Science & Technology


NASA acknowledging Electric Universe?: New NASA model gives glimpse into the invisible world of electric asteroids

This is a concept image of an astronaut preparing to take samples from a captured asteroid. The sun is in the background; NASA wants to know more about electrical activity generated by the interaction of solar wind and radiation with asteroids.
Space may appear empty - a soundless vacuum, but it's not an absolute void. It flows with electric activity that is not visible to our eyes. NASA is developing plans to send humans to an asteroid, and wants to know more about the electrical environment explorers will encounter there.

A solar wind blown from the surface of the sun at about a million miles per hour flows around all solar system objects, forming swirling eddies and vortices in its wake. Magnetic fields carried by the solar wind warp, twist, and snap as they slam into the magnetic fields around other objects in our solar system, blasting particles to millions of miles per hour and sending electric currents surging in magnetic storms that, around Earth, can damage sensitive technology like satellites and power grids.

On airless objects like moons and asteroids, sunlight ejects negatively charged electrons from matter, giving sunlit areas a strong positive electric charge. The solar wind is an electrically conducting gas called plasma where matter has been torn apart into electrons, which are relatively light, and positively charged ions, which are thousands of times more massive. While areas in sunlight can charge positive, areas in shadow get a strong negative charge when electrons in the solar wind rush in ahead of heavier ions to fill voids created as the solar wind flows by.

The surface of Earth is shielded from the direct effects of this activity by our planet's magnetic field, but airless objects without strong repelling magnetic fields, like small asteroids, have no protection from electrical activity in space.

NASA-sponsored researchers funded by the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) (formerly the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI)) have developed a new computer model that can predict and visualize the interaction between the solar wind, solar radiation, and the surface of asteroids in unprecedented detail.

"Our model is the first to provide detailed, two-dimensional views of the complex interaction between solar activity and small objects like asteroids, using an adaptive computational technique that makes these simulations highly efficient," said Michael Zimmerman, project lead at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland.

Comment: If you want to know more about electric nature of the universe and how humans interact with it, read this fascinating book Earth Changes and the Human Cosmic Connection: The Secret History of the World - Book 3

© sott


Evidence of a correction needed to change speed of light possibly found

Speed of Light
© Guardian Liberty Voice
There may actually be evidence of a correction needed to change what Einstein predicted as the speed of light possibly found. When astronomers first happened to see light from a supernova arrive 7.7 hours after neutrinos from the same occurrence, they disregarded the evidence. That was probably not a good idea because now it is believed that the speed of light may actually be slower than Einstein projected.

In the early morning hours of Feb. 24, 1987, a neutrino sensor located deep below a mountain in the north of Italy started to pick up a rapid explosion of neutrinos. Three hours after this, neutrino sensors at locations at two other sites also picked up parallel bursts.

About five hours after the second event, astronomers who were examining a large Magellan cloud which orbits the galaxy, happened to notice the startling enhancement of a blue supergiant star known as Sanduleak-69 202, as it became a supernova.

Since that time, its name has changed to SN 1987a, and it would become one of the most broadly studied supernovas in space history. Yet there continues to be a large mystery linked with SN 1987a that astrophysicists have basically ignored. That would be the event mentioned above about the two neutrino bursts separated by the span of several hours.

Both neutrinos and photons travel at the speed of light and therefore should arrive somewhere at the same time, all things being equal. The mystery is what caused such a huge delay between the first eruption of neutrinos and the onset of the optical photons.

Prehistoric poop reveals Neanderthals ate plants

Fossil Poop
Archaeologists found poop in sediments excavated from El Salt, shown here, a site where Neanderthals lived in Spain.
Don't call them brutes. Neanderthals ate their veggies.

Traces of 50,000-year-old poop found at a caveman campground in Spain suggest that modern humans' prehistoric cousins may have had a healthy dose of plants in their diet, researchers say.

The findings, published today (June 25) in the journal PLOS ONE, are based on chemicals lingering in bits of fossilized feces - perhaps the oldest human poop known to science.

New device allows brain to bypass spinal cord, move paralyzed limbs

© Wexner Medical Center
A man in Ohio has become the first patient ever to move his paralyzed hand by using his thoughts.
For the first time ever, a paralyzed man can move his fingers and hand with his own thoughts thanks to an innovative partnership between The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Battelle.

Ian Burkhart, a 23-year-old quadriplegic from Dublin, Ohio, is the first patient to use Neurobridge, an electronic neural bypass for spinal cord injuries that reconnects the brain directly to muscles, allowing voluntary and functional control of a paralyzed limb. Burkhart is the first of a potential five participants in a clinical study.

"It's much like a heart bypass, but instead of bypassing blood, we're actually bypassing electrical signals," said Chad Bouton, research leader at Battelle. "We're taking those signals from the brain, going around the injury, and actually going directly to the muscles."

The Neurobridge technology combines algorithms that learn and decode the user's brain activity and a high-definition muscle stimulation sleeve that translates neural impulses from the brain and transmits new signals to the paralyzed limb. In this case, Ian's brain signals bypass his injured spinal cord and move his hand, hence the name Neurobridge.

Burkhart, who was paralyzed four years ago during a diving accident, viewed the opportunity to participate in the six-month, FDA-approved clinical trial at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center as a chance to help others with spinal cord injuries.

Mysterious signal detected ​240 million light years away in the Perseus Cluster

Astronomers have detected a mysterious signal 240 million light years away from Earth.The unidentified signal is a 'spike of intensity at a very specific wavelength of x-ray light', but scientists don't yet know what the origin is.Picked up in the Perseus Cluster, one of the biggest objects in the universe, the discovery is said to be the best evidence of dark matter yet.

