Fermilab Experiment Hints at New Fundamental Force of Nature
LinkedIn
nad over head photo of Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois

By Ryan Whitwam

Scientists working at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois have made some of the most important discoveries in physics over the years, including the existence of the top quark and characterizing the neutrino. Now, the team working on Fermilab’s Muon g−2 experiment has reported a tantalizing hint of a new type of physics, according to the BBC. If confirmed, this would become the fifth known fundamental force in the universe.

Our current understanding of particle physics is called the Standard Model, which we know is an incomplete picture of the universe. Concepts like the Higgs boson and dark energy don’t fully integrate with the Standard Model, and the Muon g−2 might eventually help us understand why. The key to that breakthrough could be the behavior of the muon, a subatomic particle similar to an electron. The muon has a negative charge, but it’s much more massive. So, it spins like a magnet, which is what points to a possible new branch of physics.

PHOTO: ExtremeTech

The roots of the Muon g−2 experiment go back to work done at CERN in the late 1950s. However, the instruments available at the time were too imprecise to accurately measure the “g-factor” of the muon, which describes its rate of gyration. The Standard Model predicts that muons wobble in a certain way, but the 14-meter magnetic accelerator at the heart of Muon g−2 shows that muons have a different g-factor. That might not sound significant, but even a tiny “anomalous magnetic dipole moment,” as scientists call it, could indicate something mysterious has affected the particles.

We currently know of four fundamental forces: gravity, electromagnetism, the strong force (nuclear cohesion), and the weak force (radioactive decay). Whatever is causing muons to misbehave in Muon g−2 could be a fifth force, but we don’t know what it is. Even if the team can confirm the result, we won’t necessarily know what this new force of nature does aside from perturbing muons. That part will take much more work. Theoretical physicists have speculated that the new force could be associated with an undiscovered subatomic particle like the Z-prime boson or leptoquark.

Read the full article at ExtremeTech.

Debris from Chinese rocket re-enters Earth’s atmosphere over Indian Ocean
LinkedIn
A Long March-5B Y2 rocket carrying the core module of China's space station, Tianhe, blasts off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on April 29, 2021, in Wenchang, Hainan Province of China.

BY SOPHIE LEWIS, CBS News.

A huge piece of space junk made an uncontrolled re-entry back into Earth’s atmosphere Saturday night. The remnants of a Chinese rocket re-entered the atmosphere and crashed into the Indian Ocean north of Maldives, according to the 18th Space Control Squadron.

According to the U.S. Space Force, the remnants re-entered the atmosphere at 10:15 p.m. ET over the Arabian Peninsula. It was unknown if the debris impacted land or water.

China’s space agency said the rocket re-entered the atmosphere at 10:24 p.m. ET, but also pinpointed the landing area just north of the Maldives. The Chinese space agency said most of the rocket was destroyed during re-entry.

After the incident, NASA slammed China for “failing to meet responsible standards” for the re-entry of space debris.

“Spacefaring nations must minimize the risks to people and property on Earth of re-entries of space objects and maximize transparency regarding those operations,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement Saturday night. “It is critical that China and all spacefaring nations and commercial entities act responsibly and transparently in space to ensure the safety, stability, security, and long-term sustainability of outer space activities.”

The remnants were left over from China’s first module for its new Tianhe space station. The 23-ton Chinese rocket Long March-5B recently launched the first module for the country’s new space station into orbit. After the core separated from the rest of the rocket, it should have followed a predetermined flight path into the ocean.

Click here to read the full article on CBS News.

The oldest human burial in Africa was a toddler laid to rest with a pillow
LinkedIn
An artist's interpretation of the child, who was laid to rest in a cave in eastern Kenya 78,000 years ago. It is believed to be the oldest human burial ever found in Africa.

By Katie Hunt, CNN

A toddler laid to rest with their head on a pillow in a cave in eastern Kenya is thought to be the oldest human burial ever found in Africa.

