Save Earth from aliens & NASA will pay you $187,000


 

Save Earth from aliens & NASA will pay you $187,000
US space agency NASA has a job opening for a ‘planetary protection officer’, who will be responsible for protecting Earth against aliens – and every other planet from humans.

And if natural-born guardians of the galaxy aren’t motivated enough by simply fulfilling their calling, the position also carries a substantial salary of between $124,406 and $187,000.

 

The job listing says the permanent position may require “frequent travel” and is “concerned with the avoidance of organic constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration.”

The position’s tenure is for three years, with the chance of extending to five. It stems from the international Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which pledged to pursue studies of outer space and explore other planets while avoiding “their harmful contamination” and any “adverse changes in the environment of Earth resulting from the introduction of extraterrestrial matter.”

According to the job spec, the planetary protection officer will be required to uphold NASA’s policies of mitigating the risk of spaceflight missions contaminating other planets, and in turn, protect Earth and its biosphere from extraterrestrial organisms.

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NASA Recorded Sound In Space. What You’re About To Hear Is Absolutely Chilling!


Sci-fi movies are often times criticized when explosions in the void make noise. I am sure you have heard the old saying, “in space, no one can hear you scream.”

People think that because there is no air there is no sound, but certain videos released by NASA tell a different story. Space is a virtual vacuum…. However, sound does exist in the form of electromagnetic vibrations that pulsate in similar wavelengths.

NASA has designed special instruments that can record electromagnetic vibrations, and transfer them into sounds that out ears can hear.

 The sounds you are about to hear are all organic, nothing has been added for effect. The result is beautiful, yet haunting, music that Hans Zimmer would be jealous of.

Saturn’s Rings

Miranda

Neptune

Earth

Saturn

Jupiter

Rings of Uranus

Sun

I do not know about you, but those gave me chills!

Source:http://awarenessact.com

More Than 30 Billion Light-Years Away, Hubble Captures the Most Distant Galaxy Ever Found


IN BRIEF

A new image taken using the Hubble Space Telescope has given us an image of the farthest galaxy ever imaged. More than 30 billion light-years away, we see it as it was 13.4 billion years in the past.
GOING THE EXTRA MILE

While much has been said about the planned successors to NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope (WFIRST and the James Webb), Hubble has shown that it can still perform admirably. In fact, a recent announcement has just added another notch to the list of Hubble’s achievements.

An international team of astronomers has used the space telescope to shatter the cosmic distance record by measuring the farthest galaxy ever seen in the universe. This bright, infant galaxy, named GN-z11, is seen as it was 13.4 billion years in the past (just 400 million years after the Big Bang).

“We’ve taken a major step back in time, beyond what we’d ever expected to be able to do with Hubble. We see GN-z11 at a time when the universe was only three percent of its current age,” explained principal investigator Pascal Oesch.

 Astronomers are trying to focus on the first galaxies that formed in the universe and, with this discovery, they are closing in on them. The observations brought astronomers to a realm of galaxies that was previously thought to be reachable only with NASA’s upcoming James Webb Space Telescope.
LOOKING BACK IN TIME

Scientists measure astronomical distances by determining the “redshift” of a galaxy, which is a result of the expansion of the universe. To break this down a bit, redshift is a result of light being stretched to longer (and consequently redder) wavelengths as space expands as the light travels to our telescope. By measuring this redshift, we are able to obtain a precise measure of where the light traveled from.

The previous galaxy that was a record holder had a redshift of 8.68, which means we see it as it was some 13.2 billion years in the past. GN-z11, in comparison, has a redshift of 11.1, which puts it at the aforementioned 13.4 billion years and 200 million years closer to the Big Bang. The researchers estimate that the record could only be surpassed with the help of the James Webb Space Telescope.

Notably, scientists at Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austinpreviously found galaxy z8_GND_5296, which is a staggering 30 billion light-years away. Thanks to the expansions of the universe, GN-z11 is (at the present time) even more distant than this.

