Science X Newsletter Week 15

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 15:

Researchers create light waves that can penetrate even opaque materials

Why is sugar not transparent? Because light that penetrates a piece of sugar is scattered, altered and deflected in a highly complicated way. However, as a research team from TU Wien (Vienna) and Utrecht University (Netherlands) has now been able to show, there is a class of very special light waves for which this does not apply: for any specific disordered medium—such as the sugar cube you may just have put in your coffee—tailor-made light beams can be constructed that are practically not changed by this medium, but only attenuated. The light beam penetrates the medium, and a light pattern arrives on the other side that has the same shape as if the medium were not there at all.

NASA spacecraft leaves mess after grabbing asteroid samples

A NASA spacecraft left a mess at an asteroid when it grabbed a load of rubble last year for return to Earth, new pictures revealed Thursday.

NASA chooses SpaceX to take humans back to Moon

NASA has selected SpaceX to land the first astronauts on the surface of the Moon since 1972, the agency said Friday, in a huge victory for Elon Musk's company.

New NASA visualization probes the light-bending dance of binary black holes

A pair of orbiting black holes millions of times the Sun's mass perform a hypnotic pas de deux in a new NASA visualization. The movie traces how the black holes distort and redirect light emanating from the maelstrom of hot gas—called an accretion disk—that surrounds each one.

'Godzilla' shark discovered in New Mexico gets formal name

The 300-million-year-old shark's teeth were the first sign that it might be a distinct species.

A new super-Earth detected orbiting a red dwarf star

In recent years there has been an exhaustive study of red dwarf stars to find exoplanets in orbit around them. These stars have effective surface temperatures between 2400 and 3700 K (over 2000 degrees cooler than the Sun), and masses between 0.08 and 0.45 solar masses. In this context, a team of researchers led by Borja Toledo Padrón, a Severo Ochoa-La Caixa doctoral student at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), specializing in the search for planets around this type of stars, has discovered a super-Earth orbiting the star GJ 740, a red dwarf star situated some 36 light years from the Earth.

Telescopes unite in unprecedented observations of famous black hole

In April 2019, scientists released the first image of a black hole in galaxy M87 using the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). However, that remarkable achievement was just the beginning of the science story to be told.

COVID-19 not the sole cause of excess U.S. deaths in 2020

By the year 2017, the United States was already suffering more excess deaths and more life years lost each year than those associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, according to research from demographers Samuel Preston of the University of Pennsylvania and Yana Vierboom of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research.

Study warns of 'oxygen false positives' in search for signs of life on other planets

In the search for life on other planets, the presence of oxygen in a planet's atmosphere is one potential sign of biological activity that might be detected by future telescopes. A new study, however, describes several scenarios in which a lifeless rocky planet around a sun-like star could evolve to have oxygen in its atmosphere.

DuckDuckGo can now block the Google Chrome tracking method, FLoC

In an attempt to better track users and predict their search habits, Google Chrome has developed FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts). FLoC provides visibility into user data to any website that desires this information.

Shift in diet allowed gray wolves to survive ice-age extinction

Gray wolves are among the largest predators to have survived the extinction at the end of the last ice age around11,700 years ago. Today, they can be found roaming Yukon's boreal forest and tundra, with caribou and moose as their main sources of food.

Scientists discover three liquid phases in aerosol particles

Researchers at the University of British Columbia have discovered three liquid phases in aerosol particles, changing our understanding of air pollutants in the Earth's atmosphere.

In world first, New Zealand to make banks report climate impact

New Zealand will force banks to reveal the impact their investments have on climate change under world-first legislation intended to make the financial sector's environmental record transparent, officials said.

New photo colorizing technique uses skin reaction to light for life-like results

Around a century ago when film stocks and photographs were first coming to light, they faced a number of challenges in capturing the essence of an image. In addition to the black and white limitation, photography and film methods also struggled to capture other various elements of the color spectrum, rendering many images of famous figures appearing differently than they may have actually looked.

In a first, scientists watch 2D puddles of electrons spontaneously emerge in a 3D superconducting material

Creating a two-dimensional material, just a few atoms thick, is often an arduous process requiring sophisticated equipment. So scientists were surprised to see 2D puddles emerge inside a three-dimensional superconductor—a material that allows electrons to travel with 100% efficiency and zero resistance—with no prompting.

New species of frog unearthed in Peruvian Amazon jungle

A new species of marsupial frog has been discovered in Peru's Amazon jungle, the state service for natural protected areas said on Monday.

Novel theory addresses centuries-old physics problem

The 'three-body problem,' the term coined for predicting the motion of three gravitating bodies in space, is essential for understanding a variety of astrophysical processes as well as a large class of mechanical problems, and has occupied some of the world's best physicists, astronomers and mathematicians for over three centuries. Their attempts have led to the discovery of several important fields of science; yet its solution remained a mystery.

Student's physics homework picked up by Amazon quantum researchers

A simple yet elegant change to code studied for more than 20 years could shorten timeline to achieve scalable quantum computation and has attracted the attention of quantum computing programs at Amazon Web Services and Yale University.

Black holes like to eat, but have a variety of table manners

All supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies appear to have periods when they swallow matter from their close surroundings. But that is about as far as the similarities go. That's the conclusion reached by British and Dutch astronomers from their research with ultra-sensitive radio telescopes in a well-studied region of the universe. They publish their findings in two articles in the international journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

SpaceX, NASA give 'go' for astronaut launch, 3rd for Dragon

SpaceX is gearing up for its third astronaut launch in under a year, after getting the green light from NASA a week ahead of next Thursday's planned flight.


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