Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Chandrayaan-I data confirms presence of ice on Moon
Photo: Thinkstock

Chandrayaan-I data confirms presence of ice on Moon

21 Aug 2018 | 5:34 PM

WASHINGTON: Scientists have confirmed the presence of frozen water deposits in the darkest and coldest parts of the Moon's polar regions using data from the Chandrayaan-I spacecraft, that was launched by India 10 years ago, NASA said on Friday.

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Washington, August 21

Scientists have confirmed the presence of frozen water deposits in the darkest and coldest parts of the Moon's polar regions using data from the Chandrayaan-I spacecraft, that was launched by India 10 years ago, NASA said on Friday.

With enough ice sitting at the surface—within the top few millimetres—water would possibly be accessible as a resource for future expeditions to explore and even stay on the Moon, and potentially easier to access than the water detected beneath the Moon's surface.

The ice deposits are patchily distributed and could possibly be ancient, according to the study published in the journal PNAS.

At the southern pole, most of the ice is concentrated at lunar craters, while the northern pole's ice is more widely, but sparsely spread.

Scientists used data from NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument to identify three specific signatures that definitively prove there is water ice at the surface of the Moon.

M3, aboard the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, launched in 2008 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), was uniquely equipped to confirm the presence of solid ice on the Moon.

It collected data that not only picked up the reflective properties we would expect from ice, but was able to directly measure the distinctive way its molecules absorb infrared light, so it can differentiate between liquid water or vapour and solid ice.

Most of the newfound water ice lies in the shadows of craters near the poles, where the warmest temperatures never reach above minus 156 degrees Celsius.

Due to the very small tilt of the Moon's rotation axis, sunlight never reaches these regions.

Previous observations indirectly found possible signs of surface ice at the lunar south pole, but these could have been explained by other phenomena, such as unusually reflective lunar soil.

Learning more about this ice, how it got there, and how it interacts with the larger lunar environment will be a key mission focus for NASA and commercial partners, as humans endeavour to return to and explore the Moon.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory designed and built the moon mineralogy mapper instrument and was home to its project manager.

The Chandrayaan-I spacecraft, India's first lunar probe, started suffering from several technical issues and stopped sending radio signals on August 28, 2009.  Shortly after this, ISRO officially declared the mission over.

The probe, which was intended to operate for two years, achieved 95 per cent of its planned objectives in under a year of its space journey.

In 2016, NASA used ground-based radar systems to relocate Chandrayaan-1 in its lunar orbit. Repeated observations over the next three months allowed a precise determination of its current orbit. PTI

NASA's InSight completes halfway to Mars

NASA's InSight completes halfway to Mars

21 Aug 2018 | 1:03 PM

WASHINGTON: NASA's InSight spacecraft, en route to land on Mars this November, has passed the halfway mark, covering 277 million kilometres since its launch 107 days ago.

Modern human gripping capabilities evolved 500,000 years ago

Modern human gripping capabilities evolved 500,000 years ago

21 Aug 2018 | 11:42 AM

LONDON: A trove of prehistoric stone tools shows that strong, precise gripping capabilities evolved in early humans at least 500,000 years ago, a study has found.

Gene editing tool could treat depression

Gene editing tool could treat depression

20 Aug 2018 | 6:39 PM

WASHINGTON: Scientists have used a gene-editing tool to target the natural mood-boosting receptors in the brain, an advance that may help alleviate depression in patients who don't find relief with existing drugs.

Novel bacteria-powered paper battery developed

Novel bacteria-powered paper battery developed

20 Aug 2018 | 12:45 PM

NEW YORK: Scientists have developed a low-cost battery made of paper that is fueled by bacteria, and may power disposable and flexible devices.

Robots can manipulate children

Robots can manipulate children

20 Aug 2018 | 12:05 PM

LONDON: Robots can influence the opinions and decisions of young children, according to a study which shows that kids are significantly more susceptible to manipulation by machines than adults.

World's first 4D printing for ceramics developed

World's first 4D printing for ceramics developed

20 Aug 2018 | 11:43 AM

BEIJING: Scientists have successfully developed the world's first 4D printing for ceramics that can be used to create complex, shape-changing objects.

Whose influence is stronger on kid's language: mom or dad?

Whose influence is stronger on kid's language: mom or dad?

20 Aug 2018 | 11:36 AM

WASHINGTON DC: While linguists have been confused whether mother has a stronger influence on a child's language or father, a recent study has reconciled the two hypotheses - mother tongue and father tongue.

