- Australia researchers create 'world's first' 3D-printed jet engines
- 10 Most AMAZING Natural Phenomena on Earth!
- Should Humanity Try to Contact Alien Civilizations?
- Top 10 Medical Advances that Sound Like Science Fiction
- Recent Disappearances & Strangeness in the Bermuda Triangle
- Hubble Discovers Powerful Winds in Milky Way Center
- 7 Mind-Blowing Theories About Our Universe and Reality
- 15 Inaccuracies Found In Common Science Illustrations
- Why Do We Age?
Posted: 01 Mar 2015 06:06 PM PST
(Reuters) - Australian researchers unveiled the world's first 3D-printed jet engine on Thursday, a manufacturing breakthrough that could lead to cheaper, lighter and more fuel-efficient jets.
Engineers at Monash University and its commercial arm are making top-secret prototypes for Boeing Co, Airbus Group NV, Raytheon Co and Safran SA in a development that could be the savior of Australia's struggling manufacturing sector.
"This will allow aerospace companies to compress their development cycles because we are making these prototype engines three or four times faster than normal," said Simon Marriott, chief executive of Amaero Engineering, the private company set up by Monash to commercialize the product.
Marriott said Amaero plans to have printed engine components in flight tests within the next 12 months and certified for commercial use within the next two to three years.
Australia has the potential to corner the market. It has one of only three of the necessary large-format 3D metal printers in the world - France and Germany have the other two - and is the only place that makes the materials for use in the machine.
It is also the world leader in terms of intellectual property (IP) regarding 3D printing for manufacturing.
"We have personnel that have 10 years experience on this equipment and that gives us a huge advantage," Marriott told Reuters by phone from the Avalon Airshow outside Melbourne.
3D printing makes products by layering material until a three-dimensional object is created. Automotive and aerospace companies use it for producing prototypes as well as creating specialized tools, moldings and some end-use parts.
Marriott declined to comment in detail on Amaero's contracts with companies, including Boeing and Airbus, citing commercial confidentiality. Those contracts are expected to pay in part for the building of further large format printers, at a cost of around A$3.5 million ($2.75 million) each, to ramp up production of jet engine components.
3D printing can cut production times for components from three months to just six days.
Ian Smith, Monash University's vice-provost for research, said it was very different to the melting, molding and carving of the past.
"This way we can very quickly get a final product, so the advantages of this technology are, firstly, for rapid prototyping and making a large number of prototypes quickly," Smith said. "Secondly, for being able to make bespoke parts that you wouldn't be able to with classic engineering technologies."
Posted: 01 Mar 2015 05:59 PM PST
Click to zoom
Posted: 01 Mar 2015 05:58 PM PST
Excerpt from space.com
by Mike Wall
Is it time to take the search for intelligent aliens to the next level?
For more than half a century, scientists have been scanning the heavens for signals generated by intelligent alien life. They haven't found anything conclusive yet, so some researchers are advocating adding an element called "active SETI" (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) — not just listening, but also beaming out transmissions of our own designed to catch aliens' eyes.
Active SETI "may just be the approach that lets us make contact with life beyond Earth," Douglas Vakoch, director of interstellar message composition at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, said earlier this month during a panel discussion at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in San Jose.
Vakoch envisions using big radio dishes such as the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico to blast , information-laden transmissions at nearby stars, in a series of relatively cheap, small-scale projects.
"Whenever any of the planetary radar folks are doing their asteroid studies, and they have an extra half an hour before or after, there's always a target star readily available that they can shift to without a lot of extra slough time," he said.
The content of any potential active SETI message is a subject of considerable debate. If it were up to astronomer Seth Shostak, Vakoch's SETI Institute colleague, we'd beam the entire Internet out into space.
"It's like sending a lot of hieroglyphics to the 19th century — they [aliens] can figure it out based on the redundancy," Shostak said during the AAAS discussion. "So, I think in terms of messages, we should send everything."
While active SETI could help make humanity's presence known to extrasolar civilizations, the could also aid the more traditional "passive" search for alien intelligence, Shostak added.
"If you're going to run SETI experiments, where you're trying to listen for a putative alien broadcast, it may be very instructive to have to construct a transmitting project," he said. "Because now, you walk a mile in the Klingons' shoes, assuming they have them."
Cause for concern?But active SETI is a controversial topic. Humanity has been a truly technological civilization for only a few generations; we're less than 60 years removed from launching our first satellite to Earth orbit, for example. So the chances are that any extraterrestrials who pick up our signals would be far more
This likelihood makes some researchers nervous, including famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking.
"Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they could reach," Hawking said in 2010 on an episode of "Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking," a TV show that aired on the Channel. "If so, it makes sense for them to exploit each new planet for material to build more spaceships so they could move on. Who knows what the limits would be?"
Astrophysicist and science fiction author David Brin voiced similar concerns during the AAAS event, saying there's no reason to assume that intelligent aliens would be altruistic.
"This is an area in which discussion is called for," Brin said. "What are the motivations of species that they might carry with them into their advanced forms, that might color their cultures?"
