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U.S. and British scientists have found suspected signs of life on Venus

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U.S. and British scientists have found suspected signs of life on Venus

According to a study published in the journal Nature Astronomy on September 14, two telescopes in Hawaii and Chile found possible signs of life in the thick clouds of Venus-the chemical characteristics of phosphine. Phosphine is a poisonous gas which is the only poisonous related to life on earth. New discoveries in the atmosphere of Venus indicate that microbes may be living in the sulfuric acid-laden clouds of this greenhouse planet.

The author of the study and some outside experts said that this is far from being the first hard evidence that life exists on other planets. In contrast, they called it “a suggestion to the possibility (the existence of life)”-although they all agree that this discovery does not satisfy the late Carl Sagan’s proposal, “special conclusions require significant evidence The strict requirements of “support”, but they cannot find a better explanation no matter in chemistry or geology.

“This is not a smoking gun or even the shooting residue on the hands of the main suspect, but there is a clear smell of gunpowder in the air (at the crime scene), which may suggest something.” One of the authors of the paper, London Empire David Clements of the Institute of Technology compares.

U.S. and British scientists have found suspected signs of life on Venus
Venus

Astronomers plan to search for life on exoplanets in the future. One of the main methods is to look for biomarkers, that is, chemical features that can only be formed by biological processes. After meeting in a bar in Hawaii, the three astronomers decided to target the technology at the planet closest to Earth: Venus.

What they were looking for was an unknown substance: phosphine, which is composed of three hydrogen atoms and one phosphorus atom. Researchers say that there are only two ways to form phosphine on Earth. One is man-made production in industrial processes, including use as a chemical weapon in World War I. Another method arises from the functioning of animals and microorganisms that we have not yet the understood-this substance is also present in the bottom of the pond, in the guts of badgers and penguins.

Sara Siegel, a planetary scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-author of the study, said that the research team studied all the possibilities (of phosphine production): volcanoes, lightning strikes, meteorites falling into the atmosphere, and finally they Exclude one by one. They found that no activity on Venus could produce enough phosphine to explain the amount they detected.

“Therefore, we are left with only two weak possibilities. One is some unknown chemical reactions, and some chemical reactions we don’t know. The second, a more interesting possibility is that there may be some kind of life in the atmosphere of Venus. Form, produced the phosphine we detected.” Siegel added.

According to this study, phosphine may come from a certain microorganism, and most likely a single-celled organism. However, the surface temperature of Venus is about 800 degrees (425 degrees Celsius), which means that there is no water in any form on the surface. In order to explain how life survives on this uninhabitable planet, Siegel, Clements and his colleagues put forward a possible idea.

U.S. and British scientists have found suspected signs of life on Venus

The research team believes that all life activities may occur 30 miles (50 kilometers) above the ground in a thick carbon dioxide cloud. The temperature there is about room temperature or slightly higher, and the atmospheric pressure is the same as the earth. These microorganisms may live in sulfuric acid droplets in the clouds. When the sulfuric acid droplets fall during Venus acid rain, these microorganisms may be dehydrated and then absorbed into another droplet in the clouds and resurrected.

Now, NASA has been studying two possible Venus missions, but has not yet made a final decision. One of the missions is called “Da Vinci+” and will enter the atmosphere of Venus as early as 2026.

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California Disney refunds annual card users, and Paris Disney’s re-opening date is delayed by 48 days

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Recently, according to information released by the Disney Company, Ken Potrock, President of Disneyland Resort (California Disney Resort), said in a statement that due to the ongoing uncertainty of the new coronavirus epidemic and the false news of the reopening of the California Disney Resort, Appropriate refunds will be made for eligible California Disney Resort annual card users, and the current (annual card) plan will be canceled.

It can be seen that due to the impact of the US epidemic, the California Disney Resort has been unable to reopen for a long time. Prior to this, California Disneyland has been “working hard” for the reopening.

On October 21st last year, Disneyland in California announced through the Disney Company: “We have proven that we can responsibly reopen under the science-based health and safety measures that are strictly enforced in theme parks around the world. However. , California continues to ignore this fact and instead requires the state government to know the guidelines that do not work. This makes the standards we meet very different from those of other reopened businesses and state-run facilities. We hope that, together with the union, Let people return to work, but these state government guidelines will keep us closed for the foreseeable future, forcing thousands of people to lose their jobs, cause small family businesses to inevitably close down, and cause damage to Southern California communities Irreparable destruction.”

