A year has passed since the US Air Force sent up the mysterious X-37B. But the question of why remains unanswered. Read also: Elon Musk wants to send a craft to Mars in two years. On all occasions, it has worked as intended, then it can be used again. Jonathan McDowell is an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics and says the long journeys are perfect to carry around sensitive loads to be tested in space. Security experts have argued that there is spy equipment being tested, as The Guardian reported, the military continues probably his work in silence.
Artist s concept of black hole formation Image: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss Among the many mysteries surrounding the gigantic black holes that live at the center of galaxies is just how they managed to get so big, so fast.Finally, scientists have come up with an explanation for their improbably large existence.To test this theory, researchers from Italy s National Institute for Astrophysics and Scuola Normale Superiore had the Hubble, Chandra, and Spitzer telescopes search for evidence of black hole seeds.The details will be published in a forthcoming issue of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society you can read a working version of the paper on ArXiv .Black hole seeds as seen by Hubble Image: NASA/STScI/ESA Black hole seeds as seen by Chandra Image: NASA/CXC/Scuola Normale Superiore/Pacucci While these two new images lend credibility to the black hole seed theory, researchers still aren t calling the matter settled.
Among the many mysteries surrounding the gigantic black holes that live at the centre of galaxies is just how they managed to get so big, so fast.Finally, scientists have come up with an explanation for their improbably large existence.And yet, they exist.Researchers had previously posited that giant black holes were formed by mergers of smaller black holes.The details will be published in a forthcoming issue of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society you can read a working version of the paper on ArXiv .Black hole seeds as seen by Hubble Image: NASA/STScI/ESA Black hole seeds as seen by Chandra Image: NASA/CXC/Scuola Normale Superiore/Pacucci While these two new images lend credibility to the black hole seed theory, researchers still aren t calling the matter settled.
The OWL stereo viewer was launched by May's London Stereoscopic society in 2009 and uses the Victorian technology of stereoscopy simply combining two images shot from different angles to create one image with the illusion of depth to allow users to view 3D images printed on cards.May explained why virtual reality was an obvious next step for his OWL project: " Virtual reality just came out of the woodwork.As May would explain, the £25 viewer is about comfort as much as anything else.Asked whether he saw a dark side to the emerging tech, he explained: "I think there is a darkness to it.There's a darkness to lots of things though."You could perhaps be with your loved ones, maybe they died years ago and you can still be with them and among them.
Kids need to see it working with the real world, Tynker founder and CEO Krishna Vedati told TechCrunch.The breadth of the Tynker approach, which both gamifies the code-learning process and adds physicality, seems to be working.It was one of the most popular options in Code.org s Hour of Code, and new tools for sharing the games kids build are seeing serious use.Not only that, but the freemium model is paying off as parents and schools convert to subscribers — Vedati noted that the company was cash positive in 2015, though to get to that point it was working with just over $3M in angel funding it collected in 2013.And not having to think on how to raise money, and just focusing on growth — I think it gives them runway to go be ambitious.Imagine if you got graded for your performance in Kerbal Space Program as part of your astrophysics class, for instance.
Hubble Space Telescope view of the galaxy UGC 9391, which contains Cepheid variable stars and supernovas that scientists studied to calculate a newly precise value for Hubble's constant.NASA, ESA, and L. Frattare STScI The universe is expanding 5 to 9 percent faster than astronomers had thought, a new study suggests.Related on Space.com: Supernova Photos: Great Images of Star ExplosionsThese are two different types of "cosmic yardsticks" that allow scientists to measure distances across the universe.One megaparsec is equivalent to 3.26 million light-years.Enigmatic dark matter, which is thought to be four times more abundant than "normal" matter throughout the universe, could also have some weird and unappreciated characteristics.In short, there's a lot of work left to do before astronomers can fully appreciate the meaning of the new results.
Sun image: NASA/SDO Planets made of diamonds and graphite, and early life forming on these strange worlds— it sounds like science fiction, but researchers are saying it could be possible.The stars are called carbon-enhanced metal-poor stars, or CEMP stars, and the researchers argue that planets made of materials like graphite and even diamond could have formed near these rare suns."These stars are fossils from the young universe," Avi Loeb, the chair of the astronomy department at Harvard University, said in a statement."We have good reason to believe that alien life will be carbon-based, like life on Earth, so this also bodes well for the possibility of life in the early universe," Mashian said in the statement.Related: Astronaut headed to space station describes what she'll miss most on Earth"Fortunately, our Sun is at the middle of its life right now so we have billions of years to contemplate how to travel to another star and keep ourselves warm," Loeb continued."I am currently involved in the Breakthrough Starshot project, which is the first step in developing the technology that might enable such a journey."
