Two of Uranus’ moons may be home to active oceans hidden beneath their surfaces. The new finding was uncovered when astronomers looked back at radiation data that Voyager 2 captured about the planet when it passed by over 40 years ago. According to that new data, the moons Ariel and Miranda could possibly house underground liquid water oceans.
It’s an intriguing discovery that only helps to heighten the need for better exploration of Uranus and its 27 different moons. By getting a better understanding of the possible oceans on Uranus’ moons, we could possibly learn more about the moons themselves, where they originated from, and even whether or not they were ever capable of housing life of some significance.
A new study on the findings has been accepted for publication in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The study details the radiation readings that astronomers looked at, some of which seem to suggest that at least one of these two Uranus moons is ejecting material into space, possibly from an underground ocean.
The exact cause and means by which the plasma is being ejected into the solar system are unclear, as the readings we have to look at are all 40 years old at this point. However, with scientists calling for new missions to Uranus, we could likely see more data on the possibility that Uranus’ moons are harboring active oceans in the coming decades.
Learning more about our solar system’s planets has always been a goal for astronomers. However, getting spacecraft to many of those planets isn’t always easy. That also doesn’t take into account the overall cost of such missions, either. The hope is that these suggestions that Uranus’ moons are hiding oceans could help spur the movement to create Uranus-focused exploration missions.
Further, if NASA and other agencies show enough interest in exploring Uranus and the possibility of these moon-based oceans, then we could see more priority put on Uranus-focused exploration in the near future.
At some point later this year, Disney+ will debut yet another piece of content related to the massively popular K-pop group BTS -- specifically, a documentary series titled BTS Monuments: Beyond the Star, which will tell the story of what's arguably now the biggest pop group on the planet as it heads into its "second act."
The individual members are, for the foreseeable future, focused on solo projects as they each begin to cycle through their mandatory Korean military service, with a tentative plan to mount the comeback of all comebacks sometime in 2025. Until then, fans have new music like Set Me Free Pt. 2 from BTS' Jimin to enjoy -- as well as several Disney+ documentaries and related titles to stream.
If you're looking for everything new on Peacock this month, you've come to the right place. NBCUniversal's streaming service has its fair share of original movies and TV shows, but it's also one of the best streamers for live sports, licensed movies, and NBC and MSNBC shows. There's always something worth watching any day of the week.
Some of the highlights coming to Peacock in April include Tara Hernandez and Damon Lindelof's original series Mrs. Davis, which is about a nun battling the world's most powerful AI, and all seven seasons of the beloved Fox sitcom New Girl, which is leaving Netflix.
Astronomers observing a mysterious radio halo from the galaxy cluster Abell 1213 have uncovered something unexpected. While the radio signals themselves remain puzzling, they have allowed researchers to unveil the core of the galaxy cluster, right down to the central galaxy contained within.
Even more intriguing about the discovery is that the researchers found evidence of mergers between the galaxies with the cluster. The off-center nature of the radio halo has also provided scientists with quite a puzzle, as most radio signals of this sort act more in line with the gas and dust that make up the “intracluster medium.”
By utilizing data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and X-ray data from the XMM-Newton space telescope, astronomers were able to successfully map the structure and dynamics of the intracluster medium. Using that info, the astronomers were also able to determine that the mysterious radio halo is the size of around 1.66 million light-years but that it doesn’t follow the x-ray emissions in the area.
This has left several astronomers involved in the discovery baffled and searching for answers. They also detected a radio signal they believe to be the relic of a galactic merger between Abel 1213’s central galaxy and another galaxy. However, this relic does not appear to be the cause of the baffling radio halo. Instead, it’s just another piece of a much larger puzzle that scientists are trying to solve.
The discovery also led scientists to uncover that star formation in Abel 1213 is not tied to the edges of the galactic cluster. Instead, star-forming galaxies appear to be present throughout the cluster, which some believe may imply that the cluster forms when several different groups clump together. This does not appear to be responsible for the radio halo, either.
The astronomers recorded their findings in a paper currently available on arXiv. In order to determine exactly what is causing the mysterious radio halo, astronomers say we’ll need to observe the galactic cluster with deeper x-ray signals. Future observations of these enormous galaxy clusters with James Webb and other telescopes could provide more data about them.
