Why do we remember the past, but not the future? It seems like a silly question, but for some scientists, it’s a deep mystery wrapped up in physics and perception.
The mystery takes another twist in a study appearing in the same journal that published Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity more than a century ago.
In October’s issue of Annalen der Physik (Annals of Physics), two researchers say the phenomenon known as the arrow of time depends on observers like us as well as the clocks and other things we observe.
Scientists have been saying for months that Pluto could have a salty, sloshing ocean beneath its icy surface, but now they’ve worked out just how deep it could go. The answer? As deep as 60 miles, or nine times the depth of Earth’s deepest seas.
The estimate, based on computer modeling of the impact dynamics behind a heart-shaped region of Pluto, was published this month in Geophysical Research Letters.
The bright-colored “heart,” first seen last year by NASA’s New Horizons probe, is arguably Pluto’s best-known surface feature. But it’s actually two features. Scientists say the left lobe of the heart, known informally as Sputnik Planum, was created in the aftermath of an ancient impact. The object that made that impact is thought to have been about 120 miles (200 kilometers) wide.
In June, researchers reported that the geological features mapped on Pluto’s surface would be consistent with the presence of a liquid water ocean far below, perhaps heated by the decay of radioactive materials in Pluto’s rocky core. But they didn’t estimate the size of the ocean.
Today’s update made clear that the root cause of the Sept. 1 blast at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida has not yet been identified. Nevertheless, SpaceX said it anticipated to return to flight as early as November, “pending the results of the investigation.”
Drones, satellites and rocket planes are all well and good for high-flying missions, but sometimes the best craft for the job is a balloon.
Google’s Project Loon, for example, is enlisting machine learning to pilot its experimental data-beaming balloons through the stratosphere. And other ventures are using high-altitude balloon platforms to conduct missions traditionally associated with suborbital rocket launches.
Aerospace veteran Chuck Beames is leaving his post as president of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s spaceflight company, Vulcan Aerospace.
Word of Beames’ departure came from Allen in an internal email that was sent to Vulcan employees and obtained by GeekWire today. Allen said Jean Floyd, the CEO of Vulcan’s Stratolaunch Systems, will expand his role to become Vulcan Aerospace’s interim executive director as well.
You’d think that physicist Stephen Hawking’s favorite place on Earth would be his native England, but it’s actually someplace completely different – as he explains in a new 25-minute documentary from CuriosityStream.
“Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places” is an exclusive offering from the online video-on-demand channel, founded last year by John Hendricks, who was the mastermind behind the Discovery Channel. It’s the first episode in what’s expected to be a series of original “Favorite Places” features, supplementing CuriosityStream’s library of science documentaries from the BBC and other providers.
The World Trade Organization turned up the heat on Europe’s aerospace industry today by ruling that Airbus was continuing to benefit from what’s now estimated at $22 billion in subsidies from the European Union and its member countries.
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman hailed the decision as a “sweeping victory” in a dispute that has been simmering for more than a decade, with the Boeing Co. cast as the principal victim of Airbus’ subsidies.
“This long-awaited decision is a victory for fair trade worldwide, and for U.S. aerospace workers in particular,” Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement.
Both of Washington state’s U.S. senators and several House members praised the development as well.
The WTO’s latest action marks one more step toward imposing retaliatory trade sanctions that could amount to as much as $10 billion a year.
Three universities and scores of other educational programs stand to benefit from $6 million in grants from the Boeing Co. – a bonanza that’s designed to boost the company’s future workforce in Washington state.
Grants totaling $1 million are going to the University of Washington, Washington State University and Seattle University. The other $5 million will be divvied up among about 50 nonprofit groups and educational institutions across the state.
Boeing said some of the largest grants will support Thrive Washington, which focuses on early learning; Washington STEM and its K-12 learning initiative; and SkillUp Washington, which partners with community and technical colleges on training for manufacturing jobs.
The grants focus on STEM education – science, technology, engineering and math – as well as workforce training, particularly for student populations who tend to be underrepresented when it comes to STEM.