The remains of the child, who was between 2 ½ and 3 years old, date back 78,000 years and were found buried at the mouth of the Panga ya Saidi cave, according to new research published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

Analysis of the cave sediment and the bones suggested that the burial was intentional and perhaps involved the child’s wider community in funeral rites, the authors of the study said, demonstrating that humans at that time were capable of symbolic thought and complex social behavior.
The arrangement of the surviving bone fragments showed that the child was placed lying gently on their right side, with their legs folded and drawn up toward their chest. The researchers also believe that the tiny body was tightly wrapped in a shroud — perhaps leaves or animal skins — and the head was supported by something made from a perishable material, possibly a pillow.

“This type of movement of the head is usually found in those burials where the head is resting over a pillow or perishable support — the moment that support disappears, disintegrates, decays, it creates a space below the head and because of gravity the head tilts,” said study author María Martinón-Torres, director at the National Research Center on Human Evolution (CENIEH) in Burgos, Spain.
“We could infer this child… was really put there in a specific position with a pillow under his head. This respect, this care, this tenderness — putting a child lying in an almost a sleeping position: I really think it’s one of most important — the earliest evidence in Africa — of humans living in the physical and the symbolic world,” Martinón-Torres said in a news briefing.

The importance of the find
While older burials by Neanderthals, archaic humans who disappeared around 40,000 years ago, and early Homo sapiens have been found in Europe and the Middle East dating back 120,000 years, the child’s skeleton represents the earliest evidence of intentional burial in Africa.

It’s not known why fewer burials have been found on the continent. It could be due to lack of fieldwork or differences in early mortuary practices, which can be hard to detect.
“Archaeologists have been very busy in the Near East and Europe for 150 years, with continuous excavations. If the same amount of work happened in Africa, we might find more and older burials,” said Michael Petraglia, coauthor of the study and a professor at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
Some of child’s bones were first found during excavations at Panga ya Saidi in 2013, but it wasn’t until 2017 that the skeleton of the child, who was later nicknamed “Mtoto,” meaning “child” in Swahili, was fully exposed.
“At this point, we weren’t sure what we had found. The bones were just too delicate to study in the field,” said study co-author Emmanuel Ndiema of the National Museums of Kenya. “We had a find that we were pretty excited about — but it would be a while before we understood its importance.”

Click here to read the full article on CNN.

NASA solar probe becomes fastest object ever built as it ‘touches the sun’
LinkedIn
NASA's solar probe flying high speed in space surrounded by yellow light beams

By  , C|Net

Nothing built by human hands has ever traveled faster than NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, a diminutive, scorch-proof spacecraft about the size of a small car is practically “touching the sun.” In late April, it smashed two wild space records, dethroning the previous champion — which also happened to be NASA’s Parker Solar Probe — and its journey is really just beginning.

The probe, which launched in August 2018 on a mission to study the sun, has been flying ever closer to our solar system’s furnace using the planet Venus as a slingshot. On April 29, during its closest approach to the sun (known as “perihelion”), Parker was traveling at an almost unfathomable speed — enough to circle the Earth 13 times in a single hour.

Parker set two new records back in February 2020:

  • Fastest human-made object: 244,255 mph (393,044 km/h).
  • Closest spacecraft to the sun: 11.6 million miles (18.6 million kilometers).

But those records have now been surpassed. The new records stand at:

  • Fastest human-made object: 330,000 mph (532,000 km/h).
  • Closest spacecraft to the sun: 6.5 million miles (10.4 million kilometers).

Click here to read the full article on C|Net.

NASA and SpaceX still pushing for a Moon landing in 2024
LinkedIn
Image of the moon in space hovering over the atmosphere

By Miriam Kramer, Yahoo! News

NASA and SpaceX still appear to be pushing to meet the 2024 deadline to land astronauts back on the Moon first set by the Trump administration.

The big picture: In its first 100 days, the Biden administration undid many of the Trump administration’s policies but President Biden has largely hewed closely to Trump-era space policies.

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free

Catch up quick: Many in the space industry expected the 2024 deadline for the first Artemis landing would be quickly amended by the Biden administration, but NASA still appears to be working toward that ambitious goal.

