Flares from the sun are some of the nastiest things in the solar system. When the sun flares, it belches out intense X-ray radiation (and sometimes even worse). Predicting solar flares is a tricky job, and a new research paper sheds light on a possible new technique: looking for telltale ripples in the surface of the sun minutes before the blast comes.
The sun’s magnetic fields are usually nice and calm, but they can become tangled up with each other. When they do, they store a massive amount of energy. And when they finally snap, it’s like a giant Earth-sized rubber band reaching the breaking point. These events are known as solar flares, and they are one of the most energetic events in the solar system.
With many schools adapting to an online-only curriculum and work from home becoming increasingly more common, this year has proven to be quite a time for computers. Now more than ever, having a reliable laptop is a worthwhile investment.
Luckily, this year’s Amazon Prime Day shopping event has followed through with impressive deals on tech essentials to make the adjustment to this new lifestyle a bit smoother. Along with steep markdowns on iPads, laptops are another sale shoppers are scrambling to take advantage of: Like the one on the latest Microsoft Surface Pro 7 laptop, which you can get for $229 off right now.
Best Microsoft Surface Pro and Laptop Deals:
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (10th Generation), $1,170 (orig. $1,399)
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, $729.99 (orig. $899)
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (10th Generation), $1,133.05 (orig. $1,299)
The continuing progress in miniaturization of silicon microelectronic and photonic devices is causing cooling of the device structures to become increasingly challenging. Conventional heat transport in bulk materials is dominated by acoustic phonons, which are quasiparticles that represent the material’s lattice vibrations, similar to the way that photons represent light waves. Unfortunately, this type of cooling is reaching its limits in these tiny structures.
However, surface effects become dominant as the materials in nanostructured devices become thinner, which means that surface waves may provide the thermal transport solution required. Surface phonon-polaritons (SPhPs) — hybrid waves composed of surface electromagnetic waves and optical phonons that propagate along the surfaces of dielectric membranes — have shown particular promise, and a team led by researchers from the Institute of Industrial Science, the University of Tokyo has now demonstrated and verified the thermal conductivity enhancements provided by these waves.
Two Yale University researchers have found a potential shortcut in sampling Venus’ ancient surface. Instead of sending a probe on a costly and extraordinarily challenging Venus sample return mission, they propose simply finding a Venusian meteorite on our own Moon.
There’s never been a bona fide detection of a Venusian meteorite on Earth. For one reason, that’s because in the last several hundred million years at least, Venus’ atmospheric pressures have been so intense that even a catastrophic impactor could not dislodge any Venusian rocks into space.
But before Venus underwent a runaway greenhouse and morphed into the climatic hellhole it is today, it may have had liquid water oceans as late as 700
Spend an afternoon by a creek in the woods, and you’re likely to notice water striders — long-legged insects that dimple the surface of the water as they skate across. Or, dip one side of a toothpick in dish detergent before placing it in a bowl of water, and impress your grade schooler as the toothpick gently starts to move itself across the surface.
Both situations illustrate the concepts of surface tension and propulsion velocity. At Michigan Technological University, mechanical engineer Hassan Masoud and PhD student Saeed Jafari Kang have applied the lessons of the water strider and the soapy toothpick to develop an understanding of chemical manipulation of surface tension.
Their vehicle? Tiny surfing robots.
“During the past few decades, there have been many efforts to fabricate miniature robots, especially swimming robots,” said Masoud, an assistant professor in the mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics department. “Much less work has been done
As the days count down to NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft’s Touch-And-Go asteroid sample collection attempt, Southwest Research Institute scientists have helped determine what the spacecraft can expect to return from the near-Earth asteroid Bennu’s surface. Three papers published online by Science on Oct. 8 discuss the color, reflectivity, age, composition, origin and distribution of materials that make up the asteroid’s rough surface.
On October 20, the spacecraft will descend to the asteroid’s boulder-strewn surface, touch the ground with its robotic arm for a few seconds and collect a sample of rocks and dust — marking the first time NASA has grabbed pieces of an asteroid for return to Earth. SwRI scientists played a role in the selection of the sample sites. The first attempt will be made at Nightingale, a rocky area 66 feet in diameter in Bennu’s northern hemisphere. If this historic attempt is unsuccessful, the spacecraft will try again
After touching down on the Red Planet Feb. 18, 2021, NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover will scour Jezero Crater to help us understand its geologic history and search for signs of past microbial life. But the six-wheeled robot won’t be looking just at the surface of Mars: The rover will peer deep below it with a ground-penetrating radar called RIMFAX.
Where is Microsoft’s Surface Neo? Those tracking the development of Microsoft’s other dual-screened folding device have seen the Android-powered dual screened Surface Duo reach the market, but the larger Windows 10X powered hardware has quietly slipped out of sight.
The Surface Neo was introduced alongside the Surface Duo twelve months ago. The two devices provided a joint vision of foldable computing, with the Duo acting as the pocketable device, and the Neo acting as the laptop/tablet sequence device. Both were given a launch date of ‘the holidays 2020.’
The surface of metals plays a key role in many technologically relevant areas, such as catalysis, sensor technology and battery research. For example, the large-scale production of many chemical compounds takes place on metal surfaces, whose atomic structure determines if and how molecules react with one another. At the same time, the surface structure of a metal influences its electronic properties. This is particularly important for the efficiency of electronic components in batteries. Researchers worldwide are therefore working intensively on developing new kinds of methods to tailor the structure of metal surfaces at the atomic level.
A team of researchers at the University of Münster, consisting of physicists and chemists and led by Dr. Saeed Amirjalayer, has now developed a molecular tool which makes it possible, at the atomic level, to change the structure of a metal surface. Using computer simulations, it was possible to predict that the restructuring of
Our plastic bags seem to end up floating like waterlogged jellyfish in the sea.
Discarded bottles spoil pristine beaches around the world.
Now, scientists have a glimpse of what happens when tiny fragments of plastic break off and end up on the ocean floor.
In what researchers called the first such global estimate, Australia’s national science agency says that 9.25 million to 15.87 million tons of microplastics — fragments measuring between five millimeters and one micrometer — are embedded on the sea floor.
That is far more than on the ocean’s surface.
It is the equivalent of 18 to 24 shopping bags full of small plastic fragments for every foot of coastline on every continent except for Antarctica.
It is an issue that activists have long warned about even as the fight to clean up the ocean has focused largely on the eradication of single-use plastic products like shopping bags.