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February 2021 News Wire

Stephen Chin on Flickr

Brian May’s Cosmic Clouds offers a glimpse of the universe in 3D

Brian May, who has many interests in addition to being lead guitarist for the band Queen, has worked with an astrophotographer to create 3-dimensional stereographic photos of nebulae, or places where stars are born. The photos allow viewers to see the shape of a nebulae, not only the flat 2D photos we’re used to. Stereographic photos are two photos taken of the same object but from slightly different angles. A viewer puts the two images in front of our eyes to create a 3D image. May’s new book, Cosmic Clouds in 3-D, includes a stereoscopic viewer.


There’s an art to the way video games deliver info. A new website celebrates that.

With software, the best user interfaces (UIs) don’t get in the way of doing whatever you want to do. Games are no different. The new Game UI Database website shows some really good examples of how to organize a game UI so people can do lots of things without wasting time or noticing the interface. It’s useful for game designers and anyone who appreciates games.


Chinese quantum computer completes 2.5-billion-year task in minutes

Chinese researchers have created a quantum computer called Jiuzhang that performed a calculation in 200 seconds that takes a traditional binary computer 2.5 billion years to calculate. The calculation is an example of quantum supremacy, tasks that are virtually impossible for a binary computer to perform. Among other challenges, providing power to a binary computer for 2.5 billion probably isn’t happening. Quantum supremacy tasks are a way to progress as scientists develop these new computers.


Could Listening to the Deep Sea Help Save It?

Dr Tzu-Hao Lin, a scientist in Taiwan, studies ocean soundscapes, all the human, animal, and geological sound emitted in an area. Soundscapes allow Lin and other scientists to monitor the health and biodiversity of the ocean. Scientists believe soundscapes provide the quickest and cheapest way to monitor remote underwater regions of the ocean. For example, using sound to single out the activity of individual species can show whether a population is declining, healthy, or booming. Sound is more powerful and useful than light in the ocean.


Alabama company unveils world’s biggest drone

If you watch TV, you’ve probably seen images taken by a drone, usually a view looking down on a street or open field with people below. A company in Alabama, has created the world’s largest drone. However, this new drone will be used to launch satellites into orbit for much less cost than rockets launched by NASA and others. The 80-foot aircraft has a wingspan of 60 feet, stands 18 feet tall and weighs 55,000 pounds.


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