Alex

  • 18702
Alex
 added a post 

An explosive report featured on CBS News’s “60 Minutes” featured several former U.S. military officials who talked about what the U.S. government knows about unidentified aerial phenomena — UAP —more commonly referred to as UFOs.

The segment comes ahead of a report that the military is supposed to deliver an unclassified report to Congress by next month. Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said in a recent interview that the findings will shock people because “frankly, there are a lot more sightings than have been made public.”

Full Article >>

Alex
 added a post 

Our world is hugged by complex layers of gases that make up the atmosphere. They protect and nurture all life as we know it. Now, we're shrinking an entire one of those layers – the stratosphere – thanks to the profound impacts we are having on our planet.

An alarming new study has found that the thickness of the stratosphere has already shrunk by 400 meters (1,312 feet) since 1980. While local decreases in the stratosphere's thickness have previously been reported, this is the first examination of this phenomenon on a global scale.

"It is shocking," one of the research team, University of Vigo Earth physicist Juan Añel told Damian Carrington at The Guardian. "This proves we are messing with the atmosphere up to 60 kilometers."

Enveloping the sky around 20 to 60 kilometers (12 to 37 miles) above us, the stratosphere blankets the atmospheric layer we're breathing (the troposphere). Few clouds venture this high and only the occasional birds. It holds the all-important ozone layer, which we've already wreaked havoc upon through our emissions of CFCs.

Full Article >>

Alex
 added a post 

On the broad Martian equatorial plain called Elysium Planitia, a huge swath of dark material has been hiding a secret, one that could upend our beliefs about the recent history of Mars.

In research published in April in Icarus a team led by David Horvath of the Planetary Science Institute used Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) images to study rocky debris in the Cerberus Fossae fissures, finding evidence of volcanism on Mars — and what’s more, the Martian eruption happened so recently that ancient humans were already roaming the Earth.

Full Article >>

Alex
 added a post 

An experimental device that turns thoughts into text has allowed a man who was left paralyzed by an accident to construct sentences swiftly on a computer screen.

The man was able to type with 95% accuracy just by imagining he was handwriting letters on a sheet of paper, a team reported Wednesday in the journal Nature.

"What we found, surprisingly, is that [he] can type at about 90 characters per minute," says Krishna Shenoy of Stanford University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The device would be most useful to someone who could neither move nor speak, says Dr. Jaimie Henderson, a neurosurgeon at Stanford and co-director, with Shenoy, of the Stanford Neural Prosthetics Translational Laboratory.

Full Article >>

Alex
 added a post 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has changed his stance on cryptocurrency.

Back in March, Musk announced Tesla was accepting Bitcoin for its electric cars. Earlier this year the EV company even bought $1.5 billion of the cryptocurrency.

On Wednesday afternoon, that all ended. Musk tweeted that the cryptocurrency's "great cost to the environment" meant Tesla won't be offering the payment option for its zero-emissions vehicles.

Full Article >>

Alex
 added a post 

Pandora, one of the world's largest jewelry suppliers, has announced that it will be ditching selling mined diamonds as it launches the company's first-ever lab-created diamonds.

Alexander Lacik, Pandora CEO, told the BBC that this shift was part of a broader sustainability drive at the company. The launch of the sustainably acquired diamonds "marks a new milestone for Pandora as it will no longer be using mined diamonds," the company said in a statement. "Going forward, mined diamonds will no longer be used in Pandora’s products."

Lab-made diamonds are cheaper than traditional diamonds but identical to those dug up from the ground in terms of optical, chemical, thermal, and physical characteristics. They are also graded by the same standards: cut, color, clarity, and carat.

Full Article >>

Alex
 added a post 

Voyager 1, having spent over 43 years zooming away from Earth since its 1977 launch, is now a very long way away indeed.

Its distance from the Sun is over 150 times the distance between Earth and the Sun. It takes over 21 hours for transmissions traveling at light speed to arrive at Earth. It officially passed the heliopause - the boundary at which pressure from the solar wind is no longer sufficient to push into the wind from interstellar space - in 2012.

Voyager 1 has left the Solar System - and it's finding that the void of space is not quite so void-like, after all.

In the latest analysis of data from the intrepid probe, from a distance of nearly 23 billion kilometers (over 14 billion miles), astronomers have discovered, from 2017 onwards, a constant hum from plasma waves in the interstellar medium, the diffuse gas that lurks between the stars.

"It's very faint and monotone, because it is in a narrow frequency bandwidth," said astronomer Stella Koch Ocker of Cornell University. "We're detecting the faint, persistent hum of interstellar gas."