Petey, the Apple Watch app formerly known as watchGPT, has found success on Apple's smartwatch. Developed by Hidde van der Ploeg, the app lets you interact with ChatGPT right from the display of your Apple Watch. The key features include the following:
Interact with the famous GPT model right from your Apple Watch
Quickly get answers to your questions or generate longer messages without typing
Share the outcome of your interaction with others via text, email, or social media
Set the app as a complication for easy access
Text to Speech, the app will read out the answer to you, so you don’t have to read it (Make sure your device is not on silent)
With watchGPT on your wrist, you can easily access a vast source of knowledge and communicate with an intelligent computer in real-time. It’s like having a personal assistant on your wrist! To use watchGPT, simply open the app and ask your question or type in your message. watchGPT will provide you with a response that you can quickly share with others via text, email or social media.
Now, with version 1.2, there are a few new features for Petey users, such as:
Multiple Prompts: You can now reply and respond to Petey's answers. This feature enhances the conversation experience with the app, making it more interactive and engaging.
Newer AI Model (GPT4): With the newer AI model, it offers better accuracy and faster response time.
GPT-4 model requires an optional in-app purchase. Ploeg says this API is more expensive to use. That said, if you don't want to pay for this upgrade, Petey will continue using the existing model without additional costs.
This update also brings a few improvements, such as the ability to change Petey's icon or face, improved text-to-speech volume, localization improvements, a new settings page, and support for Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian.
Given how much of a fan-favorite the Netflix serial killer drama You remains for the streaming giant, it should come as no surprise that the just-released second half of the series' fourth season has returned the show to the pinnacle of Netflix's global Top 10 list. The show, starring Penn Badgley, has now spent five weeks in one spot or another on that ranking, the latest updated version of which we'll take a closer look at below.
Moving right along, we'll next take a closer look at the top two series this week, both You Season 4 as well as Season 2 of the fantasy series and book adaption Shadow and Bone, which came in at #2 worldwide for this latest 7-day snapshot.
#1: You: Season 4
In the former, based on Caroline Kepnes’ Joe Goldberg novels, Penn Badgley portrays the charming, obsessive Goldberg -- a now-former independent bookstore manager who goes to extreme lengths to remove obstacles in his path and to insert himself into the lives of people he becomes fixated on.
He’s since followed his new obsession Marienne (Tati Gabrielle) to Paris, and the new season of You finds him living in London under a new identity as a literature professor. “Finally, he’s in a position that befits his level of understanding of the books he talks about all the time,” You executive producer and showrunner Sera Gamble said in a Netflix interview. “He’s genuinely good at it, and it’s a pleasure for him to do it.
“I can say this without spoiling too much: Even when his life is completely falling apart, he still does enjoy teaching class.”
Continues Netflix’s official synopsis of the new season:
"It turns out Joe isn’t the only modern-day Jack the Ripper in the city, because someone called the “Eat the Rich Killer” is targeting the “circle of privileged douchebags” he’s befriended. Thus, Joe must channel his inner Sherlock Holmes and stop whomever the killer is before they dismember Joe’s scholarly new life."
Moving right along, let's now turn to the #2 Netflix series worldwide this week. Season 2 of the Netflix fantasy seriesShadow and Bone -- based on Leigh Bardugo’s bestselling Grishaverse novels — arrived on the streamer in recent days to praise for the new batch of episodes from both critics and fans alike.
In fact, the debut of the sophomore season of the series from showrunner Eric Heisserer was quickly met with strong critics’ and audience scores on Rotten Tomatoes (both of which stand at 84%, as of Tuesday afternoon).
The show is built around an orphan mapmaker named Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li), who unleashes an extraordinary power that sets dark forces conspiring against her -- in such a way that it threatens to change the fate of her world.
Season 2 of Shadow and Bone brings more friendships, romances, battles, and epic adventures. Alina is now on the run and determined to bring down the Shadow Fold and save Ravka from ruin. General Kirigan, however, is back to finish what he started and is more dangerous than ever -- with an army of shadow monsters and terrifying Grisha recruits at his command.
Alina and Mai rally their own allies, while the Crows in Ketterdam forge new alliances, get a chance at a deadly heist, and find themselves, per Netflix, “on a collision course with the legendary Sun Summoner.”
