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Scientists discover ‘oldest-known star’ in Galactic Halo

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Scientists have discovered the oldest star LAMOST J1010+2358 currently known in the Galactic Halo, enabling experts to broaden their understanding of the evolution of early stars and of the universe.

According to the findings of the study, the star was born in the gas cloud left by a first-generation star having mass up to 260 times our Sun.

The new study was published in the journal Nature Wednesday.

The research was carried out under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and was led by Chinese astronomers at the National Astronomical Observatories of China (NAOC).

The project leader Zhao Gang stated that the first stars illuminated the universe during the cosmic dawn and put an end to the cosmic “dark ages” that followed the Big Bang.

“However, the distribution of their mass is one of the great unsolved mysteries of the cosmos,” he added.

As per the numerical simulations of the formation of the first stars, the mass of the early stars could reach up to masses similar to hundred suns.

This image the remains of RCW 86, the oldest documented example of a supernova. — Nasa/File
This image the remains of RCW 86, the oldest documented example of a supernova. — Nasa/File 

Zhao noted: “Among them, the first stars with masses between 140 and 260 solar masses ended up as a special type of supernovae, called pair-instability supernovae [PISN], which would imprint a unique chemical signature in the atmosphere of the next generation of stars.”

However, he underlined, “no direct evidence of such type of supernovae had been previously found.”

Given the star’s chemical characteristics, it is consistent with the theory of PISN.

The first survey was conducted by the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) in China after that the follow-up observation was carried out by the Subaru telescope in Japan, identifying this chemically peculiar star.

“Our discovery is the first clear direct evidence of the existence of a PISN from a very massive first-generation star in the early universe,” Xing Qianfan, a key member of the study said.

Timothy Beers, a professor at the University of Notre Dame in the US, noted: “This paper presents what is, to my knowledge, the first definitive association of a Galactic halo star with an abundance pattern originating from a PISN.”

Wang Xiaofeng, a professor at Tsinghua University, said that the “next generation stars carry the elemental imprints formed by the evolution and death of the previous generation stars.”

“It’s like we can trace the characteristics of a child’s father by examining the child’s DNA.”

“Understanding the properties of the first-generation stars is crucial for us to understand the formation of stars, galaxies, and the large-scale structure of the universe,” said Han Zhanwen, of CAS.

Toshitaka Kajino, a professor at Beihang University underlined: “I think that this discovery, with many findings expected to come in the future, might shed light on the still unknown mechanism of very massive black hole formation in the early universe.”

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Users of WhatsApp will soon be able to lock chats on connected devices.

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Additionally, linked devices will now have access to the conversation lock feature. Users of WhatsApp will also soon have the option to tag their contacts in status updates.

Notably, WhatsApp users can link their devices to log in to the same account on different devices. However, several functions, such as conversation locks and status updates, are not accessible on the secondary devices.

Even if they are locked on the main conversations, anybody can still access your private chats on a connected device. WhatsApp is currently working on adding Chat Lock capability to connected devices in order to address this.

The chat lock feature on WhatsApp will soon be available on connected devices.

Prior to this, it was claimed that WhatsApp, which is owned by Meta, was developing new personalisation options for an iOS beta.

According to WABetaInfo, an update tracker portal for the instant messaging network, WhatsApp for iOS users will soon get the option to modify both the conversation bubble’s colour and the app’s primary colour scheme.

A feature that let beta testers choose the primary colour scheme of the WhatsApp iOS app from a selection of five colours was first tested back in January.

The instant messaging app is testing a feature that lets users change the colour of chat bubbles within conversations, though, in a new beta edition.

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Moon train operations are planned by NASA.

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The goal is to construct the first lunar train system, which will enable safe, independent, and effective cargo transportation on the moon, according to robotics specialist Ethan Schaler of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

He went on, “The day-to-day functioning of a sustainable lunar base in the 2030s will depend heavily on a robust, long-lasting robotic transport system.”

The Flexible Levitation on a Track, or FLOAT, is the name of the proposed lunar rail system. According to NASA, the establishment of a railway system on the moon is “critical to the daily operations.”

According to the space agency, the primary objective of FLOAT is to offer transportation services in regions of the moon where astronauts are engaged in activities. To do this, cargoes of lunar soil and other materials will need to be transported to various regions of the moon.

Each robot will be able to transport cargo of various sizes and shapes at a pace of roughly 1 mph (1.61 km/h), according to Dr. Schaler.

Notably, NASA also declared new initiatives last month to create and test new vehicle models intended for moon exploration.

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Pakistan’s lunar mission ‘ICUBE-Q’ reaches the moon orbit.

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Pakistan’s lunar mission (ICUBE-Q) entered orbit around the moon on Wednesday.

Pakistan’s historic lunar mission (ICUBE-Q) launched from Hainan, China, on Friday aboard China’s Chang’E6 spacecraft.

According to the IST, the satellite ICUBE-Q was planned and developed in partnership with China’s Shanghai University SJTU and Pakistan’s national space agency SUPARCO.

The ICUBE-Q orbiter is equipped with two optical cameras to image the lunar surface. ICUBE-Q has now been integrated into the Chang’e6 mission after successfully qualifying and testing it.

Chang’e6 is the sixth lunar exploration mission launched by China.

The launch event was streamed live on the IST website and social media platforms. Chang’6, China’s Lunar Mission, will land on the Moon’s far side to collect surface samples before returning to Earth for further research.

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