SO, WHAT’S THE GALAXY LIKE?

Even though it is far away, we still know a lot about it (relatively speaking).

The imaging of GN-z11 reveals it is 25 times smaller than our galaxy and has one percent of our galaxy’s mass in stars. It is growing fast, forming stars at a rate 20 times greater than our galaxy. This is part of the reason why the galaxy is unexpectedly bright when imaged.

The results also provide new clues about the nature of the very early universe, but while these results are exciting, it is but a tantalizing preview of the observations that the James Webb Space Telescope could offer after it is launched into space in 2018.

GN-z11 Farthest Galaxy
The Galaxy GN-z11 as imaged by the researchers. Credit: NASA

NASA picks research teams to tackle advances in drone, self-driving car tech


The three chosen research teams will perform feasibility studies on projects aimed at advancing autonomous systems in self-driving cars and drones.

nasa-drone.gif

NASA has selected a trio of research teams to perform feasibility studies on projects aimed at advancing autonomous systems in self-driving cars and drones.

The research will span three key areas of autonomous technology, including certification of self-driving cars and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS); the development of new methods to verify whether remote-piloted drones are fit to fly before each flight; and how to use quantum computing and communication tech to create a jam-free network that can support hundreds of thousands of drones flying each day.

Apple’s iPhone made its debut 10 years ago. Here’s a look at how it has impacted business and the enterprise.

NASA said the studies are expected to take between 24 and to 30 months to complete.

“Our idea is to invest a very modest amount of time and money into new technologies that are ambitious and potentially transformative,” said Richard Barhydt, NASA’s acting director of the Transformative Aeronautics Concepts program.

“They may or may not work, but we won’t know unless we try.”

NASA’s targeted selection of the research teams shows how the organization is trying to tackle the technology segments in need of refinement in order to make autonomous systems operate at scale. The organization has also become aggressive in its push for technological advances in drone systems and finding ways to use them for Mars exploration.

For instance, NASA’s Mars Electric Reusable Flyer project is using technology from autonomous robots and self-driving vehicles to develop visual odometry algorithms and Simultaneous Linearization and Mapping (SLAM) algorithms that will allow drones to navigate and recharge autonomously in the often unpredictable conditions on Mars.

NASA Confirms: “Marijuana Contains “Alien DNA” From Outside Of Our Solar System”


It’s big news, set to shock, amaze, and entertain the world.

 But unfortunately, it’s got nothing to do with extraterrestrial stoners melding with Earth’s plants.

However, since you’re now reading, you’ll almost certainly be interested in this research that looked into the clicking and sharing behaviors of social media users reading content (or not) and then sharing it on social media.

We noticed long ago that many of our followers will happily like, share and offer an opinion on an article – all without ever reading it. We’re not the only ones to notice this. Last April, NPR shared an article on their Facebook page which asked “Why doesn’t America read anymore?”. The joke, of course, is that there was no article. They waited to see if their followers would weigh in with an opinion without clicking the link, and they weren’t disappointed.

We’ve been hoping for a chance to try it ourselves, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Yackler had some fun with the same article and managed to fool a bunch of people.

A group of computer scientists at Columbia University and the French National Institute looked into a dataset of over 2.8 million online news articles that were shared via Twitter. The study found that up to 59 percent of links shared on Twitter have never actually been clicked by that person’s followers, suggesting that social media users are more into sharing content than actually clicking on and reading it.

“People are more willing to share an article than read it,” the study’s co-author Arnaud Legout said in a statement, Washington Post reports. “This is typical of modern information consumption. People form an opinion based on a summary, or a summary of summaries, without making the effort to go deeper.”

This study looks into the psychology behind what makes people want to share content. Research conducted by The New York Times Customer Insight Grouplooked into what motivates people to share information. Just under half of the people asked in the survey said they share information on social media to inform people and to “enrich” those around them. Conversely, they found 68 percent share to reinforce and project a certain image of themselves – in a sense, to “define” themselves.

