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sâmbătă, 22 septembrie 2012

Planetă, distrusă de propriul soare

Astronomii au confirmat, folosind telescopul spaţial Kepler, descoperirea unei planete, cu o mişcare de revoluţie scurtă, asemenea lui Mercur, care a intrat în ultimul stadiu al vieţii sale. Această planetă este practic distrusă de soarele în jurul căruia orbitează.

Acest obiect s-a apropiat atât de mult de steaua în jurul căreia orbitează încât are nevoie doar 15,7 ore pentru a o înconjura. Temperatura planetei a crescut până la 4400 K. Rezultatul fiind o coadă, asemeni unei comete ce ţâşneşte din planetă, luând odată cu ea o cantitate semnificativă din suprafaţa planetei.

Large Monolithic Imager sees first light on the Discovery Channel Telescope

The Large Monolithic Imager (LMI), a camera built at Lowell Observatory and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), recently took a set of first-light images on Lowell's 4.3-m Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT).

At the heart of the LMI is the largest charge-coupled device (CCD) that can be built using current fabrication techniques and the first of its kind to be made by e2v.

The 36-megapixel CCD's active surface is 3.7 inches on a side. The LMI's ability to provide much more accurate measurements of the faint light around galaxies separates it from cameras that use a mosaic of CCDs to produce images.

Single-atom writer a landmark for quantum computing

A research team led by Australian engineers has created the first working quantum bit based on a single atom in silicon, opening the way to ultra-powerful quantum computers of the future. In a landmark paper published in the journal Nature, the team describes how it was able to both read and write information using the spin, or magnetic orientation, of an electron bound to a single phosphorus atom embedded in a silicon chip.

"For the first time, we have demonstrated the ability to represent and manipulate data on the spin to form a quantum bit, or 'qubit', the basic unit of data for a quantum computer," says Scientia Professor Andrew Dzurak. "This really is the key advance towards realising a silicon quantum computer based on single atoms."

Black Hole Roundup

Black holes, black holes, and more black holes. In the past few weeks I’ve been thinking, talking, and even dreaming about black holes (yes really, somnolent thoughts seem well suited to these fantastic objects). Mostly this has been an effect of my book Gravity’s Engines hitting the shelves, but it’s also because barely a day seems to go by without some new piece of astrophysical research on these most dense and fantastic objects. Here’s a quick round up of a couple items.

A new survey containing the locations of about 2.5 million supermassive black holes was released a couple weeks back that used the full sky map obtained with NASA’s WISE (Wide-Field, Infrared Survey Explorer) mission to track down the pinpoints of thermal radiation from dust enshrouded holes in distant galaxies.