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News Wire February 2023

Lauri Väin on Flickr

Snoopy and Shaun the Sheep Fly Nasa

Last fall, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) launched Artemis 1,the first space mission designed to return humans to the moon. While this first mission did not have humans, it did have two furry guests: Snoopy and Shaun the Sheep. Their roles? Float around the Orion capsule to show when gravity disappeared. Snoopy got to wear an orange space suit, made of actual space suit materials, while Shaun wore an ESA blue space suit.


Bye-Bye, Air Conditioners

With climate change and temperatures increasing around the world, air conditioning is a critical way for people to keep cool indoors, for example, in hospitals and schools. Yi Zheng, an associate professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, has created what he calls “cooling paper” It can be used on the roofs of buildings or incorporated into construction materials, and could reduce indoor temperatures by 10 degrees. Best part? The paper is recyclable and can be made from recycled materials. When the paper is created, Teflon is mixed in and the pores allow cooling.


Well, Dam!

Researchers at Beijing’s Tsinghua University have created a plan to build a 594-foot-tall dam using robots, artificial intelligence, and a form of 3D printing. No humans would have to be involved. And the dam would generate electricity for 50 million homes.


Knitting Machine

Artist and coder Sarah Spencer used her programming and knitting skills to reconfigure an industrial knitting machine so it could create a 12-meter (39-foot wide) map of 88 constellations in the night sky. It’s part of an exhibition, Handmade Universe, put on by the State Library in Victoria, Australia in 2022. The exhibition showed how traditional handmade crafts can reflect how different cultures view the natural world.


Moon Geometry

Italian Astrophotographer Giorgia Hofer used astronomy software to help her photograph the moon in the exact location every 24 hours and 41 minutes over 27 consecutive days. The result shows the moon moving in a curved pattern across the night sky as it evolves from new moon to full moon over a lunar month. By design, her timing is 10 minutes earlier than a Lunar Analemma, a squashed figure 8 pattern the moon makes if you take a photograph at the same time every day based on its position in the sky.


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