“I think we all have to recognize that space is hard, and it’s an ambitious timetable, but that is what has been stated,” Bill Nelson, Biden’s nominee for NASA administrator said during his confirmation hearing last week.

NASA also just awarded SpaceX a contract to build a landing system that will take people to the lunar surface as part of the Artemis program.

“We’re going to build a lot of rockets and probably smash a bunch of them, but I think it will happen,” SpaceX’s Elon Musk said last week. “I think 2024 — it seems likely. We’re going to aim for sooner than that, but I think this is actually doable.”

Yes, but: While NASA and SpaceX are optimistic, there is plenty of reason to doubt the current timeline.

The space agency’s Space Launch System rocket — designed to bring astronauts to orbit around the Moon — has already been delayed by technical problems, and it’s not yet clear it if will fly for the first time before next year, possibly pushing the current timeline.

NASA’s acting administrator Steve Jurczyk has also said 2024 no longer appears to be possible.

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! News.

New Milky Way map reveals a wave of stars in our galaxy’s outer reaches
LinkedIn
map highlighting the outermost region of the Milky Way.

By Ashley Strickland, CNN

A new map reveals the outskirts of the Milky Way galaxy, including a wave of stars disturbed by a small galaxy on a collision course with our own.

Data collected from the European Space Agency’s Gaia mission and NASA’s Near Earth Object Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer has been used by astronomers to map the galactic halo and this group of stars. Their findings appear in a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

Our Milky Way is a galaxy with multiple spiral arms emanating from a central disk. The empty-looking halo lies outside of these swirling arms. But there may be more to the halo than meets the eye.

The halo, which hosts a small population of stars, is also thought to contain a lot of dark matter. This mysterious substance, which is invisible and has eluded scientists for decades, is thought to comprise most of the mass in the universe.

A small neighboring galaxy, known as the Large Magellanic Cloud, orbits the Milky Way. The data used to create the map revealed that, like a ship, the Large Magellanic Cloud has cut through the Milky Way’s outer halo. This disturbance has left a rippling wave of stars behind the Large Magellanic Cloud, which is in the halo.

A collision of galaxies
Currently, the Large Magellanic Cloud is 160,000 light-years from Earth, and it only has about a quarter of the mass of our giant galaxy.

Research from 2019 suggests it will catastrophically collide with our own galaxy in 2 billion years.

The impact has a chance of sending our solar system hurtling through space.

The wake created by the Large Magellanic Cloud is about 200,000 light-years to 325,000 light-years from the galactic center.

While previous research suggested its existence, this new data provides confirmation, as well as the most detailed and accurate map of the galaxy’s outskirts.

In the image, the strip in the middle represents a 360-degree view of our galaxy overlaying a map of the galactic halo. A bright wave in the bottom left of the image is the wake of stars, and to the right is the Large Magellanic Cloud and the path it is taking.

A large, light blue feature in the top right shows a high concentration of stars in our galaxy’s northern hemisphere.

Understanding dark matter
The ripple left by the dwarf galaxy’s movement is also an opportunity to study dark matter. Even though dark matter is invisible, it provides structure throughout the universe — including the foundation for galaxies.

So if the Large Magellanic Cloud can cut through the Milky Way’s halo and leave a wave of stars, the same ripple should essentially act as an outline of the dark matter.

Dark matter is essentially pulling on the Large Magellanic Cloud to slow it down, shrinking the dwarf galaxy’s orbit around the Milky Way and causing the eventual collision.

Click here to read the full article on MSN.

NASA, SpaceX Crew-2 prepare for another historic flight
LinkedIn
Four astronauts prepare for their flight. Standing side by side while wearing modern, all white, space suits.

By Julia Musto, Fox News

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission is set to launch for the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday morning.

In a prelaunch press conference on Tuesday, representatives from the agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and the European Space Agency (ESA) confirmed that they were set for a 6:11 a.m. ET liftoff from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Crew Dragon Endeavour, marking the second crew rotation on a commercial spacecraft mission and the first with two international partner astronauts.

