Western University has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to build a high-tech camera that may be used on rovers for future missions on the moon.
“We’ve not had something on the surface of the moon built by Canada ever,” said Gordon Osinski, director of Western University’s Institute for Earth and Space Exploration.
“A lot of people don’t know about London, Ontario and Western really becoming an epicentre for space research in Canada and internationally,” he added.
The camera, otherwise known as an integrated vision system, will be able to capture shorter and longer wavelengths compared to a typical smartphone camera, allowing researchers to get a better look at the composition of the moon’s surface.
In addition, it will also have a Light Detection and Ranging component to help researchers explore the moon at night and areas where there are shadows.
“Some of the most scientifically interesting places on the moon are these permanently shadowed regions near both poles where we think there might be water hiding away,” Osinski said.
Under the 18-month contract, the CSA will provide $690,123 toward the initial design and development of the high-tech camera.
Osinski said one of the challenges researchers will have to figure out is how the camera will survive getting to and staying on the moon’s surface.
“Anything you send to another planet has to withstand the extreme temperatures and radiation, so that really doubles and triples the price you might think of for something here on Earth,” he said.
“We really are only talking about a few years until we see lots of robots and eventually, humans back on the surface of the moon,” he added.
The project is funded through the CSA’s Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program, where $150 million has been allocated over the next five years to help businesses and post-secondary institutions create new technologies that can be used in lunar orbit or on the moon’s surface.
So far, seven contracts have been awarded worth a total of $4.36 million.
Remains of small armor-plated dinosaur found in Argentina – Mint Lounge
Buenos Aires, Reuters: Paleontologists on Thursday heralded the discovery of a previously unknown small armored dinosaur in southern Argentina, a creature that likely walked upright on its back legs roaming a then-steamy landscape about 100 million years ago.
The Cretaceous Period dinosaur, named Jakapil kaniukura, would have been well-protected with rows of bony disk-shaped armor along its neck and back and down to its tail, they said. It measured about 5 feet (1.5 meters) long and weighed only 9 to 15 pounds (4-7 kg), similar to an average house cat.
Its fossilized remains were dug up over the past decade near a dam in Patagonia in Rio Negro province’s La Buitrera paleontological zone. The scientists described Jakapil in a study published in the journal Scientific Reports (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-022-15535-6.pdf.)
The scientists said Jakapil marks a first-of-its-kind discovery of an armored dinosaur from the Cretaceous in South America. It is part of the thyreophoran dinosaur group that includes the likes of Stegosaurus, known for its bony back plates and spiky tail, and tank-like Ankylosaurus, covered in armor and wielding a club-like tail.
Lead paleontologist Sebastian Apesteguia and his colleagues found a partial skeleton of Jakapil along with 15 tooth fragments featuring a leaf-like shape, similar to iguana teeth.
Jakapil resembles a primitive form of thyreophoran that lived much earlier, making it a surprise that it dated from the Cretaceous. Apesteguia said never before has such a thyreophoran been dug up anywhere in the southern hemisphere.
(Reporting by Miguel Lo Bianco; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Will Dunham for Reuters)
Perseid meteor shower of 2022 thrills stargazers despite bright moon (photos) – Space.com
The Perseid meteor shower of the 2022 reached its peak this weekend and while the bright full moon may have washed out the best of the “shooting stars” display this year, that doesn’t mean skywatchers were left completely in the dark.
Stargazers around the world captured some dazzling views of the Perseid meteor shower as it peaked overnight Friday and Saturday (Aug. 12-13) and they shared the photos to prove it. Some observers took to Twitter to share their meteor views while other astrophotographers snapped truly stunning photos for Getty Images.
“Perseid fireball I saw last night from Oxfordshire,” skywatcher Mary McIntyre of Oxfordhire in the United Kingdom wrote (opens in new tab) on Twitter, adding that she captured the Perseid photos with a meteor camera. “The ionization trail was awesome.”
The Perseid meteor shower is typically one of the best meteor displays of the year, but its peak in 2022 came just one day after the Sturgeon supermoon (August’s full moon) on Aug. 11. Since dark skies are vital for meteor watching, even bright moonlight can dim a stargazers prospects.
Photographer Wu Zhengjie for the photo service VCG and Getty Images still managed to capture stunning views of the Perseids from the Eboliang Yardang landform in Haixi Mongolian and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province of China. The images show brilliant Perseid meteors over a striking landscape.
Image 1 of 2
Image 1 of 2
Another photographer, Veysel Altun of the Anadalou Agency and Getty Images, managed to capture a Perseid meteor streak over a campsite in Samsun, Turkey.
Photographer Ercin Ertuk, also of the Anadalou Agency and Getty Images, snapped a photo of a Perseid as it streaked across the sky over trees in Ankara, Turkey.
Still more stargazers managed to catch views of the Perseids with either their own cameras or meteor cameras that constantly watch the sky to record fireballs. Here’s a look at some of our favorites spotted on Twitter.