June 9, 2016: Alexander Jones, center, Mike Edmunds, right, and Yanis Bitsakis sit behind a possible reconstruction of the more than 2,000-year-old Antikythera Mechanism during a press conference in AthensATHENS, Greece – When you're trying to fathom a mangled relic of very old hi-tech, it helps to have the manufacturer's instructions.They say it was a kind of philosopher's guide to the galaxy, and perhaps the world's oldest mechanical computer."It's like a textbook of astronomy as it was understood then, which connected the movements of the sky and the planets with the lives of the ancient Greeks and their environment."It wasn't quite a manual, more like a long label you would get on a museum to describe a display, according to another team member, Mike Edmunds, who is an emeritus professor of astrophysics at Cardiff University."It's not telling you how to use it, it says 'what you see is such and such,' rather than 'turn this knob and it shows you something,'" he said Thursday, during a presentation of the team's findings in Athens.shipwreck, and at first seemed like a scruffy footnote to a magnificent body of finds that included bronze and marble statues, luxury glassware and ceramics.
In a revelation that shouldn t surprise anybody, Peabody Energy, the United States largest coal company, has been bankrolling think tanks, corporate lobbyists, trade associations, and individual scientists at the heart of the climate denial movement, a new Guardian investigation reveals.Fossil fuel companies aren t exactly a progressive bunch when it comes to climate action, but few have manipulated the facts of global warming as consistently and egregiously as Peabody, which refers to carbon dioxide in glowing terms and asserts that by cranking up its concentration in our atmosphere, the company is fertilizing the planet for the benefit of mankind.The more than two dozen beneficiaries include: the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, which calls carbon emissions an elixir of life, the George C. Marshall Institute, which claims there is not the slightest evidence that more CO2 has caused more extreme weather or accelerated sea level rise, and Willie Soon, a researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center For Astrophysics who, it was revealed last year, has received over $1.2 million in funding from the fossil fuel industry.While the filings obtained by The Guardian don t list amounts of money or dates of individual contributions, the evidence places Peabody at the center of a widespread misinformation campaign—which, again, not terribly surprising given the company s previous attempts to rebrand coal as the cure to global poverty.America s coal industry is quickly losing ground to natural gas, which last year became our nation s most popular energy source for electricity.It would be heartening to see a fossil fuel enterprise acknowledge this reality and take a leading role in developing the energy sources of the future.
Peabody Energy, the United States largest coal company, has been bankrolling think tanks, corporate lobbyists, trade associations, and individual scientists at the heart of the climate denial movement, a new Guardian investigation reveals.Fossil fuel companies aren t exactly a progressive bunch when it comes to climate action, but few have manipulated the facts of global warming as consistently and egregiously as Peabody, which refers to carbon dioxide in glowing terms and asserts that by cranking up its concentration in our atmosphere, the company is fertilising the planet for the benefit of mankind.The more than two dozen beneficiaries include: the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, which calls carbon emissions an elixir of life ; the George C. Marshall Institute, which claims there is not the slightest evidence that more CO2 has caused more extreme weather or accelerated sea level rise ; and Willie Soon, a researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center For Astrophysics who, it was revealed last year, has received over $1.2 million £850k in funding from the fossil fuel industry.While the filings obtained by The Guardian don t list amounts of money or dates of individual contributions, the evidence places Peabody at the centre of a widespread misinformation campaign — which is not terribly surprising given the company s previous attempts to rebrand coal as the cure to global poverty.America s coal industry is quickly losing ground to natural gas, which last year became the US's most popular energy source for electricity.It would be heartening to see a fossil fuel enterprise acknowledge this reality and take a leading role in developing the energy sources of the future.
Improvements in astronomical observation technology have moved us from retail to wholesale planet discovery, writes University of Rochester professor of astrophysics Adam Frank in an op-ed piece for The New York Times.Frank s piece, titled, Yes, There Have Been Aliens, argues that, at some point before humans existed, there were probably aliens.Frank refers to an equation conceived in 1961 by a man named Frank Drake yes, their names are easy to confuse who was invited to host a conference on the possibilities of communication between solar systems.Drake decided to create an equation for the event, which attempted to calculate how many advanced civilizations existed off of Earth, since the quantity of advanced civilizations increases the chances of interstellar contact.For example, he writes, Instead of asking how many civilizations currently exist, we asked what the probability is that ours is the only technological civilization that has ever appeared.Specifically, unless the probability for evolving a civilization on a habitable-zone planet is less than one in 10 billion trillion, then we are not the first.
An artists illustration of two black holes circling around each other and colliding, 1.4 billion light years from Earth.The gravitational wave signal — officially known as GW151226 — was detected by LIGO on Dec. 25, 2015, at 11: 38 p.m. EDT 0338 a.m. GMT on Dec. 26 .LIGO scientists waited until now to announce the second detection because they had to make sure that it was real, and that it was caused by a black hole collision, team members said.The Virgo collaboration consists of 19 European research groups.The observatory's detection of two double-black-hole collisions in its first four months of operation after the upgrade suggests that the observatory will be seeing more of these events in the future, Reitze said.LIGO consists of two facilities, one in Hanford, Washington, and the other in Livingston, Louisiana.
