NASA releases new spooky space-themed posters about extreme places in the Universe

While ghouls and goblins may provide the ghastly delights many of us associate with this time of year, NASA has just released a series of spooky space-themed posters that are more unearthly than any monsters or scary stories told around terrestrial campfires. This year for Halloween, the space agency has released a series of spine-tingling … Continue reading "NASA releases new spooky space-themed posters about extreme places in the Universe" The post NASA releases new spooky space-themed posters about extreme places in the Universe appeared first on Universe Today.
2020-10-29 22:30:04 preview's
NASA's OSIRIS-REx Successfully Stows Sample of Asteroid Bennu

fahrbot-bot shares a press release from NASA: NASA's Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission has successfully stowed the spacecraft's Sample Return Capsule (SRC) and its abundant sample of asteroid Bennu. On Wednesday, Oct. 28, the mission team sent commands to the spacecraft, instructing it to close the capsule -- marking the end of one of the most challenging phases of the mission. The mission team spent two days working around the clock to carry out the stowage procedure, with preparations for the stowage event beginning Oct. 24. The process to stow the sample is unique compared to other spacecraft operations and required the team's continuous oversight and input over the two-day period. For the spacecraft to proceed with each step in the stowage sequence, the team had to assess images and telemetry from the previous step to confirm the operation was successful and the spacecraft was ready to continue. Given that OSIRIS-REx is currently more than 205 million miles (330 million km) from Earth, this required the team to also work with a greater than 18.5-minute time delay for signals traveling in each direction. Throughout the process, the OSIRIS-REx team continually assessed the Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism's (TAGSAM) wrist alignment to ensure the collector head was being placed properly into the SRC. Additionally, the team inspected images to observe any material escaping from the collector head to confirm that no particles would hinder the stowage process. StowCam images of the stowage sequence show that a few particles escaped during the stowage procedure, but the team is confident that a plentiful amount of material remains inside of the head. By the evening of Oct. 27, the spacecraft's TAGSAM arm had placed the collector head into the SRC. The following morning, the OSIRIS-REx team verified that the collector head was thoroughly fastened into the capsule by performing a "backout check." This sequence commanded the TAGSAM arm to attempt to back out of the capsule -- which tugged on the collector head and ensured the latches are well secured. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2020-10-29 19:45:01 preview's
Microsoft Overhauls Excel With Live Custom Data Types

Microsoft is overhauling Excel with the ability to support custom live data types. The Verge reports: You could import the data type for Seattle, for example, and then create a formula that references that single cell to pull out information on the population of Seattle. These data types work by cramming a set of structured data into a single cell in Excel that can then be referenced by the rest of the spreadsheet. Data can also be refreshed to keep it up to date. If you're a student who is researching the periodic table, for example, you could create a cell for each element and easily pull out individual data from there. Microsoft is bringing more than 100 new data types into Excel for Microsoft 365 Personal or Family subscribers. Excel users will be able to track stocks, pull in nutritional information for dieting plans, and much more, thanks to data from Wolfram Alpha's service. This is currently available for Office beta testers in the Insiders program. Where these custom data types will be most powerful is obviously for businesses that rely on Excel daily. Microsoft is leveraging its Power BI service to act as the connector to bring sources of data into Excel data types on the commercial side, allowing businesses to connect up a variety of data. This could be hierarchical data or even references to other data types and images. Businesses will even be able to convert existing cells into linked data types, making data analysis a lot easier. Power BI won't be the only way for this feature to work, though. When you import data into Excel, you can now transform it into a data type with Power Query. That could include information from files, databases, websites, and more. The data that's imported can be cleaned up and then converted into a data type to be used in spreadsheets. If you've pulled in data using Power Query, it's easy to refresh the data from its original source. [...] These new Power BI data types will be available in Excel for Windows for all Microsoft 365 / Office 365 subscribers that also have a Power BI Pro service plan. Power Query data types are also rolling out to subscribers. On the consumer side, Wolfram Alpha data types are currently available in preview for Office insiders and should be available to all Microsoft 365 subscribers soon. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2020-10-29 19:00:02 preview's
There’s no place like the perfectly sized home for the mighty mantis shrimp

Mantis shrimp will fight longer and harder, and often win, for burrows of ideal size.
2020-10-29 18:30:03 preview's
In Embryos, Crispr Can Cut Out Whole Chromosomes—That's Bad

The DNA-cutting tool has been hailed as a way to fix genetic glitches. But a new study suggests it can remove more than scientists bargained for.
2020-10-29 18:15:03 preview's
Ancient skull a new window on human migrations, Denisovan meetings

New sequences show Denisovans were living at the edge of the Tibetan Plateau.
2020-10-29 17:45:03 preview's
Weekly Space Hangout: October 28, 2020, Dr. Nathalie Cabrol, SETI Institute

This week we are pleased to welcome Dr. Natalie Cabrol, Director of the Carl Sagan Center for Research at the SETI Institute (SI), to the show. In addition to heading the strategic vision for science and exploration at the SI, Nathalie leads research projects in planetary science and astrobiology, develops science exploration strategies for Mars, … Continue reading "Weekly Space Hangout: October 28, 2020, Dr. Nathalie Cabrol, SETI Institute" The post Weekly Space Hangout: October 28, 2020, Dr. Nathalie Cabrol, SETI Institute appeared first on Universe Today.
2020-10-29 14:45:02 preview's
Ancient DNA sheds light on our prehistory with dogs

Our history with dogs is complicated, according to a study of ancient dog DNA.
2020-10-29 14:15:01 preview's
New Simulation Shows Exactly What’s Happening as Neutron Stars Merge

Neutron stars are the remnants of massive stars that explode as supernovae at the end of their fusion lives. They’re super-dense cores where all of the protons and electrons are crushed into neutrons by the overpowering gravity of the dead star. They’re the smallest and densest stellar objects, except for black holes, and possibly other … Continue reading "New Simulation Shows Exactly What’s Happening as Neutron Stars Merge" The post New Simulation Shows Exactly What’s Happening as Neutron Stars Merge appeared first on Universe Today.
2020-10-29 13:15:03 preview's
As experts call for nationwide mask mandate, anti-maskers stab guard 27 times

“We’re not in a good place,” Fauci notes.
2020-10-29 12:45:02