Kuiper Belt Mysterious Object Lurks Behind Pluto

Kuiper Belt mysterious Object

A Kuiper Belt mysterious object was found just behind far regions of the Solar System

Two researchers at the University of Arizona are of the opinion that there is a hidden planetary-mass object orbiting the Sun beyond Pluto in our solar system. The researchers from the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) are of the hypothesis that the planetary-mass object is, in terms of size, between Mars and Earth. The Kuiper Belt mysterious object was found because it has a perceived ability to control the orbital planes of spaces rocks (or KBOs).

Kuiper Belt Mysterious Object Lurks Behind Pluto

The two authors of the research, Kat Volk and Renu Malhotra, have said that:

“According to our calculations, something as massive as Mars would be needed to cause the warp that we measured”.

The Kuiper Belt mysterious object is supposed to be different from and closer than the Planet Nine, which was not yet demonstrated to actually exist. Rather, it is only a theoretical finding.

For the present study regarding the Kuyper Belt mysterious object, Volk and Renu researched more than 600 KBOs trying to determine the common – or average – direction and tilt of their orbital planes.

The two researchers from the University of Arizona note that the Kuiper Belt mysterious object was not spotted, yet, in the Kuiper Belt. However, they are confident that, after the finishing of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, they will be able to better spot and discover hidden worlds like this one.

While most KBOs – which are debris remained from the formation of the solar system – orbit the sun with orbital tilts, or inclinations, with an invariable plane of the solar system, the farthest KBOs do not. Per the two researchers’ discovery thus far, this Kuiper Bet mysterious object is titled away from the invariable plane by about 8 degrees. Which is more than enough evidence that a planetary-mass object is interfering with the orbital tilting.

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MOM Celebrated Its 1,000th Day In Space, And Will Last Longer Than Expected

mom spacecraft

The MOM spacecraft recently celebrated its 1,000th day spent up in space.

The Mars Orbiter Mission or MOM celebrated its 1,000th Earth day in space, a feat not many expected it to achieve as the orbiter was estimated to last 180 days or over six months in space. Also, its remaining fuel levels also mean that the orbiter may still have “more years” left.

MOM Outlasted its Expected Target

MOM was launched on November 5, 2013, aboard a PSLV-C25 rocket and reached its Martian target nine months later. Starting with September 24, 2014, the spacecraft has been in a fixed orbit around the Red Planet. Also since then, it has been collecting and beaming back data. Until now, MOM’s onboard camera returned over 715 pictures.

Initially set to orbit the planet for 180 days, Mars Orbiter Mission outlived this estimates by almost ten times. However, the spacecraft did have to face some quite serious issues. One of them is its “blackout”, which lasted from June 2, 2015, to July 2, 2015. This is considered to have been caused by a solar conjunction.

Also, from May 18, 2016, up till May 30, 2016, MOM had a “whiteout”, which left it unable to communicate with Earth. This was generated by Earth coming in between Mars and the Sun.

ISRO (the Indian Space Research Organization) launched MOM with a fixed 852 kilograms of fuel on board. Back in March 2015, its then fuel levels offered the first chance to extend its mission by a further six months. Now, the still remaining fuel will help further increase the mission’s duration.

The 1,000 Earth days spent orbiting Mars correspond to 973,24 Mars Sols or Martian Solar days. During this period, MOM completed 388 orbits. Its remaining 14 to 15 kilograms of fuel are expected to keep it going for another few years, according to an ISRO release.

Also, ISRO points out that “First-year data from MOM was released to the public on September 24, 2016, through ISSDC website. “

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Quantum Entanglement Can Lead to Faster and Safer Communication

quantum entanglement

A shot of the Milky Way. In it, quantum entanglement is an eerie phenomenon that scientists are trying to understand

Scientists have discovered a new way of sending tangled photons in such a way that they can observe directly and immediately if there is any sort of interference between the two. This is called quantum entanglement. And it is a breakthrough discovery that is a step forward in the evolution of cryptography and information transmission from end to end stations.

Quantum Entanglement – Definition and Explanation

Quantum entanglement was up until recently a sort of anomaly as far as standard physics is concerned. The bedrock rules are: nothing can travel faster than light and objects are only influenced by their immediate surroundings.

However, quantum entanglement breaks these rules because recent experiments have shown that it is possible to create entangled photons on a satellite orbiting 300 miles above Earth. And then sending them to two ground-based labs separated by 750 miles. Without losing the linkage of the entangled photons. This is a breakthrough because no one was able to produce quantum entanglement in space and be able to maintain it through the entire course of information transmission.