This pebble came an awful long way before giving me a neat little show last week. Luckily, there were lots of meteors during the #perseid build up, because during the peak tonight it will be tough to see all but the brightest with the full moon in the sky @BBCStargazing pic.twitter.com/n2iFVBi0p0August 12, 2022
#Perseid peak night. It’s something, I guess. The full Moon made this bright, and we were lucky to get any clear skies being under a cutoff low in any case. Fireballs avoided most of my cameras, but I got them with the 8 mm fisheye. Two -4 mag, one -3 mag Perseids. @ThePhotoHour pic.twitter.com/rbU45Npm5QAugust 13, 2022
Mag -4.8 #Perseid #fireball I saw last night from #Oxfordshire It was detected on our NW #meteorcamera The ionization trail was awesome (I’ll share next!) Canon 1100D + 18-55mm lens 8sec ISO-800 f/3.5 #PerseidMeteorShower #Meteors #Perseids2022 pic.twitter.com/lv2cbkcDsMAugust 13, 2022
Another #Perseid #IonizationTrail this time at 23:54 BST 11th Aug 2022. Taken from #Oxfordshire UK with Canon 1100D #PerseidMeteorShower #Meteors #Perseids2022 pic.twitter.com/m1ruM4kSTKAugust 12, 2022
Two #Perseid #Meteors on 2 different DSLRs, both just before 22:30 BST 11th Aug ’22. This is 2 of the 6 #Perseids I got on camera last night #Perseids2022 #PerseidMeteorShower pic.twitter.com/L1CB0IM31vAugust 12, 2022
A wider approach last night #perseid #meteors with the 2nd 📷Good field of view albeit less detail.2 Cameras planned tonight, wide & not so 👌EM-1 mk3, 8mm pro F1.8, ISO320, 15s x 5hrs live composite mode@VirtualAstro @OMSYSTEMcameras pic.twitter.com/4hiJh6iS6MAugust 12, 2022
The Perseid meteor shower occurs each year in mid-August when the Earth passes through the dusty trail of the Comet Swift-Tuttle. When those comet bits slam into Earth’s atmosphere, they can spawn bright trails as the streak across the sky. They appear to radiate out from the constellation Perseus, hence their name.
The next major meteor shower of 2022 will be the Orionid meteor shower in October. That shower will peak on Oct. 20 and 21, but its activity period runs from Sept. 26 to Nov. 22. It is caused by the remnants of Halley’s Comet as the Earth passes through that trail.
Check out our guide for the best meteor showers of the year to prepare for your next stargazing experience.
Editor’s note: If you snap an amazing photo of a Perseid meteor or any other night-sky sight and you’d like to share it with Space.com for a story or image gallery, send images, comments and location information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Email Tariq Malik at email@example.com (opens in new tab) or follow him @tariqjmalik (opens in new tab). Follow us @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab), Facebook (opens in new tab) and Instagram (opens in new tab).
B.C. poet illuminates pages of popular scientific magazine with verses about the nature of light – CBC.ca
On clear summer nights, poet Donna Kane sleeps on the front deck of her farmhouse in Rolla, B.C., in an old-fashioned bed under a blue quilt printed with crescent moons.
The writer draws inspiration from looking at the sky in this northern part of the province, more than 750 kilometres distant from Vancouver.
“I feel connected. I feel like I’m part of something bigger than myself, and I feel comforted by that. You’re looking at the origins of light when you’re lying there, looking up at the stars,” Kane said.
Kane’s musings about star light in the night sky inspired her to write a poem that blends scientific principles and the human experience of light’s reflection — a poem that now appears in a respected U.S. science magazine.
The poem, On Visible Light, was published in the July edition of Scientific American magazine, alongside more traditional scholarly research on the thermodynamic limit, momentum computing and interstellar space.
For Kane, the inclusion of her poem is proof that literature and science are more closely connected than many people believe.
“I’ve always thought science and art are very, very similar, trying to discover the mysteries of the world and the universe. They both have that urge,” Kane told CBC News.
“Poetry explores. Ideas can emerge from really good poems that maybe scientists hadn’t really thought of in that same way.”
Kane’s poem is a villanelle, a structured type of poem with refrains and a strict rhyming pattern, a form that dates back hundreds of years. She weaves together science and imagery with lines like “Just a slice of electromagnetic/ wavelength and sight is ours, a blindness gone/ at the end of travelling through our nights.”
Its appearance in the pages of Scientific American, which has more than eight million online readers worldwide each month, has brought Kane stratospheric exposure.
“I’m pretty sure I’m never going to get a bigger audience than that,” said Kane. “Usually the reach of poetry is very small.”
The editor of Scientific American’s poetry column, Dava Sobel, told CBC News that Kane’s poem is “gorgeous.”
“It’s emotionally evocative and yet scientifically informative. And it adheres to a very strict poetic form. So it’s a difficult thing to achieve. But she’s really done it,” said Sobel, a former science writer for the New York Times who was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
Sobel, who had astronaut Neil Armstrong write the forward to one of her books and also has an asteroid named after her, believes that poetry can illuminate science.
“Creativity flows smoothly between those two,” she said.
Sobel said Scientific American published poetry in its very first issue in 1845 but only featured rarely since, until she launched a monthly science poetry column in the magazine in 2020.
Since then, in addition to Kane’s villanelle, she’s included poems written by Nobel Prize winners in chemistry and physics.
“Poetry should not be off limits to anybody, nor should science,” she said.
Even though it’s an imaginative work, Kane’s poem still had to meet the bar for accuracy and was rigorously fact checked by Scientific American before it was published.
“They’re pretty serious that … what you’ve written is accurate. You can do playful things, but the poem has to stand up to the actual science,” said Kane.
The poet said she’s always loved science and has written other works about space.
Her 2020 book, Orrery: Poems, featured a number of pieces about Pioneer 10, a space probe launched to study Jupiter’s moons. It was a finalist for a Governor General’s Award for English-language poetry.
One of her space-themed poems will be included in a forthcoming anthology published by Cambridge University Press.
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