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Science • Space
Water on Moon's surface may be more abundant than once thought, could sustain a lunar base
Water on Moon's surface may be more abundant than once thought, could sustain a lunar base
Credit: William Andrus (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Unlike previous detections of water in permanently shadowed parts of lunar craters, scientists have now detected the molecule in sunlit regions of the Moon's surface.

Speaking during a virtual teleconference, co-author Casey Honniball, a postdoctoral fellow at Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, said: "The amount of water is roughly equivalent to a 12-ounce bottle of water in a cubic metre of lunar soil." Her Nasa colleague Jacob Bleacher, from the agency's human exploration directorate, said researchers still needed to understand the nature of the watery deposits.

Science • Nature
Seagrass reforested on Virginia's coast
A seagrass meadow
A seagrass meadow Credit: NOAA Photo Library (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The restored seagrass beds in the sea off the coast of the US state of Virginia ensure a rapid recovery of the ecosystem. A research team sowed about 70 million seagrass seeds off the coast of Virginia, which developed into seagrass beds of about 3.612 hectares.

In the 1930s, a hurricane and plant disease wiped out the seagrass, but now the important ecosystem, which is home to marine life, but also removes large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere and cleans the ocean of pollutants, has been successfully restored.

The cultivation of the seagrass beds is not yet complete, but it is already clear that the rebuilding of seagrass can also help other regions to regenerate the coastal ecosystem.

Science • Space
Nokia will establish mobile network on moon by 2022
Nokia will establish mobile network on moon by 2022
Credit: unsplash.com / NASA

The Finnish company Nokia has announced that they have been awarded a contract by Nasa to build a mobile network on the moon. Initially it will be based on the 4G/LTE technology and later upgraded to 5G.

The network will serve as a foundation for astronauts to make phone calls and send data. Ground stations on Earth will also be able to control devices and vehicles remotely.

Science
Large 2,000-year-old feline figure discovered in Peru's Nazca lines
Nazca lines
Nazca lines Credit: Cyril Bèle (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The cat then went unnoticed until plans were recently drawn up for a new path leading to an observation platform. In a statement, Peru's culture ministry said: "The figure was scarcely visible and was about to disappear because it's situated on quite a steep slope that's prone to the effects of natural erosion."

Science • Space
SpaceX has launched 60 Starlink internet satellites
SpaceX has launched 60 Starlink internet satellites
Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket with 60 more Starlink internet relay satellites Sunday from the Kennedy Space Center. The company plans another launch for October 21.

Sunday's was the 14th Starlink launch, with 835 satellites put in orbit so far.,

The booster's first stage landed without problems on the "Of Course I Still Love You" drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

Science
Security experts demonstrate that hacked billboards can make Tesla cars stop
Security experts demonstrate that hacked billboards can make Tesla cars stop
Credit: unsplash.com / Bram Van Oost

Security experts have demonstrated how Tesla's Autopilot driver-assistance systems can be tricked into changing the speed of the vehicle. Showing fake road signs or virtual objects in front of them, for a fraction of a second, can make Tesla cars stop abruptly.

Science • Space
Latest Soyuz mission established a new record for flights to the ISS
Soyuz approaching the ISS
Soyuz approaching the ISS Credit: NASA (Public Domain)

The Soyuz mission, launched from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 05:45 UTC Wednesday, became the fastest ever journey from Earth to the ISS, with a total travel time of three hours and three minutes. Similar launches, since 2013, take around six hours.

Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos and NASA's Kathleen Rubins were onboard the Soyuz.

Roscosmos stated that "a new record for flights to the International Space Station was set – the total time from launch to docking of the Soyuz MS-17 was three hours and three minutes."

Previously, only an uncrewed Progress cargo space ship has used this profile which requires just two orbits before docking with the ISS.

Science • Space
NASA's Artemis Accords to guide moon exploration signed by eight nations
NASA's Artemis Accords to guide moon exploration signed by eight nations
Credit: NASA

Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States of America have signed on as founding member nations to NASA's Artemis Accords, an international agreement that "will help to avoid conflict in space and on Earth by strengthening mutual understanding and reducing misperceptions."

"Artemis will be the broadest and most diverse international human space exploration program in history, and the Artemis Accords are the vehicle that will establish this singular global coalition," so NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "With today's signing, we are uniting with our partners to explore the Moon and are establishing vital principles that will create a safe, peaceful, and prosperous future in space for all of humanity to enjoy."