NASA Confirms: “Marijuana Contains “Alien DNA” From Outside Of Our Solar System”


It’s big news, set to shock, amaze, and entertain the world.

 But unfortunately, it’s got nothing to do with extraterrestrial stoners melding with Earth’s plants.

However, since you’re now reading, you’ll almost certainly be interested in this research that looked into the clicking and sharing behaviors of social media users reading content (or not) and then sharing it on social media.

We noticed long ago that many of our followers will happily like, share and offer an opinion on an article – all without ever reading it. We’re not the only ones to notice this. Last April, NPR shared an article on their Facebook page which asked “Why doesn’t America read anymore?”. The joke, of course, is that there was no article. They waited to see if their followers would weigh in with an opinion without clicking the link, and they weren’t disappointed.

We’ve been hoping for a chance to try it ourselves, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Yackler had some fun with the same article and managed to fool a bunch of people.

A group of computer scientists at Columbia University and the French National Institute looked into a dataset of over 2.8 million online news articles that were shared via Twitter. The study found that up to 59 percent of links shared on Twitter have never actually been clicked by that person’s followers, suggesting that social media users are more into sharing content than actually clicking on and reading it.

“People are more willing to share an article than read it,” the study’s co-author Arnaud Legout said in a statement, Washington Post reports. “This is typical of modern information consumption. People form an opinion based on a summary, or a summary of summaries, without making the effort to go deeper.”

This study looks into the psychology behind what makes people want to share content. Research conducted by The New York Times Customer Insight Grouplooked into what motivates people to share information. Just under half of the people asked in the survey said they share information on social media to inform people and to “enrich” those around them. Conversely, they found 68 percent share to reinforce and project a certain image of themselves – in a sense, to “define” themselves.

In the words of one participant from the study: “I try to share only information that will reinforce the image I’d like to present: thoughtful, reasoned, kind, interested and passionate about certain things.”

It also raises the question of whether online media is just a massive “echo chamber”, where we all just like pages and viewpoints that reinforce our own beliefs and are not interested in information for the sake of information. Even the algorithms of social media sites mean that individuals or pages that you tend to click on, like, or share – which are most often the articles or viewpoints that you agree with – will more frequently turn up on your News Feed.

As a user of online media, you’re probably quite aware of this.

Take a look at any comment on social media pages, including those, of course, on the IFLScience Facebook page. It’s particularly noticeable on the more “emotive” and controversial of subjects; think climate change, GMOs, vaccinations, aliens, and a lot of our articles on marijuana, where the top comments often repeat or question something that is fairly explicitly in the article, but not the headline.

Just this week, our article about capuchins monkeys entering the stone age was met with many of the top comments on the Facebook post pointing out they’ve done this for hundreds of years, despite that being the first thing the article said if you read it. Although from our analytics it’s impossible to see which users did not click through to the article yet shared it, there is fairly often a slightly fine discrepancy between shares and page views which doesn’t quite add up, especially on those buzz subjects.

So, if you are one of the lucky few who managed to click and read this article, we congratulate you! Although we do apologize for the misleading headline. In the meanwhile, have fun sharing the article and seeing who manages to chair a discussion on marijuana genetics, without ever reading it.

NASA Are Figuring Out How to Use AI to Build Autonomous Space Probes


Adding artificial intelligence to the machines we send out to explore space makes a lot of sense, as it means they can make decisions without waiting for instructions from Earth, and now NASA scientists are trying to figure out how it could be done.

As we send out more and more probes into space, some of them may have to operate completely autonomously, reacting to unknown and unexplained scenarios when they get to their destination – and that’s where AI comes in.

Steve Chien and Kiri Wagstaff from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory think that these machines will also have to learn as they go, adapting to what they find beyond the reaches of our most powerful telescopes.

“By making their own exploration decisions, robotic spacecraft can conduct traditional science investigations more efficiently and even achieve otherwise impossible observations, such as responding to a short-lived plume at a comet millions of miles from Earth,” write the researchers.