“It rarely forgets to have fun, a quality that can easily get lost amid the spells and brooding that often characterize such enterprises," a reviewer for TheWrap opines about the series.
The average distance between the Moon and Earth is 382,500 kilometers (about 237674.48 miles). As such, there’s plenty of space around our planet to warrant all the satellites we put into orbit, right? Not necessarily. In fact, there are many who have growing concerns about Earth’s orbiting satellites, and the dangers they pose to spacecraft and even to how we observe the stars beyond.
“If you look just from a geometry and physics point of view – if you look at all the different orbits, the space, the surface and the volume that we have – we should have plenty of space for more satellites than we have now,” Francois Chopard, founder and CEO of Starburst Aerospace, explained on a call with BGR.
Chopard, who has worked as an advisor with NASA and the U.S. Space Force, says that by all accounts, there should be plenty of space. However, he says the problem here is “a little bit more complicated” than just running the numbers. Instead, the growing concerns about Earth’s orbiting satellites really seem to be tied to how those satellites are handled after they cease being useful.
It’s also important to remember that most of the satellites we have orbiting our planet rely on a much smaller 500-kilometer range. As such, we aren’t making use of the entire amount of space between the Earth and the Moon. So, when you start packing satellites and space stations into this space, it fills up quickly. And that doesn't even count the space junk left behind by old satellites and rockets.
But Chopard says that we could probably put thousands more satellites into that space before having to worry about having too many. But if we don’t have proper monitoring systems in place, as well as ways to control those satellites and move them around safely, then we’re just opening the door for collisions and other issues along the way, or for satellites to impede operations by spacecraft like Hubble.
“Every satellite will need to have its own position, its own tank, and its own ability to maneuver from one orbit to another to avoid others,” Chopard explained. Without such a system, the concerns over Earth’s orbiting satellites are only going to grow, especially as we have to worry about old satellites colliding and creating fields of debris that are even harder to track.
The issues surrounding Earth’s increasingly packed orbit are bigger than just this thought. The more satellites we put into orbit, the more we’re polluting the night sky, brightening the darkest nights and making it more difficult for astronomers to study the stars.
Limiting the use of satellites in some way and creating better ways to monitor and control them could help alleviate some of these issues. Thankfully, some companies are already implementing end-of-life procedures. However, we still need to address the space junk conundrum, if we're going to clean up the orbits around Earth completely.
One of the most popular Netflix releases in the US at the moment is a feature-length adaptation of Newbery Award-winning author Kate DiCamillo’s classic novelThe Magician’s Elephant, directed by Wendy Rogers and written by Toy Story 4’s Martin Hynes.
The story at the heart of this movie, which is #4 in the US at the moment, features a young protagonist named Peter who sets out to find his long-lost sister and comes across a fortune teller in the market square. He asks if his sister is still alive and gets a surprising response: Follow a mysterious elephant, which leads to Peter needing to also attempt a trio of impossible tasks.
'The power of hope'
I have to say: It's movies like these that make me feel Netflix could give Pixar a run for its money if the streaming giant ever wanted to get serious about doing so. Pixar has definitely lost a step over the last year or so in terms of producing the kinds of can't-miss animated gems of its glory years (although the upcoming Elemental feels like it will be a reversal of that trend).
As for The Magician's Elephant, it's a beautifully animated film that will definitely pull on the heartstrings of many viewers. It debuted on Friday, and it's already got a strong 85% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
“Peter’s story planted itself in my heart when I first read the book,” director Wendy Rogers said about the movie in an interview included with Netflix’s press material. “I felt very connected to him and was totally captivated by the world and the characters. The power of hope, the belief that anything is possible, and the ability to ask ‘What if?’ are all themes that are woven into the fabric of this film, and resonate now more than ever.”
Producer Julia Pistor added that she first read a manuscript of The Magician's Elephant before it was published back in 2008, and that she fell in love with the story immediately. "I could see it and feel it as a movie with its wonderful blend of magical realism, poetic language, quirky and comedic characters, and heartfelt, universal themes -- and the beautiful Elephant!
"It’s an evocative book that had immense potential for a distinctly designed film."