Jian-Wei Pan, a physicist at the University of Science and Technology of China in Shanghai, is the lead scientist behind this operation. His work can lead to better, faster and secure information sharing between two points. This, without the possibility of interfering with the said information.

“It’s a really stunning achievement, and I think it’s going to be the first of possibly many such interesting and exciting studies that this particular satellite will open up” (Shohini Ghose, a physicist at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada)

Of course, there are still yet to be known factors, such as “how is quantum entanglement possible?”. And, out of 6 million photons, only 1 photon could be recovered. This in itself is still more promising that nothing. Ultimately, further research and the evolution of technology will lead to ways of understanding quantum entanglement. Then, to the means of creating it and harnessing its capabilities.

Image Source: Flickr

Facebook Has Been Teaching Its AI Chatbots How To Negotiate

ai chatbots

FAIR has been teaching its AI chatbots how to negotiate as a step in developing a “personalized digital assistant”.

Artificial Intelligence or AI chatbots are one of the most discussed and hottest tech tools currently being developed. With Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon being frequent players in the area, it was Facebook’s turn to release news about its research on the matter.

Namely, the social media giant platform revealed results from its Artificial Intelligence Research (FAIR) through a series of open-source code. It also announced that its researchers have been teaching chatbots how to negotiate.

AI Chatbots can Now Compromise and Negotiate for the Best Offer, Even Lie for It

According to the report, the specialist used “supervised learning” in teaching a recurrent neural network how to “imitate” a person’s action. In doing so, they tried to make it guess what a person would say or do in that particular situation.

During the training process, the team had its AI chatbots divide a collection of objects including books and basketballs. Each item was correlated with a fixed point value, which the bots had to take into account.

Then, the AI’s goal was not only to divide the items but also negotiate via text and try to collect the most possible points. Also, the researchers programmed them so as to make it impossible for the bots to walk away empty handed, without having made a deal.

“Such dialogs [negotiations] contain both cooperative and adversarial elements, requiring agents to understand and formulate long-term plans and generate utterances to achieve their goals,” stated the team.

The bots were also tested in negotiations with actual human beings. In such cases, the chatbots seemed to accept deals less quickly.

According to the team, the bots, besides learning how to negotiate, also learned how to “lie”. Namely, they developed a strategy in which they initially feigned interest in an item with no value. But then they “compromised” by conceding it. As the team points out, this is a negotiating tactic frequently employed by people.

FAIR states that this behavior was not programmed, but came as a consequence of adapting to negotiating. Its best negotiators were seemingly on par with their human counterparts. Such AI chatbots made use of dialog rollouts and reinforcement learning to achieve their goal.

FAIR ads that this is a step forward in developing a “personalized digital assistant”. One that converse, reason, and also negotiate.

Image Source: Pixabay

China Was Successful In Launching Its First X-Ray Space Telescope

space telescope rocket launch

China reported that the launch of its first X-ray space telescope, named Insight, was a success.

China reported that the launch of its first X-ray space telescope was a success. The event took place on June 15 and saw the take off of a Long March-4B rocket, carrying the X-ray satellite. This is set to be used in analyzing and studying pulsars, gamma-ray bursts, and black holes.

First Chinese X-Ray Space Telescope Ready for Use

The Xinhua News Agency offered additional details of the launch. According to these media reports, the rocket took off from the Juiquan Satellite Launch Center located in the northwest of China’s Gobi Desert. The launch occurred at around 11 a.m. local hours, on June 15.

The X-ray Space Telescope is an HXMT (Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope) and has been titled “Insight”. Its purpose is to help Chinese scientists gain further insight into space and its mysteries. Researchers will be using Insight to study black holes and try and understand their evolution.

Also, it will be used to seek to assess the interior of magnetic fields. Thanks to the new telescope, scientists could also take a closer look at pulsars. It can try and determine how these could be used for spacecraft navigation. Insight could also be useful in keeping ‘an eye out’ for gamma-ray bursts that correspond to gravitational waves recorded by the telescope.

The Xinhua release also quoted Zhang Shuangnan, the mission’s lead scientist, as saying that Insight will help “see” into a black hole. More exactly, although black holes are mostly undetectable, the researchers will be making use of the X-ray emitted by matter as it falls into such a black hole. They will also be following this same matter as it gets heated and accelerated within the hole.

Insight is expected to help advance the development of space astronomy in China. It should also contribute to improving the country’s space X-ray detection technology. The X-ray space telescope is also equipped accordingly.

