Latest in Robotics Shuffle Twists Turns 90°

first_img Professor Masanao Koeda affiliated with Ritsumeikan University has developed a robot measuring nearly 20 inches that can shuffle its feet, twist and bend. The robot can make a 90° turn without taking its feet off the ground. According to Digital World Tokyo, this breakthrough will allow future robots ease in motion without losing balance and falling. Currently, two legged robots must perform a circular turn likened to an oil tanker to change course.A video of the robot performing the “Koeda Shuffle,” is available here. The significance of this advancement is that the shuffling action will allow robots in the future to maintain balance while carrying objects in its arm-like extensions. The ability to shuffle its feet in one spot and make a turn is a major achievement that holds significant potential for the utility of future robots.The current method requiring the robot to lift one foot and in rapid succession balance on one foot to perform a change in direction can impede balance. It is difficult for the robot to perform arduous turns and hold objects in its hands. The shuffling action of the Koeda Robot allows the robot to change directions without having to pick up it feet in the process. This factor allows increased balance and smooth, non-jerking motions which will afford the robot greater agility carrying objects while in motion. The accomplishments of Dr. Koeda in collaboration with T. Yoshikawa and K. Nakagawa and others in the field of robotics has achieved scientific recognition. Recently an abstract on “Stability Improvement Using Soft Sole on Humanoid Robot” was presented at The 9th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots. Other noteworthy scientific abstracts include, “Grasping and Manipulation by Soft Fingered Robot Hands,” and “A Quantitative Evaluation Method of Handiness Using Haptic Virtual Reality Technology.” Professor Koeda has an impressive scientific background in the field of robotics, communications and innovations in unmanned helicopters used in assessing damage in natural disasters. His collaborative efforts in this area was conducted for the United Nations World Conference on Disaster Reduction. His current work on the prototype shuffling, twisting and turning robot is a logical extension of his scientific endeavors. The future of the agile humanoid robot include modifications that will allow it to move on rough surfaces and sloped land areas. The ultimate future of the humanoid robot may include the role of caretaker for severely disabled or wheel chair bound human counterparts. The range of duties and tasks the Koeda Robot may handle in the future is by all estimates up to the imagination of the Koeda team of scientific explorers. For a complete list of Dr. Koeda et.al publications see: http://robot.ci.ritsumei.ac.jp/~koeda/. This article was translated from this source. He is currently in Brazil on a lecture tour. External link: Digital World Tokyo — http://www.digitalworldtokyo.com/ The robot has come one shuffle step closer to becoming an aid to its human counterparts. The scientific explorers in robotics led by Dr. Koeda take a series of shuffle steps for mankind. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The Fujitsu “Koeda” Robot. Credit: Digital World Tokyo & Dr. Koeda Citation: Latest in Robotics: Shuffle, Twists & Turns 90° (2007, November 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-11-latest-robotics-shuffle.htmllast_img read more

Botnet Hijacking Steals 70GB of Data

first_img Explore further Citation: Botnet Hijacking Steals 70GB of Data (2009, May 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-05-botnet-hijacking-70gb.html Torpig bots stole over 8,300 credentials that was used to login to 410 financial institutions. More than 21 percent were PayPal accounts. This brings a total of almost 298,000 unique credentials that were intercepted from over 52,000 infected machines.Torpig’s secret behind siphoning data from computers is by infecting programs such as Mozilla Thunderbird, Microsoft Outlook, Skype, ICQ, and other applications, by monitoring every keystroke. Every 20 minutes, the malware automatically uploads new data to servers. The software is then able to intercept passwords before they may be encrypted by secure sockets layer or other programs.The security researchers were able to hijack the botnet after discovering weaknesses in the way it updates the master control channels that are used to send new instructions to the infected computers. A technique know as domain flux sporadically generates a large list of domain names of computers to report to but only uses one address, ignoring all the others.The researchers were able to monitor the botnet’s behavior over a period of 10 days by registering one of the domain names on the list and seizing control of the machine. The hijackers eventually gain back control of the machine by using a backdoor built into the infected computer.In all researchers counted over 180,000 infected computers that connected from 1.2 million IP addresses. Torpig gains control of a computer by rewriting the hard drive’s master boot record. As a result, control of a computer is gained during the early stages of a PC’s boot process, allowing it to bypass anti-virus and other security software.© 2009 PhysOrg.com This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img (PhysOrg.com) — Security researchers have uncovered one of the most notorious zombie networks, the Torpig botnet, by collecting 70GB of data that was stolen in just 10 days. Downadup Worm Hits Over 3.5 Million Computerslast_img read more

