Slooh Observatory Is Webcasting Today’s Rare ‘Ring of Fire’ Eclipse

An anonymous reader quotes Space.com
A solar eclipse and its spectacular “ring of fire” will be visible from the Southern Hemisphere this Sunday morning, but no matter what side of the equator you’re on, you can watch the spectacular event unfold onli…

An anonymous reader quotes Space.com
A solar eclipse and its spectacular “ring of fire” will be visible from the Southern Hemisphere this Sunday morning, but no matter what side of the equator you’re on, you can watch the spectacular event unfold online in a live broadcast from Slooh’s online observatory…beginning at 7 a.m. EST (1200 GMT)… This type of eclipse is called an annular eclipse, meaning that the sun will remain visible as a bright ring around the moon…

Slooh will present the eclipse in live feeds from Chile and other locations. “During the broadcast, Slooh host Gerard Monteux will guide viewers on this journey across multiple continents and thousands of miles,” Slooh said in a statement. “He’ll be joined by a number of guests who will help viewers explore not only the science of eclipses, but also the fascinating legend, myth, and spiritual and emotional expression associated with these most awe-inspiring celestial events.”

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Why Astronauts Are Banned From Getting Drunk in Space

Bryan Lufkin, writing for BBC: “Alcohol is not permitted onboard the International Space Station for consumption,” says Daniel G Huot, spokesperson for Nasa’s Johnson Space Center. “Use of alcohol and other volatile compounds are controlled on ISS due …

Bryan Lufkin, writing for BBC: “Alcohol is not permitted onboard the International Space Station for consumption,” says Daniel G Huot, spokesperson for Nasa’s Johnson Space Center. “Use of alcohol and other volatile compounds are controlled on ISS due to impacts their compounds can have on the station’s water recovery system.” For this reason, astronauts on the space station are not even provided with products that contain alcohol, like mouthwash, perfume, or aftershave. Spilling beer during some drunken orbital hijinks could also risk damaging equipment. […] There could be another reason to avoid frothy drinks like beer — without the assistance of gravity, liquid and gases can tumble around in an astronaut’s stomach, causing them to produce rather soggy burps.

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Why Astronauts Are Banned From Getting Drunk in Space

Bryan Lufkin, writing for BBC: “Alcohol is not permitted onboard the International Space Station for consumption,” says Daniel G Huot, spokesperson for Nasa’s Johnson Space Center. “Use of alcohol and other volatile compounds are controlled on ISS due …

Bryan Lufkin, writing for BBC: “Alcohol is not permitted onboard the International Space Station for consumption,” says Daniel G Huot, spokesperson for Nasa’s Johnson Space Center. “Use of alcohol and other volatile compounds are controlled on ISS due to impacts their compounds can have on the station’s water recovery system.” For this reason, astronauts on the space station are not even provided with products that contain alcohol, like mouthwash, perfume, or aftershave. Spilling beer during some drunken orbital hijinks could also risk damaging equipment. […] There could be another reason to avoid frothy drinks like beer — without the assistance of gravity, liquid and gases can tumble around in an astronaut’s stomach, causing them to produce rather soggy burps.

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Serious Computer Glitches Can Be Caused By Cosmic Rays

The Los Alamos National Lab wrote in 2012 that “For over 20 years the military, the commercial aerospace industry, and the computer industry have known that high-energy neutrons streaming through our atmosphere can cause computer errors.” Now an anonym…

The Los Alamos National Lab wrote in 2012 that “For over 20 years the military, the commercial aerospace industry, and the computer industry have known that high-energy neutrons streaming through our atmosphere can cause computer errors.” Now an anonymous reader quotes Computerworld:
When your computer crashes or phone freezes, don’t be so quick to blame the manufacturer. Cosmic rays — or rather the electrically charged particles they generate — may be your real foe. While harmless to living organisms, a small number of these particles have enough energy to interfere with the operation of the microelectronic circuitry in our personal devices… particles alter an individual bit of data stored in a chip’s memory. Consequences can be as trivial as altering a single pixel in a photograph or as serious as bringing down a passenger jet. A “single-event upset” was also blamed for an electronic voting error in Schaerbeekm, Belgium, back in 2003. A bit flip in the electronic voting machine added 4,096 extra votes to one candidate. The issue was noticed only because the machine gave the candidate more votes than were possible. “This is a really big problem, but it is mostly invisible to the public,” said Bharat Bhuva. Bhuva is a member of Vanderbilt University’s Radiation Effects Research Group, established in 1987 to study the effects of radiation on electronic systems.

