Sunday Science (1 – 7 Nov 2020)

Science News related to Next-Gen Astronomical Survey, New Remote Sensing Technique, New Mineral Discovered, Printing Plastic Webs, Drones That Patrol Forests, Next-Gen Lithium Batteries, Standard Model of Particle Physics, Colours Invisible to Human Eyes, Enhancing Vehicle Fuel Economy, Dark Matter in a New Light, Rocky and Potentially Habitable Planets, Hidden Matter of the Universe

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. Next-Gen Astronomical Survey Makes Its First Observations Toward A New Understanding of The Cosmos

Source: Carnegie Institution for Science

2 Nov 2020

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey’s fifth-generation collected its very first observations of the cosmos on October 24, 2020. This ground-breaking all-sky survey will bolster our understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies—including our own Milky Way—and the supermassive black holes that lurk at their centers.

2. New Remote Sensing Technique Could Bring Key Planetary Mineral into Focus

Source: Brown University

2 Nov 2020

The mineral olivine, thought to be a major component inside all planetary bodies, holds secrets about the early formation of the solar system, and a team has a new way to study it remotely. Planetary scientists have developed a new remote sensing method for studying olivine, a mineral that could help scientists understand the early evolution of the Moon, Mars, and other planetary bodies.

3. New Mineral Discovered in Moon Meteorite

Source: GFZ GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, Helmholtz Centre

3 Nov 2020

A team of researchers discovered a new high-pressure mineral in the lunar meteorite Oued Awlitis 001, named donwilhelmsite. Besides the about 382 kilograms of rocks and soils collected by the Apollo and Luna missions, lunar meteorites allow valuable insights into the formation of the Moon. They are ejected by impacts onto the lunar surface and subsequently delivered to Earth.

4. Printing Plastic Webs to Protect the Cell Phone Screens of The Future

Source: Polytechnique Montréal

3 Nov 2020

A team recently demonstrated that a fabric designed using additive manufacturing absorbs up to 96% of impact energy – all without breaking. The researchers’ design was inspired by spider webs and their amazing properties. They used polycarbonate to achieve their results; when heated, polycarbonate becomes viscous like honey.

5. Drones That Patrol Forests Could Monitor Environmental and Ecological Changes

Source: Imperial College London

3 Nov 2020

Researchers have developed drones that can shoot sensor-containing darts onto trees several meters away in cluttered environments like forests. The drones can also place sensors through contact or by perching on tree branches. They hope the drones will be used in the future to create networks of sensors to boost data on forest ecosystems, and to track hard-to-navigate biomes like the Amazon rainforest.

Original written by: Caroline Brogan

6. New Technique Extends Next-Generation Lithium Metal Batteries

Source: Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

4 Nov 2020

Researchers reported that they have found that alkali metal additives, such as potassium ions, can prevent lithium microstructure proliferation during battery use. They used a combination of microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance (similar to an MRI), and computational modeling to discover that adding small amounts of potassium salt to a conventional lithium battery electrolyte produces unique chemistry at the lithium/electrolyte interface.

Original written by: Holly Evarts

7. Scientists Work to Shed Light on Standard Model of Particle Physics

Source: DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

4 Nov 2020

As scientists await the highly anticipated initial results of the Muon g-2 experiment, they continue to employ and maintain the unique system that maps the magnetic field in the experiment with unprecedented precision. The scientists upgraded the measurement system, which uses an advanced communication scheme and new magnetic field probes and electronics to map the field. Results will be used in an experiment to shed light on the Standard Model of particle physics.

Original written by: Savannah Mitchem

8. New Technology Allows Cameras to Capture Colours Invisible to The Human Eye

Source: American Friends of Tel Aviv University

5 Nov 2020

New research will allow cameras to recognize colors that the human eye and even ordinary cameras are unable to perceive. The technology makes it possible to image gases and substances, each of which has a unique color in the infrared spectrum, as well as biological compounds. It has ground-breaking applications in a variety of fields from computer gaming and photography as well as the disciplines of security, medicine, and astronomy.

9. Utilizing a “Krafty” Waste Product: Toward Enhancing Vehicle Fuel Economy

Source: Kanazawa University

5 Nov 2020

Researchers have chemically modified Kraft lignin—ordinarily considered in the paper industry to be a waste product—and used it to produce quality carbon fiber. When optimized in the future as an automotive structural material, it may reduce the fuel needed to power your car.

10. Seeing Dark Matter in A New Light

Source: Royal Astronomical Society

6 Nov 2020

Scientists currently estimate that up to 85% of the mass in the universe is effectively invisible. This ‘dark matter’ cannot be observed directly, because it does not interact with light in the same way as the ordinary matter that makes up stars, planets, and life on Earth. The new research focuses on an effect called weak gravitational lensing, which is a feature of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. A new technique that is 10 times more precise than the previous best method.

11. About Half of Sun-Like Stars Could Host Rocky, Potentially Habitable Planets

Source: NASA

2 Nov 2020

According to new research using data from NASA’s retired planet-hunting mission, the Kepler space telescope, about half the stars similar in temperature to our Sun could have a rocky planet capable of supporting liquid water on its surface. This research helps us understand the potential for these planets to have the elements to support life. This is an essential part of astrobiology, the study of life’s origins, and the future in our universe.

Original written by: Frank Tavares

12. Has the Hidden Matter of The Universe Been Discovered?

Source: CNRS

6 Nov 2020

Astrophysicists consider that around 40% of the ordinary matter that makes up stars, planets, and galaxies remains undetected, concealed in the form of hot gas in the complex cosmic web. Scientists may have detected, for the first time, this hidden matter through an innovative statistical analysis of 20-year-old data.

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