One example they give is AI that can tell the difference between a storm and normal weather conditions on a distant planet, making the readings that are being taken much more useful to scientists back home.

Just like Google uses AI to recognise dogs and cats in photos, an explorer buggy could learn to tell the difference between snow and ice, or between running water and still water, adding extra value and meaning to the data it gathers.

The researchers suggest AI-enabled probes could reach as far as Alpha Centauri, some 4.24 light-years away from Earth. Communications across that distance would be received by the generation after the scientists who launched the mission in the first place, so giving the probe a mind of its own would certainly speed up the decision-making process.

The next generation of AI robots will have to be able to detect “features of interest”, detect unforeseen features, process and analyse data, and adapt their original plans where necessary, say the researchers.

And when smart probes get the chance to work together, the effects of AI will be even more powerful, as these artificial minds will be able to put their heads together to overcome challenges.

We are already seeing some of this artificial intelligence and autonomy out in space today. The Mars Curiosity rover has software on board that helps it to pick promising targets for its ChemCam – a device that studies rocks and other geological features on the Red Planet.

By making its own decisions rather than always waiting for instructions from Earth, Curiosity is now much better at finding significant targets and is able to gather a larger haul of data, according to researchers.

Meanwhile the next rover to be sent to Mars in 2020 will be able to adjust its data collection processes based on the resources available, report Chien and Wagstaff.

In time, AI is going to become more and more important to space travel, the researchers say, and as artificial intelligence makes big strides forward here on Earth it’s also set to have a big role in how we explore the rest of the Universe.

The research has been published in Science Robotics.

Meet NASA’s Design for a Warp Drive Ship


IN BRIEF

Warp drive would allow us to travel 10 times faster than the speed of light without actually breaking the speed of light – however, most scientists think that the technology will never actually work. Despite this, NASA has released designs for a faster-than-light ship that uses the hypothetical tech.

Before we jump into this, you should know that a number of scientists are currently researching the feasibility of warp drive (and EMdrive and a number of other modes of faster than light travel); however, most think that such forms of space travel simply aren’t viable, thanks to the fundamental physics of our universe.

So although part of this article is simply, “Oh my gosh, look at this amazing design,” that’s not the entire point. To that end, let’s take a moment to break this all down a bit so we have an understanding of what exactly is being proposed in relation to warp drive, and why it is met with such skepticism, before we get a bit too carried away…

Alcubierre warp drive via Anderson Institute
Alcubierre warp drive via Anderson Institute

In 1994, physicist Miguel Alcubierre proposed a new kind of technology that would allow us to travel 10 times faster than the speed of light without actually breaking the speed of light. That seems a little contradictory, doesn’t it? After all, we’ve been told time and again that light is the universal speed limit – nothing in the cosmos can travel faster than it (much less 10 times faster).

And herein lies the key to the Alcubierre drive: When you use it, you aren’t actually moving through space.

 This technology would not actually propel the ship to speeds exceeding light; instead, it uses the deformation of spacetime permitted by General Relativity to warp the universe  around the vessel. Essentially, when the drive is activated the spacetime behind expands, while in the front it contracts. In this respect, the path taken becomes a time-like free-fall.

Alcubierre’s ideas have lead to a number of interesting thought experiments in quantum field theory; however, as mentioned above, most scientists think that the technology will never actually work. When you think about it, that kind of makes sense. Obviously, warping space requires a lot of mass and energy, and ensuring that the space where you are located isn’t warped is tricky business. Indeed, the proposition was mostly just a thought experiment when it was first proposed – not something Alcubierre thought was actually viable technology.

As physicist Sean Carroll notes:

In short, it requires negative energy densities, which can’t be strictly disproven but are probably unrealistic; the total amount of energy is likely to be equivalent to the mass-energy of an astrophysical body; and the gravitational fields produced would likely rip any ship to shreds. My personal estimate of the likelihood we will ever be able to build a “warp drive” is much less than 1%. And the chances it will happen in the next hundred years I would put at less than 0.01%.

