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Season 12: Science Stories in the News

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This thread is for posting science news or discoveries that might be mentioned in an episode. 

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Raj could take an interest in the new solar probe.

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NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is about to embark on one daredevil stunt of a space mission.

Slated to launch August 4, the probe will be the first spacecraft to swoop through the sun’s outer atmosphere, or corona, a roiling inferno of plasma heated to several million degrees Celsius.

[snip]

At its nearest approach, Parker will hurtle through the corona at about 700,000 kilometers per hour, making the craft the fastest human-made object in the solar system.

 

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9 hours ago, djsurrey said:

Raj could take an interest in the new solar probe.

 

Why not? With his relationship woes very evident, a little science might do him some good!

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On 7/15/2018 at 10:47 PM, Leastobjectionable said:

What time of day are they going?

The best info I have found:

Quote

NASA and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory are now targeting launch of the agency’s Parker Solar Probe spacecraft no earlier than Aug. 4, 2018. Originally scheduled to launch on July 31, additional time is needed to accommodate further software testing of spacecraft systems. The Parker Solar Probe will launch on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Space Launch Complex 37 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2018/revised-launch-date-targeted-for-parker-solar-probe

Not sure that the day won't change so the time is up in the air I guess.

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7 hours ago, djsurrey said:

 

Not sure that the day won't change so the time is up in the air I guess.

I'll be on the east coast of Florida (Boca Raton) that whole weekend, may run up the coast to Cocoa Beach or Titusville.  

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8 hours ago, Tensor said:

I'll be on the east coast of Florida (Boca Raton) that whole weekend, may run up the coast to Cocoa Beach or Titusville.  

Oh cool. I only ever see real rocket launches on tv or video streaming.

I have seen an F16 make some impressive maneuvers at the Abbotsford BC air show. Never seen anything remotely like a square loop before (this was back in the 1980s)! Also saw an American aircraft carrier in English bay (Vancouver BC) at least once. It was quite a site. I'm generally fascinated by all high tech.

 

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14 minutes ago, djsurrey said:

Oh cool. I only ever see real rocket launches on tv or video streaming.

I've seen several launches from the West coast of Florida.  Depending on it's launch angle it can take from 60 to 90 seconds to get above the tree line across the street.  Night launches are much easier to see

14 minutes ago, djsurrey said:

I have seen an F16 make some impressive maneuvers at the Abbotsford BC air show. Never seen anything remotely like a square loop before (this was back in the 1980s)! Also saw an American aircraft carrier in English bay (Vancouver BC) at least once. It was quite a site. I'm generally fascinated by all high tech.

 

I worked avionics on F-15s, and I've gotten two rides in the backseat (got to fly it for 20 minutes or so).   Also worked on a few other technical things.  

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Hm. High tech celestial objects, for $20 eh?

Well I was trying to impress a girl once by demonstrating my knowledge of the constellations. At the crucial moment, the International Space Station was making a pass - clearly visible and easily tracked across the sky. I geeked out so badly the girl became alarmed and I lost all the progress I had made in the romance department.

That was when I realised how very much science means to me. I am now happily married to a woman who is geekier than I.

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11 minutes ago, Tensor said:

I've seen several launches from the West coast of Florida.  Depending on it's launch angle it can take from 60 to 90 seconds to get above the tree line across the street.  Night launches are much easier to see

I worked avionics on F-15s, and I've gotten two rides in the backseat (got to fly it for 20 minutes or so).   Also worked on a few other technical things.  

I have always viewed avionics in particular with fascination but never got close to working with it. My stepfather worked in commercial airline maintenance so I often heard bit about expanding electronics systems when he was studying to get certified for a new aircraft.

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23 minutes ago, GivesAWhit said:

Hm. High tech celestial objects, for $20 eh?

Well I was trying to impress a girl once by demonstrating my knowledge of the constellations. At the crucial moment, the International Space Station was making a pass - clearly visible and easily tracked across the sky. I geeked out so badly the girl became alarmed and I lost all the progress I had made in the romance department.

That was when I realised how very much science means to me. I am now happily married to a woman who is geekier than I.

My wife and I are at opposite ends of the scale when it comes to interest in science and technology. She has an interest in being social with anyone. Something that always eluded me. I like people, but generally at a distance and in limited amounts.

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13 minutes ago, djsurrey said:

My wife and I are at opposite ends of the scale when it comes to interest in science and technology. She has an interest in being social with anyone. Something that always eluded me. I like people, but generally at a distance and in limited amounts.

