Another week gone by, and another week of great stories. Cameras catch the images of the cutest animals and the mysteries of the universe. When it’s not looking at the universe, NASA is trying to bring sci-fi dreams to life with a working tractor beam — and it’s doing that with a hoverboard company. Also this week, computers build fly swatters and models of Mediterranean tsunamis. And see one more image of the universe from the Hubble telescope.
#CuteOff: Scientists weighing in on World’s Cutest Creature
In a fierce competition, scientists and others around the world are uploading photos to Twitter of the most adorable-looking animal and insect subjects they’ve encountered in their line of work. Biologists, ecologists and conservationists are all in the friendly fight over the most adorable animals on the planet. The tweets are highlighting the huge diversity of insects, mammals, reptiles and birds being studied by researchers.
World’s Most Powerful Digital Camera sees Construction Green Light
DOE approved the start of construction for a 3.2-gigapixel digital camera — the world’s largest — at the heart of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. Assembled at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, the camera will be the eye of LSST, revealing unprecedented details of the universe and helping unravel some of its greatest mysteries. The construction milestone is the last major approval decision before acceptance of the finished camera.
NASA Partners with Hoverboard Company to Build Real-life Tractor Beam
Arx Pax, creator of Magnetic Field Architecture and hover engine technology, announced that it has entered into a Space Act Agreement with NASA. The collaboration’s purpose is to use Arx Pax’s MFA to create “micro-satellite capture devices” that can manipulate and couple satellites from a distance. This can be achieved using a magnetic tether between objects in a device with the ability to attract one object to another from a distance.
Creating the World’s Most Fearsome Fly Swatter
The silverleaf whitefly is like a horrible house guest. It arrives uninvited with thousands of friends, trashes the place, eats everything in sight and then sticks you with a clean-up bill that runs into the billions of dollars. Scientists have struggled to develop consistent defense strategies but, with the aid of supercomputing, Operation Fly Swat is quickly transforming them from hapless hosts to super-charged swatters.
Wings of the Butterfly: New Hubble Image of Twin Jet Nebula
The shimmering colors visible in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image show off the remarkable complexity of the Twin Jet Nebula. The new image highlights the nebula’s shells and its knots of expanding gas in striking detail. Two iridescent lobes of material stretch outwards from a central star system. Within these lobes, two huge jets of gas are streaming from the star system at speeds in excess of one million kilometers per hour.
What would a Tsunami in the Mediterranean look Like?
Researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean. The results show how tsunami waves could hit and inundate coastal areas in southern Italy and Greece. Though not as frequent as in the Pacific and Indian oceans, tsunamis also occur in the Mediterranean, mainly due to earthquakes generated when the African plate slides underneath the Eurasian plate.