A tiny satellite has set out to investigate the halo of incredibly hot gas surrounding the Milky Way — and it could help scientists track down the huge amount of missing matter in the universe. NASA deployed the 26-lb. (12 kilograms) satellite, called HaloSat, on July 13 from the International Space Station. Scientists can't find a whopping one-third of all the matter that should exist in the universe. It's not dark matter; it's just … missing. They've calculated how much matter was in the universe 400,000 years after the Big Bang based on information encoded in the cosmic microwave background. And they've calculated how much mass they see now in galaxies, stars, planets, dust and gas. But the
A new peer-reviewed study published in the prestigious journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research shows that exhaled e-vapour product particles are actually liquid droplets that evaporate within seconds. "No accumulation of particles was registered in the room following subjects' vaping. This shows us how fundamentally different exhaled e-vapor particles are compared to those released when smoking conventional cigarettes, the latter of which linger in the air for longer periods of time," said Dr Grant O'Connell, Corporate Affairs Manager at Fontem Ventures, and senior author of the study. The research is one of the first detailed studies conducted to investigate the dynamic properties of exhaled e-vapor aerosol particles.
From the limits of machine learning to a novel exploring human prejudices – Nick Harkaway shares his favourite books about artificial intelligence Mon 23 Jul 2018 01.30 EDT Last modified on Mon 23 Jul 2018 04.54 EDT The problem with AI is that while it's relatively easy to define the “A”, the “I” remains elusive. We don't know what our own intelligence is, nor how we generate our familiar conscious experience, so it's tricky to know how we might create an artificial consciousness, or indeed recognise it if we did. Algorithms can knit together plausible conversation by sampling enormous numbers of exchanges between humans, but they have no greater understanding of those exchanges than would an
Why is there something rather than nothing? The Dallas Morning News reports for centuries, humans have grappled with this question by turning to religion or philosophy. But an international team of over 1,000 scientists think they can find the answer by shooting a beam of tiny particles called neutrinos 800 miles through solid ground from Illinois to South Dakota. There, the neutrinos will encounter 70,000 tons of liquid argon buried a mile underground — and one of the rarest occurrences in the universe will be captured. Thanks to a team led by Jaehoon Yu, physics professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, the "Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment," known as DUNE, is one step closer to
The Milky Way galaxy shimmers over a field of yellow flowers at dawn in this photo taken from the village of Monsaraz in Portugal'sDark SkyAlquevaReserve. This scene, captured on the spring equinox (March 20), shows Saturn and Mars shining against the core of our galaxy, with Mars very close to the Lagoon Nebula. In the upper-right corner of the image, the bright light that caught our attention is from Jupiter. After spring arrives in the Northern Hemisphere, the central region of the Milky Way starts to become visible just above the horizon before dawn. The view gets better and better in the following months, reaching peak visibility in the middle of summer. In July and August, skywatchers can
Former NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin was noticeably absent from a gala kicking off a yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, even though his nonprofit space education foundation is a sponsor and he typically is the star attraction. Aldrin said he didn't attend because of objections over the foundation's current aims and ongoing legal matters associated with the foundation. The black-tie Apollo Celebration Gala was held Saturday under a Saturn V rocket at the Kennedy Space Center, featured a panel discussion by astronauts, an awards ceremony, and an auction of space memorabilia.
Whether you're a seasoned stargazer or an astronomical newbie, summer evenings are the perfect time to check out the night sky. This summer in particular is filled with skywatching opportunities, including a total eclipse of the moon, a spectacular meteor shower and a chance to get up close and personal with our nearest neighbor in the solar system, Mars. Mars opposition Mars is usually the third-brightest planet in the night sky, after Venus and Jupiter. But now through early September, it will be brighter than all the planets except Venus, appearing as a luminous red-orange dot in the southeast sky. This is because in late July, Mars will make its closest approach to Earth since 2003. Earth
An unlikely source is revealing some secretive habits of whales: the group tasked with monitoring nuclear weapons testing. The underwater hydrophone network of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) was designed to listen for massive explosions, but its sonic sensors more often pick up the peaceful rumblings of the world's largest animals. Now scientists are exploiting this unique data set to estimate fin whale population sizes and movements, which could improve the species' uncertain conservation prospects. In the past 20 years the CTBTO has installed 11 acoustic stations throughout the world, including six in the oceans. Each contains two
Before Carl Sagan recruited him to Cornell University, before he helped discover the rings of Uranus and before he assisted in the detection of Pluto's atmosphere, Jim Elliot was a boy growing up in Columbus who fell in love with his neighbor's telescope. The passion and curiosity he developed through that backyard telescope took him from the halls of North High School to the upper echelons of science. Recently, it landed his name on a crater on Pluto's surface. Elliot, who died from complications related to cancer treatment in 2011, didn't visit or discover Elliot Crater. But the crater was named in his honor last fall after NASA's New Horizons spacecraft executed the first flyby of Pluto in
Boeing confirms that it experienced an anomaly last month during tests of the engines that would be used on its CST-100 Starliner space taxi in the event of a launch emergency. The anomaly resulted in an unwanted leak of propellant, and although no hardware was destroyed, the issue is likely to contribute to further delays for NASA’s plan to fly astronauts to and from the International Space Station on the Starliner. An updated flight schedule for the first flights of the Starliner as well as SpaceX’s Crew Dragon is due to be released within the next week or two. The… Read More