Posts in "Science"

Dragonfly Drone To Fly Skies of Saturn’s Moon Titan

NASA?s Dragonfly Mission Will Soar the Skies of Titan in Search of Life?s Origins
NASA chose a drone-like design for Dragonfly. It will be able to fly to different locations and take samples of the organic-rich sands to analyze them. Since Titan’s atmosphere is four times denser than Earth’s, it is actually easier to fly on Titan than on Earth. Dragonfly will be the first such rotorcraft sent to explore another world.


“The Future Is African”


Future Africa just unveiled its ultra-modern campus in South Africa, with the dream of building a ‘transdisciplinary’ research center.
The legacy Future Africa is working towards is building a truly Pan-African research hub. Being able to say, years from now, that the center was instrumental in training a Kenyan Ph.D. student or a postdoctoral fellow who has gone home to launch a life-changing project in Nairobi, is an ambition worth chasing, Slippers says. “By providing quality research environment in Africa that connects to the global network, we don’t have to go to Sweden, Sweden can come here.”

Illustration (& header image) by Miriam Sugranyes for BRIGHT Magazine.

Alien Meteorite Found in the Sahara Is Older Than Our Solar System

2017 was a year of excitement among the asteroid-watching community, as ‘Oumuamua, the first recorded visitor from an another solar system, took a spin around our sun before launching itself off into the inky blackness of space.

According to a team at the University of Johannesburg, though, ‘Oumuamua is far from the first visitor from another solar system that we have available to study. One such alien rock is right here on Earth, making it far easier to study.


Alaskan infant’s DNA tells story of ‘first Americans’

The 11,500-year-old remains of an infant girl from Alaska have shed new light on the peopling of the Americas.

Genetic analysis of the child, allied to other data, indicates she belonged to a previously unknown, ancient group.

Scientists say what they have learnt from her DNA strongly supports the idea that a single wave of migrants moved into the continent from Siberia just over 20,000 years ago.


Behold the dreamy beauty of Jupiter’ clouds

Jupiter’s atmosphere is quite simply a work of art. With an atmosphere that best resembles the sun, Jupiter is predominantly made up of hydrogen and helium, with trace amounts of ammonia, sulfur, methane and water vapor. Strong east-west winds in the planet’s upper atmosphere travel at 400 mph, with dark belts and light zones reflecting different compositions of chemicals.


NASA has Googled the stars — and found new rocky planets in a ‘major discovery’

NASA and Google on Thursday announced what they called a “major discovery”: another solar system with eight planets.

Astronomers already knew about the star system, called Kepler-90, and seven of its planets. But by using new artificial-intelligence software developed by Google, researchers identified an eighth planet, Kepler-90i, lurking in old data.


Bringing ‘Avatar’-like glowing plants to the real world

The 2009 film “Avatar” created a lush imaginary world, illuminated by magical, glowing plants. Now researchers are starting to bring this spellbinding vision to life to help reduce our dependence on artificial lighting. They report in ACS’ journal Nano Letters a way to infuse plants with the luminescence of fireflies.


Excitonium: New form of matter discovered 50 years after it was first theorised

Scientists have identified a new form of matter, the existence of which has been theorised for 50 years.

The substance is known as “excitonium”.

It is made up of excitons – unusual particles made up of an escaped electron and the hole it has left behind in a material.


Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities: A Collection of Space Futures

Why should we go to space? To learn more about the universe and our place in it? To extract resources and conduct commerce? To demonstrate national primacy and technological prowess? To live and thrive in radically different kinds of human communities? Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities takes on the challenge of imagining new stories at the intersection of public and private—narratives that use the economic and social history of exploration, as well as current technical and scientific research, to inform scenarios for the future of the “new space” era.