographs from world\’s first scanning helium microscope

Australian scientists reveal photographs from world’s first scanning helium microscope

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Monday, May 16, 2016

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Scientists from the University of Newcastle Australia, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Cambridge (UK) have released the first microscopic photographs from the Scanning Helium Microscope prototype (SHeM) that was revealed on Sunday. The photographs, which depict intricate details of chitin (a structural molecule in invertebrates) on a butterfly’s wing and a close up look at a spider’s fang, are the first of their kind from the SHeM prototype, that is more than 20 years in the making. The SHeM prototype is able to take detailed images of organic and polymer electronics, where a traditional electron microscope would likely damage the samples. The prototype shines helium in a similar way to that of a pinhole camera, and has the potential to reveal the chemical content of surfaces that are being photographed.

According to ABC News, Associate Professor Paul Dastoor from the University of Newcastle said “The Scanning Helium Microscope means the samples will be analysed in their true state for the first time ever,”

The Helium atoms used in the SHeM prototype are the second most abundant element in the universe, and the most stable, which ensures that no chemical reactions will take place with other surfaces. The beam from a helium atom is less than 0.1 electron volts, which makes it low energy compared to the 100,000 volt beam used in an electron microscope. The SHeM at its present form can only image with a resolution of up to a micron, but future plans have been developed for the prototype to be redesign to make it a smaller size better suited to a laboratory bench top, and advance the resolution so it reaches the nanometer range.

The microscope is said to have the potential to be used in a variety of research applications such as modern surface science, which can aid in the development of stealth defence technology and new explosives, the ability to view human samples in an un-altered state for medicinal purposes, and could potentially benefit sustainability research and new technology.



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