Combing starlight with lasers to find exoplanets — In April 2015, two so-called laser frequency combs were installed at the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) planet-finding instrument of the European Southern Observatory’s 3.6m telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile. ESO explains what these devices and the spectra they produce are good for.
~ Just don’t get it in the eyes of any alien pilots or there’ll be hell to pay.
Black hole shooting matter into matter — Recently, after piecing together a string of pictures, have we seen what’s really happening. The black hole at the centre of NGC 3862 galaxy has been shooting out massive jets of plasma for a long time. The ejections form bundles like glowing bullets. In the last two decades, the black hole has ejected one ‘bullet’ so fast it has smashed into the back of the previous bullet, causing them both to glow.
~ And don’t annoy this thing with lasers either.
Ceres’ pockmarked surface — NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is getting progressively closer to Ceres, and getting some amazing views — this remarkably detailed shot (main picture, above) shows the dwarf planet’s cratered surface from a distance of only 5100 kms.
The shot, taken by Dawn’s OpNav9 camera on May 23, shows some previously unseen features including secondary craters formed by the re-impact of debris strewn from larger impact sites.
~ But where’s the oasis? I do see a rather large capitol Y near top centre.
And Pluto gets inspected too — NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has traveled 32 million kilometres since it last beamed back images of Pluto. The latest set of photos hint at a complicated and high-contrast surface and includes more evidence in support of the theory that the dwarf planet features a bright polar cap.
~ Much better images to arrive in a few months as it gets closer.
Four plausible ways to travel faster than light — It’s one of the cardinal laws of physics and the underlying principle of Einstein’s relativity itself: the fact that there’s a universal speed limit to the motion of anything through space and time, the speed of light, or c. Light itself will always move at this speed (as well as certain other phenomena, like the force of gravity), while anything with mass — like all known particles of matter and antimatter — will always move slower than that. But there are real, physical phenomena that do exactly this, while remaining perfectly consistent with relativity.
~ I have a fifth: in your imagination.
Land art cuts aeroplane noise near Amsterdam — A study conducted by the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research found that low frequency and long wavelength jet engine droning noise was significantly reduced after farmers plowed their fields near Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport in autumn. The furrows’ multiple ridges absorbed sound waves, deflected the sound and muted the noise.
This led to the development of the Buitenschot Land Art Park, a buffer park featuring “land art” has significantly reduced aircraft noise without requiring cuts in the number of allowed flights in and out of the airport.
~ Plus it looks amazing, below.
New memory alloy springs back into shape even after 10 million bends — Memory alloys that spring back into a pre-defined shape are nothing new, but regular bending means they fatigue and fail within a relatively short time-scale. Now, a team of engineers has developed an alloy that rebounds into shape even after 10 million bends.
~ Disinter Spring Heeled Jack – he gets a new lease of life!
Computer chips made of wood — Researchers in the US and China have developed semiconductor chips made almost entirely made of a wood-derived material. In addition to being biodegradable, the cost of production is much less than conventional semiconductors.
~ I wonder where Cellulose Valley will spring up?
Human cell raging revered — Professor Jun-Ichi Hayashi of the University of Tsukuba in Japan has discovered the regulation of two genes involved with the production of glycine are partly responsible for some of the characteristics of waging, and he has been able to “flip the switches on a few genes back to their youthful position, effectively reversing the aging process.”
~ I just dream of a younger self when I sleep. It’s much cheaper.