Among this week's physics highlights: NASA's Juno mission is now successfully in orbit around Jupiter! Also, the last thing Japan's doomed Hitomi satellite saw before it died, and astronomers' first look at a rare triple-star system.
Me at Gizmodo:
This 'Hourglass' Liquid Battery Runs on Gravity. "Scientists at MIT have designed an ingenious new concept for a battery that operates on the same fundamental principal as an hourglass—it relies on gravity to generate energy. They described the device in a recent paper for Energy and Environmental Science."
New Study Busts the Myth That Knights Couldn't Move Well in Armor. "Medieval armor has a bad reputation when it comes to how much movement is possible for a fully-armored and outfitted knight. Chances are you’ve bought into the notion that it resulted in clunky, slow, and awkward battles. Daniel Jaquet of the University of Geneva and several colleagues aim to bust that myth with a new study examining the range of motion and energy cost while fighting in medieval armor."
How Champion Eater Joey "Jaws" Chestnut Scarfed Down 70 Hot Dogs in 10 Minutes. "Competitive eater Joey “Jaws” Chestnut set a new record this Fourth of July when he scarfed down a whopping 70 hot dogs and buns in just 10 minutes at the annual Famous Nathan’s hot dog eating contest in Coney Island. How do he and other champion competitive eaters do it? With a couple of savvy tricks of the trade, and a bit of science."
NASA's Juno Mission Is About to Perform Its Most Dangerous Maneuvers. "NASA’s Juno spacecraft has been spinning through space on its way to Jupiter for five years and 445 million miles, and now it’s less than 10 hours away from entering the gas giant’s orbit—the equivalent of a single rotation of Jupiter. If all goes well, scientists will finally be able to learn what lies beneath Jupiter’s turbulent atmosphere, examine its impressive magnetosphere, and possibly determine the composition of its core. But first, it’s going to have to execute a tricky 35-minute engine burn under the harshest conditions any NASA spacecraft has yet faced." (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS)
A NASA Scientist Answers Your Questions About Juno Mission to Jupiter. "NASA’s Juno spacecraft will be entering Jupiter’s orbit later tonight after a very long journey, kicking off the next phase of its mission. And we’ve got NASA JPL scientist Glenn Orton with us today to answer your burning questions about Jupiter, the Juno mission, what the team hopes to learn about our solar system, and more."
NASA Sent Jupiter's Jealous Wife to Check Up on Him and His Satellites. "NASA’s Juno spacecraft made all the headlines this past Fourth of July as it successfully went into orbit around Jupiter after a five-year journey—and deservedly so. But not many people realized the significance of the name. In Roman mythology, Juno was the god Jupiter’s wife—and Jupiter had one hell of a roaming eye. Before it reached its current orbit, Juno passed by the four largest moons of Jupiter: Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. These are all women who were lovers of Zeus (the Greek counterpart of Jupiter) in Greek mythology. This fact did not escape singer/songwriter and self-professed nerd Adam Sakellarides, who wrote a song and accompanying music video for the occasion."
Other Cool Links:
Juno Had a Glorious View During Its Final Approach to Jupiter. Here's What to expect during the Juno mission now that the spacecraft is settled in its orbit, plus a lovely visual timeline of Jupiter exploration. However, Casey Dreier, director of space policy for The Planetary Society. says that Juno was a success—but there is precious little coming after it. But hey, at least NASA ruled social media once again with the Juno mission’s sassy live-tweeting of its Jupiter orbit. Not to be outdone, the Sarcastic Rover tweeted:
Hey, @NASAJuno! Thanks for hogging all the dish time and forcing me to watch Netflix in standard def. YOU MONSTER!— SarcasticRover (@SarcasticRover) July 5, 2016
The Woman Who Helped Us Hear Juno started working at JPL as a human "computer" in 1958.
The Large Hadron Collider is quietly having a phenomenal year. Smashing particles leads to lots of potential for new physics and dead theories.
Surprising Resonance Result Yields Record-Breaking Heat Insulation.
Physics Reveals What’s In Herculaneum’s Incinerated Ancient Scrolls. Synchrotron radiation for the win!
My Three Suns: Our First Look at a Triple-Star System.
How Feynman diagrams almost saved space.
Atomic clocks for gravitational wave detection - imagine LIGO, but with the arms spanning earth's orbit.
Interferometers that produce clearer signal by getting rid of light. Photons arrive at random moments. Predict the moment, measure, and win.
What Most People Get Wrong About Einstein's Famous Equation.
Why Doesn't Our Universe Have Magnetic Monopoles?
Synthetic spider silk could be the biggest technological advance in clothing since nylon.
The Loudest Sound In The World Would Kill You On The Spot.
A NASCAR Team Is Building The First Internal Combustion Engine To Go Into Outer Space.
These are just gorgeous. The Magical Realism of Eric Roux-Fontaine’s Dreamlike Paintings. “At no time am I trying to depict a place in a literal way, because I think we paint with our culture as much as with our nature,” said the French artist. “And the memory, or the feeling we keep of a place or a scene, is sometimes more interesting than the ‘raw’ reality. People depicted in paintings are more like actors. They appear in a scene then, it is up to everyone to put together the movie!” [Image: Eric Roux-Fontaine]
Étienne Léopold Trouvelot's Stunning 19th-Century Astronomical Drawings of Celestial Objects and Phenomena. The splendor of the cosmos in a trailblazing marriage of art and science more than a century before modern astrophotography.
This Trash-Collecting Spacecraft Will Pit Giant Nets Against a Space Harpoon.
A Gravitational Waves Explanation Even a Five Year Old Can Grasp.
Numberphile Explains a Unique Property of Consecutive Coin Flips
Pilots recount daring South Pole rescue mission: 'A tiny little dot in that mass of black.'
Voltaire’s Luck: The French philosopher outsmarts the lottery.
The Noise None of Us Can Live Without.
Tropic Fallout: a look back at the Bikini nuclear tests, 70 years later.
Can Gravitational Waves Let Us Peek Inside A Black Hole? No, but the reason why is fascinating.
No One Nerds Out Over Space Science Quite Like NASA Astronaut Kate Rubins.
Listen to the Large Hadron Collider’s Weird, Whale-Like Sounds.
Toyota Has Patent For Rear-Engined Flying Car With Shapeshifting Body, Yet The Bastards Are Still Building Camrys.
We Hold These Mathematical Truths to Be Self-Evident. Ben Oberlin celebrates the Fourth of July as only he can--with more bad drawings.
Haunting Music Created With Two New Instruments. "The first is a rather complex take on a traditional music box that uses punched paper-tape to control individual notes, and the second is something [designer Martin Molin] calls a Modulin. The Modulin sounds a lot like an electronic theremin but seems to have an interface like a stringed instrument."
Brian Eno Plays the Universe: A physicist explains what the composer has in common with the dawn of the cosmos.
Fukushima, Vieques, Rocky Flats: Radioactive photos tell nuclear stories.
This week in WTF: Hospital astrology treats your mental health based on your star sign. Related: Maybe those people should watch these 32 Animated Videos by Wireless Philosophy, Designed To Teach the Essentials of Critical Thinking.
The Mysterious Null Island, The Busiest Place on Earth That Does Not Exist. "The “island” is located at 0°, 0° latitude and longitude, and although the only thing there is a weather buoy, computers consider it a very busy place given the way some programs incorrectly handle location data."
Rabbits Infinitely Multiply in 7 Billion, A Wonderfully Surreal Animated Short by Cyriak: