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phys.org
Phys.org is a science, research and technology news aggregator where much of the content is republished directly from press releases and news agencies-in a practice known as churnalism. It also produces some science journalism.Source
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Using drones to create local quantum networks

Using drones to create local quantum networks

January 18, 2021by Bob Yirka , Phys.orgA team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in China has used drones to create a prototype of a small airborne quantum network. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the researchers describe sending entangled particles from one drone to another and from a drone to the ground.Computer scientists, physicists and engineers have been working over the last several years toward building a usable quantum —doing so would involve sending entangled particles between users and the result would be the most secure network...

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4h ago
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When galaxies collide: Models suggest galactic collisions can starve massive black holes

When galaxies collide: Models suggest galactic collisions can starve massive black holes

January 25, 2021byIt was previously thought that collisions between galaxies would necessarily add to the activity of the massive black holes at their centers. However, researchers have performed the most accurate simulations of a range of collision scenarios and have found that some collisions can reduce the activity of their central black holes. The reason is that certain head-on collisions may in fact clear the galactic nuclei of the matter which would otherwise fuel the black holes contained within.Gargantuan phenomena such as the collision of galaxies are often considered as a cosmic...

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12h ago
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NASA's deep space network welcomes a new dish to the family

NASA's deep space network welcomes a new dish to the family

January 25, 2021by Ian J. O'neill,A powerful new antenna has been added to the NASA Space Communications and Navigation's Deep Space Network (DSN), which connects us to the space robots exploring our solar system. Called Deep Space Station 56, or DSS-56, the dish is now online and ready to communicate with a variety of missions, including NASA's Perseverance rover when it lands on the Red Planet .The new 34-meter-wide (112-foot-wide) dish has been under construction at the Madrid Deep Space Communications Complex in Spain since 2017. Existing antennas are limited in the frequency bands they...

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20h ago
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Puzzling six-exoplanet system with rhythmic movement challenges theories of how planets form

Puzzling six-exoplanet system with rhythmic movement challenges theories of how planets form

January 25, 2021byUsing a combination of telescopes, including the Very Large Telescope of the European Southern Observatory (ESO's VLT), astronomers have revealed a system consisting of six exoplanets, five of which are locked in a rare rhythm around their central star. The researchers believe the system could provide important clues about how planets, including those in the Solar System, form and evolve.The first time the team observed TOI-178, a star some 200 light-years away in the constellation of Sculptor, they thought they had spotted two going around it in the same orbit. However, a...

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20h ago
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Iodine thruster could slow space junk accumulation

Iodine thruster could slow space junk accumulation

January 22, 2021byFor the first time ever, a telecommunications satellite has used an iodine propellant to change its orbit around Earth.The small but potentially disruptive innovation could help to clear the skies of space junk, by enabling tiny satellites to self-destruct cheaply and easily at the end of their missions, by steering themselves into the atmosphere where they would burn up.The technology could also be used to boost the mission lifetime of small CubeSats that monitor on Earth or entire mega-constellations of nanosats that provide global internet access, by raising their...

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28d ago
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Reducing traps increases performance of organic photodetectors

Reducing traps increases performance of organic photodetectors

January 22, 2021byPhysicists at the Dresden Integrated Center for Applied Physics and Photonic Materials (IAPP) discovered that trap states rule the performance of organic photodetectors, ultimately limiting their detectivity. These highly promising results have now been published in the renowned scientific journal Nature Communications.Organic photodetectors (OPDs) have a huge potential for applications in low-cost imaging, health monitoring and near infrared sensing. Yet, before industrially realizing these applications, the performance of these devices still needs to be improved.Recent...

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3d ago
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Search for axions from nearby star Betelgeuse comes up empty

Search for axions from nearby star Betelgeuse comes up empty

January 21, 2021by Jennifer Chu,The elusive axion particle is many times lighter than an electron, with properties that barely make an impression on ordinary matter. As such, the ghost-like particle is a leading contender as a component of dark matter—a hypothetical, invisible type of matter that is thought to make up 85 percent of the mass in the universe.Axions have so far evaded detection. Physicists predict that if they do exist, they must be produced within extreme environments, such as the cores of stars at the precipice of a supernova. When these stars spew axions out into the...

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3d ago
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The seven rocky planets of TRAPPIST-1 seem to have very similar compositions

The seven rocky planets of TRAPPIST-1 seem to have very similar compositions

January 22, 2021by Calla Cofield,The red dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 is home to the largest group of roughly Earth-size planets ever found in a single stellar system. Located about 40 light-years away, these seven rocky siblings provide an example of the tremendous variety of planetary systems that likely fill the universe.A new study published today in the Planetary Science Journal shows that the TRAPPIST-1 planets have remarkably similar densities. That could mean they all contain about the same ratio of materials thought to compose most rocky planets, like iron, oxygen, magnesium, and silicon....

