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Tag Archives: Technology

Astronomers use Earthquakes to Understand Glitches on Neutron Stars

Simulation of a possible quadrupole magnetic field configuration for a pulsar with hot spots in only the southern hemisphere. Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center A team of astronomers have used a model of earthquakes to understand glitches in the timing of pulsars. Their results suggest that pulsars may have interiors that are far stranger than can be imagined. Pulsars ...

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How Can We Know if We’re Looking at Habitable exo-Earths or Hellish exo-Venuses?

The differences between Earth and Venus are obvious to us. One is radiant with life and adorned with glittering seas, and the other is a scorching, glowering hellhole, its volcanic surface shrouded by thick clouds and visible only with radar. But the difference wasn’t always clear. In fact, we used to call Venus Earth’s sister planet. Can astronomers tell exo-Earths ...

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Space station astronauts finish preps for next pair of new solar arrays

Astronaut Koichi Wakata, in foreground at right, works on the space station’s truss during a spacewalk Thursday. Astronaut Nicole Mann is visible in the background at left. Credit: NASA TV / Spaceflight Now Continuing work left over from a spacewalk last month, astronauts Nicole Mann and Koichi Wakata headed outside the International Space Station Thursday to finish installing a mounting ...

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Don’t Bother Trying to Destroy Rubble Pile Asteroids

The asteroids in our Solar System are survivors. They’ve withstood billions of years of collisions. The surviving asteroids are divided into two groups: monolithic asteroids, which are intact chunks of planetesimals, and rubble piles, which are made of up fragments of shattered primordial asteroids. It turns out there are far more rubble pile asteroids than we thought, and that raises ...

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Astronomers Find 25 Fast Radio Bursts That Repeat on a Regular Basis

Like Gravitational Waves (GWs) and Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs), Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are one of the most powerful and mysterious astronomical phenomena today. These transient events consist of bursts that put out more energy in a millisecond than the Sun does in three days. While most bursts last mere milliseconds, there have been rare cases where FRBs were found repeating. ...

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Does Failing to Detect Aliens Mean We’ll Never Be Contacted?

Image of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Parkes radio telescope taken in 1969. (Credit: CSIRO; licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.) In a recent paper submitted to The Astronomical Journal in November 2022, a scientist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne quantifies how the Earth has not heard a radio signal from ...

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A Novel Propulsion System Would Hurl Hypervelocity Pellets at a Spacecraft to Speed it up

Today, multiple space agencies are investigating cutting-edge propulsion ideas that will allow for rapid transits to other bodies in the Solar System. These include NASA’s Nuclear-Thermal or Nuclear-Electric Propulsion (NTP/NEP) concepts that could enable transit times to Mars in 100 days (or even 45) and a nuclear-powered Chinese spacecraft that could explore Neptune and its largest moon, Triton. While these ...

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Titan’s Dragonfly Test, New Nuclear Rocket, Shadow Universe

The Titan Dragonfly is coming together, NASA is considering a new kind of nuclear rocket, getting more warning for solar flares, and pinpointing carbon emissions from space. Titan Helicopter Starts to Come Together A nuclear-powered helicopter called Dragonfly is coming to Titan soon. The mission is planned for launch in 2027, so we’re starting to see it come together. NASA ...

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A new way to Peer Into the Permanently Shadowed Craters on the Moon, Searching for Deposits of Water ice

Not all flashlights are created equal. Some are stronger, consume more power, or have features such as blinking or strobes. Some aren’t even meant for humans, such as a new project that recently received funding from a NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Phase I award. Designed by the Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC), this flashlight doesn’t emit visible light, ...

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