NASA’s Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet will embark on a six-month trip aboard the ISS.

Once there, International Space Station manager Joel Montalbano said they will conduct more than 260 scientific experiments and that the fourth crew member will help to increase the research and development for both the highly anticipated Artemis program and the low Earth orbit commercialization efforts.

“With the crew-2 launch, we welcome the European Space Agency’s flying an astronaut for the first time on Dragon. We also welcome back the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency flying on Dragon for a second time,” he added. “So, truly an international program and this is our future where we’ll have international partners on our vehicles for the future. That’s a goal and that’s where we’re planning to be.”
Speaking before Montalbano, Commercial Crew Program manager Steve Stitch said that the NASA-SpaceX team had its first “Readiness Review” and dress rehearsal on Tuesday morning, leading to the conclusion that it was “on track” for Thursday and that — assuming there are no changes — docking would be scheduled for Friday at around 4:30 a.m. ET.

“The main thing we’re watching over the next few days is the weather. You know we have to have the launch weather be ‘go’ and also ‘abort’ weather all along the abort ground track to protect the crew in the vehicle. So, we’re looking at both Thursday and Friday and looking at the weather over the next few days,” he said.

Launch Weather Officer Brian Cizek, from U.S. Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron, explained that there is currently an 80% chance of favorable weather on Thursday and a 90% chance of favorable weather on Friday.

Click here to read the full article on Fox News.

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins returns safely to Earth after six months in space
LinkedIn
NASA astronaut Kate Rubins is helped out of the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft

BY TORI B. POWELL,

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, 42, safely returned to Earth on Saturday after living aboard the International Space Station for six months, according to NASA. Rubins, along with Russian cosmonauts Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and Sergey Ryzhikov, arrived southeast of the town Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, in a parachute landing at 10:55 a.m. local time.

The crew served as Expedition 63-64 and began their mission on October 14 last year.

Rubins became the first person to ever sequence DNA in outer space on her first spaceflight, Expedition 48/49 in 2016. During her latest 185-day mission, Rubins conducted “hundreds of hours” of International Space Station research, including work on the Cardinal Heart experiment which studies the effects of gravity and cardiovascular cells at the cellular and tissue levels and could further knowledge of heart problems on Earth, NASA reported. Her research also included studying DNA sequencing and microbiology studies.

Click here to read the full article on CBS News.

Why Mars? The fascination with exploring the red planet
LinkedIn
A rendering of the planet Mars

By Ashley Strickland of CNN

The mystique of Mars is one that humans can’t seem to resist. The red planet has easily captured our interest for centuries, heavily featured in science fiction books and films and the subject of robotic exploration since the 1960s.

In February, three spacecraft arrived at Mars after departing from different launch points on Earth in July. These myriad missions seek to understand our planetary neighbor and unlock the secrets of its past to prepare for future exploration.
The three missions — China’s Tianwen-1, the United Arab Emirates’ Hope Probe and NASA’s Perseverance rover — took advantage of an alignment between Mars and Earth that occurs every 26 months, allowing for quicker and more efficient trips when the two planets are on the same side of the sun.
The Hope Probe will stay in orbit for a Martian year — equivalent to 687 days on Earth — to gather data about Mars’ atmosphere.
Tianwen-1, whose name means “Quest for Heavenly Truth,” is orbiting the planet before landing a rover on the surface, with the hope that it can gather important information about the Martian soil, geological structure, environment, atmosphere and signs of water.
The Perseverance rover is searching for signs of ancient life on Mars and will collect samples to be returned to Earth by future missions.
Perseverance also carries the names of nearly 11 million people etched on three silicon chips. She is a robotic scientist exploring Mars on behalf of humanity and is able to share what she sees and hears through 23 cameras, including video, and two microphones.
If three missions arriving at Mars within days of each other seems excessive, imagine explorers seeing Earth for the first time and wanting to understand all aspects of its past, climate, water, geology and life systems. It takes time and different capabilities to explore aspects of an entire planet to know the real story.
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock
The genetic mistakes that could shape our species
LinkedIn
a genetic strand

By Zaria Gorvett

He Jiankui seemed nervous.

