NASA Reconnaissance Orbiter Spots Rocket Impact Site of Unknown Origin on Moon

Astronomers discovered a rocket body heading toward a lunar collision late last year. Impact occurred March 4, with NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter later spotting the resulting crater. Surprisingly the crater is actually two craters, an eastern crater (18-meter diameter, about 19.5 yards) superimposed on a western crater (16-meter diameter, about 17.5 yards). A rocket body impacted the Moon on March 4, 2022, near Hertzsprung crater, creating a double crater roughly 28 meters wide in the longest dimension.


The double crater was completely unexpected and may indicate that the rocket body had large masses at each end. Typically a spent rocket has mass concentrated at the motor end; the rest of the rocket stage mainly consists of an empty fuel tank. Since the origin of the rocket body remains uncertain, the double nature of the crater may indicate its identity. The crater formed (5.226 degrees north, 234.486 degrees east, 1,863 meters elevation) in a complex area where the impact of ejecta from the Orientale basin event overlies the degraded northeast rim of Hertzsprung basin (536 kilometers diameter). The new crater is not visible in this view, but its location is indicated by the white arrow. LROC WAC mosaic, 110 kilometers width.


No other rocket body so far that crashed on the Moon has created double craters. The four Apollo SIV-B craters were somewhat irregular in outline (Apollos 13, 14, 15, 17) and were substantially larger (greater than 35 meters, about 38 yards) than each of the double craters. The maximum width (29 meters, about 31.7 yards) of the double crater of the mystery rocket body was near that of the S-IVBs.

LRO is managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Launched on June 18, 2009, LRO has collected a treasure trove of data with its seven powerful instruments, making an invaluable contribution to our knowledge about the Moon. NASA is returning to the Moon with commercial and international partners to expand human presence in space and bring back new knowledge and opportunities.

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The Gaia space telescope rocks the science of asteroids

The Gaia space mission of the European Space Agency ESA is constructing an ultra-precise three-dimensional map of our Milky Way galaxy, observing almost two billion stars or roughly one percent of all the stars in our galaxy. Gaia was launched in December 2013 and has collected science data from July 2014.


Recenlty, ESA released Gaia data in Data Release 3 (DR3). Gaia data allows for the derivation of asteroid and exoplanet orbits and physical properties. The data helps unveil the origin and future evolution of the Solar System and the Milky Way and helps understand stellar and planetary-system evolution and our place in the cosmos.


Gaia revolves about its axis slowly in about six hours and is composed of two optical space telescopes. Three science instruments allow for accurate determination of stellar positions and velocities as well as the spectral properties. Gaia resides at about 1,5 million kilometers from the Earth in the anti-Sun direction, where it orbits the Sun together with the Earth in the proximity of the so-called Sun-Earth Lagrange L2-point.


Gaia DR3 on June 13, 2022 was significant across astronomy. Some 50 scientific articles are being published with DR3, of which nine articles have been devoted to underscoring the exceptionally significant potential of DR3 for future research. The new DR3 data comprises, for example, the chemical compositions, temperatures, colors, masses, brightnesses, ages, and radial velocities of stars. DR3 includes the largest ever binary star catalog for the Milky Way, more than 150 000 Solar System objects, largely asteroids but also planetary satellites, as well as millions of galaxies and quasars beyond the Milky Way.


There are so many revolutionary advances that it is difficult to pinpoint a single most significant advance. Based on Gaia DR3, Finnish researchers will change the conception of asteroids in our Solar System, exoplanets and stars in our Milky Way galaxy, as well as galaxies themselves, including the Milky Way and its surrounding satellite galaxies. Returning to our home planet, Gaia will produce an ultraprecise reference frame for navigation and positioning, says Academy Professor Karri Muinonen from the University of Helsinki.

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Amazon Alexa Wants to Deepfake Your Grandma, synthesize short audio clips of a person’s voice | #DeepFakedVoices 

Those weird “loved ones come back from the dead to visit you” stunts pulled by celebrities like Kanye West may soon become a reality through your digital assistant.

At Amazon’s re:MARS conference, the company announced it’s working on a feature that can synthesize short audio clips of a person’s voice and then reprogram it as longer speech. Amazon’s Senior Vice President and Head Scientist for Alexa, Rohit Prasad, showed off a demonstration where, as TechCrunch described, “the voice of a deceased loved one (a grandmother, in this case), is used to read a grandson a bedtime story.”


Learn more / En savoir plus / Mehr erfahren:



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What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox, a less-lethal relative of smallpox that’s normally found in Africa, has recently been spreading in some western countries, largely among gay men, and is mainly transmitted through intimate contact when people are symptomatic. More than 700 cases have been seen globally, said Jennifer McQuiston, deputy director of the CDC’s division of high-consequence pathogens and pathology. Supplies available in the Strategic National Stockpile are sufficient to combat the current outbreak, the agency said. Vaccines available for use against monkeypox are Jynneos from Bavarian Nordic A/S and Emergent BioSolutions Inc.’s ACAM2000. Both are prioritized for use in high-risk contacts of patients.  Through contact-tracing efforts, officials have identified hundreds of people who may have been exposed to the virus in the US, but so far only 20 were determined to be high-risk.

