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Tag: Scientists

Scientists work to keep NASA's space telescope in the dark

Scientists work to keep NASA's space telescope in the dark

Science
Sept. 12 (UPI) -- NASA scientists are taking on the vital task of ensuring unwanted infrared light does not interfere with the optical testing of the James Webb Space Telescope."One of the challenges of testing an infrared telescope is that room-temperature objects [such as the walls of the vacuum chamber itself, or the warm electronics systems inside it] glow at the wavelengths of light that the telescope is trying to measure," Randy Kimble, a scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., said in a press release. "If not carefully controlled, that warm glow can provide an unwanted background in the telescope's images, which would compromise the optical testing."Due to the telescope's extreme sensitivity to infrared light, scientists are using a cold, gaseous helium sh...
Scientists design software that detects when people are texting and driving

Scientists design software that detects when people are texting and driving

Science
Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Scientists at the University of Waterloo have created a computer algorithm that can accurately determine when drivers are texting while driving.Distracted drivers are to blame for up to 75 percent of all traffic accidents worldwide, researchers say."It has a huge impact on society," Fakhri Karray, a University Research chair and director of the Center for Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, or CPAMI, at Waterloo, said in a press release.The system uses cameras and artificial intelligence to detect hand movements that deviate from normal driving behavior, such as from texting or talking on the phone, and grades them in terms of safety threats.The algorithms were trained using machine-learning techniques to recognize actions such as texting, talking on the phone or re...
Scientists explain 'impossible' nova explosions

Scientists explain 'impossible' nova explosions

Technology
Scientists have proven a theory which explains why nuclear explosions on the surface of white dwarf stars appear to be "impossibly" bright and powerful.Researchers from Michigan State University found that powerful shockwaves can amplify the nuclear explosions beyond normal expectations.A white dwarf is the leftovers of a brightly burning star which has exhausted its nuclear fuel. Near the end of its nuclear burning stage, it expels most of its outer material, creating a planetary nebula - gas ejected from the star at the end of its lifetime - and leaving only the hot core remaining.In a typical year, there are around 50 nuclear explosions on the surface of white dwarfs in our galaxy, but some of those explosions suggest much more energy than the small star should be able to generate.Publi...
Scientists: Climate change could cause storms like Harvey

Scientists: Climate change could cause storms like Harvey

Technology
By the time the rain stops, Harvey will have dumped about 1 million gallons of water for every man, woman and child in southeastern Texas — a soggy, record-breaking glimpse of the wet and wild future global warming could bring, scientists say. While scientists are quick to say climate change didn't cause Harvey and that they haven't determined yet whether the storm was made worse by global warming, they do note that warmer air and water mean wetter and possibly more intense hurricanes in the future. "This is the kind of thing we are going to get more of," said Princeton University climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer. "This storm should serve as warning." There's a scientifically accepted method for determining if some wild weather event has the fingerprints of man-made climate change, a
Oil and water can mix under the right conditions, scientists say

Oil and water can mix under the right conditions, scientists say

Science
Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Is any cliche safe? New research suggests oil and water can combine when conditions are just right.When oil and water are mixed under extreme pressure, oil molecules were absorbed into the solution. Researchers were able to mix water and methane inside small containers subjected to the amount pressure present on the deep ocean floor.Methane is often used in experiments as a standing for substances with hydrophobic -- or water-repelling -- molecules, like oil.The latest experiments -- detailed this week in the journal Science Advances -- can help scientists understand how chemicals interact under extreme conditions, like those found deep inside the Earth or distant planets.To achieve extreme pressure levels, researchers squeezed molecules between the anvil points of two dia...