The first quantum transmission to go via space paves the way for ultra-secure communications satellites. Secret encryption keys transmitted via quantum links provide the ultimate way to communicate securely. That's because any attempt to intercept the key will be revealed thanks to the laws of quantum mechanics, which say that interception will introduce changes that give away eavesdroppers.
The technology is already available for fibre-optic cables, but a truly global network would need satellites to beam quantum data between distant locations. To test how these might work, Paolo Villoresi at the University of Padua in Italy and his colleagues turned to satellites covered in ultra-reflective mirrors. These are normally used to bounce laser beams back to Earth. The time they take to return shows up any shifts in gravity.
The European Space Agency (ESA) has released a new image from the Planck telescope, which at first glance could easily be mistaken for a frothy swirl in a coffee cup, but in fact depicts the Milky Way’s magnetic field lines, and could help...
NASA's latest data download just covered way more distance, and contained way more awesome, than any earthbound file transfer: the agency beamed a high-def video down from the International Space Station this week using a high-powered laser.
"NASA says the boost in data transmission capabilities is like going from dial-up to DSL."
Very cool. The ability to get more data across is a good step for the future in general and mission potential in specific.
New research debunks years of government myths. (@joerogan Clinical studies proving the positive effects of psilocybin: http://t.co/GVKp6G1Rxk)
From the article: "Fourteen months later, 94% said their trip on magic mushrooms was one of the five most important moments of their lives. Thirty-nine percent said it was the most important thing that had ever happened to them. Their colleagues, friends, and family members said the participants were kinder and happier; the volunteers had positive experiences ranging from more empathy and improved marriages to less drinking."
Astronomers have witnessed a triplet of monster black holes swirling in the center of a distant galaxy, a new study says.
Astronomers have learned over the past decade or two that virtually every full-size galaxy such as our own Milky Way has a giant black hole lurking in its core. These monsters weigh in with a mass equal to millions or even billions of stars.
The new observations, however, described in the journal Nature, suggest that many galaxies have not one, but two or more giant black holes in their centers, orbiting each other in a tight gravitational dance that will ultimately lead the objects to merge together into something even more gigantic.
Watching these mergers will offer insight into how gravity behaves when stretched to its limits, astronomers predict, with clues revealed by monster black hole mash-ups such as the just-discovered triplet.
"We were quite surprised to find it," says Roger Deane, of the University of Cape Town in South Africa, lead author of the report. In one sense, Deane and his colleagues shouldn't have been surprised. It's widely accepted that when galaxies come close together, their gravity can force them to form a single agglomeration of stars. In fact, the Milky Way and the (relatively) nearby Andromeda galaxy will probably experience such a merger in about four billion years. Since each galaxy hosts a single massive black hole, the resulting single galaxy should end up with two.
Deane and his group originally became interested in this particular galaxy, known by the unwieldy name SDSS J150243.091111557.3, because it had been flagged by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (thus the "SDSS" in the name) as having what looked like two sources of bright light in its core.
That indicated the possibility of two black holes there, with the light coming not from the invisible objects themselves but from the whirlpools of gas heated to incandescence as they spiral in under the black holes' intense gravity. Jets emitted by the black holes pinpointed their location.
Video has become an incredibly common part of everyday life. People take videos on smartphones, upload them via YouTube, and share them on Facebook. You'd think, then, that free video editors would be common, but it turns out the selection is limited for anyone not blessed with Mac OS X (and, as a result, access to…
Also, if you can, check out Cyberlink Power Director (my favorite, though usually not free). ;-)
Astronaut snaps photo of massive storm near Argentina
In the beginning, we marveled at the weather, our knowledge not extending much past the horizon. Now that we're in space, able to see cloud formations across the planet, we're feeling the same kind of awe and inspiration.
from the article: "The plan seeks to advance the agency's post-shuttle goal of transforming the space center into the go-to launch site for not only NASA missions but also those by emerging commercial ventures that would drive any new development."
Yep, being mindful of where space funding could be in the future.