Friday November 16, 2018
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A Start Up Company From Japan To Launch ‘Love Satellites’

If this service receives a good response, Warspace would expand its business and will send out more commemorative objects into space.

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Flying car
Nobody believes people are going to be zipping around in flying cars any time soon, but Japan has a vision. Flickr
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A Japanese start-up linked to the University of Tsukuba is set to launch small satellites with commemorative titanium plaques carrying love messages into space by the end of 2019, the company said on Monday.

Those interested would be able to engrave messages of their choice on the plaques, which would be 1.8 centimeters long and 0.8 centimeter wide, set to be carried to space aboard the satellites and orbit around the Earth for around two years before being destroyed, Efe reported.

Around 10 centimeters in size, the CubeSat satellites would be able to carry up to 600 pure titanium plaques and would be transported to the International Space Station (ISS) by a rocket of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

Japan Love satellite
Around 10 centimeters in size, the CubeSat satellites would be able to carry up to 600 pure titanium plaques

In the ISS, the astronauts stationed there will take photographs of the ultra-small satellite which would be then sent to the couples to prove that their messages have reached space, Warspace CEO Toshihiro Kameda said.

The start-up had planned to offer this service exclusively to the couples getting married at a hotel in Tsukuba, in Ibaraki prefecture, for the price of $270, but in the face of growing demand it decided to expand its offer and set up an online order facility in September.

Although they have not determined the number of people interested in the service yet, couples from Japan, the US and Taiwan have contacted the company.

Japan Love satellite
University of Tsukuba, Japan. Flickr

Also Read: ISRO’s First Manned Space Mission to Cost $1.4 Billion

The mini satellites and the plaques would be destroyed after two years by burning up when they come in contact with Earth’s atmosphere, said Kameda, a professor who teaches the mechanics of materials at the University of Tsukuba.

If this service receives a good response, Warspace would expand its business and will send out more commemorative objects into space which would later return to Earth, the head of the project said. (IANS)

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A Close Planet Orbiting A Star Dubbed As ‘Super-Earth’

The researchers studied the planet by combining measurements from several high-precision instruments mounted on telescopes around the world.

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Earth
An artistic impression of a sunset from Barnard's Star on a newly detected planet dubbed a "Super-Earth," in this handout illustration provided Nov. 14, 2018. VOA

A frozen and dimly lit planet, dubbed a “Super-Earth,” may be orbiting the closest single star to our solar system, astronomers said Wednesday, based on two decades of scientific observations.

The planet, estimated to be at least 3.2 times more massive than Earth, was spotted circling Barnard’s Star, a type of relatively cool and low-mass star called a red dwarf. Barnard’s Star is about 6 light-years away from our solar system, comparatively close in cosmic terms, and it’s believed that the planet obits this star every 233 days.

Planets orbiting stars beyond our solar system are called exoplanets. Nearly 4,000 have been discovered. The newly discovered one is the second closest to our solar system ever found. It is thought to be a “Super-Earth,” a category of planets more massive than Earth but smaller than the large gas planets.

Earth
This opens up the prospect that life could be possible throughout a wider range of other universes, if they exist, the researchers said. Pixabay

“After a very careful analysis, we are 99 percent confident that the planet is there,” researcher Ignasi Ribas of the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia and the Institute of Space Sciences said in a statement. “However, we’ll continue to observe this fast-moving star to exclude possible, but improbable, natural variations of the stellar brightness which could masquerade as a planet.”

Alpha Centauri

The only closer stars than Barnard’s Star are part of the triple-star system Alpha Centauri, located a bit more than 4 light-years from our solar system.

Two years ago, astronomers announced the discovery of a roughly Earth-sized planet circling Proxima Centauri, part of the Alpha Centauri system, in an orbit that might enable liquid water to exist on its surface, raising the possibility that it could harbor alien life.

Earth
Astronomers discover ancient star formed by Big Bang, pixabay

The newly detected planet orbiting Barnard’s Star may not be so hospitable, with surface temperatures of perhaps minus 274 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 170 degrees Celsius). Barnard’s Star provides the frigid planet only 2 percent of the energy that the sun provides Earth.

Also Read: NASA’s Ralph Will Explore Jupiter’s Trojan Asteroids In 2021

The researchers studied the planet by combining measurements from several high-precision instruments mounted on telescopes around the world.

The research was published in the journal Nature. (VOA)