Quantum computers rely on fundamentally different principles to today’s computers, in which each bit represents either a zero or a one. In quantum computing, each bit can be both a zero and a one simultaneously. So while three conventional bits can represent any of eight values (2^3), three qubits, as they’re called, can represent all eight values at once. That means calculations can theoretically be performed at much higher speeds.
The reason scientists are excited about the data being returned from the geyser is that it may include elements of life beneath the surface of Enceladus. Cassini is not designed to detect life directly. However, it could pick up its building blocks.
Preparations are ongoing to resume the originally planned science operations on July 7 and to conduct the entire close flyby sequence as planned. The mission science team and principal investigator have concluded that the science observations lost during the anomaly recovery do not affect any primary objectives of the mission, with a minimal effect on lesser objectives.
It has been written many times in these pages, and it begs repeating: this rover was sent on a 90-day expedition, with the mission success mobility objective of driving 600 meters. In March, Opportunity completed 42.195 kilometers or 26.2 miles. It’s the first marathon “run” on another planet. And in April – the 4000th sol. “This rover just keeps giving and giving,” said Planetary Society President Jim Bell, professor of astronomy and planetary scientist at Arizona State University and lead scientist on the MERs’ panoramic cameras (Pancams).
New Horizons is now so far away that radio signals traveling at the speed of light take four hours and 25 minutes to reach Earth.
The scientific observation of Pluto, its entourage of moons and other bodies in the solar system’s frozen backyard begins Jan. 15, program managers said. The closest approach is expected on July 14.
The images are available to the public through The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth, the most complete online collection of images of Earth taken by astronauts. This database contains photographs beginning with those taken during Mercury missions in the early 1960s up to recent images from the station, with more added daily. As of August 2014, the collection included a total of nearly 1.8 million images, more than 1.3 million of them from the space station. Approximately 30 percent of those were taken at night.
Lost at Night requires the most skill, seeking to identify cities in images encompassing a circle 310 miles around. “We don’t know which direction the astronaut pointed the camera, only where the station was at the time the image was taken,” explains Sanchez. “Some images are bright cities but others are small towns. It is like a puzzle with 300,000 pieces.”
It turns out that when you shrink a Vacuum transistor to absolutely tiny dimensions, you can recover some of the benefits of a vacuum tube and dodge the negatives that characterized their usage. According to a report in IEEE Spectrum, vacuum transistors can draw electrons across the gate without needing a physical connection between them. Make the vacuum area small enough, and reduce the voltage sufficiently, and the field emission effect allows the transistor to fire electrons across the gap without containing enough energy to energize the helium inside the nominal “vacuum” transistor. According to researchers, they’ve managed to build a successful transistor operating at 460GHz — well into the so-called “Terahertz Gap,” which sits between microwaves and infrared energy. The “gap” refers to the fact that we have a limited number of devices that can generate this frequency and only a handful of experimental applications for this energy band.
Optical communication tools like OPALS use focused laser energy to reach data rates between 10 and 1,000 times higher than current space communications, which rely on radio portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Because the space station orbits Earth at 17,500 mph, transmitting data from the space station to Earth requires extremely precise targeting. The process can be equated to a person aiming a laser pointer at the end of a human hair 30 feet away and keeping it there while walking.
The plan calls for a satellite to be sent out several tens of thousands of miles from Earth. The satellite will unfold a huge, flower-shaped metal shade that will literally block the light of some far-out star to the point where a space telescope, which will directly communicate with Starshade, will be able to image whatever planets are orbiting it directly.