Posts tagged science

Photos: Mammoth skeleton unearthed.

A Texas family business has discovered a ‘90% complete’ mammoth skeleton in their gravel pit, after striking a 6ft long tusk with an excavator.

The find has been donated to the nearby Perot Museum, which is working to remove the skeleton, which is estimated to be a 9ft (2.7m) tall female which died between 20,000 to 60,000 years ago.

8 Bit Future’s back (from the future?)
A few issues with 8bitfuture.com over the last couple of weeks have been resolved. My hosting provider completely disappeared, taking 6,000 websites with it by the look of things on their Facebook page, so the domain is now handled through GoDaddy which should be a bit more reliable, if not more expensive, but a good lesson that when it comes to the internet, you get what you pay for.
The image above is from a 2010 proposal to send ‘tumbleweed probes’ to Mars, where they could be moved around by wind instead of driving on six wheels like the currently active NASA rovers there. Video of the rovers here.
Another interesting space story this week is about the state of Curiosity’s wheels, which are currently developing large holes that could put the extended mission in jeopardy. The short version is that NASA didn’t realise just what kind of rocks they’d be dealing with, but the rover could continue indefinitely if they take it to more soft sandy areas. Below is a photo of a replica wheel, tested to breaking point here on Earth. Interesting to see it with a human - I never realised how big the rover was until seeing one of it’s wheels! Check out the full story here at Gizmodo.

8 Bit Future’s back (from the future?)

A few issues with 8bitfuture.com over the last couple of weeks have been resolved. My hosting provider completely disappeared, taking 6,000 websites with it by the look of things on their Facebook page, so the domain is now handled through GoDaddy which should be a bit more reliable, if not more expensive, but a good lesson that when it comes to the internet, you get what you pay for.

The image above is from a 2010 proposal to send ‘tumbleweed probes’ to Mars, where they could be moved around by wind instead of driving on six wheels like the currently active NASA rovers there. Video of the rovers here.

Another interesting space story this week is about the state of Curiosity’s wheels, which are currently developing large holes that could put the extended mission in jeopardy. The short version is that NASA didn’t realise just what kind of rocks they’d be dealing with, but the rover could continue indefinitely if they take it to more soft sandy areas. Below is a photo of a replica wheel, tested to breaking point here on Earth. Interesting to see it with a human - I never realised how big the rover was until seeing one of it’s wheels! Check out the full story here at Gizmodo.

Video: NASA’s ‘flying saucer’ tested in the upper atmosphere.

NASA is testing a “flying saucer” designed to land on Mars and deliver large payloads to the Red Planet, and the agency has released a spectacular video of a high-altitude test conducted over Hawaii this past June. In it, the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) is brought up 180,000 feet high into earth’s atmosphere, a place where conditions are similar to those on Mars. After confirming that the vehicle could fly in these conditions, NASA then tried to slow the craft down with two new technologies — a funky, donut-shaped “Supersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator” and a massive supersonic parachute.

"Visual microphone" can decode words from the vibrations in an object.

A MIT student has shown how the tiny vibrations caused by sound waves can be picked up by a high speed video camera, and decoded with software to figure out what sounds were being made.

The technique allows the researchers find out the subject of a conversation, for example, by watching the vibrations in a glass of water or a bag of chips.

Video: Programmable self-assembly in a thousand-robot swarm.

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Video: ‘tractor beam’ created in water.

Physicists at The Australian National University have created a tractor beam on water, providing a radical new technique that could confine oil spills, manipulate floating objects or explain rips at the beach.

Using a ping-pong ball in a wave tank, the group worked out the size and frequency of the waves required to move the ball in whichever direction they want.

Advanced particle tracking tools, developed by team members Dr Nicolas Francois and Dr Hua Xia, revealed that the waves generate currents on the surface of the water.

“We found that above a certain height, these complex three-dimensional waves generate flow patterns on the surface of the water,” Professor Shats said. “The tractor beam is just one of the patterns, they can be inward flows, outward flows or vortices.”

The team also experimented with different shaped plungers to generate different swirling flow patterns.

As yet no mathematical theory can explain these experiments, Dr Punzmann said.

“It’s one of the great unresolved problems, yet anyone in the bathtub can reproduce it. We were very surprised no one had described it before.”

#SpaceVine timelapse, #Italy #lightning and a speechless @NASA astronaut.

Photos: Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft successfully rendezvoused with Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko this week, at a distance of 555 million kilometers from the Sun.

From the New York Times:

Over the coming months, Rosetta and its comet, called C-G for short, will plunge together toward the sun.

In November, a small 220-pound lander is to leave the spacecraft, set down on the comet and harpoon itself to the surface, the first time a spacecraft will gently land on a comet.