Cisco has been researching cosmic radiation since 2001, and in September briefly cited cosmic rays as a possible explanation for partial data losses that customer’s were experiencing with their ASR 9000 routers.

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Serious Computer Glitches Can Be Caused By Cosmic Rays

The Los Alamos National Lab wrote in 2012 that “For over 20 years the military, the commercial aerospace industry, and the computer industry have known that high-energy neutrons streaming through our atmosphere can cause computer errors.” Now an anonym…

The Los Alamos National Lab wrote in 2012 that “For over 20 years the military, the commercial aerospace industry, and the computer industry have known that high-energy neutrons streaming through our atmosphere can cause computer errors.” Now an anonymous reader quotes Computerworld:
When your computer crashes or phone freezes, don’t be so quick to blame the manufacturer. Cosmic rays — or rather the electrically charged particles they generate — may be your real foe. While harmless to living organisms, a small number of these particles have enough energy to interfere with the operation of the microelectronic circuitry in our personal devices… particles alter an individual bit of data stored in a chip’s memory. Consequences can be as trivial as altering a single pixel in a photograph or as serious as bringing down a passenger jet. A “single-event upset” was also blamed for an electronic voting error in Schaerbeekm, Belgium, back in 2003. A bit flip in the electronic voting machine added 4,096 extra votes to one candidate. The issue was noticed only because the machine gave the candidate more votes than were possible. “This is a really big problem, but it is mostly invisible to the public,” said Bharat Bhuva. Bhuva is a member of Vanderbilt University’s Radiation Effects Research Group, established in 1987 to study the effects of radiation on electronic systems.

Cisco has been researching cosmic radiation since 2001, and in September briefly cited cosmic rays as a possible explanation for partial data losses that customer’s were experiencing with their ASR 9000 routers.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

ISRO Makes History, Launches 104 Satellites With Single Rocket

neo12 writes: Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) made history by launching 104 satellites in a single launch. The lift-off of PSLVC 37 at 9.28 am from Sriharikota was a perfect one. In 28 minutes, all 104 satellites were successfully placed into…

neo12 writes: Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) made history by launching 104 satellites in a single launch. The lift-off of PSLVC 37 at 9.28 am from Sriharikota was a perfect one. In 28 minutes, all 104 satellites were successfully placed into the Earth’s orbit. 101 of the 104 satellites belong to six foreign countries, including 96 from the U.S. and one each from Israel, the UAE, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Kazakhstan. According to Times of India, “Russian Space Agency held a record of launching 37 satellites in one go during its mission in June 2014. India previously launched 23 satellites in a single mission in June 2015.”

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Gravity-Detecting LIGO Also Found To Be Creating Gravity Waves

LIGO is a large-scale physics experiment to detect “ripples in spacetime,” as well as gravity waves from outer space. But it turns out that it’s also creating gravity waves, according to a team of physicists led by Belinda Pang, a physicist at the Cali…

LIGO is a large-scale physics experiment to detect “ripples in spacetime,” as well as gravity waves from outer space. But it turns out that it’s also creating gravity waves, according to a team of physicists led by Belinda Pang, a physicist at the California Institute of Technology. sciencehabit quotes Science magazine:

Although these waves are far too feeble to detect directly, the researchers say, the radiation in principle could be used to try to detect weird quantum mechanical effects among large objects… Of course, LIGO doesn’t generate large gravitational waves — you could probably make bigger ones yourself by whirling bowling balls around — but it does so with optimal efficiency [and] the waves could still be used to probe quantum effects among macroscopic objects, Pang says.