Synthetic Tree Captures Carbon 1000 Faster Than Real Trees

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Synthetic Tree Captures Carbon 1,000 Faster Than Real Trees (2009, July 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-07-synthetic-tree-captures-carbon-faster.html Explore further Professor Klaus Lackner of Columbia University has been working on the concept since 1998, and recently met with U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu to discuss moving forward with the project. Through his company Global Research Technologies, based in Tucson, Lackner has built an early model and hopes to have a fully working prototype within three years.As Lackner explains, the technology is similar to that used at coal plants to capture carbon from flue stacks, but can be used anywhere. Lackner notes that half of carbon emissions come from small sources, including cars and airplanes, and is usually nearly impossible to collect. But since the carbon dioxide in the air is actually very concentrated, the device required to collect it can be fairly small. Lackner’s goal is to make the synthetic tree highly efficient for its size. Compared to the amount of carbon dioxide that a large windmill can avoid generating, for example, a synthetic tree of equal size could collect several hundred times the amount of carbon dioxide that the windmill avoids. Each synthetic tree would cost about $30,000 to build, with most of the cost due to the technology used to release the carbon dioxide from the sorbent. In addition, since the device requires energy to operate, it also generates some carbon itself if plugged into the power grid. Lackner calculated that, for every 1000 kg of carbon dioxide the synthetic tree collects, it emits 200 kg, so that 800 kg are considered true collection.via: CNet News© 2009 PhysOrg.com First Successful Demonstration of Carbon Dioxide Air Capture Technology Achieved A synthetic tree could collect carbon coming from small, distributed sources, which is usually very difficult to collect. Credit: Global Research Technologies. (PhysOrg.com) — Scientists have designed a synthetic tree that traps carbon dioxide from the air in an attempt to combat growing emissions. The device looks less like a tree and more like a small building, but it can collect carbon about 1,000 times faster than a real tree. One synthetic tree could absorb one ton of carbon dioxide per day, an amount equivalent to that produced by about 20 cars, on average. After being trapped in a chamber, the carbon would be compressed and stored in liquid form for sequestration.last_img read more

Nextgeneration Intel products to be launched in January Include first 32nm Core

first_img“Arrandale” mobile processor Intel’s Atom CE 4100 SoC Will Transform Internet TV (w/ Video) This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (PhysOrg.com) — Intel has announced it will launch over two dozen new products next month, including new processors, chipsets, and a number of wireless components. Citation: Next-generation Intel products to be launched in January; Include first 32-nm Core i3, i5 processors (2009, December 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-12-next-generation-intel-products-january-nm.html The Core i5 will support turbo boost to increase performance when required, provided the processor can be cooled adequately, and there will also be a turbo boost application that puts an indicator on screen to show the core power levels. Both the Core i3 and Core i5 support hyper-threading and are able to run two threads per core.Intel has invested over seven billion dollars in the U.S. this year on four factories used to manufacture its 32-nm products. According to Intel’s Director of Consumer Client Marketing, Karen Regis, 2009 has been a flat year, but the PC market is likely to grow again next year, at least partly because of the new Microsoft Windows 7 operating system. Regis said the growing trend is for the PC market to be driven more by personal users than business demands.Intel will launch the new products at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which runs from January 7 to 10 next year in Las Vegas. Prices and details such as chip frequencies are expected to be released at either a press briefing on January 7, or at the keynote address to be given by Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini. © 2009 PhysOrg.com More information: www.intel.com/pressroom/kits/events/ces2010/ Explore further Among the products Intel will be launching are new Core i7 chips and dual-core processors, and the first of its Core i3 and i5 CPUs for desktop computers and notebooks. The Core i3 is the entry-level CPU, the Core i5 is mid-range, and the Core i7 is the high-end CPU intended primarily for game-players. The Core i3 and Core i5 CPUs will include Intel HD graphics, marking the first time Intel has integrated graphics on the processor, as graphics were previously on a separate chip. The integrated graphics will be able to decode two high definition streams in hardware, while the GMCH chipset will be able to decode DTS-HD sounds and Dolby True HD, and will support the 7.1 surround sound of Blu-ray discs.Vice President of Intel, Stephen Smith, said at a press conference yesterday that the high definition video and audio capabilities in the chipsets have superior graphics capabilities that would be suitable for use in high-end home theater systems. “Clarkdale” desktop processorlast_img read more