Brin stressed that active SETI shouldn't be done in a piecemeal, ad hoc fashion by small groups of astronomers.
"This is something that should be discussed worldwide, and it should involve our peers in many other specialties, such as history," he said. "The historians would tell us, 'Well, gee, we have some examples of first-contact scenarios between advanced technological civilizations and not-so-advanced technological civilizations.' Gee, how did all of those turn out? Even when they were handled with goodwill, there was still pain." than we are.
Out there alreadyVakoch and Shostak agreed that international discussion and cooperation are desirable. But Shostak said that achieving any kind of consensus on the topic of active SETI may be difficult. For example, what if polling reveals that 60 percent of people on Earth are in favor of the strategy, while 40 percent are opposed?
"Do we then have license to go ahead and transmit?" Shostak said. "That's the problem, I think, with this whole 'let's have some international discussion' [idea], because I don't know what the decision metric is."
Vakoch and Shostak also said that active SETI isn't as big a leap as it may seem at first glance: Our civilization has been beaming signals out into the universe unintentionally for a century, since the radio was invented.
"The reality is that any civilization that has the ability to travel between the stars can already pick up our accidental radio and TV leakage," Vakoch said. "A civilization just 200 to 300 years more advanced than we are could pick up our leakage radiation at a distance of several hundred light-years. So there are no increased dangers of an alien invasion through active SETI."
But Brin disputed this assertion, saying the so-called "barn door excuse" is a myth.
"It is very difficult for advanced civilizations to have picked us up at our noisiest in the 1980s, when we had all these military radars and these big television antennas," he said.
Shostak countered that a fear of alien invasion, if taken too far, could hamper humanity's expansion throughout the solar system, an effort that will probably require the use of high-powered transmissions between farflung outposts.
"Do you want to hamstring all that activity — not for the weekend, not just shut down the radars next week, or active SETI this year, but shut down humanity forever?" Shostak said. "That's a price I'm not willing to pay."
So the discussion and debate continues — and may continue for quite some time.
"This is the only really important scientific field without any subject matter," Brin said. "It's an area in which opinion rules, and everybody has a very fierce opinion."
Posted: 01 Mar 2015 05:47 PM PST
Click to zoom
Posted: 01 Mar 2015 05:25 PM PST
Excerpt from paranormal.lovetoknow.com
By Michelle Radcliff
Recent Aircraft and Boat DisappearancesAccording to Bermuda-Triangle.org, around 129 planes have disappeared over the waters in the Bermuda Triangle between 1945 and 2008. After 2008, documented cases of unexplained aircraft disappearances in the area simply seem to stop, which deepens the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle even more. Detailed information about aircraft disappearances that occurred during World War II and shortly afterward can be found from numerous sources, as these events have become legendary in the unexplained and paranormal world.
However, reports on recent unexplained aircraft disappearances are much harder to find, possibly because of advances in modern technology. The three most recent include:
Mysterious Problems and Close CallsIn posts appearing on both World Mysteries, a blog dedicated to unsolved mysteries and DiscloseTV, a news hub dedicated to unexplained phenomena, passengers on large, modern aircraft may be counting their blessings as survivors who just escaped being caught in the Triangle's spooky web:
Other Recent PhenomenonTwo more recent disappearances reported at Bermuda-Attractions.com continue to deepen the mystery of the Triangle. Although these disappearances happened as late as the 1990s, details are still limited.
Possible Reasons for the Recent Lull in Bermuda Triangle PhenomenonA plausible theory as to why the strange phenomenon of missing vessels and aircraft has literally become a thing of the past may be the technological advances in navigation, including GPS (Global Positioning Systems). It could also be possible that the danger zone has somehow moved.
The most recent bizarre disappearance of an aircraft over the tropical waters of the Caribbean happened just south of the Bermuda Triangle. "The Los Roques Curse," as locals refer to it, is an area between Caracas, Venezuela and the 350 islands, cays and islets that make up the Los Roques island chain, where similar unexplained disappearances of ships and aircraft have been occurring since the 1990s. In a February, 2013 article published by the Huffington Post, acclaimed Italian fashion designer Vittorio Missoni and five companions boarded a BN-2 Islander aircraft in the Los Roques Island chain on January 4, 2013, headed for Caracas, Venezuela. After the plane had flown about 11 miles, it vanished into thin air. No wreckage from the plane or bodies were ever recovered, despite hundreds of search efforts.
Determining the TruthAs the activity in the Bermuda Triangle appears to wane and eventually stop altogether in the 21st century, could the anomaly have simply shifted a few hundred miles to the south? Or is it purely a coincidence that unexplained disappearances in boat and plane traffic has almost simultaneously been on the increase in an area so close? Like most paranormal phenomenon and unsolved mysteries, the truth will remain a matter of one's personal belief.
Posted: 01 Mar 2015 05:17 PM PST
Click to zoom
Posted: 01 Mar 2015 05:07 PM PST
Click to zoom
Posted: 01 Mar 2015 01:37 PM PST
The asteroid belt
Click to zoom
Posted: 01 Mar 2015 11:59 AM PST
Click to zoom