Astronomers believe dark matter constitutes 85 per cent of the matter in the universe, but doesn't emit or absorb light like normal matter such as protons or electrons, which are known to make up the familiar elements seen in planets, stars, and galaxies.Researchers suggest intensity coming from the Perseus Cluster could be a signature from the decay of a 'sterile neutrino' - which are a hypothetical type of neutrino thought to interact with normal matter via gravity.

But while holding exciting potential, the results must be confirmed with additional data to rule out other explanations and to see whether it is plausible that dark matter has been observed.

120 million-year-old dinosaur skeleton discovered in Siberia

dinosaur skeleton
Psittacosaurus sibiricus
A well-preserved dinosaur's skeleton, presumably between 100 and 120 million years old, has been dug up in Russia's Kemerovo Region in Western Siberia. Paleontologists believe they have found Psittacosaurus sibiricus.

Discovered at a depth of some 2.5 meters below the surface, the fossil has been brought to the surface with a huge chunk of soil as a monolith piece weighting about 500kg. The work to extract the skeleton may take months. The finding is a huge success for a group of Russian paleontologists, who started the expedition in the extensively-excavated area around the village of Shestakovo on May 24.

While the area is known for paleontological discoveries, it is the first time such a well-preserved fossil has been found.

Psittacosaurus sibiricus, dubbed "the parrot dinosaur"
"Dinosaur skeletons can be found quite often in particular parts of the world - for example in China, or Mongolia. But for Siberia this is a unique discovery," Aleksey Lopatin from the Paleontological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told the Vechernyaya Moskva newspaper. "Only a few Psittacosaurus skeletons have been found before. It is quite possible that for this place this is not a new species of this dinosaur. Back in those times Siberia had its own kind of Psittacosaurus, different than in China or Mongolia."
Cell Phone

Researchers discover how governments can take complete control of smartphones

Map showing the countries of the current HackingTeam servers’ locations

Two new reports have discovered how "legal malware" from Hacking Team can be used to gain complete control of mobile devices. The Italian company is suspected of offering its services to dozens of governments.

Operating since 2001, the Milan-based company - which employs over 50 people - promises to "take control of your targets and monitor them regardless of encryption and mobility," while "keeping an eye on all your targets and manage them remotely, all from a single screen."

Previous research showed that these claims were true for desktop computers, but according to data obtained separately by Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab and University of Toronto's Citizen Lab (which also obtained a user manual), Hacking Team is just as adept at penetrating mobile phones with a tool known as Remote Control Systems (RCS).

Back to the drawing board: Higgs boson teaches that Universe should have ceased to exist

© Reuters / Denis Balibouse

A technician stands near equipment of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experience at the Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in the French village of Cessy near Geneva in Switzerland.
A refitted Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is being readied to delve deeper into the secrets of the Universe's structure, a new British scientists' model considering Higgs boson data claims the Universe should have collapsed immediately after the Big Bang.

Confirmation of the Higgs boson's existence in July 2012 did not actually add clarity to the general picture of our Universe after all. The information acquired raised new, even more complex, questions.

Physicists at King's College in London claim they have recreated the conditions following the Big Bang, but this time using the new information acquired with the help of the LHC. British scientists maintain now that the new data related to the so-called 'God particle' suggests the universe should have expanded excessively fast after the Big Bang and collapsed billions of years ago.

"During the early universe, we expected cosmic inflation - this is a rapid expansion of the universe right after the Big Bang," co-author of the King's College study Robert Hogan, a Ph.D. student in physics, told Live Science. "This expansion causes lots of stuff to shake around, and if we shake it too much, we could go into this new energy space, which could cause the universe to collapse."

Comment: Scientists are a stubborn bunch, no? No matter how much evidence directly contradicts their theories, they stick to 'em.


Titan may be older than Saturn, a new study suggests

© NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute
Titan’s atmosphere makes Saturn’s largest moon look like a fuzzy orange ball.
It's well accepted that moons form after planets. In fact, only a few months ago, astronomers spotted a new moon forming deep within Saturn's rings, 4.5 billion years after the planet initially formed.

But new research suggests Saturn's icy moon Titan - famous for its rivers and lakes of liquid methane - may have formed before its parent planet, contradicting the theory that Titan formed within the warm disk surrounding an infant Saturn.

A combined NASA and ESA-funded study has found firm evidence that the nitrogen in Titan's atmosphere originated in conditions similar to the cold birthplace of the most ancient comets from the Oort cloud - a spherical shell of icy particles that enshrouds the Solar System.

The hint comes in the form of a ratio. All elements have a certain number of known isotopes - variants of that element with the same number of protons that differ in their number of neutrons. The ratio of one isotope to another isotope is a crucial diagnostic tool.

In planetary atmospheres and surface materials, the amount of one isotope relative to another isotope is closely tied to the conditions under which materials form. Any change in the ratio will allow scientists to deduce an age for that material.

Kathleen Mandt from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio and colleagues analyzed the ratio of nitrogen-14 (seven protons and seven neutrons) to nitrogen-15 (seven protons and eight neutrons) in Titan's atmosphere.

Japan unveils 'world's first' android newscaster

© Breitbart
Japanese scientists on Tuesday unveiled what they said was the world's first news-reading android, eerily lifelike and possessing a sense of humour to match her perfect language skills.

The adolescent-looking "Kodomoroid" -- an amalgamation of the Japanese word kodomo (child) and "android" -- delivered news of an earthquake and an FBI raid to amazed reporters in Tokyo.

She even poked fun at her creator, telling leading robotics professor Hiroshi Ishiguro: "You're starting to look like a robot!"

The pitch-perfect Kodomoroid was flanked by a grown-up fellow robot, who caught stage fright and fluffed her lines when asked to introduce herself.

"Otonaroid" -- otona meaning adult -- excused herself after a quick reboot, saying: "I'm a little bit nervous."