[Reference: Jalopnik]

That said, scientists will likely be producing papers addressing these ideas for some time. We’ll continue to cover them as they come out (and though things may look painfully dismal for this technology, who knows what the future may hold).

But on to the design…

In 2010, NASA physicist Harold White revealed that he and a team were working on a design for this faster-than-light ship, and this is the most recent design of what such a ship might actually look like. As you can see in the image, the ship rests between two enormous rings, which create the warp bubble.

Image via Mark Rademaker

Artist Mark Rademaker worked on the project with White. In the release, Rademaker asserts that he spent over 1,600 hours working on the design. The ship is called the IXS Enterprise, and it is meant to fit the concept for a Faster Than Light ship. Mike Okuda also brought input, and designed the Ship’s insignia.

To give you some idea of just how awesome warp technology would be: A trip to the nearest star (Proxima Centauri), which rests some four light-years from Earth, would ordinarily take over 17,000 years. However, with the Alcubierre drive, it would take a little under five months. For those of us who have a mental breakdown on 10 hour plane flights, 5 months might still seem like quite a bit of travel time. But when we are talking about the vast cosmic distances between Earth and Proxima Centauri, a 5 month trip would be an achievement of monumental proportions (keep in mind, it took Curiosity 8 months just to reach Mars).

Upcoming solar flares could wreak havoc on Earth


A giant fissure has opened across the sun and is spewing rapid solar winds toward our planet.

A combination of three images of the sun at different temperatures. The dark areas are the coronal holes, places where very little radiation is emitted, yet are the main source of solar wind particles.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory got wind of the massive hole Friday morning.

This coronal hole is a vast region where the sun’s magnetic field tears apart, allowing solar wind to escape.

 Super-charged solar winds flowing from the sun’s atmosphere are expected to reach Earth on April 23 or 24.

According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this could whip up a “moderately strong” geomagnetic storm.

These kinds of storms are behind the beautiful natural phenomenon the Northern Lights.

But a storm of this magnitude could have an effect on power grids and navigation systems across the Earth’s surface.

G2 storms affect plane and military radio systems, spacecraft operations, and could trigger voltage alarms or cause equipment damage in power systems.

Modal Trigger
Solar flares being flung from the sun’s atmosphere earlier this month

Scientists are growing increasingly concerned over the effect a solar explosion, flare or storm could have on humanity.

Our growing dependence on technology puts humans at a greater risk if power grids, planes and satellites stop working.

US President Barack Obama was forced to issue a chilling warning to the nation in preparation for devastating space storms earlier this year.

He said: “Extreme space weather events — those that could significantly degrade critical infrastructure — could disable large portions of the electrical power grid, resulting in cascading failures that would affect key services such as water supply, health care, and transportation.

“Space weather has the potential to simultaneously affect and disrupt health and safety across entire continents.”

Source: http://nypost.com

More “Star Trek” Tech In Real Life: The Qualcomm Tricorder XPrize


An American team of scientists and engineers just won the five-year-old, $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder XPrize.

More “Star Trek” Tech In Real Life: The Qualcomm Tricorder XPrize
Zachary Quinto plays Spock in Star Trek Beyond, 2016. 

The relationship between Star Trek and real-world science is long and distinguished (how many NASA engineers have claimed to owe their careers to the adventures of Captain Kirk and crew?). And just as Star Trek’s Communicator inspired the flip phone, and its mobile computer PADD influenced the iPad, now comes a Tricorder-like diagnostic device.

Five years after it launched, the Qualcomm Tricorder XPrize has awarded an American team of scientists and engineers a $2.6 million first-place award and a Taiwanese team a $1 million second-place prize for developing consumer mobile devices that non-invasively diagnose 13 medical conditions without assistance from health professionals. An initial 312 teams entered.