Science
Robert Wilson knocked on Paul Milgrom's door in the middle of the night to inform him he won the Nobel Prize
Robert Wilson knocked on Paul Milgrom's door in the middle of the night to inform him he won the Nobel Prize
Credit: Stanford University courtesy of Twitter

The Nobel Prize committee couldn't reach Paul Milgrom to share the news that he won, so his fellow winner and neighbor Robert Wilson knocked on his door in the middle of the night.

Milgrom and Wilson have been awarded the Nobel Prize in economics awarded for their work on auction theory.

Science • Space
NASA delays first Space X's Crew Dragon operational mission
NASA delays first Space X's Crew Dragon operational mission
Credit: NASA (Public Domain)

The launch of NASA's SpaceX Crew-1 mission to the International Space Station was delayed and is now targeted for no sooner than early-to-mid November. The delay allows SpaceX to complete testing an off-nominal behaviour of Falcon 9 first stage engine gas generators.

"We have a strong working relationship with our SpaceX partner," said Kathy Lueders, associate administrator of NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. "With the high cadence of missions SpaceX performs, it really gives us incredible insight into this commercial system and helps us make informed decisions about the status of our missions. The teams are actively working this finding on the engines, and we should be a lot smarter within the coming week."

Science • Space
Artemis mission: NASA pledges to land first woman on moon by 2024
@NASA_Astronauts  are preparing now for moonwalks planned for when we land the first woman and next man on the Moon -- and they're practicing underwater to evaluate how we'll train for #Artemis missions.
@NASA_Astronauts are preparing now for moonwalks planned for when we land the first woman and next man on the Moon -- and they're practicing underwater to evaluate how we'll train for #Artemis missions. Credit: @NASA_Johnson, via Twitter | NASA (Public Domain)

NASA has annouced it's preparing for its second mission to Moon. Artemis, the first lunar mission since 1972, will land the first woman and the next man on the surface of the Moon in 2024.

"NASA engineers are laying the foundation for the moonwalks the first woman and next man will conduct when they land on the lunar South Pole in 2024 as part of the Artemis program. At the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, teams are testing the tools and developing training approaches for lunar surface operations," so NASA in a statement.

Science • Animals
Tasmanian devils are reintroduced to Australia after 3,000-year-absence
Tasmanian devils are reintroduced to Australia after 3,000-year-absence
Credit: Mathias Appel / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons CC0 Waiver)

Tasmanian devils are returning back to Australia after a 3,000-year-absence. Eleven of the carnivorous marsupials have been released into a 400-hectare wildlife sanctuary north of Sydney, New South Wales, Australian, the conservation group Aussie Ark that aided in the reintroduction program said in a statement.

"In 100 years, we are going to be looking back at this day as the day that set in motion the ecological restoration of an entire country. Not only is this the reintroduction of one of Australia's beloved animals, but of an animal that will engineer the entire environment around it, restoring and rebalancing our forest ecology after centuries of devastation from introduced foxes and cats and other invasive predators," so Aussie Ark president Tim Faulkner.

Science • Animals
Tasmanian devil returns to mainland Australia
Tasmanian devil returns to mainland Australia
Credit: unsplash.com / David Clode

For the first time in 50 years Tasmanian devils live on the Australian mainland again through a reintroduction action. Since Tasmanian devils play a crucial role in the ecosystem as scavengers, science has made great efforts to re-establish them in the mainland ecosystem. The 26 released animals now live in a 400 hectare fenced area of Wildlife Sanctuary north of Barrington Tops National Park.

Science • Medicine
Blue illuminated ventilation tube reduces risk of infection
Blue illuminated ventilation tube reduces risk of infection
Credit: Copyright Technische Hochschule Ulm

In intensive care units, artificial respiration causes most infections with antibiotic-resistant hospital germs. In his bachelor's thesis, medical technology student Ben Sicks researched the killing of germs and pathogens by irradiation with blue LEDs and found that the blue illumination of a tube caused a 99.9% reduction in the concentration of bacteria. For this discovery he was awarded the Applied Photonics Award by the Frauenhofer Institute Jena.