Microsoft to release a free SDK for Kinect this spring

first_img © 2010 PhysOrg.com Citation: Microsoft to release a free SDK for Kinect this spring (2011, February 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-02-microsoft-free-sdk-kinect.html (PhysOrg.com) — Kinect, Microsoft’s attempt to bring motion controls to the Xbox 360 video game console, is soon to have a non-commercial SDK released for it that will hopefully allow third-party developers to create new uses for the motion-based system, some of them may even be outside of the world of gaming. More information: blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_ … ive-spring-2011.aspxUsing Xbox Kinect, standard graphics chips, researchers achieve highest frame rate yet for streaming holographic video This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img Explore further The non-commercial SDK is being developed by a team led by Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, and is expected to be released to developers as a free download at an as yet undetermined date in the spring of this year. The SDK is expected to give developers access to the system application programming interfaces and the audio system, as well as granting direct control of the Kinect sensor itself.Microsoft also has plans to release a commercial version of the SDK at a later date. The free version will be a kind of an SDK starter kit, designed with users from the academic research community and enthusiasts in mind.For those of you not familiar with the device, Kinect is the motion-based control system that was launched for the Xbox 360 in November of 2010. It uses a camera bar in order to allow users to interact with the games. Kinect currently retails for $150. The device has a fairly large user community, with more than 8 million Kinect devices sold in its first 60 days on the market.The Kinect device has already had several attempts to hack it made public, with varying levels of success. For example, one successful hack exploited the USB connection which allows the device to connect to the Xbox 360. Microsoft scrambling to keep up with Kinect demandlast_img read more

Microsoft streaming storage patent maps OS future

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — Microsoft might be planning a future where Windows open to something far bigger, the next time you push your power button on. A patent filed by Microsoft points to its plan for an operating system environment beyond Windows 8 that depends on cloud computing, not locally installed software. The patent suggests your computer will be booted through remote storage in a cloud computing construct, where software services control your digital work. Citation: Microsoft ‘streaming storage’ patent maps OS future (2011, August 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-08-microsoft-streaming-storage-patent-os.html Explore further Microsoft and Salesforce end patent duel © 2011 PhysOrg.comcenter_img The patent calls for an operating system booted through a chain of storage devices with various priorities forming a centralized environment. The patent says:“Various aspects of the subject matter described herein are directed towards a technology by which a virtual storage device for a physical or virtual computing machine is maintained as a chain of data structures (e.g., files) including far data maintained at a far (e.g., remote) backing store and near data maintained at a near (e.g., local) backing store (which initially may be empty).”Reports in ConceivablyTech and Geek.com detail the patent, filed in February 2010, but which are surfacing now.The patent 20110197052 is called “Fast Machine Booting Through Streaming Storage.“ Inventors’ names are listed as Dustin Green, Jacob Oshins, and Michael Neil.One of the advantages is called out as fast booting time.“Described is a technology by which a virtual hard disk is maintained between a far (e.g., remote) backing store and a near (e.g., local) backing store, which among other advantages facilitates fast booting of a machine coupled to the virtual hard disk,” says the patent. The patent explains that “the virtual disk is available for use immediately, rather than needing to download an entire operating system image before booting from that downloaded image. For example, during a boot operation, only a relatively small amount of data is needed from the boot disk, which is available from the far data and/or the near data.”News of the patent is seen as proof that rumors and tips over Microsoft’s research project Midori back in 2008 and 2009 were on to something big. Midori, an operating system project at Redmond, was believed to be focusing on the company’s OS future directions and a path to integration with Azure, which is Microsoft’s cloud platform.The patent’s details and intent will most likely be the subject of conversation in the corridors if not meeting places next month in Anaheim, at the sold-out Microsoft BUILD conference for developers. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Patent: appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-P … 052RS=DN/20110197052 last_img read more

