Science News (19 – 25 Dec 2021)

Science News related to Hovering Rover, Simulations for Asteroid Collisions, Iodine – Destroying Ozone, Deep-Space Exploration, Black Hole in Centaurus A, Engineering Artificial Lungs

Note: I do not write/own any of the science news bits (and cover picture) given here. The links on each of the news bits will redirect to the news source. The content given under each headline is a basic gist and not the full story.


1.   Engineers Test an Idea for A New Hovering Rover

Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

21 Dec 2021

Aerospace engineers are testing a new concept for a hovering rover that levitates by harnessing the moon’s natural charge. Because they lack an atmosphere, the moon and other airless bodies such as asteroids can build up an electric field through direct exposure to the sun and surrounding plasma. On the moon, this surface charge is strong enough to levitate dust more than 1 meter above the ground, much the way static electricity can cause a person’s hair to stand on end.

Original written by: Jennifer Chu


2.   Computer Simulation Models Potential Asteroid Collisions

Source: American Institute of Physics

21 Dec 2021

A researcher has developed a computer simulation of asteroid collisions to better understand these factors. The computer simulation initially sought to replicate model asteroid strikes performed in a laboratory. After verifying the accuracy of the simulation, the researcher believes it could be used to predict the result of future asteroid impacts or to learn more about past impacts by studying their craters.


3.   Iodine in Desert Dust Destroys Ozone

Source: University of Colorado at Boulder

22 Dec 2021

When winds loft fine desert dust high into the atmosphere, iodine in that dust can trigger chemical reactions that destroy some air pollution, but also let greenhouse gases stick around longer. The finding may force researchers to re-evaluate how particles from land can impact the chemistry of the atmosphere.


4.   A Novel Rocket for Deep-Space Exploration

Source: DOE/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

22 Dec 2021

The growing interest in deep-space exploration has sparked the need for powerful long-lived rocket systems to drive spacecraft through the cosmos. Scientists have now developed a tiny modified version of a plasma-based propulsion system called a Hall thruster that both increases the lifetime of the rocket and produces high power.

Original written by: John Greenwald


5.   Black Hole Eruption Spanning 16 Times the Full Moon in The Sky

Source: International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research

23 Dec 2021

Astronomers have produced the most comprehensive image of radio emission from the nearest actively feeding supermassive black hole to Earth. The emission is powered by a central black hole in the galaxy Centaurus A, about 12 million light years away. As the black hole feeds on in-falling gas, it ejects material at near light speed, causing ‘radio bubbles’ to grow over hundreds of millions of years. When viewed from Earth, the eruption from Centaurus A now extends eight degrees across the sky—the length of 16 full Moons laid side by side.


6.   Humble Lizards Offer Surprising Approach to Engineering Artificial Lungs

Source: Princeton University, Engineering School

23 Dec 2021

A new study shows how the brown anole lizard solves one of nature’s most complex problems — breathing — with ultimate simplicity. Whereas human lungs develop over months and years into baroque tree-like structures, the anole lung develops in just a few days into crude lobes covered with bulbous protuberances. Because they grow quickly by leveraging simple mechanical processes, anole lungs provide new inspiration for engineers designing advanced biotechnologies.

Original written by: Scott Lyon


That’s all the science news for this week! Maybe you can help me provide news better. Leave a comment below if you have any suggestions or send me a message via the contact form! Have fun!

Also check out this week’s Tech News!

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