I'm rather on the cautious side as well, at least at the outset. I'm able to interact with almost anyone if the situation demands it, but I make no bones about a quick exit once the need has been satisfied!

My wife and I are the products of families steeped in both art and science. For example, my uncle is an astrophysicist who plays the cello and is a computer nerd. So we might end up talking about Mozart, mesons, or Microsoft. LOL!

That was what drew me to TBBT. I wanted very much to see how accurate the characters were compared to my real life friends and family. 

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I see NASA's Parker Solar Probe did launch this last weekend...

Quote

Hours before the rise of the very star it will study, NASA's Parker Solar Probe launched from Florida Sunday to begin its journey to the Sun, where it will undertake a landmark mission. The spacecraft will transmit its first science observations in December, beginning a revolution in our understanding of the star that makes life on Earth possible.

Roughly the size of a small car, the spacecraft lifted off at 3:31 a.m. EDT on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. At 5:33 a.m., the mission operations manager reported that the spacecraft was healthy and operating normally.

 

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I spent last Saturday night at the Conway Observatory in Indiana. (Free is good.) Saw Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and part of the Perseid Meteor shower.  Lots of people were talking about the Solar probe launch there.

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The secret has just been unveiled worldwide, which was the result of the development of the miniaturization of the gyroscope by our well-known developers. The popular "Thief of Ideas" Apple now merchandise it as "Accelerometer Gyroscope" in their new Apple Watch. :shy:

26.jpg.aac7e00711b7c2d230994c602c3f2085.jpg

Source

Edited by veejay
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2 hours ago, Tensor said:

A science story, with a bit of science fiction thrown in:

https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/exoplanet-news-astronomers-have-found-vulcan

Thanks for this suggestion.

Ist das der Heimatplanet von Mr Spock?
(Is this Mr Spock's home planet?)

Spiegel Online

While reading one of my daily news portals I actually came across this latest news here in faraway Europe. :shy:

 

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9 hours ago, Tensor said:

A science story, with a bit of science fiction thrown in:

https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/exoplanet-news-astronomers-have-found-vulcan

I found Vulcan as a teen. Well not the planet. 😂

https://www.townofvulcan.ca/

It is close to Lethbridge and named after the roman god of fire. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulcan,_Alberta#History

The way I recall it I never actually visited the town but just saw the exit sign to it on the hwy between Calgary and Lethbridge.

image.png.12d59b4f3195536736c10e975c0bc0d4.png

Edited by djsurrey
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A method for Howard to entertain his kids!

Quote

Kramer-Bottiglio said she came up with the idea for the devices a few years ago when NASA put out a call for soft robotic systems. The technology was designed in partnership with NASA, and its multifunctional and reusable nature would allow astronauts to accomplish an array of tasks with the same reconfigurable material. The same skins used to make a robotic arm out of a piece of foam could be removed and applied to create a soft Mars rover that can roll over rough terrain. With the robotic skins on board, the Yale scientist said, anything from balloons to balls of crumpled paper could potentially be made into a robot with a purpose.

One of the main things I considered was the importance of multifunctionality, especially for deep space exploration where the environment is unpredictable,” she said. “The question is: How do you prepare for the unknown unknowns?”
https://news.yale.edu/2018/09/19/robotic-skins-turn-everyday-objects-robots 

 

Edited by djsurrey

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Wonder if this might get a mention on the show this season:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45655151

Quote

The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to a woman for the first time in 55 years.

Donna Strickland, from Canada, is only the third woman winner of the award, along with Marie Curie, who won in 1903, and Maria Goeppert-Mayer, who was awarded the prize in 1963.

Dr Strickland shares this year's prize with Arthur Ashkin, from the US, and Gerard Mourou, from France.

It recognises their discoveries in the field of laser physics.

Dr Ashkin developed a laser technique described as optical tweezers, which is used to study biological systems.

Drs Mourou and Strickland paved the way for the shortest and most intense laser pulses ever created.

 

 

Edited by Jonny
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Well, lasers are Leonard's field of study, so he should be up on what they won the prize for.  

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Soyuz flight to the International Space Station suffered a booster failure, just after Escape tower and first stage separation.   Capsule was able to make a "Ballistic Decent" and the crew is reportedly in good shape, currently awaiting recovery.   Aircraft and Helicopters are on their way and are in contact with the crew, in the capsule, on the ground.   

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