Magnetar, health of Marvel heroes, waves of fish: the news of the day

The scientific news of January 5, 2022 is:

In space: Detection of a magnetar capable of emitting in a tenth of a second the energy emitted by the sun … in 100,000 years.

  • An artificial intelligence of a system developed at the Image Processing Laboratory of the University of Valencia has managed to detect the intense eruption of a magnetar, a rather rare kind of neutron star.
  • The atmosphere-space interaction monitor that made it possible to make the observation was on board outside the International Space Station.
  • The researchers speculate that the burst of such energy could be due to instabilities in the magnetosphere or “earthquakes” produced in the crust.

Healthy: How would Marvel superheroes age? The Tony Stark case, aka Iron Man.

  • Based on material provided by the Marvel films, researchers at the University of Queensland sketched the aging trajectories of superheroes based on their health, behaviors and habits, both personal and in groups.
  • The strong team cohesion of the Avengers would for example be associated with a lower probability of developing cognitive disorders such as dementia of aging.
  • Researchers have drawn up a personalized health check for Iron man for which they question the real protection of his armor against gravitational changes and exposure to radiation during his spacewalks.

In animals: Fish form amazing waves to repel predators.

  • Researchers at the Berlin Institute for Freshwater and Inland Fisheries Ecology studied the adaptive value of waves produced by fish in response to bird attacks.
  • The waves produced by these sulfur Mollys fish would confuse these predators and delay the time between repeated attacks.
  • This would be a “highly synchronized” behavior which would find its equivalent in other animals such as frogs, birds and mammals.
Read more:  The Largest Planets in the Milky Way and Beyond: Exploring the Vast World of Exoplanets

In archeo & paleo: Lignite would have been used by the Mycenaeans more than 3000 years ago.

  • Archaeologists reveal that the Mycenaean civilization could have produced countless pottery throughout the Mediterranean world thanks to lignite, a sedimentary rock.
  • The rock would have been used to supply the firing and melting furnaces of multiple workshops intended for the manufacture of pottery and metals.
  • The study reveals the oldest evidence of the use of lignite in European antiquity, starting around 3000 years ago.

In space: James Webb Telescope: its heat shield has been successfully deployed.

  • On January 4, 2022, one of the most difficult steps was taken for the James Webb telescope: its heat shield was fully deployed.
  • A shield composed of 5 huge layers which aims to protect scientific instruments from the heat of the sun which can only operate at very low temperatures.
  • A deployment carried out by NASA and piloted from Baltimore (United States) by more than a hundred engineers taking turns day and night to ensure its smooth running.

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