Improved Detection of Radio Waves from Space

The dish of the radio telescope based in Yebes, Spain, measures more than 13 meters across. Here, the researchers will implement their high-performance radio wave reception technology for the first time. © Instituto Geográfico National

The dish of the radio telescope based in Yebes, Spain, measures more than 13 meters across. Here, the researchers will implement their high-performance radio wave reception technology for the first time. © Instituto Geográfico National

Together with their Spanish colleagues from the Instituto Geográfico Nacional and the University of Cantabria, researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF in Freiburg have developed a very sensitive high frequency amplifier for radio telescopes used on Earth. The amplifier generates extremely little internal electromagnetic noise and will help measure our planet from space more precisely than ever before. Read More →

How User Creativity Has Created the World’s Largest Music Service

music

Music is the most popular YouTube content by several measures, including video views and search activity. The world’s first academic study on YouTube music consumption by Aalto University in Finland shows that one reason for its popularity lies in users’ own video. People re-use original music by popular artists to create their own alternative video variations, which may reach an audience of millions and can be found alongside any popular music title. Read More →

Observing the Early Life of Massive Protostars

First, the massive protostar W75N(B)-VLA 2 ejects matter in in all directions. Jet turns into collimated when it expands in toroidal gas and dust environment. Image: Wolfgang Steffen (UNAM)

First, the massive protostar W75N(B)-VLA 2 ejects matter in in all directions. Jet turns into collimated when it expands in toroidal gas and dust environment. Image: Wolfgang Steffen (UNAM)

An international team of astronomers has, for the first time, observed the moment in which a massive protostar begins to develop jets of matter and energy, crucial for star formation. The study, led by Carlos Carrasco-González (UNAM, México) and recently published in the journal Science, has been developed by researchers from the Institute of Cosmos Sciences of the UB (ICCUB-IEEC), the Institute of Space Sciences (CSIC-IEEC) and the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC). Read More →

Designing an Artificial Hand with ‘Smart Metal Wires’

Photo Credit: Oliver Dietze

Photo Credit: Oliver Dietze

Engineers at Saarland University and the Center for Mechatronics and Automation Technology (ZeMA) have taken a leaf out of nature’s book by equipping an artificial hand with muscles made from shape-memory wire. The new technology enables the fabrication of flexible and lightweight robot hands for industrial applications and novel prosthetic devices. Read More →

Scientists Detect Nitrogen Molecules on Comet

Gases and dust rise from Chury's surface as the comet is nearing its perihelion. Photo: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

Gases and dust rise from Chury’s surface as the comet is nearing its perihelion. Photo: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

ESA’s comet probe Rosetta has for the first time ever measured nitrogen gas at a comet, providing clues to the early stages of the formation of our solar system. The findings of the study, which was led by researchers at the University of Bern, have now been published in the journal Science [citation below]. Read More →

Let’s Explore the Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT

The term Internet of Things (IoT) is thrown around quite a bit these days so I thought I’d write a general introductory-level post today. Let’s start with defining the term. Engineers would argue that the IoT refers to a network of physical objects that are embedded with electronics in order to exchange data with manufacturers, operators or other connected devices. While each of these devices has a unique identity, it also is able to operate within the existing infrastructure provided by the Internet. Read More →

Anomalies in the Standard Model of Cosmology

Dark Energy Research

Researchers, including physicists from Heidelberg University, have gained new insights into dark energy and the theory of gravitation by analyzing data from the Planck satellite mission of the European Space Agency (ESA). Their results demonstrate that the standard model of cosmology remains an excellent description of the universe. Yet when the Planck data is combined with other astronomical observations, several deviations emerge. Read More →

Sending a Rocket Through the Northern Lights

ICI-4 - a space weather mission. Illustration: Trond Abrahamsen, Andøya Space Center

ICI-4 – a space weather mission. Illustration: Trond Abrahamsen, Andøya Space Center

The combination of American electron clouds and Norwegian northern lights spells trouble for navigation and communication in the Northern regions. The ICI4 rocket will provide knowledge that can help us predict the weather in space.

Follow the scientists live-blogging the attempt to launch the rocket on facebook.com/ici4rocket and twitter: #ICI4 Read More →

Let’s Explore the World of Human Microbiomes

Human Microbiomes

The microbiome is a myriad community of microbes, classified genetically, living in and on the human body, whereas, ‘microbiota’ is a description of the organisms themselves. However, the terms were originally synonymous and are still sometimes used interchangeably. It is due to this genetic information that the microbiome is often referred to as ‘the second genome project’. Read More →

Are We Inside a ‘Galactic Transport System’?

Wormhole simulation - Credits Davide and Paolo Salucci.

Wormhole simulation – Credits Davide and Paolo Salucci.

In theory, the Milky Way could be a “galactic transport system”

Based on the latest evidence and theories our galaxy could be a huge wormhole (or space-time tunnel such as the one depicted in the recent film Interstellar) and, if that were true, it would be “stable and navigable”. This is the hypothesis put forward in a study published in Annals of Physics and conducted with the participation of SISSA in Trieste [citation below]. Read More →