Full Article >>

Alex
 added a post 

SpaceX is claiming it will accept dogecoin — the somewhat satirical but popular cryptocurrency — as payment for an upcoming mission.
A Canadian company called the Geometric Energy Corporation confirmed that it will pay SpaceX solely in dogecoin in order to secure a spot for an 88-pound satellite on a mission, called Doge-1, slated to take off in early 2022. The satellite will "obtain lunar-spatial intelligence from sensors and cameras," according to a press release.
"This is not a joke," Geometric Energy Corporation CEO Samuel Reid said via phone. He declined further comment about the deal.

Dogecoin, however, did start as a joke: The digital currency was founded by two software engineers in 2013, and its value and popularity are inextricably linked to internet memeworthiness and viral social media posts. Still, dogecoin has been propelled into one of the most popular cryptocurrencies on the market, and it counts SpaceX CEO Elon Musk as one of its most vehement and popular supporters. He's frequently shared dogecoin-centric jokes on Twitter and claimed the cryptocurrency is "underestimated."

Full Article >>

Alex
 added a post 

Most Uber drivers need a smartphone to get to their destinations. But sharks, it seems, need nothing more than their own bodies—and Earth’s magnetic field. A new study suggests some sharks can read Earth’s field like a map and use it to navigate the open seas. The result adds sharks to the long list of animals—including birds, sea turtles, and lobsters—that navigate with a mysterious magnetic sense.

“It’s great that they’ve finally done this magnetic field study on sharks,” says Michael Winklhofer, a biophysicist at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg in Germany, who was not involved in the study.

In 2005, scientists reported that a great white shark swam from South Africa to Australia and back again in nearly a straight line—a feat that led some scientists to propose the animals relied on a magnetic sense to steer themselves. And since at least the 1970s, researchers have suspected that the elasmobranchs—a group of fish containing sharks, rays, skates, and sawfish—can detect magnetic fields. But no one had shown that sharks use the fields to locate themselves or navigate, partly because the animals aren’t so easy to work with, Winklhofer says. “It’s one thing if you have a small lobster, or a baby sea turtle, but when you work with sharks, you have to upscale everything.”

Full Article >>

Alex
 added a post 

The semiconductor industry's constant challenge is to make microchips that are smaller, faster, more powerful and more energy efficient — simultaneously.
On Thursday, IBM (IBM) announced it has created a 2-nanometer chip, the smallest, most powerful microchip yet developed.
Most computer chips powering devices today use 10-nanometer or 7-nanometer process technology, with some manufacturers producing 5-nanometer chips. The lower numbers denote smaller, more advanced processors. IBM's new chip uses 2-nanometer process technology, a huge leap forward for the components used to power everything from consumers' smart phones and appliances to supercomputers and transportation equipment.

"There are not many technologies or technological breakthroughs that end up lifting all boats," director of IBM Research Dario Gil said in an interview. "This is an example of one."

Full Article >>

Alex
 added a post 

Our telescopes on Earth and in space may one day welcome a new companion: a massive telescope on the moon. What's extra clever about the Lunar Crater Radio Telescope idea is that the LCRT would use an existing crater on the moon's far side.

On Wednesday, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced the LCRT is receiving $500,000 in Phase II funding through NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts program. While the LCRT isn't an official NASA mission yet, the funding round is a vote of confidence in the idea.

Last year, the LCRT earned $125,000 in Phase I funding to explore the concept of sending robots to the moon's far side to build a telescope out of wire mesh suspended in a crater. The moon is a tempting place to locate a telescope because it could shield the device from Earth's radio signals and it wouldn't have to contend with an atmosphere.

"The LCRT's primary objective would be to measure the long-wavelength radio waves generated by the cosmic Dark Ages -- a period that lasted for a few hundred million years after the Big Bang, but before the first stars blinked into existence," JPL said in a statement.

Full Article >>

Alex
 added a post 

A child whose lifeless body was carefully placed in an East African cave around 78,300 years ago has made a grand return.

Researchers who unearthed the ancient youngster’s remains say that they’ve found the oldest known intentional human burial in Africa. The investigators, who report the discovery in the May 6 Nature, have named the ancient youngster Mtoto, a Swahili word that means “child.”

“Mtoto was buried in a sheltered part of a cave that was repeatedly occupied by people over a span of nearly 80,000 years, up to about 500 years ago,” said archaeologist Michael Petraglia of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, at a May 3 news conference. Local people still visit this spot to worship and conduct rituals.

Full Article >>