Science

Plutonium-238 would be helpful for future deep space missions: ORNL

Plutonium-238 would be helpful for future deep space missions: ORNL

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have successfully produced Plutonium-238, the isotope which American space agency NASA was running out to fuel its Mars rovers. The success of project to create Plutonium-238 is considered as a major milestone by chemists and space technology experts. ORNL team has produced 50 grams of plutonium-238 and it will be helpful in future deep space missions.

Light Streak Brightens Nevada Skies

Light Streak Brightens Nevada Skies

A streak of light brightened up the Nevada skies on December 22 2015, reported Fleischmann Planetarium Director, Dan Ruby. People in Bakersfield and Sacramento in California, as well as in and around Las Vegas saw the light. It was reported that the celestial object causing light, disintegrated in the sky. Also, it was revealed by the Los Angeles Astronomical Society that the peak of the Ursids meteor shower was to appear over the night of December 22.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory Produces 50 Grams of Plutonium-238

Oak Ridge National Laboratory Produces 50 Grams of Plutonium-238

A team of scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) today announced that they have been successful in producing 50 grams of Plutonium-238. The recently produced isotope is just the size of a golf-ball, said its makers.

The Department of Energy (DOE) said that it is for the first time that scientists have produced any Pu-238 since its Savannah River Plant is South Carolina ceased production in the late 1980s.

The ORNL has been working on this project since past few years using the finding provided by NASA via the Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy.

Dawn Spacecraft beams back First Images of Ceres from its Closest Orbit

Dawn Spacecraft beams back First Images of Ceres from its Closest Orbit

Dawn spacecraft has sent first images of Ceres from its lowest orbit, as per US space agency NASA. The photos beamed back by the probe in final orbit at the dwarf planet are providing close views of icy world’s cratered and fractured surface.

NASA said Dawn spacecraft, first probe to visit Ceres, captured closest pictures of the dwarf planet’s craters in a region, called Gerber Catena, on December 10. Primary camera of Dawn which is healthy started clicking photos on December 16, the space agency added.

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SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Lands Successfully

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Lands Successfully

Landing of a rocket is no more considered a very significant deal; however, in reality it is quite a tough task. This explains the reason for SpaceX founder Elon Musk’s excitement following the successful landing of its Falcon 9. The rocket landed close to its launch pad at Cape Canaveral on December 21 2015. The 14-story booster returned intact after successfully launching 11 commercial satellites to orbit.

Hunters and Farmers Maintained Same Population Growth

Hunters and Farmers Maintained Same Population Growth

Researchers from the University of Wyoming and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics carried out a new radiocarbon analysis to compare the population growth rate of the prehistoric hunter-gatherers societies and farming societies. The analysis revealed that surprisingly the population growth rate of both the societies was same. The results contradict the general opinion that the human population increased rapidly after the dawn of agriculture 10,000-12,000 years ago.

Judicial Watch sues NOAA for Documents related to Controversial Climate Change Study

Judicial Watch sues NOAA for Documents related to Controversial Climate Change Study

The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch has revealed that it has filed a court case against a government agency for seeking records related to a climate change research. The lawsuit announced Tuesday was filed in the US District Court on December 2.

New Study warns Wild Bees on the Decline Due to single-crop Cultivation

New Study warns Wild Bees on the Decline Due to single-crop Cultivation

A gap has been noticed between abundance of wild bees and demand for pollination in California due to some crops such as almonds, a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has reported.

Due to Central Valley's love for almonds, a steep imbalance has been found between bee populations and the need for the pollination services they provide, according to the study. The findings have been reported amid warning over the steep decline in the numbers of commercial bees that are used to pollinate crops.

AI Project Receives Funding and Support From Tech Companies

AI Project Gets Huge Funding From Tech Companies

Many tech companies including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Infosys and YC Research, have promised to provide a financial support of US$1 billion for the OpenAI project. The project aims at developing the Artificial Intelligence (AI) in a way that it benefits the entire human race. The companies are not expecting any financial profits in return of their funding.

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