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Wed, 08 Feb 2023
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Microsoft announces new multibillion-dollar investment in ChatGPT-maker OpenAI

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
© SeongJoon Cho | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at the company’s Ignite Spotlight event in Seoul on Nov. 15, 2022.
Microsoft on Monday announced a new multiyear, multibillion-dollar investment with ChatGPT-maker OpenAI.

Microsoft declined to provide a specific dollar amount, but Semafor reported earlier this month that Microsoft was in talks to invest as much as $10 billion.

The deal marks the third phase of the partnership between the two companies, following Microsoft's previous investments in 2019 and 2021. Microsoft said the renewed partnership will accelerate breakthroughs in AI and help both companies commercialize advanced technologies in the future.

"We formed our partnership with OpenAI around a shared ambition to responsibly advance cutting-edge AI research and democratize AI as a new technology platform," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a blog post.

Fireball 2

Asteroid to come exceedingly close to Earth, but NASA says it will miss

asteroid 2023 BU close encounter fly by earth near miss
© NASA / JPL-Caltech via AP
The estimated trajectory of asteroid 2023 BU, in red, and the orbit of geosynchronous satellites, in green.
Even if the space rock came a lot closer, scientists said most of it would burn up in the atmosphere, with some of the bigger pieces possibly falling as meteorites.

An asteroid the size of a delivery truck will whip past Earth on Thursday night, one of the closest such encounters ever recorded.

NASA insists it will be a near miss with no chance of the asteroid hitting Earth.

NASA said Wednesday that this newly discovered asteroid will zoom 2,200 miles (3,600 kilometers) above the southern tip of South America. That's 10 times closer than the bevy of communication satellites circling overhead.

The closest approach will occur at 7:27 p.m. EST (9:27 p.m. local.)


NASA and DARPA collaborating on a nuclear-powered rocket for quick trips to Mars

DRACO spacecraft
An artist’s impression of the DRACO spacecraft, which will feature the new nuclear thermal rocket engine
One of the bigger questions surrounding NASA's interest in sending a crewed mission to Mars surrounds the best way to get there, and it appears the agency might have found its answer. NASA announced today that it will be developing a nuclear thermal rocket engine in collaboration with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

The collaboration is called DRACO, or Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations, and it's expected to reduce the travel time it takes to get astronauts to Mars — and potentially more distant targets in deep space. According to a press release, NASA will lead technical development of the nuclear thermal engine that will be combined with an experimental DARPA spacecraft. The two agencies will further collaborate on combining the rocket with the spacecraft ahead of its demonstration in space as early as 2027.

"Our intent is to lead and develop a blueprint for human exploration and sustained presence in the solar system," said NASA deputy administrator Pam Melroy in a NASA fireside chat this morning. "DRACO will be a critical part of evaluating the technologies that will take us deeper into the solar system."


James Webb Space Telescope discovers coldest interstellar ice ever seen

JWST coldest ice discovered
© NASA, ESA, CSA, and M. Zamani (ESA/Webb); Science: M. K. McClure (Leiden Observatory), F. Sun (Steward Observatory), Z. Smith (Open University), and the Ice Age ERS Team
The James Webb Space Telescope's view of the Chameleon I cloud.
NASA's newest space telescope isn't just stretching astronomers' view deeper into the universe, it's also reaching colder temperatures than scientists have before.

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST or Webb), the most powerful space observatory yet, has peered deep into a dense molecular cloud and found a rich variety of pristine interstellar ice — including a range of molecules crucial for life. Spotted at frigid temperatures of minus 440 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 263 degrees Celsius), these finds are the coldest ices ever measured.

"We simply couldn't have observed these ices without Webb," Klaus Pontoppidan, an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute and an author of a new study describing the work, said in a statement.


Study finds sea spiders can regrow whole body parts, not just limbs

sea spider

Young sea spiders have been found to have remarkable powers of regeneration
Sea spiders can regrow body parts after amputation and not just limbs, according to a study released on Monday that may pave the way for further scientific research into regeneration.

"Nobody had expected this," said Gerhard Scholtz of Humboldt University in Berlin, senior author of the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "We were the first to show that this is possible."

It is well documented that many different types of arthropods such as centipedes, spiders, and other insects can regrow limbs after a loss.

"Crabs can even automatically get rid of their limbs if they are attacked," Scholtz said. "They replace it by a new limb."


Record-breaking detection of radio signal from atomic hydrogen in extremely distant galaxy

radio signal hydrogen 9 billion light years
© Swadha Pardesi
Illustration showing detection of the lensed 21 cm atomic hydrogen emission signal from a distant galaxy.
Astronomers from McGill University in Canada and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru have used data from the Giant Meterwave Radio Telescope (GMRT) in Pune to detect a radio signal originating from atomic hydrogen in an extremely distant galaxy. The astronomical distance over which such a signal has been picked up is the largest so far by a large margin. This is also the first confirmed detection of strong lensing of 21 cm emission from a galaxy. The findings have been published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Atomic hydrogen is the basic fuel required for star formation in a galaxy. When hot ionized gas from the surrounding medium of a galaxy falls onto the galaxy, the gas cools and forms atomic hydrogen, which then becomes molecular hydrogen, and eventually leads to the formation of stars. Therefore, understanding the evolution of galaxies over cosmic time requires tracing the evolution of neutral gas at different cosmological epochs.