Quantum mechanics says that a vanishingly small object such as an electron can literally be in two places in once. Many physicists suspect that it might just be possible to coax a macroscopic object, such as one of LIGO’s mirrors, into a similar state of quantum motion. That delicate state wouldn’t last long, as interactions with the outside world would make it “decohere” and put it in one place or another. However, one could imagine measuring the rate at which such a state decoheres to see whether it matches the rate expected from the radiation of gravitational waves, Pang says.

“It’s unbelievably difficult,” Pang says. “But if you want to do it, what we’re saying is that LIGO is the best place to do it.”

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Space Junk-Fighting Cable Fails To Deploy

New Scientist reports:
It’s a rubbish start for the world’s first space clean-up experiment. A cable designed to drag space junk out of orbit has failed to deploy from a Japanese spacecraft… A 700-metre-long metal cable was fitted to an unmanned spac…

New Scientist reports:
It’s a rubbish start for the world’s first space clean-up experiment. A cable designed to drag space junk out of orbit has failed to deploy from a Japanese spacecraft… A 700-metre-long metal cable was fitted to an unmanned spacecraft called Kounotori 6, which was on its way back to Earth after delivering supplies to the International Space Station. The cable was meant to unfurl from the spacecraft, at which point an electric current would pass along its length. The idea was that the current would interact with the Earth’s magnetic field, creating a drag that pulled the spacecraft out of orbit. The spacecraft would then tumble into our atmosphere and become incinerated… However, Kounotori 6 was unable to release the cable to test its junk-removing potential, and JAXA could not fix the glitch before the spacecraft returned to Earth’s atmosphere this morning… “Releasing a cable may seem simple, but nothing in space is simple,” says Sean Tuttle at the University of New South Wales in Australia… The test’s failure should be seen as a setback rather than a nail in the coffin for junk-removing cables, Tuttle says.

rickyslashdot writes:
Because of the simplicity of this system, it is bound to be tested again — hopefully sooner than later… This process is inherently safer than using rocket engines (to be attached to the junk), and is much less of a ‘mass-to-orbit’ cost, since it only requires a grappling system, and a spool of wire/cable. Hopefully, there will be a follow-up / re-try in the near future for this orbital debris clean-up process.

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We Finally Have a Computer That Can Survive the Surface of Venus

Planet Venus is one of the most inhospitable places in the solar system. The surface temperature there is 470C (878F), approximately 90 times that of Earth. This has been one of the key challenges that has prevented us from deeply exploring Venus. Norm…

Planet Venus is one of the most inhospitable places in the solar system. The surface temperature there is 470C (878F), approximately 90 times that of Earth. This has been one of the key challenges that has prevented us from deeply exploring Venus. Normal chips can only function until around 250C, but it appears, we may soon have a computer that can withstand Venus’ weather. From a report on ArsTechnica: Now, researchers out of NASA’s Glenn Research Centre appear to have cracked the other big problem with high-temperature integrated circuits: they’ve crafted interconnects — the tiny wires that connect transistors and other integrated components together — that can also survive the extreme conditions on Venus. The NASA Glenn researchers combined the new interconnects with some SiC transistors to create a ceramic-packaged chip. The chip was then placed into the GEER — the Glenn Extreme Environments Rig, a machine that can maintain Venus-like temperature and pressure for hundreds of hours at a time. The chip, a simple 3-stage oscillator, kept functioning at a steady 1.26MHz for 521 hours (21.7) days before the GEER had to be shut down.

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SpaceX Plans to Start Launching Rockets Every Two To Three Weeks

Space Exploration Technologies, better known as SpaceX, plans to launch its Falcon 9 rockets every two to three weeks, its fastest rate since starting launches in 2010, once a new launch pad is put into service in Florida next week. From a report: The …

Space Exploration Technologies, better known as SpaceX, plans to launch its Falcon 9 rockets every two to three weeks, its fastest rate since starting launches in 2010, once a new launch pad is put into service in Florida next week. From a report: The ambitious plan comes only five months after a SpaceX rocket burst into flames on the launch pad at the company’s original launch site in Florida. SpaceX, controlled by billionaire Elon Musk, has only launched one rocket since then, in mid-January. “We should be launching every two to three weeks,” SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said in an interview on Monday.

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