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A call from stars or an interference? Mysterious radio signal puzzles many – Business Standard

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Nobody believes it was ET phoning, but radio astronomers admit they don’t have an explanation yet for a beam of radio waves that apparently came from the direction of the star Proxima Centauri.

“It’s some sort of technological signal. The question is whether it’s Earth technology or technology from somewhere out yonder,” said Sofia Sheikh, a graduate student at Pennsylvania State University leading a team studying the signal. She is part of Breakthrough Listen, a $100 million effort funded by billionaire Yuri Milner, to find alien radio waves. The project has now stumbled on its most intriguing pay dirt yet. Proxima Centauri is an inviting prospect for “out yonder.”

It is the closest known star to the sun, only 4.24 light-years from Earth, part of a triple-star system known as Alpha Centauri.

Proxima has at least two planets, one of which is a rocky world only slightly more massive than Earth.

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NASA to Host Virtual Briefing on February Perseverance Mars Rover Landing – Stockhouse

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PR Newswire

WASHINGTON , Jan. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — NASA is hosting a media briefing on Wednesday, Jan. 27 , at 4:30 p.m. EST to discuss the upcoming landing of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover. The event will air live on NASA TV, the agency’s website, and YouTube .

NASA Logo. (PRNewsFoto/NASA) (PRNewsFoto/) (PRNewsfoto/NASA)

Perseverance lands Feb. 18 , carrying new science instruments and technologies, including the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter on its belly. Perseverance will use a drill on the end of its robotic arm to capture rock and regolith (broken rock and dust) samples in metal tubes, which will be deposited on the surface of Mars for a future mission to collect and return to Earth. The rover will seek signs of ancient life on the Red Planet as a primary goal.

Perseverance was built and managed for NASA by the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California .

Participating in the briefing are:

  • Thomas Zurbuchen , associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters
  • Lori Glaze , director, Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters
  • Matt Wallace , Mars 2020 deputy project manager, JPL
  • Allen Chen , Mars 2020 entry, descent, and landing lead, JPL
  • Ken Farley , Mars 2020 project scientist, Caltech
  • Briony Horgan, Mars 2020 science team member, Purdue University

Media who would like to ask questions via phone during the event must provide their name and affiliation by noon EST Tuesday, Jan. 26 , to Rexana Vizza at rexana.v.vizza@jpl.nasa.gov .

Media and the public also may ask questions on social media during the briefing using #CountdownToMars.

To learn more about Perseverance, visit:

https://nasa.gov/perseverance

and

https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/

Cision View original content to download multimedia: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nasa-to-host-virtual-briefing-on-february-perseverance-mars-rover-landing-301209516.html

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NASA Curiosity rover celebrates 3000th day on Mars with stunning panorama of planet – Barrie 360 – Barrie 360

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Sophie Lewis – CBS News

NASA’s Curiosity rover just celebrated a major milestone — 3,000 days on the surface of Mars. To mark the occasion, the space agency has released a stunning new panorama of the red planet, captured by the rover. 

Curiosity landed on Mars on August 6, 2012. However, scientists track its activities in Martian days, called “sols,” which are a bit longer than Earth days, at 24 hours and 39 minutes. 

The epic new panorama, released by the space agency on Tuesday, captures the view of the 96-mile-wide Gale Crater and part of Mount Sharp, its central mountain. It was taken by Curiosity’s eyes, AKA the Mast Camera. 

This panorama, made up of 122 individual images stitched together, was taken by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover on November 18, 2020, the 2,946th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. NASA/JPL-CALTECH/MSSS

Curiosity has been gradually climbing and exploring the 3-mile-tall Mount Sharp since 2014. Its most recent find, captured in the panorama, is a series of distinctive “bench-like rock formations,” which can form due to erosion, as well as landslides. 

The mountain’s rock layers were shaped by bodies of water billions of years ago. “Curiosity’s team has seen benches before in Gale Crater, but rarely forming such a scenic grouping of steps,” NASA said.  

“Our science team is excited to figure out how they formed and what they mean for the ancient environment within Gale,” said Curiosity’s project scientist, Ashwin Vasavada of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 

The panorama is actually a composite of 122 images taken by Curiosity on November 18. After it was taken, the rover continued to higher ground, working its way toward the next major layer, called the “sulfate-bearing unit.” 

Since its mission began, Curiosity has been in search of conditions that may have once supported life, gathering rock samples along the way to analyze.

It’s had a number of major accomplishments, including finding evidence the planet once had persistent liquid water, discovering that the planet was once suitable for life and finding organic carbon molecules, the building blocks of life. It also found present and active methane in the red planet’s atmosphere, detected radiation levels that could post health risks to humans, and concluded that Mars’ atmosphere used to be much thicker than it is today. 

Curiosity will soon be joined by its sibling rover, Perseverance, when it lands on the red planet in February. Perseverance is designed to bring samples from Mars back to Earth, marking the first round-trip mission to another planet.

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In Photos: Hubble Captures Echoes Of Violent Supernova ‘Fireworks’ That Lit-Up Night Sky In The Third Century – Forbes

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The Hubble Space Telescope has captured light from a supernova blast—an exploding star—that would have been seen from Earth 1,700 years ago.

Although there are no known records of anyone seeing it, a cosmic explosion that’s been compared to fireworks would have been visible to people in Earth’s southern hemisphere.

It’s now visible to the Hubble Space telescope as a delicate greenish-blue shell—a supernova remnant (SNR)—in a nearby galaxy to the Milky Way called the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC).

The SNR is called 1E0102.2-7219, or E0102 for short. Here’s everything you need to know about how Hubble’s spectacular images have been used to precisely date an incredible supernova explosion.

What and where is E0102?

E0102 is the leftovers of a massive explosion of a star in a nearby dwarf galaxy—the SMC.

The images from Hubble show the aftermath of a supernova—the dissipating energy has created a spectacular display of greenish-blue filaments.

The above image of part of the SMC shows that E0102 is “close”—about 50 light-years—from a massive star-forming region of glowing hydrogen emission called N 76 and Henize. You can see that as the pink-ish section in the upper-right of the image. E0102 is at the center of the image.

What do we know about the star?

Not much, though it may have been a Wolf-Rayet star—a very large and old star made from heavy elements that had probably blown-off its hydrogen before the explosion.

Astronomers think that because the colors of E0102 indicate that it was rich in oxygen rather than hydrogen and helium.

How did astronomers use Hubble’s images?

Although E0102 was previously known about, its age was unknown. Treating E0102 as forensic evidence, astronomers used Hubble’s observations of E0102 taken a decade apart to calculate the cloud’s expansion rate.

They did that by calculating how fast 22 separate oxygen-rich knots of debris in the SNR had moved in 10 years. They then traced it back to the point in space where the progenitor star must have exploded.

Why Hubble’s longevity was so crucial

“A prior study compared images taken years apart with two different cameras on Hubble, the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 and the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS),” said Danny Milisavljevic of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, one of the leaders of the research team whose paper was presented yesterday at the 237th meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

“But our study compares data taken with the same camera, the ACS, making the comparison much more robust; the knots were much easier to track using the same instrument,” he said.

“It’s a testament to the longevity of Hubble that we could do such a clean comparison of images taken 10 years apart.”

What is the SMC?

The Small Magellanic Cloud is a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way. It’s about 200,000 light-years away in the constellation Tucana. It’s really easy to see in the night skies in the southern hemisphere.

Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.

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