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David Szondy

Space

Is this what Planet 9 looks like?

In January, Caltech professor Mike Brown and assistant professor Konstanin Batygin claimed to have found evidence of a ninth planet in the outer Solar System. But if it's there, what is it like and why hasn't it been spotted yet? A possible answer comes from a pair of astrophysicists at the University of Bern, who used models developed for studying exoplanets to determine the structure of the hypothetical Planet 9.Read More

Space

Falcon 9 nails barge landing as Dragon returns to space

SpaceX scored a double first today as the Dragon spacecraft returned to service and the Falcon 9 booster nailed the first ever powered landing at sea. At 4:43 pm EDT, the CRS-8 mission lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 40 in Florida for the International Space Station (ISS) and after delivering the unmanned cargo ship into orbit the Falcon 9 first stage rocket made a safe touchdown on the drone barge "Of Course I Still Love You" stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.Read More

Robotics

Robots simultaneously 3D-printed from both solids and liquids

Robots have a tremendous potential, but if a way can't be found to manufacture them quickly, cheaply, and in large numbers, that potential may remain exactly that. To that end, MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) has come up with a new way to make soft, hydraulically-powered robots in one step using commercial 3D printers that can print solid and liquid parts simultaneously.Read More

Collectibles

Historic flintlock pistols take aim at auction record

A pair of early superbly-crafted 19th century rifled flintlock pistols that link three of the greatest revolutionary heroes of the New World are headed for auction at Christie's in New York. The presentation pair of pistols given by General Marie Paul Joseph Gilbert Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, to Simon Bolivar, will go under the hammer on April 13, with estimates putting the price at a record-setting level of between US$1.5 million and $2.5 million.Read More

Materials

Sweet technique inspired by bonbons yields better polymer shells

Inspired by a centuries-old technique used by chocolatiers to create chocolate shells for bonbons and other sweets, engineers have developed a new technique for making polymer films that are both uniform and predictable. According to the researchers, the new theory and method can not only allow confectioners to precisely control the thickness of bonbon casings, but can be more generally applied to create polymer shells for everything from drug capsules to rocket bodies.Read More

Computers

Britain's first mass produced computer goes on public display

A pioneering piece of first-generation computer hardware was re-introduced to the public today. Almost 63 years after it made its debut at a trade show, the prototype of Britain's first mass-produced business computer is now on display at The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) at Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes, about 50 miles north of London. The Hollerith Electronic Computer (HEC-1) was Britain's most commercially successful early computer and the first to be installed in many countries, such as India, New Zealand, and those in East Africa.Read More

Space

Activate cloaking device: Hiding Earth from unfriendly aliens using lasers

In recent years, mankind has become very good at finding other planets. Using instruments like the Kepler Space Telescope, scientists have, to date, discovered over 2,000 planets outside our Solar System, but what if some of those planets are inhabited by beings we'd rather not talk to, much less have drop in? Just in case any potential visitors are less ET and more Aliens, a pair of Columbia University scientists have figured out how to use lasers to hide the Earth from prying eyes by camouflaging its light signature.Read More

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