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3d ago
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Magnetic waves explain mystery of Sun's outer layer

Magnetic waves explain mystery of Sun's outer layer

January 22, 2021byThe Sun's extremely hot outer layer, the corona, has a very different chemical composition from the cooler inner layers, but the reason for this has puzzled scientists for decades.One explanation is that, in the middle (the chromosphere), magnetic waves exert a force that separates the Sun's plasma into different components, so that only the ion particles are transported into the corona, while leaving neutral particles behind (thus leading to a build-up of elements such as iron, silicon and magnesium in the outer atmosphere).Now, in a new study published in The...

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3d ago
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California harbor porpoises rebound after coastal gillnetting stopped

California harbor porpoises rebound after coastal gillnetting stopped

January 21, 2021byHarbor porpoises have rebounded in a big way off California. Their populations have recovered dramatically since the end of state set-gillnet fisheries that years ago entangled and killed them in the nearshore waters they frequent. These coastal set-gillnet fisheries are distinct from federally-managed offshore drift-gillnet fisheries. They have been prohibited in inshore state waters for more than a decade. The new research indicates that the coastal set gillnets had taken a greater toll on harbor porpoise than previously realized.The return of porpoises reflects the...

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4d ago
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Scientists find black holes could reach 'stupendously large' sizes

Scientists find black holes could reach 'stupendously large' sizes

January 21, 2021byA recent study suggests the possible existence of 'stupendously large black holes' or SLABS, even larger than the supermassive black holes already observed in the centers of galaxies.The research, led by Queen Mary Emeritus Professor Bernard Carr in the School of Physics and Astronomy, together with F. Kühnel (Münich) and L. Visinelli (Frascati), investigated how these SLABs could form and potential limits to their size.Whilst there is evidence of the existence of (SMBHs) in —with masses from a million to ten billion times that of the Sun—previous studies have suggested an...

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4d ago
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Astronomers see whirlwind around possible exoplanet in the making

Astronomers see whirlwind around possible exoplanet in the making

January 21, 2021byAn international team of astronomers led by researchers from the Netherlands has discovered a whirlwind of dust and debris in orbit around a young star. It is possible that a planet is forming within the debris. The scientists made the discovery during the time that designers and developers of an astronomical instrument get as a reward for their work. They will soon publish their findings in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.The exoplanet in the making orbits the star HD 163296 in a close orbit. HD 163296, about 330 light-years away from Earth, is a young star much...

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5d ago
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Astronomers estimate Titan's largest sea is 1,000-feet deep

Astronomers estimate Titan's largest sea is 1,000-feet deep

January 21, 2021by Blaine Friedlander,Far below the gaseous atmospheric shroud on Saturn's largest moon, Titan, lies Kraken Mare, a sea of liquid methane. Cornell University astronomers have estimated that sea to be at least 1,000-feet deep near its center—enough room for a potential robotic submarine to explore.After sifting through data from one of the final Titan flybys of the Cassini mission, the researchers detailed their findings in "The Bathymetry of Moray Sinus at Titan's Kraken Mare," which published in the Journal of Geophysical Research."The depth and composition of each of...

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5d ago
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Cancer can be precisely diagnosed using a urine test with artificial intelligence

Cancer can be precisely diagnosed using a urine test with artificial intelligence

January 21, 2021by National Research Council of Science & TechnologyProstate cancer is one of the most common cancers among men. Patients are determined to have prostate cancer primarily based on PSA, a cancer factor in blood. However, as diagnostic accuracy is as low as 30%, a considerable number of patients undergo additional invasive biopsy and thus suffer from resultant side effects, such as bleeding and pain.The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) announced that the collaborative research team led by Dr. Kwan Hyi Lee from the Biomaterials Research Center and Professor In...

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5d ago
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Rocks show Mars once felt like Iceland

Rocks show Mars once felt like Iceland

January 21, 2021by Mike Williams,Once upon a time, seasons in Gale Crater probably felt something like those in Iceland. But nobody was there to bundle up more than 3 billion years ago.The ancient Martian crater is the focus of a study by Rice University scientists comparing data from the Curiosity rover to places on Earth where similar geologic formations have experienced weathering in different climates.Iceland's basaltic terrain and cool weather, with temperatures typically less than 38 degrees Fahrenheit, turned out to be the closest analog to ancient Mars. The study determined that...

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5d ago
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3-D printing to pave the way for moon colonization

3-D printing to pave the way for moon colonization

January 21, 2021byA research team from the Skoltech Center for Design, Manufacturing and Materials (CDMM) comprising 2nd year Ph.D. student Maxim Isachenkov, Senior Research Scientist Svyatoslav Chugunov, Professor Iskander Akhatov, and Professor Igor Shishkovsky has prepared an extensive review on the use of Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies (also known as 3-D-printing) in crewed lunar exploration. Their paper published in the journal Acta Astronautica contains a comprehensive description of the geological composition of the lunar surface and the properties of lunar soil (lunar...

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5d ago
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Juno maps water ice across northern Ganymede

Juno maps water ice across northern Ganymede

January 21, 2021by Morgan Rehnberg, EosJupiter's moon Ganymede is the largest planetary satellite in the solar system. It's also one of the most intriguing: Ganymede is the only moon with its own magnetic field, it is the most differentiated of all moons, and it likely possesses a subsurface ocean of liquid water. It was studied by the early Jupiter flybys made by the Pioneer and Voyager spacecraft, but our understanding today rests largely on observations made by NASA's Galileo orbiter from 1995 to 2003.Mura et al. now report some of the first in situ observations of Ganymede since the end...