Final Frontier Medical Devices 

The American team is Pennsylvania-based Final Frontier Medical Devices, helmed by ER physician Basil Harris and his network engineer brother, George, who named their machine DxtER (pronounced “Dexter”). Runner-up is Taiwan’s Dynamical Biomarkers Group, led by Harvard Medical School associate professor Chung-Kang Peng and supported by HTC Research. As finalists, the teams also earned $1 million in preliminary prizes last year.“Creating technology breakthroughs in an industry as complex as healthcare is quite a milestone,” says Qualcomm executive chairman Paul Jacobs. “What these teams accomplished is a great stepping stone to making mobile health care a viable option across the world.”

Dynamical Biomarkers Group. 

Removing the Doctor

Accuracy and ease of use determined the winning design after six months of testing by nearly 400 consumers focusing on diagnostic, vital signs, and user experience at the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute at the University of California, San Diego.

DxtER, Final Frontier Medical Devices’ tricorder prototype

“The devices are clunkier and not as magic based as the Star Trek version,” says Final Frontier’s Harris. “Sometimes it requires a blood or urine sample. You’re scratching the surface, but still making contact with a person. There are only so many ways get to a certain diagnosis, so the hardest part was taking the doctor out of the equation.”

The devices partially cull the list of possible diagnoses through a medical questionnaire, then guide the user through more tests before offering a final determination and course of action. Both employ reconfigured existing technology such as finger meters, imaging, and wireless sensors to measure five vital signs, and diagnose 10 core conditions and three elective ones.

Artificial intelligence enables the systems to learn and increasingly tailor them to users.

Star Trek Medical Tricorder’s 

Both measure blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation, respiratory rate, temperature, anemia, atrial fibrillation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, leukocytosis (elevated white blood cell count), pneumonia, otitis media (middle ear inflammation), sleep apnea, urinary tract infection, and absence of a condition.For the elective conditions, Final Frontier’s device tackles pertussis (whooping cough), hypertension, and mononucleosis, while Dynamical Biomarkers addressed melanoma, shingles, and hypertension. Final Frontier’s device uses data analysis from actual patients, while Dynamical’s pairs diagnostic algorithms with analytical methodology controlled through a smartphone app.

Dynamical Biomarkers Group’s tricorder prototype 

Betterment of Humanity

The XPrize Foundation is a 21-year-old Los Angeles nonprofit run by executive chairman Peter Diamandis and CEO Marcus Shingles that runs incentivized competitions to foster innovation that helps humanity. There are 16 past and present competitions, with another 13 in active development.

The first and best-known of the contests, The Ansari XPrize, was a $10 million award for a reliable, reusable, privately financed manned spaceship. Breakthroughs from this competition lead to a private space industry worth over $2 billion. The Paul Allen-backed Mohave Aerospace Ventures won it in 2004, and Richard Branson licensed the technology to create Virgin Galactic. It’s most recent competition, Avatar XPrize, launched in December.

Consumer testing with Final Frontier’s Tricorder-inspired device.

The Tricorder competition launched in 2012 as a way to stimulate innovation in consumer diagnostic technologies, and facilitated by advances artificial intelligence, wireless sensing, imaging, lab-on-a-chip, and molecular biology.Contest rules dictated the device weigh less than five pounds and be user-friendly. Teams had to trade-off weight with functionality, processing power, battery life, screen resolution, AI engine location, diagnostic capability, and cost.

“It was a rigorous process,” says Tricorder XPrize lead Grant Campany, who oversaw competition operations and testing. “The devices were dropped off and given to testers to operate without help from medical professionals.”

Further Development

The remaining prize purse will fund continued development, consumer testing, and commercialization of Tricorder prototypes, with FDA support and $1.6 million from The Roddenberry Foundation towards adapting the devices for the developing world.

“Now is the hard part,” says Harris. “We’ve passed the structure of the XPrize competition. Now we have to get the devices through the regulatory bodies.”

Adds Peng: “No matter which team wins the grand prize, we’ll both continue on. We’re also interested in collaborating with each other and all the entrants.”

Watch the video. URL:

Source:https://www.fastcompany.com