At the time, he was an obscure researcher working at the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China. But he had been working on a top-secret project for the last two years – and he was about to take to the podium at the International Summit on Human Genome Editing to announce the results. There was a general buzz of excitement in the air. The audience looked on anxiously. People started filming on their phones.

He had made the first genetically modified babies in the history of humankind. After 3.7 billion years of continuous, undisturbed evolution by natural selection, a life form had taken its innate biology into its own hands. The result was twin baby girls who were born with altered copies of a gene known as CCR5, which the scientist hoped would make them immune to HIV.

But things were not as they seemed.

“I was kind of drawn to him for the first five or six minutes, he seemed very candid,” says Hank Greely, a professor of law at Stanford University and expert in medical ethics, who watched the conference live over the internet in November 2018. “And then as he went on, I got more and more suspicious.”

A genetic invention

In the years since, it’s become clear that He’s project was not quite as innocent as it might sound. He had broken laws, forged documents, misled the babies’ parents about any risks and failed to do adequate safety testing. The whole endeavour left many experts aghast – it was described as “monstrous”, “amateurish” and “profoundly disturbing” – and the culprit is now in prison.

However, arguably the biggest twist were the mistakes. It turns out that the babies involved, Lulu and Nana, have not been gifted with neatly edited genes after all. Not only are they not necessarily immune to HIV, they have been accidentally endowed with versions of CCR5 that are entirely made up – they likely do not exist in any other human genome on the planet. And yet, such changes are heritable – they could be passed on to their children, and children’s children, and so on.

In fact, there have been no shortage of surprises in the field. From the rabbits altered to be leaner that inexplicably ended up with much longer tongues to the cattle tweaked to lack horns that were inadvertently endowed with a long stretch of bacterial DNA in their genomes (including some genes that confer antibiotic resistance, no less) – its past is riddled with errors and misunderstandings.

More recently, researchers at the Francis Crick Institute in London warned that editing the genetics of human embryos can lead to unintended consequences. By analysing data from previous experiments, they found that approximately 16% had accidental mutations that would not have been picked up via standard tests.

Why are these mistakes so common? Can they be overcome? And how could they affect future generations?

Read the full article at BBC.com

WITI Summit, June 22-24, VIRTUAL
LinkedIn
The WITI logo

The WITI Summit, June 22-24 in a VIRTUAL form, is the premier global event for women in technology. Executives, entrepreneurs and technology thought leaders from around the world convene online to build and expand strong connections in a welcoming environment and to foster women’s success in all technology related fields and organizations. 3,000+ attendees from 6 continents. 

 

Use code CBPART21 for $100 discount off the prevailing cost of a full 3-day pass. 

 

Click Here 

Air Force Civilian Service

Air Force Civilian Service

Lumen

Lumen

Verizon

Verizon

DISM Statement

#Stopasianhate

Upcoming Events

  1. Commercial UAV Expo Americas, Las Vegas
    September 7, 2021 - September 9, 2021
  2. 2021 ERG & Council Conference
    September 15, 2021 - September 17, 2021
  3. Wonder Women Tech
    October 26, 2021 - October 29, 2021
  4. HACU’s 35th Annual Conference
    October 30, 2021 - November 1, 2021
  5. AEC Next Technology Expo & Conference, International Lidar Mapping Forum, and SPAR 3D Expo & Conference
    February 6, 2022 - February 8, 2022

Upcoming Events

  1. Commercial UAV Expo Americas, Las Vegas
    September 7, 2021 - September 9, 2021
  2. 2021 ERG & Council Conference
    September 15, 2021 - September 17, 2021
  3. Wonder Women Tech
    October 26, 2021 - October 29, 2021
  4. HACU’s 35th Annual Conference
    October 30, 2021 - November 1, 2021
  5. AEC Next Technology Expo & Conference, International Lidar Mapping Forum, and SPAR 3D Expo & Conference
    February 6, 2022 - February 8, 2022