Category: LATEST SCIENCE NEWS

Mars will burn bright in the sky tonight as it reaches opposition

Ultra realisic 3d rendering of Mars and Milky way in the backround. Image uses large 46k textures for detailed appereance of the planet surface. Elements of this image furnished by NASA.
Mars will burn brightly in the sky as it reaches opposition (Getty/NASA)

Mars will shine in the sky on Tuesday night as the planet lines up with Earth, looking big and bright as it reaches “opposition”.

Every 26 months, the two planets move close together, until Earth lines up with Mars on the same side of the sun. 

Tuesday night sees the moment of opposition, with the planets lining up at just after 11pm. 

At that point, Mars should be visible to the south east from the UK, astrophotographer Damian Peach told the BBC. 

Peach said, “Even at nine or 10 o’clock in the evening, you’ll easily see it over in the southeast. You can’t miss it, it’s the brightest star-like object in that part of the sky.”

The Red Planet actually made its closest approach to our planet on 6 October, when it was 38,586,816 miles away from Earth

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A Study Shows There’s a 50% Chance We’re Living in a Simulation

Photo credit: Yagi Studio - Getty Images
Photo credit: Yagi Studio – Getty Images

From Popular Mechanics

If real life in 2020 seems like just too much, take comfort in some breaking news: scientists say odds are even that we’re living in a simulation. The coin flip depends a great deal on science we may uncover in the near future, they say.

🤯 The world is f#@!-ing weird. Let’s explore it together.

The 50/50 probability is rounded from a calculation whose outcome is more like 50.22222 to 49.77778. Scientific American cites the landmark 2003 paper “Are We Living in a Computer Simulation?” by philosopher Nick Bostrom. It’s worth reading Bostrom’s brief abstract in full:

“I argue that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to become extinct before reaching a ‘posthuman’ stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of

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Soyuz launch: NASA astronaut, Russian cosmonauts launch to the International Space Station

The launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in southern Kazakhstan occurred at 1:45 am ET on Wednesday.

The trio’s Soyuz capsule docked with the space station at 4:48 a.m. ET. An “ultrafast” rendezvous system helped deliver the crew to the station after just two orbits around the Earth “for the first time in history,” according to Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency.

The hatch between the space station and the capsule will open at 6:45 a.m. ET, allowing them to enter the station.

This is the second spaceflight for Rubins and Ryzhikov and the first for Kud-Sverchkov, and they will spend six months on the space station.

Along for the ride is Yuri, a little cosmonaut knitted by Kud-Sverchkov’s wife Olga. He serves as the crew’s zero gravity indicator. Essentially, once he begins to float, the crew will know they’ve reached space. Each crew gets to pick their own indicator, according to NASA.

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Machine learning model helps characterize compounds for drug discovery

chemical
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Tandem mass spectrometry is a powerful analytical tool used to characterize complex mixtures in drug discovery and other fields.


Now, Purdue University innovators have created a new method of applying machine learning concepts to the tandem mass spectrometry process to improve the flow of information in the development of new drugs. Their work is published in Chemical Science.

“Mass spectrometry plays an integral role in drug discovery and development,” said Gaurav Chopra, an assistant professor of analytical and physical chemistry in Purdue’s College of Science. “The specific implementation of bootstrapped machine learning with a small amount of positive and negative training data presented here will pave the way for becoming mainstream in day-to-day activities of automating characterization of compounds by chemists.”

Chopra said there are two major problems in the field of machine learning used for chemical sciences. Methods used do not provide chemical understanding

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Eight nations, including U.S., sign accords for moon missions

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 13 (UPI) — Eight nations have signed NASA’s new framework to govern lunar exploration missions, the agency’s administrator, Jim Bridenstine, announced Tuesday.

By signing the agreement, the eight nations commit to peaceful activities on the moon and in travel to the moon.

Provisions in the Artemis Accords stipulate that nations, and private companies in those nations, will openly disclose plans for lunar missions, and mine resources on the moon in accordance with the international Outer Space Treaty that dates to 1967.

The accords also commit signing nations to render aid to other nations on the moon if necessary, to minimize space debris and to register all objects taken to the lunar surface.

In addition to the United States, Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, United Arab Emirates and Britain signed the Artemis Accords.