Through a nanopore ionically Graphene quantum transistor for nextgeneration DNA sensing

first_img © 2013 Phys.org. All rights reserved. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Prof. Jean-Pierre Leburton briefed Phys.org on the research he and his colleagues – Anuj Girdhar, Chaitanya Sathe and Klaus Schulten – conducted. “Simulations are presently leading experimental efforts on this specific topic – but transport models based on density functional theory cannot handle a large number of atoms due to limited computational resources,” Leburton tells Phys.org, recounting some of the challenges the scientists faced. (Density functional theory, or DFT, is a quantum mechanical modeling method used in physics and chemistry to investigate the electronic structure of many-body systems.)”In addition,” Leburton continues, “these models are restricted to solid-state systems, while we’re dealing with a hybrid solid-liquid system. For this reason, very simplistic and idealistic physical conditions are assumed on graphene nanoribbons.” Such assumptions include uniform GNR widths with perfect armchair or zigzag edges, the nanopore being placed in the center of the graphene nanoribbon, and an absence of electrostatic perturbations from either the electrolytic solution or the dielectric supporting the graphene nanoribbon.”In our approach, we use a multiorbital tight-binding (TB) technique that can handle a much larger number of atoms than DFT to account for the non-uniform GNR width, its irregular edges, and various sizes and positions of the nanopore,” Leburton explains. (The TB technique uses a superposition of wave functions of isolated atoms located at each atomic site to calculate the electronic band structure of solids.)”The electronic spectrum obtained from the tight binding model is then fed into a transport model based on a non-equilibrium Green function technique to compute the electrical conductance in general GNR configurations.” A non-equilibrium Green (aka Green’s) function, or NEGF, can be used to solve an inhomogeneous differential equation with boundary conditions in a way that is roughly analogous to the use of Fourier series in the solution of ordinary differential equations. Over the last decade, NEGF techniques have become widely used in corporate, engineering, government, and academic laboratories for modeling high-bias, quantum electron and hole transport in a wide variety of materials and devices. Explore further (A) Schematic of an AT DNA strand translocating through a pore. (B) Potential maps in the graphene plane due to the DNA molecule at eight successive snapshots throughout one full rotation of the DNA strand. Credit: Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1308885110 Citation: Through a nanopore, ionically: Graphene quantum transistor for next-generation DNA sensing (2013, October 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-10-nanopore-ionically-graphene-quantum-transistor.html Another consequence of the system being multi-phase (liquid-solid), with the DNA target in the liquid phase, and the detector is in solid phase, was detecting the rotational and positional conformation of a DNA strand inside the nanopore. “From a computational viewpoint, Leburton notes, “the interface between the two phases is extremely challenging, because on the one hand, software is specific to either of these matter phases, while on the other hand, in the case of bi-phase systems, they are, as mentioned, restricted to a very small number – a few hundred – of atoms.”In showing that a graphene membrane with quantum point contact geometry exhibits greater electrical sensitivity than a uniform armchair geometry, Leburton says that the main challenge resides in the capability of simulating arbitrary GNR shapes at atomic resolution, which – again due to traditional density functional theory methods being limited to only a few hundred atoms – leads to the inability to assess long-range effects induced by GNR geometry.In summary, the team addressed all of these computational challenges by using:a tight-binding approach that can handle larger number of atoms, which is necessary to assess the conductance changes in GNRs of non-uniform shape induced by external chargesa multi-scale approach to handle the hybrid bi-phase system, where the GNR and DNA are modeled by atomistic software, while the electrolyte and surrounding materials are treated with self-consistent semiconductor devices equations within the Boltzmann-Poisson formalism (a differential equation that describes electrostatic interactions between molecules in ionic solutions)Leburton expands on the paper’s proposed membrane design containing an electrical gate in a configuration similar to a field-effect transistor for a graphene-based DNA sensing device. “The presence of a gate on or underneath the membrane will enable tuning of the GNR conductance in the optimum electrical sensitivity regime, which otherwise will be entirely determined by two factors: the GNR irregular edges introducing uncontrollable quantum mechanical boundary conditions on the transverse wave functions of charge carriers that produce undesirable scattering affecting the conductance; and the GNR’s inherent and uncontrollable p-type doping resulting from exposure to water, and the parasitic negative charge in the