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Insects have declined by 50% in parts of world because of human activity, study shows

Insect ecosystems are being pushed toward collapse in some parts of the world because of agriculture and warming temperatures.


Researchers analyzed data from a 20-year period for more than 6,000 locations and studied nearly 18,000 insect species, including butterflies, moths, dragonflies, grasshoppers and bees. They concluded that in areas with low-intensity agriculture, less climate warming, and a nearby natural habitat, insects only declined by 7%, compared to the 63% decrease in areas with less natural habitat cover. Many insects rely on plants for shade during sweltering days — the loss of nearby natural habitats could leave them more exposed and vulnerable to warming temperatures. And as climate change advances, scientists say these natural buffers may become less effective.
Outhwaite told CNN there are things we can do at an individual level to help stave off this crisis — planting more native species and wildflowers, reducing pesticides used in gardens and even limiting the frequency of lawn mowing. “And then, thinking a little bit more broadly about perhaps protecting insects in other areas, it’s probably a good idea to think about where the foods that we are buying are being sourced from,” Outwaite said. “So if they’re being sourced from tropical countries, there’s probably going to be a high impact on biodiversity there.”
She also noted that governments have a large role to play in recognizing the impact of trade and food production, and could try to not source food “from areas which are implementing deforestation.”
“I think people are becoming more aware now that biodiversity and insects in particular are at risk, but we haven’t quite got them into the thoughts and thought processes” that would result in protective action, Outhewaite said.
A recent UN report on adapting to the climate crisis underscored how the world’s ecosystems are very much connected to human systems. And unless the planet slashes heat-trapping emissions, those systems will continue to see major losses in biodiversity — particularly insects.
“Whether these remaining insects can continue to support ecosystem functioning, or whether they will eventually be lost themselves is still an open question,” Oliver said. “Under the precautionary principle, however, it would be best to act now so we don’t ever find out about ecosystem collapse by experiencing it.”

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Head of NASA says that intelligent alien life is likely because the universe is so vast

Intelligent alien life is likely because the universe is so big, the head of Nasa has said. Bill Nelson, the former space shuttle astronaut and US senator, said that the James Webb Telescope, which launched last Christmas, could help detect worlds where life could thrive. Speaking at the Financial Times Investing in Space Conference on Wednesday, Mr Nelson was asked whether he believed in intelligent extraterrestrial life. “The short answer is yes,” he said. “That would be a page one story, wouldn’t it? Look how big the universe is. We know that we have in our galaxy, millions, if not billions of suns. And we know that in addition to our galaxy, there are millions, if not billions, of galaxies with millions, or billions, of suns. Now is there a possibility in a universe that big that conditions like the Earth have been created? Of course, there is that possibility.” He added: “With the James Webb telescope, we’re going to be able to have such precision to look at a planet and determine the chemical composition of its atmosphere so we can determine if it has a possibility of a habitable atmosphere.”


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Scientists put living skin on robot that can heal itself when cut

The skin is water-resistant, has self-healing properties, and can move and stretch with the movement of the robotic body parts.


Scientists may have moved us one step closer to creating truly life-like robots, after successfully covering a robotic finger with living skin that can heal when damaged. In a process that sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, the robotic parts are submerged in a vat of jelly, and come out with living skin tissue covering them. The skin allows for the finger to move and bend like a human finger, and cuts can even be healed by applying a sheet of gel.

It also provides a realism that current silicone skin made for robots cannot achieve, such as subtle textures like wrinkles, and skin-specific functions like moisture retention. The scientists behind the work say it is “the first step of the proof of concept that something could be covered by skin”, although it may still be some time before an entire humanoid is successfully covered.


Previous attempts at covering robots with living skin sheets have only had limited success due to the difficulty of fitting them to dynamic objects with uneven surfaces. The team at the University of Tokyo in Japan may have solved this problem, using a novel method to cover the robotic finger with skin. The finger is submerged in a cylinder filled with the jelly – a solution of collagen and human dermal fibroblasts, the two main components that make up the skin’s connective tissues.

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These bizarre spiky Mars rocks likely formed by erosion and ancient fractures | Space

The long-running NASA rover Curiosity imaged twisted Red Planet rock pillars.

A long-running NASA rover imaged twisted Red Planet rock pillars.

The Curiosity rover spotted(opens in new tab) the sinewy rocks on May 15, according to raw images the mission sends down to Earth. The images were obtained on Sol (Martian day) 3474 of the mission, as Curiosity speeds towards completing its first decade of work on Mars on Aug. 6.

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WIRED: Interview with Volodymyr Zelensky on Starlink Satellite Internet Technology, War and the Future of Ukraine


Geoffrey Cain:

“When Russian forces started their all-out invasion in February, Ukraine has been hailed as an exemplar of how to defend against violent tyranny on the 21st-century battlefield. The country spun up an “IT Army” of volunteer hackers to take down Russian websites, used the Starlink satellite internet system to maintain communications as its own infrastructure was being destroyed, and launched a social media blitzkrieg to win support from around the world.

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