Fun facts about The Magician's Elephant
According to Netflix, there are 133 unique characters in the film, the mix of which is designed to reflect the kind of diverse population that someone might encounter on a New York City subway. The largest crowd shot in The Magician's Elephant contains almost 1,700 characters.
At one point during production, the film's crew was spread around the world in at least 10 countries.
Rogers adds that what she hopes people take away from the film is "the spirit of 'anything is possible' and recognize that they have the power to make a change. I hope they have the curiosity to wonder 'What if?' and to enjoy all the magic in the world, to remember to look up and around to see it."
RNA Molecule Uracil Found In Asteroid Ryugu Samples Researchers have analyzed samples of the asteroid Ryugu collected by the Japanese Space Agency's Hayabusa2 spacecraft and found uracil, one of the informational units that make up RNA, the molecules that contain the instructions f
The World Saw a Record 9.6% Growth In Renewables In 2022 By the end of 2022, global renewable generation capacity amounted to 3,372 gigawatts (GW), growing the stock of renewable power by 295 GW or 9.6%, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Renewables produced
Intel Graphics Chief Leaves After Five Years After five years attempting to make Intel into a competitor for Nvidia and AMD in the realm of discrete graphics for gamers and beyond -- with limited success -- Raja Koduri is leaving Intel to form his own generative AI startup.
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The Netherlands has been selected as the headquarters of NATO’s Innovation Fund (NIF) in a decision disclosed on Monday. First announced at the organisation’s 2022 Madrid Summit, the fund will invest €1 billion on behalf of NATO member countries over the next 15 years. NIF is a multi-sovereign venture capital fund that will focus on investing in early-stage startups and other VC funds developing (dual-use) emerging and disruptive technologies — to be used in military and defense applications. These include: artificial intelligence; big-data processing; quantum technologies; autonomy; biotechnology and human enhancement; novel materials; energy; propulsion and space. “This will allow…
Future astronauts living and working on the Moon will require robust technologies that store and deliver continuous, reliable energy. But with no wind, no combustible fuels, no water (as far as we know), and two weeks of darkness at a time —the Moon isn’t exactly the best place to set up a solar or wind farm. British aerospace company Rolls-Royce believes it has a solution to this conundrum: nuclear micro-reactors. The UK Space Agency (UKSA) seems to agree. It announced last week £2.9m of funding for Rolls-Royce’s lunar micro-reactor project. This follows a £249,000 study funded by the agency last…
As Europe ramps up its efforts in launching commercial rockets into space, Elche-based startup PLD Space wants to put Spain on the map. The company plans to launch the first private reusable rocket from Western Europe. Named after a famous breed of bull in Spain’s bullfighting tradition, the Miura 1 rocket is set for its maiden voyage later this year, although the launch date hasn’t been specified. Miura 1 was unveiled on March 11, touted by Spain’s Prime Minister as an important development that will put the country “at the vanguard of this emerging but potent industry.” Welcome MIURA 1…
2022 proved to be filled with ups and downs for the global tourism sector. At the beginning of the year, the challenge lay in attracting tourists back by providing social distance-friendly amenities and processes. Then, as regulations eased, “revenge travel” kicked in bringing with it a sudden flood of tourists. Yet, many businesses struggled to accommodate this surge in demand with fewer resources. Technology emerged as one answer that helped us navigate these different challenges, from solutions that supported social distancing regulations to tools that helped boost capacity, with fewer staff. As we head into 2023, it’s time to take…
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On Thursday, the European Commission unveiled the Net-Zero Industry Act, a much-anticipated proposal aiming at boosting the EU’s green tech production amidst an increasingly intense global race. The new regulation is a key part of the European Green Industrial Plan — the bloc’s response to the US’ $369 billion package of green subsidies — seeking to ensure that at least 40% of the union’s net-zero technology demand is produced domestically by 2030. “We need a regulatory environment that allows us to scale up the clean energy transition quickly,” President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said in a statement.…
The UK government has pledged to invest £2.5bn in quantum computing over the next 10 years, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced today. The programme forms part of the new Spring Budget, which aims to reduce inflation and the risk of a recession. The British tech sector will play a central role in the plan. As part of a goal to make the UK a “science and technology superpower,” Hunt wants to build a world-leading “quantum-enabled economy” by 2023. To create this, the government is more than doubling its previous funding commitment to the field. It aims to attract another £1 billion…