Futurology ~ space adventures, tech strides and uncovering the past


Saturn’s moon Enceladus has had warm water for potentially billions of years

In space news, an incredible gravitational technique has revealed the oldest spiral galaxy on record so far. Thanks to gravity’s light-bending properties, scientists have spotted a confounding thing in the distance that appears to be the oldest spiral yet. And a remarkable ‘new’ Supernova has also been discovered. Warm water has existed on Saturn’s moon Enceladus for potentially billions of years – with surprising frequency, this ice-covered moon spurts a plume of water into space in a sign that a global ocean should lie beneath.
Australia wants a spaceport in Arnhem Land . The Arnhem Space Centre will be built on the Dhupuma Plateau on the Gulkala escarpment in north east Arnhem Land. The land has been leased to Gumatj Corporation which plans to sublease part of it to Equatorial Launch Australia Pty Ltd. The site is particularly useful for rocket launches as the closer launches get to the equator, the more these launches can make use of the Earth’s rotation by launching east.

In tech news, ‘Quark Fusion’ Produces Eight Times More Energy Than Nuclear Fusion: This new source of energy, according to researchers Marek Karliner and Jonathan Rosner, comes from the fusion of subatomic particles known as quarks. These particles are usually produced as a result of colliding atoms that move at high speeds within the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), where these component parts split from their parent atoms. It doesn’t stop there, however, as these disassociated quarks also tend to collide with one another and fuse into particles called baryons. It is this fusion of quarks that Karliner and Rosner focused on, as they found that this fusion is capable of producing energy even greater than what’s produced in hydrogen fusion.
IBM raises the bar with a 50-Qubit Quantum Computer, but the announcement does not mean quantum computing is ready for common use. The system IBM has developed is still extremely finicky and challenging to use. Nonetheless, 50 qubits is a significant landmark in progress toward practical quantum computers.
Rocket man … Richard Browning, test pilot for the British tech company Gravity Industries and ‘real life Iron Man’ just set the Guinness World Record for fastest jetpack flight.
Browning made three attempts with the jetpack on before hitting 51.53kph (32.02mph) while flying over a lake near Lagoona Park in Reading, England recently. His last attempt even caused him to go for a dip in the water, but Browning explained that failure is just what happens “when you’re trying to push boundaries.”
Bacterial mosquitoes released: The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the use of a common bacterium to kill wild mosquitoes that transmit viruses such as dengue, yellow fever and Zika. On November 3rd, the agency told biotechnology start-up MosquitoMate it could release the bacterium Wolbachia pipientis into the environment as a tool against the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus).
Pioneering hospital robot: Tug can’t talk philosophy with you, and Tug can’t do your laundry. But Tug is a pioneer because in hospitals around the world, this robot is helping nurses and doctors care for patients by autonomously delivering food and drugs, shouldering the burden of time-consuming mundanity. And now, it’s rolling more and more into hotels, so get ready to see more of Tug.
The US Airforces wants lasers on its fighter jets by 2021. The Force’s scientific research wing is giving Lockheed Martin $US26.3 million “for the design, development, and production of a high power fibre laser” which it expects to start testing on a tactical fighter jet in four years.

Retrofuturism: using tech to further uncover the past — Art restoration experts need to strip old varnish off old paintings and reapply it when a painting becomes unsightly. In a Twitter video posted by Philip Mould, the art dealer and Fake or Fortune? host showed just how dramatic this transformation can be.
Why were male wooly mammoths more often trapped than female? While conducting an analysis of woolly mammoth DNA, European researchers noticed something a little strange. A disproportionate number of male mammoths were found preserved in traps, such as holes and bogs. The explanation, say the researchers, can be be tied to the behaviour of their distant relatives, modern elephant.

 

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