Science X Newsletter Week 19

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 19:

In the emptiness of space, Voyager 1 detects plasma 'hum'

Voyager 1—one of two sibling NASA spacecraft launched 44 years ago and now the most distant human-made object in space—still works and zooms toward infinity.

Fossil of ancient squid eating a crustacean while being eaten by an ancient shark

A team of researchers has discovered a fossil they are describing as a leftover fall event in which one creature was in the process of eating another creature that was not consumed. In their paper published in the Swiss Journal of Palaeontology, the group describes the fossilized find and what it taught them about behavior between ancient cephalopods and vertebrate predators.

New dinosaur found in Mexico was 'very communicative'

A new species of dinosaur identified by Mexican paleontologists is believed to have been "very communicative" and used low-frequency sounds like elephants to talk to each other, a researcher said Friday.

A new era of spaceflight? Promising advances in rocket propulsion

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) has recently commissioned three private companies, Blue Origin, Lockheed Martin and General Atomics, to develop nuclear fission thermal rockets for use in lunar orbit.

Mammals can breathe through anus in emergencies

Rodents and pigs share with certain aquatic organisms the ability to use their intestines for respiration, finds a study publishing May 14th in the journal Med. The researchers demonstrated that the delivery of oxygen gas or oxygenated liquid through the rectum provided vital rescue to two mammalian models of respiratory failure.

Extraterrestrial radioactive isotope found in seabed has implications for Earth's origins

The first-ever discovery of an extraterrestrial radioactive isotope on Earth has scientists rethinking the origins of the elements on our planet.

New evidence for electron's dual nature found in a quantum spin liquid

A new discovery led by Princeton University could upend our understanding of how electrons behave under extreme conditions in quantum materials. The finding provides experimental evidence that this familiar building block of matter behaves as if it is made of two particles: one particle that gives the electron its negative charge and another that supplies its magnet-like property, known as spin.

Seeing Ingenuity Mars helicopter fly in 3D

When NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter took to the Martian skies on its third flight on April 25, the agency's Perseverance rover was there to capture the historic moment. Now NASA engineers have rendered the flight in 3D, lending dramatic depth to the flight as the helicopter ascends, hovers, then zooms laterally off-screen before returning for a pinpoint landing. Seeing the sequence is a bit like standing on the Martian surface next to Perseverance and watching the flight firsthand.

Perseverance's robotic arm starts conducting science

NASA's newest Mars rover is beginning to study the floor of an ancient crater that once held a lake.

World's fastest information-fueled engine designed by university researchers

Simon Fraser University researchers have designed a remarkably fast engine that taps into a new kind of fuel—information.

New research reveals hidden processes at work in the hearts of large stars

Astronomers commonly refer to massive stars as the chemical factories of the Universe. They generally end their lives in spectacular supernovae, events that forge many of the elements on the periodic table. How elemental nuclei mix within these enormous stars has a major impact on our understanding of their evolution prior to their explosion. It also represents the largest uncertainty for scientists studying their structure and evolution.

No connection between father-son relationships, adherence to masculine norms

A team of researchers at Federation University in Australia has found that there is no connection between the relationship boys have with their father as they grow up and their adherence to masculine norms later on in life. In their paper published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences the group describes developing a questionnaire aimed at assessing views on masculinity and the type of relationship a person had with their father and administering it to male volunteers.

Space telescope's golden mirror wings open one last time on Earth

For the last time while it is on Earth, the world's largest and most powerful space science telescope opened its iconic primary mirror. This event marked a key milestone in preparing the observatory for launch later this year.

Caldera collapse increases the size and duration of volcanic eruptions

Scientists have figured out what triggers large-scale volcanic eruptions and what conditions likely lead to them.

Physicists predict neutron stars may be bigger than previously imagined

When a massive star dies, first there is a supernova explosion. Then, what's left over becomes either a black hole or a neutron star.

Quantum machine learning hits a limit

A new theorem from the field of quantum machine learning has poked a major hole in the accepted understanding about information scrambling.

Physicists observe modified energy landscapes at the intersection of 2D materials

In 1884, Edwin Abbott wrote the novel Flatland: A Romance in Many Dimensions as a satire of Victorian hierarchy. He imagined a world that existed only in two dimensions, where the beings are 2D geometric figures. The physics of such a world is somewhat akin to that of modern 2D materials, such as graphene and transition metal dichalcogenides, which include tungsten disulfide (WS2), tungsten diselenide (WSe2), molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) and molybdenum diselenide (MoSe2).

Current trend reversed: Scientists investigate the Seebeck effect in electric current

When a piece of conducting material is heated up at one of its ends, a voltage difference can build up across the sample, which in turn can be converted into a current. This is the so-called Seebeck effect, the cornerstone of thermoelectric effects. In particular, the effect provides a route to creating work out of a temperature difference. Such thermoelectric engines do not have any movable part and are therefore convenient power sources in various applications, including propelling NASA's Mars rover Perseverance. The Seebeck effect is interesting for fundamental physics, too, as the magnitude and sign of the induced thermoelectric current is characteristic of the material and indicates how entropy and charge currents are coupled. Writing in Physical Review X, the group of Prof. Tilman Esslinger at the Department of Physics of ETH Zurich now reports on the controlled reversal of such a current by changing the interaction strength among the constituents of a quantum simulator made of extremely cold atoms trapped in shaped laser fields. The capability to induce such a reversal means that the system can be turned from a thermoelectric engine into a cooler.

Newly described horned dinosaur from New Mexico was the earliest of its kind

A newly described horned dinosaur that lived in New Mexico 82 million years ago is one of the earliest known ceratopsid species, a group known as horned or frilled dinosaurs. Researchers reported their find in a publication in the journal PalZ (Paläontologische Zeitschrift).

Giant sea lizard fossil shows diversity of life before asteroid hit

A giant mosasaur from the end of the Cretaceous period in Morocco that could have reached up to eight meters long is the third new species to be described from the region in less than a year, bringing the total number of species up to at least 13.


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