Data Science

9 great reads from CNET this week: Satellite science, China crackdown, Facebook as Meta and more

By Jon Skillings

Cover picture for the articleWhat goes up must send data back down. That, in a nutshell, is why we send satellites into orbit. A case in point: the GOES satellites that NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration use to collect data about weather on Earth. CNET’s Claire Reilly went behind the…


Scientists Discovered Unexpected ‘Hidden World’ in Earth’s Inner Core!

Researchers have discovered that Earth’s “solid” inner core is actually a bit soft. The scientific world believed that Earth’s inner core was a solid ball of compressed iron alloy which a liquid outer core covered for more than half a century. However, according to a recent study published in the…


If China Wants to Waste Its Money on Missiles, We Should Let It

The cold war with China is very nearly on. Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a House hearing Wednesday that China’s hypersonic missile test this past summer amounts to a “Sputnik moment.” Actually, he said, “I don’t know if it’s quite a Sputnik moment, but I think it’s very close to that”—a distinction without much of a difference.

Digital Trends

Three awesome Earth photos captured from space this week

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have been showing off their photographic skills again, with three crew members this week posting eye-catching images of Earth. First up is this stunning effort from Thomas Pesquet, an astronaut who’s made quite a name for himself as one of the top space-based…

Facebook Is Changing Its Name To ‘Meta’: “From Now On We’re Going To Be The Metaverse First, Not Facebook First”

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday that the company is changing its corporate name to Meta, a move that was hinted at in recent weeks and follows the company’s plans to invest billions of dollars in the next iteration of computing that the social media giant’s CEO has dubbed the Metaverse.The move also comes as the company is besieged by negative press as article after article impugns its integrity and business practices, often describing a single-minded pursuit of profit at the expense of the public good. Zuckerberg accused the media of “a coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint…


The head of NASA thinks we’re not alone in the universe

NASA administrator Bill Nelson says it’s likely we’re not alone in the universe. “Are there other planet Earths out there?” Nelson asked during a livestream with the University of Virginia Center for Politics last week. “I certainly think so because the universe is so big.”. “Who am I to say…


NASA’s DART spacecraft, humanity’s first asteroid defense mission, less than one month from launch

NASA is less than one month away from launching humanity’s first-ever asteroid-deflecting mission, known as DART, short for “Double Asteroid Redirection Test.” DART is a spacecraft that will launch in late November with the purpose of deflecting an asteroid. The craft will hit an asteroid head-on in an attempt to move it onto a slightly different path. While the asteroid target does not pose a risk of impacting Earth, this will be an important, first-of-its-kind test of this kind of technology.

Strange white dwarf switches ‘on’ and ‘off’ in front of astronomers

A spacecraft that usually seeks new worlds saw a white dwarf suddenly switch “off” with a swift drop in brightness. Then it switched back on again. This observation represents the first time astronomers saw a white dwarf change its luminosity, or inherent brightness, so quickly, and may have implications for how we understand the process of accretion (or building up material) at many types of celestial objects.

Earth Exists Inside an Enormous Cosmic Tunnel to Evidence for a New Physics? (Planet Earth Report)

This week’s news from our Pale Blue Dot ranges from Unfreezing the Ice Age to How a Nuclear Bomb Could Save Earth from a Stealth Asteroid. The “Planet Earth Report” provides descriptive links to headline news by leading science journalists about the extraordinary discoveries, technology, people, and events changing our knowledge of Planet Earth and the future of the human species.


Electric robots are mapping the seafloor, Earth’s last frontier

(CNN Business) — For centuries, humans have explored the Earth’s mountains, jungles and deserts. But despite covering more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, the ocean is still a relative mystery. In fact, we know more about the surface of Mars than we do about the sea floor; just over 20% of the ocean bed has been mapped.

NASA’s Recent Take On Space Visitors

Actor William Shatner, a.k.a. “Captain James T. Kirk,” from TV’s legendary Star Trek pop-culture franchise, at 90-years-old, recently became the oldest-living human being to catapult into space, with Amazon king Jeff Bezos.


Why a famous rocket scientist says NASA should go nuclear

One of NASA’s most famous engineers thinks the agency should stop making chemical rockets. Homer Hickam, whose youthful tales in his memoir Rocket Boys was adapted into the 1999 film October Sky, tells Inverse that he would like to see the agency move away from traditional space rockets and leave it to private companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin. Instead, he says, NASA should focus on far-flung ideas like electric, fusion, and nuclear rockets — an idea also supported by Elon Musk.

Editorial: Is Facebook Going Meta?

Since acquiring Oculus in 2014 Mark Zuckerberg’s company erased nearly every reason not to buy a VR headset, with one big exception. That reason, of course, is Facebook. “Oculus Quest 2 Review: The New King Of VR, If You Don’t Mind Facebook,” Jamie Feltham’s review of the headset noted at its release just over a year ago.

Asteroid flew strikingly close to the Earth without astronomers seeing

An asteroid the size of a refrigerator came within 3000 kilometres of the Earth without scientists knowing.Asteroid 2021 UA1 is the third-closest asteroid that has ever approached our planet, passing over Antarctica on Sunday at a higher altitude than the International Space Station, but lower than the communication satellites that orbit the Earth.The celestial object had a diameter of only two meters, meaning that if it had come closer to our planet it would have likely been burned up in our atmosphere.“The reason the planet’s fly-by was so surprising was because it was behind the sun, coming from the…

West Central Tribune

Astro Bob: How to see the Chinese space station and a ‘secret’ U.S. space plane

Many of you have seen the International Space Station (ISS). Biggest and brightest of the satellites, it’s hard to miss. Right now, it crosses the morning sky at dawn and won’t return for evening observation until mid-November. While it’s true the sky’s a little emptier without the space station, there are other satellites worth seeing, even if they’re not as shiny. Let’s meet two: the Chinese space station Tiangong and the Air Force’s X-37B.

Verizon to use Amazon satellites for broadband Internet in rural areas

Oct. 26 (UPI) — Verizon announced on Tuesday that it will use a satellite communications system that’s being put together by Amazon to expand broadband Internet access to rural areas of the United States. In announcing the partnership, the companies said the plan is intended to bring access to unserved…

Fast Company

Amazon and Verizon join forces to challenge SpaceX’s satellite internet

Amazon and Verizon announced a partnership today to expand the wireless carrier’s 4G and 5G networks via Project Kuiper, Amazon’s satellite-internet subsidiary. It’s a mutually beneficial move. If successful, it could allow Jeff Bezos to challenge Elon Musk’s rival (and so far, more successful) Starlink system—while expanding America’s rural broadband access for Verizon, whose long-term goals are decidedly more terrestrial and less sci-fi villainy than either Bezos’s or Musk’s. The collaboration will mean Verizon can rely on Amazon’s expensive satellites instead of having to lay costly fiber cables to achieve the same effect.

Facebook renames itself to Meta

The cat is out of the bag: Mark Zuckerberg unveiled Meta as Facebook’s new corporate name at the company’s Connect developer conference Thursday morning. “We have a new north star: to bring the metaverse to life,” Zuckerberg said. “From now on, we’re going to be metaverse first, not Facebook first.”


Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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