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Yesterday — January 17th 2022Your RSS feeds

Global Ship Traffic Could Imperil the Antarctic's Biosecurity

By Doug Johnson, Ars Technica
Vessels from more than 1,500 ports have visited the region since 2014. Each one is a threat to introduce invasive species.

Is There Really Such a Thing as Low-Carbon Beef?

By Matt Reynolds
The USDA is making it easier for farmers to market their meat as “low-carbon.” Not everyone is happy about it.

How to Prepare for Climate Change's Most Immediate Impacts

By Emma Pattee
The effects of the climate crisis are happening right now. From natural disasters to supply chain shortages, here's how to cope.

An Injection of Chaos Solves a Decades-Old Fluid Mystery

By Adam Mann
In the 1960s, drillers noticed that certain fluids would firm up if they flowed too fast. Researchers have finally explained why.

Take a Look at The Largest And Most Detailed 3D Map of The Universe Ever Made

A 'CT scan' of the Universe across more than 5 billion light-years. (D. Schlegel/Berkeley Lab/DESI data

The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), currently pointed skyward from its home in the Nicholas U. Mayall Telescope at the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona, is tasked with tracking the expansion of space, to study dark energy and create the most detailed 3D map. of the Universe that was never assembled.

It's only been seven months since the DESI mission began, and we already have a record-breaking, stunning three-dimensional image of the galaxy  all around us, demonstrating DESI's capabilities  and  potential  for mapping space.
DESI has already cataloged and tracked over 7.5 million galaxies, with over a million new additions per month. When the scan is fully completed in 2026, more than 35 million galaxies would have been mapped, giving astronomers  a huge library of data to mine.

"There's a lot of beauty in there," says Lawrence astrophysicist Julien guy in California. "In the distribution of  galaxies on the 3D map, there are huge clusters, filaments and voids.These are the largest structures in the Universe.

But within them you will find an imprint of the  early Universe and the story of its expansion since DESI is made up of 5,000 optical fibers, each individually controlled and positioned ionized by its own little robot These fibers must be precisely positioned  within 10 microns,  less than the thickness of a human hair,  then catch glimpses of light as they filter through the Earth of the cosmos.

Through this fiber network, the instrument takes color spectrum images of millions of galaxies, covering more than a third of the entire sky, before calculating how much the light has been redshifted – that is, how much it's been pushed towards the red end of the spectrum due to the expansion of the Universe.

As this light can take up to several billion years to reach Earth, it's possible to use redshift data to see depth in the Universe: the greater the redshift, the farther away something is. What's more, the structures mapped by DESI can be reverse engineered to see the initial formation that they started out in.

The main objective of DESI is to reveal more about the dark energy that is thought to make up 70 percent of the Universe as well as speeding up its expansion. This dark energy could drive galaxies into an infinite expansion, cause them to collapse back on themselves or something in between – and cosmologists are keen to narrow down the options.

[DESI] will help us  search for clues about the nature of dark energy,” Carlos Frenk, a cosmologist at Durham University in the UK, told the BBC. We will also learn more about  dark matter and the role it plays in how it happens, forms galaxies such as the Milky Way, and how the universe evolves.

The 3D map that has already been released shows that scientists don't have to wait for DESI to finish its work to start benefiting from its deep look into space explores whether or not small galaxies have their own black holes like large galaxies.

The best way to spot a black hole is to identify the gas, dust and other material  dragged into it, but that's not easy to see in small galaxies - something where high-precision spectral data collected by DESI should help. Then there's the study of quasars

, particularly bright galaxies powered by supermassive black holes, which serve as clues to billions of years of space history.

DESI  will be used to test a hypothesis around quasars: that they start out surrounded by an envelope of dust that is chased away over time. The amount of dust around a quasar is believed to affect the color of the light it emits, making it a perfect job for DESI.

The tool should be able to collect information on around 2.4 million quasars before its survey is complete."DESI is really great because it collects much fainter, much redder objects," says Durham University astronomer Victoria Fawcett.

"We're finding quite a few exotic systems, including large samples of rare objects that we've simply never seen able to study in detail before.

Source: ScienceAlert

Old Climate Clues Shed New Light on History

By Jacques Leslie
Historians are reexamining eras of social turmoil and linking them to volcanic eruptions, prolonged droughts, and other disturbances in the natural world.

Pregnant People Are Still Not Getting Vaccinated Against Covid

By Grace Browne
Misinformation and muddled public health messaging have failed expectant parents. Now Omicron's surge is putting both carriers and babies at risk.

The World Was Cooler in 2021 Than 2020. That’s Not Good News

By Matt Simon
The global temperature was down, thanks to La Niña, but it was still the sixth-hottest year on record. And 2 billion people had their warmest year yet.

Astrophysicists Release the Biggest Map of the Universe Yet

By Ramin Skibba
A powerful astronomy instrument called DESI charts millions of galaxies in the night sky. Can it help scientists finally figure out what dark energy is?
Before yesterdayYour RSS feeds

White House will meet execs from Apple, Amazon, IBM to discuss software security


A man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration

The White House will meet with executives from major tech companies, including Alphabet-owned Google (GOOGL.O), Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Inc, , to discuss software security after the United States have suffered several major cyber attacks last year.