Science
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020 awarded for the gene editing method CRISPR/Cas9
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020 awarded for the gene editing method CRISPR/Cas9
Credit: NIH Image Gallery from Bethesda, Maryland, USA / Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

This year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to the Frenchwoman Emanuelle Charpentier and the US-American Jennifer Doudna for the development of the CRISPR/Cas9 gene scissors. This was announced by the Nobel Committee of the Royal Swedish Academy on Wednesday afternoon in Stockholm.

The two scientists developed the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors that enable the quick and precise editing of genes.

Claes Gustafsson, chair of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry, has stated that "there is enormous power in this genetic tool, which affects us all. It has not only revolutionised basic science, but also resulted in innovative crops and will lead to ground-breaking new medical treatments,".

Science • Physics & Engineering
Middle school student achieved nuclear fusion in his family playroom
Middle school student achieved nuclear fusion in his family playroom
Credit: Courtesy of Guiness World Records

Hours before his 13th birthday, Jackson Oswalt (USA) fused together two deuterium atoms using a reactor he had built in the playroom of his family home in Memphis, Tennessee. This incredible feat has led him to be one of the stars of this year’s Guinness World Records 2021 edition, alongside other record holders. Now, at 15 years old, Jackson no longer conducts experiments that often, as he’s decided to look for his "next best thing".

Science • Animals
Scientists use false turtle eggs to track illegal egg trade
Scientists use false turtle eggs to track illegal egg trade
Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Scientists have successfully used 3D-printed turtle eggs to track down the journey of robbed turtle eggs. Each of the artificial eggs had a transmitter in them to track the position, and the eggs were placed among 101 turtle nests on four beaches in Costa Rica.

Around a quarter of the fake eggs were stolen, giving the researchers insights into the trade behind the stolen eggs. Most of them remained in the region, giving them the researchers now the opportunity to do more to raise awareness among the population about the damages to the turtle species that are done by consuming the eggs.

According to the study published on the Current Biology journal, "Illegally collected clutches of turtle eggs containing a decoy transmitter enabled us to track the movements of traffickers, and thus gain a better understanding of illegal trade routes."

Science • Space
24 super-earths discovered by scientists
24 super-earths discovered by scientists
Credit: unsplash.com / The New York Public Library

What is better than earth? 24 super habitable plants that scientists at the Washington State University have discovered now.

They specifically defined "superhabitability criteria" and checked 4,500 exoplanets against these to find the ones that could, in theory, be more habitable than our earth. While none of the 24 planets meets all of the defined criteria, one meets four of them which possibly makes it a better earth than our Earth.

Science • Space
Nobel Prize in Physics 2020 goes to three black hole researchers
Nobel Prize in Physics 2020 goes to three black hole researchers
Credit: Event Horizon Telescope / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

Half of this year's Nobel Prize in Physics goes to Roger Penrose (UK) and the other half to Reinhard Genzel (Germany)and Andrea Ghez (USA) for their "discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy". This was announced by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm on Tuesday. Reinhard Genzel is director of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching near Munich.

Science • Medicine
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine goes to three virologists
Michael Houghton, one of the three winners
Michael Houghton, one of the three winners Credit: Julio.frasneli.silva / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The virologists Harvey J. Alter (USA), Michael Houghton (Großbritannien) and Charles M. Rice (USA) have received the Nobel Prize for Medicine for their work discovering the hepatitis C virus.

The Nobel Committee stated that "prior to their work, the discovery of the Hepatitis A and B viruses had been critical steps forward, but the majority of blood-borne hepatitis cases remained unexplained. The discovery of Hepatitis C virus revealed the cause of the remaining cases of chronic hepatitis and made possible blood tests and new medicines that have saved millions of lives".

Science • Nature
Brazilian Pantanal reports 8,106 fires in September; 2020 already has the largest number of fire outbreaks in history
Brazilian Pantanal reports 8,106 fires in September; 2020 already has the largest number of fire outbreaks in history
Credit: Christiano Antonucci – Secom – MT

Three months before the end, 2020 is also the year with the largest number of fire outbreaks in the Pantanal: from January 1 to September 30, there were 18,259 outbreaks.

Science • Animals
France plans to ban the use of wild animals in marine parks and circuses
France plans to ban the use of wild animals in marine parks and circuses
Credit: unsplash.com / Becky Phan

France's minister of ecological transition, Barbara Pompili, has announced that "in the coming years" bears, tigers, lions, elephants and other wild animals will not be banned from being held in traveling circuses.