dielectric supporting or insulating the GNR.”Moving forward, Leburton says that to control the electrostatic landscape within the nanopore, the membrane could incorporate additional graphene layers, or other two-dimensional materials, connected to voltage sources. These additional electrodes will have the dual purpose of controlling the lateral and vertical motion of the DNA molecule during its translocation through the nanopore. By so doing, the scientists expect to reduce the jitter and flossing due to thermal motion of water molecules and ions in the solution, and thereby improve the identification of each nucleotide when it passes in front of the detecting graphene layer.”One of the major features of our model was to assume that the DNA passes through the nanopore rigidly,” Leburton continues. “Aside from improving our multi-scale approach, the next steps in our research will consist of implementing our computational model by including the thermal motion of the DNA through molecular dynamic simulation; the proximity effects of dielectrics sandwiching the detecting graphene layer; the effect of the gate on the GNR conductance for enhanced detection performances; the electrostatic effects of additional controlling electrodes on the DNA molecular dynamics; and determining the optimum membrane design for high sequencing performances.”Regarding other areas beyond genomics that might benefit from their study, Leburton says, their research will also contribute to the development of novel miniaturized bioelectronic devices with broad range of applications in personal medicine. “Indeed,” he illustrates, “if solid-state membranes can be energized electronically, one can imagine them performing similar functions as biocells, but with electrical stimulation, control and detection. This would open the door to new practices in portable in situ bioanalysis without the need for costly and time-consuming lab analysis. In a more general context,” he concludes, “the interaction of biology and nanoelectronics at the molecular level – with the possibility of manipulating biological information by nanoscale electronic devices – opens new horizons in information processing technology by taking advantage of the biological capability of storing huge amount of information, on the one hand, and the ability of semiconductor technology to process it quickly, reliably and at low cost, on the other.” Schematic diagram of a prototypical solid-state, multilayer device containing a GNR layer (black) with a nanopore, sandwiched between two oxides (transparent) atop a heavily doped Si back gate, VG (green). The DNA is translocated through the pore, and the current is measured with the source and drain leads, VS and VD (gold). (See SI Methods for a cross-sectional schematic diagram.) Credit: Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1308885110 More information: Graphene quantum point contact transistor for DNA sensing, PNAS October 15, 2013 vol. 110 no. 42 16748-16753, doi:10.1073/pnas.1308885110 New system to improve DNA sequencing This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (Phys.org) —In the ongoing quest to devise faster, lower-cost methods for sequencing the human genome, scientists at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign have developed a novel approach: DNA molecules are sensed by passing them through a layer of constricted graphene embedded in a solid-state membrane containing a nanopore (a small hole with a roughly 1 nm internal diameter), located in a graphene nanoribbon (GNR). A critical feature of the new paradigm is that graphene’s electrical properties allow the layer to be tuned in several distinct ways – namely, altering the shape of its edge, carrier concentration and nanopore location – thereby modulating both electrical conductance and external charge sensitivity. The researchers found that their novel technique can detect the DNA strand’s rotational and positional conformation, and demonstrated that a graphene membrane with quantum point contact geometry exhibits greater electrical sensitivity than on with so-called uniform armchair geometry. The team has proposed a graphene-based field-effect transistor-like device for DNA sensing. “One of the major challenges in computing GNR sensitivity to external charges arises from the latter’s different natures and origins,” Leburton points out. “Specifically, these are the static charge in the dielectric materials supporting, or sandwiching, the GNR, and – most importantly – the dynamical ionic charge in the electrolyte containing the DNA, which is in liquid phase.” To address this, the researchers used a multi-scale technique, where the GNR and DNA are simulated atomistically (with a tight-binding technique and molecular dynamics, respectively) while the electrolyte and dielectric are treated as continuum media. “The former is simulated as an intrinsic semiconductor with large dielectric constant and a pseudo-band gap in the presence of a self-consistent potential, and the dielectric charge is modeled by assuming a static fix distribution,” Leburton adds. “The induced potential variations on the GNR and nanopore edges are obtained self-consistently by solving the Poisson equation, and fed into the NEGF code to compute the resulting conductance variation in the GNR.”last_img read more