This small observatory in space will carry a trio of detectors: the HE, ME, and LE. Namely, the high energy, medium energy, and low energy X-ray telescopes.

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Ori And The Blind Forest Is Officially Getting A Sequel

ori and the blind forest poster

Ori and the Blind Forest is officially getting a sequel only about a year after its Definitive Edition release.

Ori and the Blind Forest is officially getting a sequel, named Ori and the Will of the Wisps, announced during the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2017. This reveal also came with a trailer, which offers a first look at the new game. Presently, its developer has yet to announce a release date.

Ori and the Blind Forest is a platform adventure, Metroidvania-style video game designed and developed by Moon Studios. The single-player game is published by Microsoft Studios, which also announced on June 11, during the E3, that it will be getting a sequel.

Sequel Announced Only Around A Year After the Release of the Ori and the Blind Forest Definitive Edition

The sequel, “Ori and the Will of the Wisps”, will have quite a name to hold. Its predecessor was both critically acclaimed and loved by its players. Both have praised Ori’s gameplay, the story, its action sequences, and beautiful environmental design. They also point out the game’s quite haunting soundtrack. Or the fact that its painted art brings to mind works of traditional animation.

For the sequel announcement, Microsoft Studios maintained the game’s haunting atmosphere by having a pianist play live music. Although it did not offer exact details as to the sequel, most assume that Ori and the Will of the Wisps will come with a similar Metroidvania gameplay. Presumably, it will also star Ori, who is the first game’s titular and which also appeared in the trailer.

This presents a new series of beautiful environments. It also features Ori, who is seemingly consoling a sad owlet gazing at what could be the skeletal remains of its parents. In the first game, players had control over Ori, a white guardian spirit, and Sein. This is “the light and eyes” of the Forest’s Spirit Tree.

To advance, gamers have to move between platforms, all the while solving puzzles. The game also comes with an upgrade system, which can increase Ori’s skills. It also has “soul links” or a system which allows users to save the game at will.

A release date for the sequel has yet to be revealed. Ori and the Will of the Wisps will be available exclusively on the Windows 10 Store and Xbox One.

Image Source: Flickr

NASA Recently Presented Its New Model Of A Mars Rover

mars rover

The new Mars rover presented by NASA is set to be a source of inspiration for the young.

Earlier this week, scientists at NASA presented their “out of this world” concept for a Mars rover. As stated by the team, this new vehicle is less about reaching our neighboring planet and more about being an inspiration.

Its futuristic design and concept are looking to inspire the young to desire to find out more about Mars and humanity’s plans of reaching it. Presently, the aerospace agency is looking to send humans to the Red Planet sometime in the 2030s.

The Mars Rover Should Be a Source of Inspiration and Parts?

The futuristic Mars rover was unveiled at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex during a ceremony on June 05. This date marked the start of the agency’s “Summer of Mars” promotion. The spacecraft isn’t exactly a NASA creation as it was built by the Parker Brothers Concepts of Port Canaveral, Florida. Nonetheless, these are reported to have incorporated the input from NASA specialists in their designs.

This new rover is designed to operate on an electric motor. Powered by a 700-volt battery, it will also work thanks to the contribution of a solar panel.

The machine was designed and built so as to be easily capable of splitting in half. Namely, its front part is supposed to work as a scout. For this, it was equipped with navigation and a radio supplied by the Global Positioning System.

The back section of the rover should act as an on-the-move laboratory capable of disconnecting for autonomous research.

Throughout June, this new concept rover will be on display at the Kennedy Space Center visitor complex. Then, in July and August, it will be presented and shown in several other locations as it will be touring the East Coast, according to NASA.

As of September, it will be returning to the visitor center and will join the Astronaut Training Experience attraction set to open in the fall.

According to NASA, this new Mars rover was designed as a concept vehicle. Nonetheless, it also pointed out that some of its elements could actually be used and in a future rover that will reach Mars.

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The Biggest Telescope In The World Is Now Officially Under Construction

the biggest telescope structure

The ELT is set to be the biggest telescope ever built in the world yet and should become operational in 2024.

The future biggest telescope in the world, named the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), is now officially under construction as work on the device took off on May 26 in northern Chile. ESO or the European Southern Observatory expects to have it ready and functional sometime in 2024.

The ELT Will Be the As Yet Biggest Telescope in the World

The ELT will be housed by an 85-meter rotating dome, which started being raised near the Paranal Observatory. This marks the final leg of its journey, which began some 12 years ago. Over them, specialists planned and consulted as to the best methods and devices for raising this massive structure.

