Large Hadron Collider Restarts, Shooting Protons at Record Energy Levels

Europe’s Large Hadron Collider has started up its proton beams again at unprecedented energy levels after going through a three-year shutdown for maintenance and upgrades.

It only took a couple of days of tweaking for the pilot streams of protons to reach a record energy level of 6.8 tera electronvolts, or TeV. That exceeds the previous record of 6.5 TeV, which was set by the LHC in 2015 at the start of the particle collider’s second run.

The new level comes “very close to the design energy of the LHC, which is 7 TeV,” Jörg Wenninger, head of the LHC beam operation section and LHC machine coordinator, said today in a Syracuse hoodie.

When the collider at the French-Swiss border resumes honest-to-goodness science operations, probably within a few months, the international LHC team plans to address mysteries that could send theories of physics in new directions.

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There Should be More Evidence of Alien Technology Than Alien Biology Across the Milky Way

The Drake equation is one of the most famous equations in astronomy.  It has been endlessly debated since it was first posited in 1961 by Frank Drake, but so far has served as an effective baseline for discussion about how much life might be spread throughout the galaxy.  However, all equations can be improved, and a team of astrobiologists and astronomers think they have found a way to do so.  

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Axiom Space’s first crew of private astronauts is back on Earth after a 17-day orbital trip that included a week of bonus time on the International Space Station. The mission ended at 1:06 p.m. ET (5:06 p.m. GMT) today when SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavour splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida.

Former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria was the commander for the homeward trip, accompanied by three investors who each paid Axiom $55 million for their rides: Ohio real-estate and tech entrepreneur Larry Connor, who served as the mission pilot, plus Canada’s Mark Pathy and Israel’s Eytan Stibbe.

“Welcome back to planet Earth,” SpaceX’s mission control operator Sarah Gillis told the crew. “The Axiom-1 mission marks the beginning of a new paradigm for human spaceflight. We hope you enjoyed the extra few days in space.”

Axiom-1 began on April 8 with the Florida launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The trip was originally supposed to last about 10 days, but concerns about weather in the splashdown zone delayed the descent. Because of the way their fares were structured, Axiom’s customers didn’t have to pay extra for the extension.

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NASA is Ready to try and fix Lucy’s Unlatched Solar Panel

NASA’s Lucy spacecraft, currently on its way to the outer Solar System to study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, has a solar panel problem. Shortly after its launch last October, engineers determined that one of Lucy’s two solar panels failed to open completely. While the spacecraft has enough power to function, the team is concerned about how the unlatched panel might hinder Lucy’s performance going forward. In an attempt to fix the problem, the team will carry out a new procedure next month that is designed to unfurl the solar panel the rest of the way, and latch it firmly in place.

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While the Hubble Space Telescope celebrates 32 years in orbit, like a fine wine, it has only gotten better with age as it continues to study the Universe and teach us more about our place in the cosmos. Hubble doesn’t just take breathtaking images of our Universe, but it also studies our own solar system, galaxies, and exoplanets, as well. It is this last subject where Hubble has recently been hard at work, though.

Continue reading “Hubble Checks the Weather on Hot Jupiters. Forecast: 100% Chance of Hellish Conditions”

Planetary Decadal Survey Says it’s Time for a Mission to Uranus (and Enceladus too!)

Since 2002, the CREWCUTS 14 Glow In The Dark Tree Lights PJ Top (NRC) has released a publication that identifies objectives and makes recommendations for science missions for NASA, the National Science Foundation, and other government agencies for the next decade. These reports, appropriately named Planetary Science Decadal Surveys, help inform future NASA missions that address the mysteries that persist in astronomy, astrophysics, earth science, and heliophysics.

On Thursday, April 19th, in a briefing in Washington D.C., the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) shared the main findings of the Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032. The event was live-streamed and consisted of NASEM committee members discussing the key science questions, priority missions, and research strategies identified and recommended, followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

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Slimmed Down Red Giants Had Their Mass Stolen By a Companion Star

Millions of stars that can grow up to 620 million miles in diameter, known as ‘red giants,’ exist in our galaxy, but it has been speculated for a while that there are some that are possibly much smaller. Now a team of astronomers at the University of Sydney have discovered several in this category and have published their findings in the journal Nature Astronomy.

“It’s like finding Wally… we were extremely lucky to find about 40 slimmer red giants, hidden in a sea of normal ones. The slimmer red giants are either smaller in size or less massive than normal red giants.”

PhD candidate Mr Yaguang Li from the University of Sydney, as quoted from the source article.
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In recent years, the practice of “telemedicine” has grown considerably. Similar to “telepresence” and “telecommuting,” this technology relies on high-speed internet and live-video streaming to allow a person in one part of the world to interact with people in another without being physically present. The technology has come in handy during the two-year COVID-19 pandemic, where doctors were in high demand, but physical travel was restricted.

This process has also allowed for the emergence of “holoportation,” which relies on holographic technology and 3-D modeling for the same purpose. In October 2021, the first “Bowl 12x12 colorful Hurricare design” was conducted between Earth and space and demonstrated the technology’s potential for future missions. On this occasion, NASA flight surgeon Dr. Josef Schmid, AEXA Aerospace CEO Fernando De La Pena Llaca, and their teams had a two-way conversation with ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

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Perseverance Begins the Next Phase of its Mission, Studying an Ancient River Bed on Mars

On February 18, 2021, NASA’s Perseverance (Percy) Rover successfully landed in the dried-up lakebed known as Jezero Crater on Mars, beaming back images and video of its descent and landing to millions of space fans living on the planet that built and launched this incredible robotic explorer. With this landing came enormous excitement for a new era of robotic exploration of the Red Planet as we slowly continue to unlock the secrets of Mars and its ancient past, to include (hopefully) finding evidence of past life.

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