Astronomers observe unusual outburst activity of binary star AG Draconis

first_img Located in a spherical halo around the Milky Way, AG Draconis (AG Dra for short) is a classical symbiotic variable binary of type S. The system consists of a cool red giant with an effective temperature of about 4,300 K and a hot white dwarf with a high temperature of at least 100,000 K. The red giant is about 30 times larger than our sun, however, it has a mass of only 1.5 solar masses. The system’s white dwarf is about 40 to 60 percent less massive than the sun. The stars fully orbit each other approximately every 550 days.AG Dra is one of the most studied symbiotic star systems as its variations in brightness have been observed by astronomers for more than a century. The binary experiences a characteristic symbiotic activity with the alternation of active and quiescent stages. Its apparent magnitude of around 9.8 is known to increase by up to 1.4 when outbursts occur during active stages that take place at intervals of nine to fifteen years.Previous observations of AG Dra have shown that these active stages consist of several outbursts repeating at about a one-year interval. The observed periods of activity start with a major outburst that is usually cool as the expanding pseudo-atmosphere of the white dwarf cools down. However, the latest phase of activity, which started with an outburst in 2015, appears to be different from previous ones.A team of astronomers led by Jaroslav Merc of the Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice, Slovakia, has analyzed the recent activity of AG Dra using data from the Astronomical Ring for Access to Spectroscopy (ARAS) database. They found that the brightness of AG Dra started to increase in the first half of 2015, with a weak pre-outburst. The second and more prominent outburst occurred in April 2016.The study revealed that in May 2015 the brightness of AG Dra began to rise, achieving 10.7 mag in B and 9.6 mag in the V filter. The researchers described the event as a less prominent, minor outburst. During the second outburst that took place in April 2016, the binary reached maximum brightness of 9.9 and 9.1 mag in the B and V filters, respectively. Given that both brightenings were classified as minor (hot) outbursts, the recent period of activity of AG Dra seems unusual when compared to previous ones.”According to the photometric behavior, both brightenings belong to the minor outbursts of AG Dra. Such photometric behavior of the active stage is very untypical because more often, the activity of AG Dra starts with the major outburst,” the paper reads.The astronomers noted that active periods of AG Dra usually commence with major outbursts when the brightness reaches 8.8 and 8.4 mag in the B and V filters, respectively. The newly observed unusual activity raises questions about the nature of these outbursts. The authors assume that the events could belong to a new type of outbursts or they could indicate some transition between the hot and cool outbursts. Explore further © 2017 Phys.org New outbursts detected in a peculiar, active dwarf nova MN Draconis The historical light curve (LC) of AG Dra over the period 1889 – 2017, constructed on the basis of the photographic and the B band observations. The LC is divided into active (A – G) and quiescence (Q1 – Q6) stages by vertical lines. The thin curve shows spline fit to the data points. Credit: Šafárik et al., 2017. European astronomers have spotted an unusual outburst activity of a binary star system known as AG Draconis. New observations reveal that the recent changes of brightness of this star are slightly different than the changes that occurred during previous outbursts. The findings were presented October 13 in a paper published on arXiv.org. More information: arxiv.org/pdf/1710.04831.pdf Citation: Astronomers observe unusual outburst activity of binary star AG Draconis (2017, October 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-10-astronomers-unusual-outburst-binary-star.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