The telescope will be both infrared and optical. It will come with a primary mirror measuring coming very close to 128 feet. This will actually be composed of 798 smaller ones. Each will be shaped like a hexagon and about 2 inches thick. In total, they will have a light-collecting zone of 978 square meters.

The biggest telescope yet will be equipped with four major instruments. These are the HARMONI (High Angular Resolution Monolithic Optical and Near-infrared Integral field spectrograph) and the METIS (Mid-infrared ELT Imager and Spectrograph). It will also come with the MAORY (Multi-conjugate Adaptive Optics Relay for the ELT) and the MICADO (Multi-AO Imaging Camera for Deep Observations).

According to an ESO statement from Friday, it will be the “biggest eye” pointed towards the sky yet. Authorities also consider that it could help revolutionize our understanding and perception of the Universe.

“The ELT will produce discoveries that we simply cannot imagine today, and it will surely inspire numerous people around the world to think about science, technology and our place in the universe,” states Tim de Zeeuw, the ESO general director.

It could help offer new data on dark matter and dark energy. Also, it could bring new information on Earth-like exoplanets by probing them for signs of life. These are also just a few examples of the proposed uses of the ELT.

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Rocket Lab Reports A Success After The Launch Of Its First Rocket

rocket lab

Rocket Lab reported a success and was pleased with the results of its first ever test launch.

Rocket Lab reported that the launch of its first ever rocket was a success although it did not manage to reach orbit. The company’s test rocket also has an interesting structure as it is made out of carbon fiber and its engines were 3D printed.

Rocket Lab is an American – New Zealand private company which will reportedly look to enter the rising market of launching small or smaller satellites into space. The May 25th test launch was the company’s first attempt at a takeoff.

 

It was also quite an achievement as both the first and second stages of the rocket’s booster separated successfully. The issue was with the upper stage, which was unable to reach 500 kilometers above the planet or the desired orbit.

Still, the company will not be giving up after this initial attempt. On the contrary, Rocket Lab will be looking to carry out a second test launch sometime at the end of the month.

“We didn’t quite reach orbit – we’ll work out exactly why. But we got a long, long way there. It was really a fantastic first flight,” stated Peter Beck, the founder of the company.

Rocket Lab Developed Quite a Special Rocket

One of the most interesting aspects of this recently launched rocket is its components.

It is made out of carbon composite which was both designed and built in New Zealand. Its construction took less than four years. The engines were also reportedly made with help from a 3D printer.

Rocket Lab’s rocket will not be reusable. However, the company expects to build and launch quite many such spacecraft.

Rocket Lab is aiming at helping launch small satellites and devices. It stated that it would not be looking towards traditional such crafts. Instead, it will be focusing on swarms or constellation of mini satellites.

These can be used to predict natural disasters, weather forecasts and reports, or beaming internet.

Image Source: Pixabay

The IKEA Smart Lights Will Come With Support For Siri, Alexa, And More

ikea smart lights bulbs

IKEA announced that its smart lights would come with increased connectivity options for digital assistants such as Alexa.

Earlier this week, IKEA issued a press release which announced the increased connectivity of its smart lights range. This will soon come with integrated support for Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and HomeKit, and the Google Assistant.

IKEA’s smart light bulb, called Trådfri, can presently only be controlled via an app or remote control. Still, it will soon offer integration with a digital assistant at the user’s choice.

IKEA’s Smart Lights, Just a First Step in the Smart Home Products Area

IKEA is one of the biggest furniture sellers in the world as it operates in 28 countries through 340 stores. Which could also mean that it is one of the most likely and capable retailers to introduce smart home appliances to tech-savvy users.

The company’s smart lights are already available in a number of selected countries. Their digital assistant integration may also help them become more accessible.

“By ensuring that our products work with others on the market, we take another step to meet people’s needs and make it easier to interact with the products for the smart home,” said Björn Block.

He is the leader of the IKEA Home Smart. Jeanette Skjelmose, the Business Area Manager for Lighting and IKEA Home Smart, also stated that the division considers that smart home technology should be accessible to anyone.

The Trådfri range of smart lights includes a number of sensing, remote-controlled, and dimming light fixtures. It also comes with the “Gateway”, a hub device which enables the connectivity with the user’s home network.

Now controlled through an app, this will also be used for the digital assistant integration. It will also support its connectivity with thermostats, ceilings fans, and other smart home appliances. The integration and support should start being rolled out sometime in the latter half of 2017 and will first become available to US and UK users.

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