With immediate effect, the three marine parks located in France won't be allowed to bring in and breed dolphins and killer whales.

Science • Space
NASA and SpaceX schedule the first Crew Dragon operational flight for October 31
NASA and SpaceX schedule the first Crew Dragon operational flight for October 31
Credit: NASA (Public Domain)

NASA and SpaceX are targeting 6:40(UTC), October 31, for the launch of the SpaceX Crew-1 mission with astronauts to the International Space Station.

Astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker of NASA and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will be carried to the station on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Science • Medicine
Germany: More than 1,000 police officers fell ill due to Corona
Germany: More than 1,000 police officers fell ill due to Corona
Credit: Leon Seibert

Police units are apparently exposed to a higher corona risk than other professional groups. According to a query by the "Rheinische Post" at the state interior ministries and the federal police, more than 1,000 officials have probably contracted Corona since March. The state of Bavaria leads the list with 274 registered cases.

The police union suspects the reasons is the lack of precautions.

Science • Medicine
Berlin: 470 fines against mask grouches
Berlin: 470 fines against mask grouches
Credit: BVG

Between the beginning of July and the beginning of September, the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) imposed only 470 contractual penalties for violating the mouth and nose covering. This emerges from a request to the Berlin Senate from an AfD MP. If the acceptance was 70% at peak times, according to the BVG, around 95% of passengers would now adhere to the Corona regulations.

Science • Animals
Botswana: Mystery death of elephants solved
Botswana: Mystery death of elephants solved
Credit: Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Earlier this year, hundreds of elephants in northwestern Botswana inexplicably died. The government now states that their death was due to a neurological disorder caused by water contaminated by toxic blue-green algae.

It's unclear why the contaminated water only affected elephants and not other animals.

Science • Space
Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Roscosmos, states Venus is a Russian planet
Dmitry Rogozin
Dmitry Rogozin Credit: Government.ru (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Following the announcement that phosphine had been detected in the atmosphere of Venus, Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin stated Tuesday that "Venus is a Russian planet." Russia plans to send its own mission to Venus in addition to "Venera-D," the planned joint mission with the US.

During an interview, Rogozin said: "We think that Venus is a Russian planet, so we shouldn't lag behind," and "Projects of Venus missions are included in the united government program of Russia's space exploration for 2021-2030."

Studies carried out in Russia between 1967-1984 were at the forefront of international research into Venus.

Science • Animals
T-Rex skeleton for sale
Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton to be auctioned
Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton to be auctioned Credit: CHRISTIE’S

You could soon own a T-Rex skeleton. One of the world's biggest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons, nicknamed Stan, will be auctioned off on October 6. The skeleton could fetch a record price, with estimates as high as $8 million.

Until its auction, the approximately 67-million-year-old Stan can be viewed at Christie's in New York.

Science • Space
Solar Cycle 25 has begun
This split image shows the difference between an active Sun during solar maximum (on the left, captured in April 2014) and a quiet Sun during solar minimum (on the right, captured in December 2019).
This split image shows the difference between an active Sun during solar maximum (on the left, captured in April 2014) and a quiet Sun during solar minimum (on the right, captured in December 2019). Credit: NASA/SDO

The sun is starting over. NASA reports that Solar Cycle 25 has begun in December 2019, signaling an increase in space weather that could impact the Earth's power grid, airlines and astronauts in space. Roughly every 11 years, the sun completes a solar cycle of various activity measures in the number of sunspots on the solar surface.

"As we emerge from solar minimum and approach Cycle 25’s maximum, it is important to remember solar activity never stops; it changes form as the pendulum swings," said Lika Guhathakurta, solar scientist at the Heliophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

Science • Space
Scientists detect phosphine in Venus' atmosphere - a possible sign for life
Scientists detect phosphine in Venus' atmosphere - a possible sign for life
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech (Public Domain)

In a new paper published in the journal Nature Astronomy researchers from Cardiff University, the UK around Prof Jane Greaves presents their finding of phosphine 50km up in the clouds of Venus.

Dr William Bains from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has stated that "in principle, a more water-loving life could hide itself away inside a protective shell of some sorts inside the sulphuric acid droplets" adding that "we're talking bacteria surrounding themselves by something tougher than Teflon and completely sealing themselves in. But then how do they eat? How do they exchange gases? It's a real paradox".

Further investigation into the matter needs a probe to be send to Venus.