Science

Pathfinder mission to study solar energetic particles is ready

Pathfinder mission to study solar energetic particles is ready

NASA is talking about a new joint project it's going to be conducting with the Naval Research Laboratory that's dedicated to studying the origin of solar energetic particles. The mission is called the UVSC Pathfinder, UVSC is short for Ultraviolet Spectro-Coronagraph Pathfinder. The mission is ready to launch and will head into orbit by tagging along with STPSat-6, which is the primary spacecraft in the Space Test Program-3 DoD mission.

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Astronomers have discovered an exoplanet candidate in Messier 51

Astronomers have discovered an exoplanet candidate in Messier 51

NASA has announced that scientists have discovered a planet transiting a star that lies outside the Milky Way galaxy for the first time. The exoplanet candidate was discovered orbiting a star in a spiral galaxy called Messier 51 (M51). That galaxy is also known as the Whirlpool Galaxy because of its distinctive appearance.

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Researchers develop a concept to make rocket fuel on Mars

Researchers develop a concept to make rocket fuel on Mars

The biggest challenge for a sustained human presence on Mars or the moon is how to bring enough supplies to sustain humans. One of the biggest challenges is bringing enough fuel for the rocket transporting the crew to Mars and having enough left over for the return trip. Many scientists believe the answer to that question is to harvest some of the materials needed for a sustained presence on the Red Planet from the planet itself.

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Blue Origin reveals private space station: ISS, meet Orbital Reef

Blue Origin reveals private space station: ISS, meet Orbital Reef

Blue Origin announced today that it has plans to build its own space station. Teaming with Sierra Space and backed by various companies and organizations, including Boeing, Redwire Space, Genesis Engineering Solutions, and Arizona State University, Orbital Reef is described as a "'mixed use business park' in space," according to Blue Origin's announcement today.

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Our solar system may be surrounded by a magnetic tunnel

Our solar system may be surrounded by a magnetic tunnel

An astronomer from the Dunlap Institute named Doctor Jennifer West has a new theory that proposes our solar system could be surrounded by what she describes as a magnetic tunnel. The tunnel-like structure can be seen in radio waves. According to Doctor West, two bright structures seen on opposite sides of the sky that were previously believed to be separate are connected and made of rope-like filaments.

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New solid-state battery material is sourced from trees

New solid-state battery material is sourced from trees

One of the most abundant renewable resources we have on the planet is trees. Tree farms worldwide grow all types of trees for use in making construction materials, paper, and a litany of other items. Researchers from Brown University are working to create batteries that could be used for electric vehicles and other more efficient and safer products than today's lithium-ion batteries. The problem with lithium-ion batteries today is that they can overheat and catch fire when damaged.

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Astronomers discover one of the youngest planets ever

Astronomers discover one of the youngest planets ever

Astronomers from around the world led by a team from the University of Hawaii at Manoa have discovered one of the youngest planets ever found. The planet is called 2M0437b, and astronomers are using data gleaned from its study to learn more about the origins of the solar system and our planet. Researchers analyzed light from the planet to learn about its composition and glean details about how it formed in the accretion disk that surrounded its star in the distant past.

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Researchers solve the mystery of Bennu’s lack of regolith

Researchers solve the mystery of Bennu’s lack of regolith

The NASA OSIRIS-REx mission ran into a surprising discovery when it visited asteroid Bennu in late 2018. Mission planners believed the asteroid's surface would have been abundant in fine sand and pebbles, similar to a sandy beach here on Earth. However, when the mission arrived, mission controllers discovered the surface of the asteroid was covered in boulders and lacked the fine regolith expected.

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Study outlines a new way to control light using black phosphorus

Study outlines a new way to control light using black phosphorus

Caltech professor Harry Atwater and a team of co-authors published a new paper describing a new method of controlling light using an extremely thin material. In the research, the scientists used three layers of phosphorus atoms creating material capable of polarizing light that is tunable, precise, and thin. One of the best examples of a common item we are all familiar with that relies on polarized light to create readable characters is the screen of a calculator.

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Residue found in 2.5 billion-year-old ruby linked to ancient life

Residue found in 2.5 billion-year-old ruby linked to ancient life

We know the earliest life that appeared on the surface of our planet wasn't complex life as we know it today. Rather, ancient life would've been much simpler than humans, plants, and various animals. Scientists have made a very interesting discovery while analyzing some of the oldest colored gemstones in the world.

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NASA announces Lunabotics Junior Contest to design moon robots

NASA announces Lunabotics Junior Contest to design moon robots

NASA has announced a new contest open to students in grades K-12 in public and private schools around the country, as well as homeschooled children. The contest is called the Lunabotics Junior Contest and seeks input from students to design a robot concept to support excavation on the moon. NASA knows in the future, when travel to the moon is again common, we will need to be able to construct habitats and other structures on the moon.

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New research finds humans didn’t cause woolly mammoth extinction

New research finds humans didn’t cause woolly mammoth extinction

The woolly mammoth is an ancient ancestor of modern elephants covered with fur that roamed the ancient Earth alongside early humans. The massive creatures roamed the Earth for 5 million years before going extinct four thousand years ago. Some have speculated that the reason the woolly mammoth went extinct was from overhunting by ancient humans.

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