Our eyes are not big enough to catch the faint light of distant, receding galaxies, nor are our eyes precise enough to measure the redshift of their light.One interpretation of the new finding, though not the only one, is the dark energy is stronger or getting stronger than we thought.It s an important mathematical concept, but our minds balk when we try to imagine infinity in the real world.Assuming that an error has not been made, it could be some additional wrinkle in the dark sector dark matter, dark energy or dark radiation .Dark radiation, like neutrinos of a different type, is also a strong candidate, as these particles have always been elusive.We have no evidence for a violation there.
What's keeping you up at night?Harvard astrophysics grad student Jon Bittner surveyed over 100 respondents for apartment-sharing site SplitWise.com to determine the primary offenders--and financial costs--of nocturnal disturbances.Ratings are done on a 1-to-5 scale; 1 helpful for sleep; 3 neutral; 5 very disruptive for sleep.
Mechanised solder Eth.3n and hot-head pilot Salter seek cover against another onslaught in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Photograph: ActivisionIn 2015, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson gave an interview in which he argued that the world s first trillionaire will be somebody who successfully mines asteroids.However, a fanatical organisation known as the Settlement Defence Front SetDef has formed out in space, looking to place a stranglehold on resources by taking over outposts throughout the system.SetDef dropships crash to earth, spewing out battle droids.You then land aboard the Retribution spacecraft, where Reyes discovers that the captain has been killed and he s now in command.Dogfights and attacks on massive destroyer craft will be key features of the game s space sections Photograph: ActivisionInfinity Ward is saying that this is a game about leadership; while previous titles have always had you following a commanding officer, now it s the player in charge of a ship and a crew, which provides the game s ensemble cast.Infinity Ward has been keen to stress that the new game as plenty of boots on the ground combat as well as sci-fi space battles Photograph: ActivisionBattlefield 1 is clearly winning the early hype war with its fan-baiting return to the first world war.
Scientists think the recent discovery of gravitational waves observed from the collision of two black holes may have also detected signatures of the astrophysics mystery of dark matter.Scientists at Johns Hopkins university behind the September 2015 discovery by Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory LIGO wrote in the Did LIGO detect dark matter?Their discovery came 100 years since Einstein's theory of General Relativity predicted the existence of gravitational waves.It fits however with the model for the less-popular primordial black holes hypothesis in which the objects are said to be formed of collapsed gas during the early universe rather than dying stars.These would distribute evenly throughout the universe and may congregate around galaxies.Some US$600 million has already been spent upgrading LIGO to its advanced state.
Geneticist and author Richard Dawkins said leaving the European Union would be "very damaging" to scienceRichard Dawkins has said outgoing prime minister David Cameron should be ever-damned for calling a referendum on EU membership.The geneticist and author labelled the Leave vote an economic and social catastrophe and said leaving the European Union would be very damaging for science.It s something that s been wished upon us by a populist mob rule, yob rule of politicians , he said.Dawkins, who is best-known as author of The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion, made the comments at the Starmus astrophysics conference in Tenerife, Spain, where he was among the speakers.He said that now the dust had started to settle on the referendum vote, the sheer reality was starting to hit people.
Artist s rendering of Jupiter s magnetic field.As NASA s Juno mission continues to hurl itself toward Jupiter, the terrifying reality of flying close to the biggest and baddest planet in our solar system is starting to set in.Yesterday, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory dropped recordings the spacecraft created based on data it collected as it crossed Jupiter s bow shock and entered the magnetosphere.They re straight-up nightmare fuel.The bow shock is essentially the outer gate to Jupiter s magnetic field.As charged particles called the solar wind approach this invisible shield at supersonic speeds, they re heated up and slowed down, producing something akin to a sonic boom.
Credit Omar Almaini/University of NottinghamSpectacular infrared images of the distant Universe have provided astronomers with the deepest view ever obtained.The data from the Ultra-Deep Survey UDS maps an area four times the size of the full Moon to unprecedented depth.More than 250,000 galaxies have been detected, including several hundred observed within the first billion years after the Big Bang.Now, astronomers around the world will use the images to study the early stages of galaxy formation and evolution.The images were released by astronomers at The University of Nottingham, led by Omar Almaini, Professor of Astrophysics in the School of Physics and Astronomy, and were presented at the National Astronomy Meeting taking place at the University's Jubilee Campus.
Dubbed the 'roar' of Jupiter, this noise is what the solar winds surrounding the gas giant sound like.The recording has been beamed back to Earth by Nasa's Juno spacecraft and happened during the "bow shock".The shock is where the supersonic solar wind is heated and slowed by Jupiter's magnetic atmosphere."It is analogous to a sonic boom on Earth," Nasa says, which estimates the magnetic field to be 20,000 times as powerful as Earth's field.The Nasa spacecraft has been travelling through space for five years and is set to enter the orbit of Jupiter on July 4.The 445 million-mile 716m km mission officially started on August 5 2011, although by the time it arrives the distance between Earth and the planet has expanded to 540m miles 869m km .