“We are one human race and we are in this together. The Accords help us

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USAJOBS Being Made More User Friendly

USAJOBS, the federal government’s website for job openings, is being revised to make it easier to find and apply for openings.

More than 500 federal agencies use USAJOBS to post job opportunities covering over 600 occupations ranging from student and entry-level jobs to federal executive positions.

Last year in excess of 325,000 jobs that received 17.5 million applications were posted on the site.

Early in this federal fiscal year, which started the first of this month, the portal is planned to include a job status indicator for each listing that would include the number of applicants, the when the job was filled and other information, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office on the site.

The change would improve transparency and accountability and provide applicants with updates at each stage of the hiring process, the Office of Personnel Management, which runs the site, told GAO.

The coming

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Astronomers Observe Star Being ‘Spaghettified’ by a Supermassive Black Hole

Artist’s impression of a star undergoing spaghettification near a supermassive black hole.

Artist’s impression of a star undergoing spaghettification near a supermassive black hole.
Image: ESO

A star 215 million light-years away has been obliterated by a supermassive black hole, making it the closest observation to date of stellar spaghettification.

Spaghettification doesn’t sound very scientific, but it’s a fairly accurate description of what actually happens.

A doomed star caught in the orbit of a supermassive black hole will eventually hit a kind of gravitational sweet spot that turns everything to shit. No longer capable of keeping its physical integrity, the star begins to rapidly collapse in a process known as a fast-evolving tidal disruption event. When this happens, stellar debris bursts out from the star, forming a long, thin stream, half of which gets sucked toward the black hole; the other half is blown back into space. The thin stream eventually catches up to and slams into itself, releasing energy and

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Foldax Named Cardiovascular Device Company of the Year by MedTech Outlook

Foldax® announced today that it has been selected as Company of the Year among 10 cardiovascular device company finalists by MedTech Outlook Magazine. Foldax was honored for its innovative Tria™ heart valve, the first biopolymer heart valve to receive FDA approval for a U.S. clinical trial.

Foldax has reinvented every aspect of the artificial heart valve – from material to design to manufacturing – to develop surgical and transcatheter valves designed to last a lifetime that address historical tradeoffs. The Tria heart valve is made with its proprietary LifePolymer™ biopolymer that, combined with an innovative valve design, is intended to eliminate calcification, withstand stresses and strains in the heart without failure, and restore patient quality of life without lifelong anticoagulant use.

Tria is also the first and only heart valve to be robotically manufactured, reducing variability and enabling high precision, repeatability and quality, while substantially improving the economics of heart

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Mars will appear especially bright Tuesday night, at opposition with the sun

Opposition describes the occasion marked by the sun, Earth and Mars all lining up perfectly. Earth is in the middle, so the sun is on one side while Mars is on the other. That means Mars will be at the opposite point in the sky, above the horizon after the sun has set.

It also means Mars will appear fully illuminated from the vantage point of Earth-dwellers, causing it to appear especially bright.

Where to look

Mars was closest to Earth a week ago on Oct. 6, in fact the closest in 15 years, but appears more brilliant Tuesday night. That’s because it’s in a better position to reflect more sunlight back at us. Last week, it was doing so at a slanted angle, acutely diminishing its apparent magnitude.

If you’re looking to catch Mars at its most effulgent, all you have to do is look east an hour or

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Ultrafast fiber laser produces record high power

lasertag
Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Researchers have developed an ultrafast fiber laser that delivers an average power more than ten times what is available from today’s high-power lasers. The technology is poised to improve industrial-scale materials processing and paves the way for visionary applications.


Michael Müller, a Ph.D. student of Prof. Jens Limpert from the Friedrich Schiller University’s Institute of Applied Physics and the Fraunhofer Institute of Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering in Jena, Germany, will present the new laser at the all-virtual 2020 OSA Laser Congress to be held 12-16 October. The presentation is scheduled for Tuesday, 13 October at 14:30 EDT.

High power without the heat

In lasers, waste heat is generated in the process of light emission. Laser geometries with a large surface-to-volume ratio, such as fibers, can dissipate this heat very well. Thus, an average power of about 1 kilowatt is obtained from today’s high-power

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