Sea level rise may up risk of devastating tsunamis worldwide

Sea level rise may up risk of devastating tsunamis worldwide

19 Aug 2018 | 2:04 PM

WASHINGTON: Even minor rise in sea levels due to climate change can increase the risk of potentially devastating tsunamis around the world, a study has warned.

AI system could make lip sync dubbing accurate

AI system could make lip sync dubbing accurate

19 Aug 2018 | 12:18 PM

WASHINGTON: Scientists have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that can edit the facial expressions of actors to accurately match dubbed voices, saving time and reducing costs for the film industry.

Microsoft developing next version of BP-monitoring smart glasses

Microsoft developing next version of BP-monitoring smart glasses

18 Aug 2018 | 4:07 PM

SAN FRANCISCO: Microsoft is developing the next version of its smart glasses, called Glabella, that can work as a cuff-less, wearable and unobtrusive blood pressure measuring device, according to a new report.

Apple saying goodbye to ‘Time Travel’ feature with watchOS 5

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18 Aug 2018 | 2:11 PM

SAN FRANCISCO: Apple is saying goodbye to “Time Travel” — one of Apple Watch’s under-used features — with watchOS 5 this fall.

Smartphone screens harbour more germs than a toilet seat

Smartphone screens harbour more germs than a toilet seat

18 Aug 2018 | 10:37 AM

LONDON: If you think toilet seats are the dirtiest ones swarming with germs, look at your smartphone. A research has revealed that smartphone screens have three times more germs than a toilet seat.

Tool to predict building collapse, landslides 2 weeks in advance

Tool to predict building collapse, landslides 2 weeks in advance

16 Aug 2018 | 1:16 PM

CANBERRA: Australian researchers on Thursday said they have developed a software tool to predict when a building will crack or its foundation will move, even when a dam could break or a mudslide occur.

Apple car may become reality in 2023

Apple car may become reality in 2023

16 Aug 2018 | 12:50 PM

HONG KONG: As industry watchers think that Apple car is dead, the iPhone maker could launch it anytime between 2023 and 2025, a top Apple analyst with Hong Kong-based TF International Securities has claimed.

Google takes new measures to increase transparency on political ads

Google takes new measures to increase transparency on political ads

16 Aug 2018 | 12:08 PM

SAN FRANCISCO: Google took a new move Wednesday to increase transparency on political ads on its platform by releasing an online library of US political ads and a report on details of ad-expenditure ahead of the mid-term US elections in November this year.

Alexa, Cortana integration now available for public preview

Alexa, Cortana integration now available for public preview

18 Aug 2018 | 3:58 PM

SAN FRANCISCO: Taking on Apple Siri and Google Assistant, Microsoft has started rolling out public preview of integration between its virtual assistant Cortana and Amazon Alexa.

Mini Mona Lisa created using live bacteria

Mini Mona Lisa created using live bacteria

15 Aug 2018 | 1:41 PM

LONDON: LONDON: Scientists have created an accurate millimetric replica of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, using approximately one million bacteria cells that were genetically engineered to respond to light.

Earth mini-moons may provide testing grounds for space missions

Earth mini-moons may provide testing grounds for space missions

14 Aug 2018 | 1:26 PM

WASHINGTON: Earth's mini-moons - small asteroids temporarily captured in the planet's orbit - could used as test-beds for research and commercial space activities in the future, say scientists.

NASA to send submarine to seafloor next week

NASA to send submarine to seafloor next week

14 Aug 2018 | 1:12 PM

WASHINGTON: NASA is set to send a submarine to the seafloor near Hawaii on August 20 in an effort to find an environment analogous to water worlds like Jupiter's moon Europa and Saturn's moon Enceladus, the media reported on Tuesday.

E-cigarette vapour disables lung's protective cells

E-cigarette vapour disables lung's protective cells

14 Aug 2018 | 1:06 PM

LONDON: E-cigarette vapour disables key immune cells in the lung that keep the air spaces clear of potentially harmful particles, say scientists who warn that vaping may be more harmful than traditional smoking.

Talking with children can strengthen their language skills

Talking with children can strengthen their language skills

14 Aug 2018 | 12:20 PM

BOSTON: Talking with children from an early age can help them develop brain regions critical for language and promote their ability to quickly learn new words, a study has found.

Super-insulating gel could help build Mars habitats

Super-insulating gel could help build Mars habitats

14 Aug 2018 | 11:31 AM

WASHINGTON: Scientists have developed a transparent heat-resistant gel using beer waste that may one day be used to build greenhouse-like habitats for human colonised on Mars.

