How Space Telescopes Will Find Earth 2.0

The galaxy is full of exoplanets. Now we’ll find out what they’re made of

12 min read
How Space Telescopes Will Find Earth 2.0
Illustration: Bryan Christie Design

Earlier this year, astronomers announced the discovery of a planet not much bigger than Earth. Dubbed Kepler-452b, the planet orbits a star like our own sun. Even more exciting, it orbits its star at just about the same distance that Earth orbits the sun, with a year that lasts just 20 days longer than our own. For the first time, astronomers had found a world that could be called—if not an Earth twin—at least a close cousin.

But what do we know about this world? Like most of the exoplanets found to date, Kepler-452b remains a mystery. It’s not clear, for example, whether it boasts a rocky surface like Earth’s and, if it does, whether it has oceans or a breathable atmosphere.

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Engineers Are Working on a Solar Microgrid to Outlast Lunar Nights

Future lunar bases will need power for mining and astronaut survival

4 min read
A rendering of a lunar base. In the foreground are rows of solar panels and behind them are two astronauts standing in front of a glass dome with plants inside.
P. Carril/ESA

The next time humans land on the moon, they intend to stay awhile. For the Artemis program, NASA and its collaborators want to build a sustained presence on the moon, which includes setting up a base where astronauts can live and work.

One of the crucial elements for a functioning lunar base is a power supply. Sandia National Laboratories, a research and development lab that specializes in building microgrids for military bases, is teaming up with NASA to design one that will work on the moon.

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Trilobite-Inspired Camera Boasts Huge Depth of Field

New camera relies on “metalenses” that could be fabricated using a standard CMOS foundry

3 min read
Black and white image showing different white box shapes in rows

Scanning electron microscope image of the titanium oxide nanopillars that make up the metalens. The scale is 500 nanometers (nm).

NIST

Inspired by the eyes of extinct trilobites, researchers have created a miniature camera with a record-setting depth of field—the distance over which a camera can produce sharp images in a single photo. Their new study reveals that with the aid of artificial intelligence, their device can simultaneously image objects as near as 3 centimeters and as far away as 1.7 kilometers.

Five hundred million years ago, the oceans teemed with horseshoe-crab-like trilobites. Among the most successful of all early animals, these armored invertebrates lived on Earth for roughly 270 million years before going extinct.

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Take the Lead on Satellite Design Using Digital Engineering

Learn how to accelerate your satellite design process and reduce risk and costs with model-based engineering methods

1 min read
Keysight
Keysight

Win the race to design and deploy satellite technologies and systems. Learn how new digital engineering techniques can accelerate development and reduce your risk and costs. Download this free whitepaper now!

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