New ultraluminous Xray pulsar discovered

first_imgUsing ESA’s XMM-Newton and NASA’s NuSTAR space telescopes, a team of astronomers from Germany has detected a new ultra-luminous pulsar in the galaxy NGC 300. The finding of this pulsar, which received designation NGC 300 ULX1, is detailed in a paper published November 9 on the arXiv pre-print repository. Explore further More information: Chandreyee Maitra et al. NGC 300 ULX1: A new ULX pulsar in NGC 300. arXiv:1811.04807 [astro-ph.HE], arxiv.org/abs/1811.04807 XMM-Newton EPIC-pn images of NGC 300 ULX1 at different epochs marked in thefigure. The red circles denote the source extraction region used for the analysis. Credit: Maitra et al., 2018. Ultra-luminous X-ray sources (ULXs) are point sources in the sky that are so bright in X-rays that each emits more radiation than 1 million suns emit at all wavelengths. Although they are less luminous than active galactic nuclei, they are more consistently luminous than any known stellar process. Astronomers generally believe that due to their brightness, most ULXs are black holes. However, recent observations have found that some ULXs showcase coherent pulsations. These sources, known as ultra-luminous X-ray pulsars (ULXPs), are neutron stars typically less massive than black holes. The list of known ULPs is still relatively short, hence detecting new objects of this class is essential for researchers studying the universe in X-rays.Now, a group of astronomers from Max Planck Institute for extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany, led by Chandreyee Maitra, reports the detection of pulsations from the source NGC 300 ULX1, located in the spiral galaxy NGC 300, some six million light years away from the Earth. Discovered in 2010, NGC 300 ULX1 was initially classified as a supernova, but later re-classified as a possible high mass X-ray binary.By analyzing data from simultaneous observations of NGC 300 ULX1, performed in December 2016 using X-ray Multi-Mirror Newton (XMM-Newton) and Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) spacecraft, Maitra’s team identified pulsations from this source.”Pulsations from NGC 300 ULX1 were discovered during simultaneous XMM-Newton/NuSTAR observations in Dec. 2016,” the researchers wrote in the paper.According to the study, NGC 300 ULX1 had a spin period of about 31.71 seconds at the start of NuSTAR observations, which decreased linearly within a few days to approximately 31.54 seconds at the end of the XMM-Newton/NuSTAR observing campaign. The observations also found that the pulsar has a spin-up rate of 556 ns/s and a broadband unabsorbed luminosity of 4.7 duodecillion erg/s.Furthermore, the astronomers checked archival data from observations of NGC 300 ULX1 using NASA’s Swift space telescope and Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) on the International Space Station. These data show that the spin period of this pulsar decreased exponentially from about 45 to 17.5 seconds during a timespan of 2.3 years.The researchers noted that NGC 300 ULX1 is the fourth ULXP known to date, and exhibits an extreme spin-up rate, as well as a relatively constant luminosity over a long span of time. They added that its spin-up rate is one of the highest ever observed from an accreting neutron star.In concluding remarks, the authors of the paper underlined that due to its properties, NGC 300 ULX1 could provide a rare opportunity for astronomers to study spin evolution of accreting neutron stars at extreme accretion rates. The pulsar could also help us better understand the similarities between ULXPs and supergiant high mass X-ray binaries. New accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar discovered © 2018 Science X Network Citation: New ultra-luminous X-ray pulsar discovered (2018, November 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-ultra-luminous-x-ray-pulsar.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Capital creates her own Durga

first_imgCreated by Kolkata-based sculptor Guranga Kuila, the 16 feet tall and 12.5 feet wide sculpture has been fashioned out of brass replicas of items like leaves of the mango and bael leaves, diyas, brass water vessels – all traditional offerings to the Goddess Durga.The idol of the goddess itself, a monumental 20 feet high and 26 feet wide has been transported to Delhi from Kolkata where it was handcrafted with seven types of clay by sculptor Pradeep Rudrapal, who has earned fame for his spectacular idols. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’‘It took four trucks and over 7 days to transport the idol from Kolkata. Over 45 labourers helped carry it to the stage where she will be worshipped during Durga Puja celebrations,’ says Shanker Chakravarthy, a member of the organising committee.While with an estimated budget ranging between Rs 75 lakhs to Rs 1 crore, the Arambag committee wants to make this year’s celebration special. Former President Abdul Kalam inaugurated the Buddha-themed pandal late last evening. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixOther Durga Puja committees in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) area, which is estimated to number over 800, are also geared up with special themes and festivities.For Vishvajit Pal, a sculptor from Krishnanagar in West Bengal, the days leading to the Durga Puja are quite busy.Pal, who has been making idols for the past 30 years has been coming to Delhi since the past 9 years. At the Delhi Durga Puja Samiti, he is overseeing preparations for at least 10 idols that will be dispatched to various committees across the city. One of the idols is for the Kashmiri Gate Puja Samiti, which hosts the oldest Durga Puja celebration in the Delhi and NCR region. ‘Our puja turns 104 years old this year. We maintain the old style followed by gererations and seldom deviate from tradition. The idols of the goddess and everything else is created in the traditional style,’ says Barun Mukherjee, President, Kashmiri Gate Puja Samiti.Mukherjee, who has been associated with the Puja since 1955, says many founding members have grown old and moved away but still ensure they visit it every year. Kashmiri Gate, Karol Bagh, Kali Bari and Timarpur count amongst the oldest Durga Puja Samitis in Delhi. The Tirmarpur Samiti is celebrating its 100th Puja this year, and the others too are more or less in the same zone.‘This year I have worked on 400 pandals. One of the best is a pandal in south Kolkata where elephants, fish and birds carved on wood flank the Goddess,’ says Gouranga Kulia, a handicraftsman.last_img read more