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Science

Space

A better tool for more accurate planet hunting

A new calibration tool developed by researchers at the Carnegie Institute is set to have a big impact in the hunt for exoplanets. The technology allows astronomers to use a longer wavelength of light when analyzing distant stars, making it possible to pick out false positives in results.Read More

Space

Prototype moon buggy saved from junkyard goes to auction

When the Apollo 15 mission landed on the moon in July 1971, it took with it the first ever vehicle to be driven by humans on another world; the lunar roving vehicle (LRV). In the long and complex history prior to that event, however, NASA commissioned the construction of a range of test vehicles for the Apollo program, many of which were eventually scrapped once their experimental use was concluded. One such vehicle – a mid-1960s LRV prototype – ended up in the hands of a junkyard dealer who decided not to break it down for scrap but, instead, held on to it for some years. "Rediscovered" late in 2015, the long-lost prototype is now headed for auction where it is expected to fetch at least US$125,000. Read More

Space

Lockheed Martin component brings Webb Space Telescope into focus

A key component of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) came through its latest tests at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center with flying colors. According to Lockheed Martin, the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) instrument exceeded its requirements as it went through its Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) testing and will now be integrated into the telescope's instrument cluster for combined testing.Read More

Electronics

Ultrasound makes for palm-based computer displays you can feel

From buzzing phones to quivering console controllers, haptic feedback has become indispensable in modern computing, and developers are already wondering how it will be felt in systems of the future. Sending ultrasound waves through the back of the hand to deliver tactile sensations to the front might sound a little far-fetched, but by achieving just that UK scientists claim to have cleared the way for computers that use our palms as advanced interactive displays.Read More

Space

Kepler stable after being rescued from Emergency Mode

It was action stations for the Kepler mission team last Thursday when, during a scheduled contact, it was discovered the Kepler spacecraft was in Emergency Mode (EM). NASA subsequently declared a spacecraft emergency, giving engineers priority access to its Deep Space Network ground-based communications system. The spacecraft was successfully recovered from EM on Sunday morning and is now in a stable state, however, it is still unclear what triggered the craft's brief departure from regular operations.

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Medical

Looking to love handles to treat diabetes

If a patient has Type 1 diabetes, then their ability to produce insulin is inhibited, usually by a loss of beta cells in the pancreas. Researchers have been looking at ways to replace the lost population of cells, but the process is difficult, often requiring the patient's immune system to be suppressed in order to be effective. Now, researchers at ETH Zurich have made a big breakthrough, successfully creating functional beta cells using stem cells extracted from the fatty tissue of a 50 year-old patient.Read More

Environment

Today's CO2 may become tomorrow's concrete

As carbon emissions continue to rise and cause the planet to warm up, we need to find ways to reduce them. Capturing carbon at the source of its emission is one of the solutions, but there is still the problem of storing all the carbon sucked out of the atmosphere. If that captured carbon could be put to good use, then perhaps we could have the perfect capturing system in place. This is the line of thinking that researchers at University of California (UCLA) are currently pursuing, and they have some big plans for all that carbon: turning it into concrete.Read More

Space

Cassini orbit not influenced by phantom planet

NASA has released a statement casting doubt on a theory put forward by French astronomers that analyzed anomalies in the trajectory of the Cassini spacecraft in order to determine the general location of the unconfirmed solar system body "Planet Nine."Read More

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

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