Spinning heat shield for spacecraft could aid future Mars mission

Spinning heat shield for spacecraft could aid future Mars mission

13 Aug 2018 | 9:33 PM

LONDON: Scientists have developed a flexible, spinning heat shield for spacecraft that could reduce the cost of space travel and aid future space missions to Mars.

Fight fires with indigenous knowledge, say researchers

Fight fires with indigenous knowledge, say researchers

13 Aug 2018 | 3:04 PM

LONDON: Countries at risk of catastrophic wildfires should adopt ancient practices used by indigenous people, researchers said on Monday, after scores of deadly blazes engulfed parts of the northern hemisphere.

Google tracks your movements, even when you explicitly tell it not to

Google tracks your movements, even when you explicitly tell it not to

13 Aug 2018 | 6:25 PM

SAN FRANCISCO: Google wants to know where you go so badly that it records your movements even when you explicitly tell it not to. An Associated Press investigation has found that.

Blue light from digital devices could accelerate blindness

Blue light from digital devices could accelerate blindness

13 Aug 2018 | 1:27 PM

WASHINGTON: Blue light from digital devices including smartphones could accelerate blindness, researchers have found.

Rude coworkers may affect your parenting style

Rude coworkers may affect your parenting style

13 Aug 2018 | 11:44 AM

TORONTO: Children could be unintended victims of workplace incivility, say scientists who found that women who encounter rude co-workers are more likely to engage in stricter parenting practices, negatively affecting their kids.

India to soon launch space science channel: ISRO

India to soon launch space science channel: ISRO

12 Aug 2018 | 4:41 PM

BENGALURU: India will soon launch a dedicated space and science television channel to make their benefits reach people across the country, a top official said on Sunday.

NASA launches probe to go deep into Sun's scorching atmosphere

NASA launches probe to go deep into Sun's scorching atmosphere

12 Aug 2018 | 4:48 PM

NASA launched a space probe early Sunday that will go closer to the Sun than any spacecraft before, the agency announced. The craft will endure extreme heat while zooming through the solar corona to study the Sun's outer atmosphere.

Country lost one-third of its coastline from erosion, gained almost as much: Report

Country lost one-third of its coastline from erosion, gained almost as much: Report

12 Aug 2018 | 1:27 PM

NEW DELHI: Natural causes such as cyclones and waves, as well as human activities like construction have led to nearly one-third of a large part of India's coastline to be eroded in the last 26 years, but almost an equal area has been added because of new sediment deposits, according to a government report.

Primates offer clues to evolution of human speech

Primates offer clues to evolution of human speech

11 Aug 2018 | 4:09 PM

LONDON: Researchers examining the brains and vocal repertoires of primates have offered important insight into the evolution of human speech.

NASA postpones for 24 hours launch of historic spaceship to Sun

NASA postpones for 24 hours launch of historic spaceship to Sun

11 Aug 2018 | 4:08 PM

TAMPA: NASA postponed until Sunday the launch of the first ever spacecraft to fly directly toward the Sun on a mission to plunge into our star’s sizzling atmosphere and unlock its mysteries.

'New 3D-printed device may help treat spinal cord injuries'

'New 3D-printed device may help treat spinal cord injuries'

10 Aug 2018 | 12:05 PM

WASHINGTON: Scientists have developed a 3D-printed device that could potentially help patients with long-term spinal cord injuries regain some function.

Sense of winning may make men more promiscuous

09 Aug 2018 | 6:23 PM

LONDON: Men only have to believe that they have bested another man in competition to get an inflated sense of their own value as a sexual prospect, and indulge in promiscuous behaviour.

Sense of winning may make men more promiscuous

Sense of winning may make men more promiscuous

09 Aug 2018 | 6:01 PM

LONDON: Men only have to believe that they have bested another man in competition to get an inflated sense of their own value as a sexual prospect, and indulge in promiscuous behaviour.

Rare teeth from ancient mega-shark found on Australia beach

Rare teeth from ancient mega-shark found on Australia beach

09 Aug 2018 | 1:34 PM

MELBOURNE: A rare set of teeth from a giant prehistoric mega-shark twice the size of the great white have been found on an Australian beach by a keen-eyed amateur enthusiast, scientists said on Thursday.

Online daters seek more desirable mates

Online daters seek more desirable mates

09 Aug 2018 | 12:35 PM

WASHINGTON: Out of your league? Majority of online daters seek out partners who are more desirable than themselves, according to a study.

Indian-origin researcher explains da Vinci’s ‘hydraulic jump’

Indian-origin researcher explains da Vinci’s ‘hydraulic jump’

08 Aug 2018 | 12:46 PM

LONDON: Ever wondered why water splays when it hits the sink before heading down the plughole?

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