 In December, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan sent a letter to CEOs of tech companies after  a security vulnerability was discovered in open source software called Log4j that organizations around the world are using. to save data in their applications. 

In the letter, Sullivan noted that this open source software is widely used and maintained by volunteers and is a "major national security problem." 

Thursday's meeting, which will be hosted by the Deputy National Security Advisor for Information Technology and Emerging Technologies. discuss concerns about the security of open source software and how it can be improved, the White House said in a statement.

Other top tech companies in attendance at the meeting will include IBM (IBM.N), Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), Meta Platforms Inc (FB.O) which owns Facebook and Oracle Corp (ORCL.N). Government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense and the Commerce Department, will also be in attendance.

Cybersecurity has been a top priority for the Biden administration after several major cyberattacks last year, which exposed thousands of records held by companies and government agencies to hackers.

One hack, which the U.S. government has said was likely orchestrated by Russia, breached software made by SolarWinds (SWI.N) and gave hackers access to thousands of companies and government offices that used its products. The hackers got access to emails at the U.S. Treasury, Justice and Commerce departments, and other agencies.

A Staple of Sci-Fi Space Travel Will Likely Remain a Fantasy

By Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica
Physicists say an interstellar engine popularized in the '60s is technically feasible, but it would take a more advanced civilization to build one.

Earth’s Oceanography Helps Demystify Jupiter’s Flowing Cyclones

By Ramin Skibba
A team of scientists shows where some of the gas giant’s huge storms come from and how the process is similar to the buildup of extreme weather on our planet.

Scientists Capture Airborne Animal DNA for the First Time

By Eric Niiler
Researchers filtered the air around two zoos and identified genetic material from dozens of species, a technique that could help track and conserve wildlife.

This AI Software Nearly Predicted Omicron’s Tricky Structure

By Tom Simonite
New algorithms that decipher complex sequences of amino acids offered an early view of the coronavirus variant. They could point the way to future drugs.

Detailed Footage Finally Reveals What Triggers Lightning

By Thomas Lewton
The first detailed observations of lightning's emergence inside a cloud have exposed how electric fields grow strong enough to let bolts fly.

Remember That Weird 'Cube' on The Moon? Yutu-2 Finally Took Closer Pictures


moon cube-moon-nasa
The Yutu-2 image of the ‘mysterious hut’. (CNSA/CLEP/Our Space)
The mysterious Chinese “moon cube” is no longer a mystery. The big reveal: it's a rock that doesn't even have the shape of a cube. National rover Yutu2  discovered the object - which appeared to be a gray cube looming above the lunar horizon - in early December. China's National Space Administration (CNSA) dubbed it the “mystery hut,” playfully speculating that the cube could be an alien house or a spaceship.
 The news called it the "moon cube".

 The CNSA estimated that the object was about 80 meters (262 feet) away, according to the blog  affiliated with the agency, and ready to point the rover towards it. The blog said it would take two or three months to reach the cube.
 After several weeks of preparation and driving, the rover is close enough to see that the "mystery hut" is just a rock. Its sharp geometric aspect on the horizon was a simple turn of perspective, light and shadow.

In an updated posted on Friday, Our Space published the rover's latest photo of its target, below.

moon cube-moon-nasa
Yutu-2 image of the closer rock. (CNSA/CLEP/Our Space)

One of the rover's ground controllers noted on the blog that the rock is shaped like a rabbit, with smaller rocks in front  that resemble a carrot. The rover's name, Yutu, means "jade rabbit," which is now also the name of the rock too.

Yutu2 reached the moon in January 2019, when the Chang'e4 lander landed on the lunar surface and launched a ramp for the rover's descent. It was the first mission to land on the opposite side of the moon. 

Over the next three years, Yutu2 traveled over 1,000 meters (3,200 feet), used ground-penetrating radar to reveal a surprisingly deep layer of lunar soil, and identified rocks in the lunar mantle, below the crust, which have been pushed to the surface. when an asteroid crashed into the moon billions of years ago.
moon cube-moon-nasa
A closer look at the rock. (CNSA/CLEP/Our Space)

The rover has survived long past its initial three-month mission, meaning Yutu-2 had plenty free time for a wild cube chase.

NASA completes James Webb final deployment

Credits: NASA GSFC/CIL/Adriana Manrique Gutierrez

 NASA's James Webb Space Telescope team has fully deployed its 21-foot gold-plated primary mirror, completing the final phase of all major spacecraft deployments in preparation for scientific operations. 

As a joint effort with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency, the Webb mission will explore every phase of cosmic history, from  the solar system to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson commented on the development: “Today NASA has achieved another engineering milestone that has lasted for decades. While the journey is not over, I am joining the Webb team to breathe a little easier and envision future advances that are determined. ”To inspire the world. The James Webb Space Telescope is an unprecedented mission that is about to see the light of the first galaxies and unravel the mysteries of our universe. Every achievement and every achievement in the future  is  testament to the thousands of innovators who put their  passion for life into this mission. 

The two wings of Webb's primary mirror were bent prior to launch to fit into the nose cone of an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket. After more than a week of other critical spacecraft missions, Webb's team began remotely deploying the hexagonal segments of the main mirror, the largest ever launched on launch. Place.

The telescope will now begin moving its 18 primary mirror segments to align the telescope optics. The ground team will command 126 actuators on the backsides of the segments to flex each mirror – an alignment that will take months to complete. Then the team will calibrate the science instruments prior to delivering Webb’s first images this summer.

Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for Science Mission Directorate in NASA Headquarters in Washington, added: “I am so proud of the team – spanning continents and decades – that delivered this first-of-its-kind achievement. Webb’s successful deployment exemplifies the best of what NASA has to offer: the willingness to attempt bold and challenging things in the name of discoveries still unknown.”

Webb will also shortly undergo a third midway correction burn - one of three designed to bring the telescope into precise orbit around the second Lagrangian point, commonly known as L2, nearly 1 million miles from Earth. This is Webb's last orbital position where his sunshade protects him from light from the sun, earth, and moon that could interfere with  infrared light observations. Webb was designed to look back over 13.5 billion years to capture infrared light from celestial objects in much higher resolution than ever before and to study our own solar system as well as distant worlds. 

Gregory L. Robinson, Director of the Webb Program at NASA Headquarters, said, “The successful completion of all  Webb space telescope missions is historic. This is the first time a NASA-led mission attempts to complete a complex sequence of observatory in space, a remarkable feat for our team, NASA, and the world.

Chinese police rap Walmart for cybersecurity loopholes - local media

Walmart signs are displayed inside a Walmart store in Mexico City
Walmart signs are displayed inside a Walmart store in Mexico City, Mexico March 28, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/File Photo

Chinese authorities rapped Walmart for allegedly breaking cybersecurity laws, according to local media, the latest issue for retailer U.S which is already the subject of allegations in the country for allegedly halting sales of products from the Xinjiang.

Police in southern China's Shenzhen city discovered 19 "vulnerabilities" in Walmart's network system (WMT.N) in late November and accused them of taking a long time to fix the flaws the China Quality News, backed by the country's market regulator, reported on Wednesday.
Walmart was ordered to make fixes, the report said, without mentioning fines or details of the vulnerabilities.
The retail giant and the Shenzhen police did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday.

This marks a fresh set of troubles in China for Walmart, which in the past month has faced criticism for what local media has said was its deliberate removal of products sourced from Xinjiang from its apps and stores.

Xinjiang is a growing point of conflict between the Western governments and China, as U.N. experts and rights groups estimate more than a million people, mainly Uyghurs and members of other Muslim minorities, have been detained in camps there.

China has rejected accusations of forced labour or any other abuses in the far western region.
Walmart has seen a wave of  membership cancellations of its  arm Sam's Club branch in China since the Xinjiang problem.
The Chinese transplant agency also accused the retailer and the Sam's Club of "stupidity and myopia".

Although Walmart has not commented publicly  on the matter, Reuters reported that a Sam's Club executive told analysts during a phone call that it was a "misunderstanding" and that there had been no deliberate withdrawal of products from Xinjiang fined 10,000 yuan ($ 1,568) in Shanghai by the city's market regulator for violating food safety laws after discovering that a frozen plant product did not have a production date or of expiration date, according to a separate report released by local media.

Can Synthetic Palm Oil Help Save the World’s Tropical Forests?

By James Dinneen
Harvesting this vegetable oil is a huge driver of deforestation. Numerous startups are taking up the daunting task of engineering it instead.

SpaceX’s Starlink internet service has more than 145,000 users so far

A Starlink user terminal, also known as an antenna or satellite dish, on the roof of a building.(Photo:-SpaceX)

Elon Musk's SpaceX provided an update on its Starlink internet service on Thursday, as the company launched more satellites into orbit. 

SpaceX engineer Jessie Anderson said during a webcast of the company's first launch of the year that Starlink now has more than 145,000 users in 25 countries around the world. It fell from 140,000 users in early November, but represents a slowdown in user growth. 

On Thursday, the company launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Florida, carrying 49 Starlink satellites into orbit. 

Starlink is the company's plan to build an interconnected Internet network with thousands of satellites - known in the space industry as a constellation. 

It is designed to provide high speed Internet access to consumers all over the planet. SpaceX has approximately 1,800 Starlink satellites in orbit.

The increase of 5,000 users in two months represents slower growth. As of November, SpaceX had added about 11,000 users per month since the service began in October 2020.

 Late last year, SpaceX noted on its website that the "silicon shortage has delayed production" of Starlink user terminals, “which  impacted our ability to fulfill orders. 

SpaceX's valuation has reached over $100 billion, which industry analysts attribute largely to the market potential of its Starlink service.