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Spectacular: Scientists find two icy giants colliding in deep space

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Researchers have found in their new study a successful sight of a collision between two icy giants — as large as Neptune — for the first time ever, sparking enormous amount of debris and radiation. 

As the collision occurred, scientists found that a spinning object was formed — regarded hundred times larger than our Earth, according to the study published in the journal Nature.  

Matthew Kenworthy, a co-author of the study at the Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands, Dr said: “It would be very spectacular. The energy of the collision would turn the remnant into something resembling a star, fainter than the main star in the system but about seven times larger in size, visible all through the rest of the stellar system.”

It was revealed after an astronomer replied to a post from Dr Kenworthy about a star known as ASASSN-21qj.

Dr Kenworthy was observing for the casting shadows of the giant rings around the planets that occur when they face their parent star. 

ASASSN-21qj — located at a distance of 1,800 light years from Earth — sparked his interest because in December 2021 its light went bleak.

A citizen scientist at Nasa, Arttu Sainio looked the past studies of the star by the US Space Agency’s Neowise mission, an infrared space telescope.

The volunteer scientist found that 900 days before the star dimmed, Neowise saw a steady and sustained brightening of infrared light from the same location.

“I was looking for something completely different,” Kenworthy said, adding that, “the infrared brightening told us something unusual had happened in the neighbourhood of this star, and so it took us down this new path.”

The astronomers concluded after running the analysis: “The blast of infrared radiation came from a hot new object or synestia created by the collision of two planets nearly as large as Neptune.”

Infrared readings also suggested them that the vast spinning object had a temperature of more than 700C for about three years, which will cool down and form a new planet around the star.

The star started to go dim about 2.5 years after the afterglow began as a massive cloud of fine impact debris drifted across the face of the star, the findings suggest.

“It’s the first time we’ve seen the afterglow from such an event,” said Simon Lock, another co-lead author at the University of Bristol, adding that “we’ve seen debris and discs before, but we have never seen the afterglow of the planetary body that’s produced.”

The experts are now looking for follow-up studies to gain further insight.

Dr Kenworthy said: “If the dust cloud continues to orbit the star, then in about five to 10 years the cloud will have moved to one side of the star and astronomers should see the star’s light reflected from the dust with the largest ground-based telescopes.”

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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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