Bizarro Earth

A seismic climate connection?

Seismic Connection
© CFact Org
I will be brief ( relatively).

In a paper coming out, "Increased Mid-Ocean Seismic Activity: Fact or Artifact?" Dr. Arhtur Viterito has confirmed my suspicions that geothermal input from the increased seismic activity is a leading cause of the warming, if not the almost total cause. As much as the co2 crowd keeps pointing to the rise in temperature and increased emissions they ignore the fact that the air temperature go virtually nowhere without the oceanic warming and the input of WV in the air, The oceans are not warming via co2 feedback. Arguments about co2's effect on the air ignore the oceanic warming. So what is warming the ocean? Dr Viterito supplies the smoking gun to my suspicions.

Temperature Chart
© CFact Org
This is the last 40 plus years of temperatures (brown) and seismic activity The 2 super Ninos can clearly be seen which would make sense given the amount of WV put in the air by the tropics But the steady increase in seismic activity is clearly linked. If one wants to argue its co2 with that correlation then how is it not this GIVEN THIS WOULD ACTUALLY AFFECT the INPUT OF ENERGY INTO THE OCEAN , which in turn would warm the air in the way we are observing due to the nature of water vapor.

There is next to no one looking at this, Why are we looking at co2. and ignoring the main source of energy in the earths climate?

Fireball 4

Monster meteorite found in Antarctica is among the largest in 100 years

large meteorite recovered antarctica
© Maria Valdes
The 16.8 lb (7.6 kg) space rock found in an Antarctic ice field.
Antarctica has a lot going for it when it comes to meteorite hunting. The dark rocks stand out against the icy landscape. Its dry climate keeps weathering to a minimum. And even when meteorites sink into the ice they are often returned to the surface by the churning of the glaciers.

In spite of these ideal conditions, finding sizeable chunks of space rock is rare.

A group of researchers have just returned from the ice-covered continent with five new meteorites that include an unusually large specimen.

The big find in this haul weighs in at 7.6 kilograms (16.8 pounds), placing it in the top 100 in terms of size for meteorites recovered in Antarctica over the past century. Considering some 45,000 have been recovered in that time, that's saying something.


The Green Games: Hydrogen will not save us. Here's why.

Sabine Hossenfelder

Replacing fossil fuel with hydrogen seems like an ideal solution to make transportation environmentally friendly and to provide a backup for intermittent energy sources like solar and wind. But how environmentally friendly is hydrogen really? And how sustainable is it, given that hydrogen fuel cells rely on supply of rare metals like platinum and iridium? In this video, we have collected all the relevant numbers for you.

Many thanks to Jordi Busqué for helping with this video http://jordibusque.com/

00:00 Intro
00:49 Hydrogen Basics
03:39 The Hydrogen Market
06:04 The Colours Of Hydrogen
12:11 Water Supply
13:34 The Cold Start Problem
14:05 Rare Metal Shortages
15:55 Hydrogen Embrittlement
16:45 Summary
18:16 Protect Your Privacy with NordVPN

HT/P Gosselin

Comment: Warming to misanthropy
"the Precautionary Principle, a favorite tool of environmentalists to bypass the need for facts as the basis of decision-making."
― Tim Ball, The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science


'Anti-tail' appears on Comet E3 ZTF, becomes visible to unaided eye 1 week earlier than expected

Comet E3 (ZTF)
© Bill Williams
Multi-tailed Comet E3 (ZTF)!
Taken by Bill Williams on January 20, 2023 @ Chiefland Astro Village, Florida, USA
Astrophotography alert! Comet ZTF (C/2022 E3) is developing an anti-tail, and tonight may be the best time to photograph it. Unlike ordinary comet tails, which are blown away from the sun by solar wind and radiation pressure, anti-tails point toward the sun. That sounds impossible, yet Bill Williams just photographed the anti-tail of Comet ZTF from his observatory in Chiefland, Florida:

"Comet ZTF has developed an anti-tail in addition to its dust and ion tails!" says Williams. "Just how many tails can a comet have?"

Briefly, three. Comets sometimes grow an ephemeral third tail, the "anti-tail." It's an optical illusion seen when Earth crosses a comet's orbital plane. At that moment, the edge of the comet's fan-shaped dust tail looks like an sunward pointing spike.

"It's happening tonight," says longtime comet observer Paul Robinson of Longmont, CO. "On the evening of Jan. 22nd in the Americas, Earth crosses the orbit of Comet ZTF, which should produce a good spike. Photographers will not want to miss this!"

Comment: It's notable that the comet has become much brighter and faster than predicted; could there be more surprises in store?