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5d ago
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Genesis of blue lightning into the stratosphere detected from ISS

Genesis of blue lightning into the stratosphere detected from ISS

January 20, 2021byDark clouds, the smell of rain on a hot sidewalk, the flashes of intense light followed by a loud crackling and then a low, rolling thunder—who doesn't love a good summer thunderstorm? We've all seen one, heard one, or been completely soaked by one. But how much do we really know about this weather phenomenon?As it turns out, there are many things left to discover, such as , elves and red sprites. These bizarre-sounding things are very difficult to observe from the surface of the Earth. As a new Nature paper reports, however, the European Atmosphere-Space Interactions...

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5d ago
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Optical data transmission speed increased by a factor of at least 10,000

Optical data transmission speed increased by a factor of at least 10,000

January 20, 2021by National Research Council of Science & TechnologyPulsed lasers repeatedly emit light for a short period of time as if blinking. They have the advantage of focusing more energy than a continuous wave laser, whose intensity is kept unchanged over time. If digital signals are loaded in a pulsed laser, each pulse can encode one bit of data. In this respect, the higher the repetition rate, the more the amount of data that can be transmitted. However, conventional optical-fiber-based pulsed lasers have typically had a limitation in increasing the number of pulses per second...

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6d ago
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NASA explores solar wind with new view of small sun structures

NASA explores solar wind with new view of small sun structures

January 19, 2021by Sarah Frazier,Scientists have combined NASA data and cutting-edge image processing to gain new insight into the solar structures that create the Sun's flow of high-speed solar wind, detailed in new research published today in The Astrophysical Journal. This first look at relatively small features, dubbed "plumelets," could help scientists understand how and why disturbances form in the solar wind.The Sun's magnetic influence stretches billions of miles, far past the orbit of Pluto and the planets, defined by a driving force: the . This constant outflow of solar material...

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6d ago
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Mystery of Martian glaciers revealed

Mystery of Martian glaciers revealed

January 19, 2021by Michael Blanding, Colgate UniversityIn a new paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academies of ScienceS (PNAS), planetary geologist Joe Levy, assistant professor of geology at Colgate University, reveals a groundbreaking new analysis of the mysterious glaciers of Mars.On Earth, glaciers covered wide swaths of the planet during the last Ice Age, which reached its peak about 20,000 years ago, before receding to the poles and leaving behind the rocks they pushed behind. On Mars, however, the glaciers never left, remaining frozen on the Red Planet's cold...

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6d ago
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Fast transport in carbon nanotube membranes could advance human health

Fast transport in carbon nanotube membranes could advance human health

January 8, 2021by Anne M Stark,Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers have discovered that carbon nanotube membrane pores could enable ultra-rapid dialysis processes that would greatly reduce treatment time for hemodialysis patients.The ability to separate molecular constituents in complex solutions is crucial to many biological and man-made processes. One way is via the application of a concentration gradient across a . This drives ions or molecules smaller than the diameters from one side of the to the other while blocking anything that is too large to fit through the...

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6d ago
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Researchers discover the earliest supermassive black hole and quasar in the universe

Researchers discover the earliest supermassive black hole and quasar in the universe

January 19, 2021by Harrison Tasoff,Nearly every galaxy hosts a monster at its center—a supermassive black hole millions to billions times the size of the Sun. While there's still much to learn about these objects, many scientists believe they are crucial to the formation and structure of galaxies. What's more, some of these black holes are particularly active, whipping up stars, dust and gas into glowing accretion disks emitting powerful radiation into the cosmos as they consume matter around them. These quasars are some of the most distant objects that astronomers can see, and there is now...

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7d ago
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Spacecraft design could get to Titan in only 2 years using a direct fusion drive

Spacecraft design could get to Titan in only 2 years using a direct fusion drive

October 19, 2020by Andy Tomaswick,Fusion power is the technology that is 30 years away, and always will be, according to skeptics, at least. Despite its difficult transition into a reliable power source, the nuclear reactions that power the sun have a wide variety of uses in other fields. The most obvious is in weapons; hydrogen bombs are to this day the most powerful weapons we have ever produced. But there's another use case that is much less destructive and could prove much more interesting—space drives.The concept fusion drive, called a direct fusion drive (or DFD), is in development at...

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7d ago
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Astronomers detect an outbursting young stellar object

Astronomers detect an outbursting young stellar object

January 19, 2021by Tomasz Nowakowski , Phys.orgBy analyzing datasets from the Palomar Gattini InfraRed survey (PGIR) and NASA's NEOWISE spacecraft, astronomers have identified an outbursting young stellar object (YSO) in the star-forming region NGC 281-W. The study, which reports the finding and sheds more light on the nature of the newfound YSO, was published Jan. 11 on arXiv.org.YSOs are stars in early stages of evolution, in particular, protostars and pre-. They are usually observed embedded in dense molecular clumps, environments containing plenty of molecular gas and interstellar...

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