But in the comments on the news on Twitter, most people believed that under the current conditions, the park should not be reopened.

Up to now, of the six Disney parks in the world, only Shanghai Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, and Orlando Disneyland in the United States are open. In addition to Disneyland in California, Hong Kong Disneyland and Disneyland Paris are also closed.

On December 1, 2020, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort announced that in response to the government’s request and in line with the current epidemic prevention measures taken by Hong Kong, Hong Kong Disneyland will be temporarily closed from December 2. Hong Kong Disneyland Resort will maintain close contact with the Hong Kong government and health authorities and will announce the reopening date depending on the situation. This is the third time Hong Kong Disneyland has closed the park since the outbreak of the new coronavirus in 2020.

In addition, Disneyland Paris has also been closed twice.

On October 29, 2020, Disneyland Paris has closed again after reopening on July 15. According to news from the official website of Disneyland Paris, in order to celebrate the Christmas holiday, Disneyland Paris will accept reservations from December 19, 2020, to January 3, 2021, and hopes to open it according to the prevailing situation and government guidance. From January 4th to February 12th, Disneyland Paris will be closed.

But for now, Disney Paris may not be able to reopen as scheduled on February 13.

On January 18th, local time in France, the updated message of Disneyland Paris said: “If conditions permit, we will reopen Disneyland Paris on April 2, 2021, and accept reservations from that date.”

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Science

NASA responds to US space nuclear power and propulsion strategy to provide power for extraterrestrial activities

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According to the official website of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently, the United States has issued a new space policy directive, intended to promote NASA to create the next “big step for mankind”-to provide continuous power on the surface of the moon and on the moon Build a long-term base to further send astronauts to far-reaching Mars.

This space policy directive is codenamed SPD-6, and its content is “National Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion Strategy” (SNPP). The principles established by the directive include: the United States will achieve the goal of SNPP development and utilization; the development of advanced radioisotope power systems to realize power systems that can be used on planetary surfaces and can be used for solar system exploration; when the United States develops and uses SNPP-related systems The principles of safety, security, and sustainability will be adhered to; the United States will seek a roadmap for the federal government to support this strategic activity, encourage commercial activities to achieve their goals and adhere to the principle framework established in the SPD-6 directive.

NASA said that nuclear power systems can provide power for spacecraft to replace the energy that cannot meet the needs of space missions. For example, it can solve bottlenecks such as solar energy failure when the mission environment is too dark, and insufficient fuel when flying too far. Specifically, space nuclear power system includes a radioisotope power system and the nuclear reactor, which can continuously provide energy, temperature control, and propulsion power for spacecraft. The SPD-6 directive establishes a “high-level” goal, principle, and support roadmap this time to ensure that SNPP can be carried out safely, effectively, and responsibly.

“NASA firmly supports the White House’s continued leadership of the Artemis program, including sending the first woman and a man to the moon in 2024. On the moon, we will prepare for new science and space missions into the depths of the solar system. “NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said.

In view of this, in order to support the SPD-6 directive, NASA’s current mission is to make the nuclear power system more mature and create a “fission surface power system” for use on the moon. NASA’s Department of Energy and Industry will design, manufacture, and test a 10-kilowatt fission surface power system, and plan to test the system on the moon in the late 1920s to provide continuous power on the lunar surface and test its potential for use on Mars.

In addition, NASA is also improving nuclear thermal propulsion and nuclear power propulsion capabilities. Nuclear propulsion will provide powerful power for human exploration beyond the moon, and can significantly reduce the fuel demand. If traditional chemical propulsion is used to send astronauts to Mars, a large amount of propellant is required. In addition to reducing risks and making reactor designs more mature, NASA is also cooperating with the U.S. Department of Energy and the Department of Defense to jointly develop technologies for propulsion systems and increase nuclear fuel production capabilities.

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Science

Members of the WHO International Expert Group: The visit to China is not for ‘questioning crime’ and has nothing to do with politics

Since the outbreak of the new coronavirus epidemic, China has been actively and openly and has maintained close cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) on global virus traceability. However, some Western politicians and the media have spoken out for political purposes, adding noise to the tracers of the virus that is a scientific issue.

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Since the outbreak of the new coronavirus epidemic, China has been actively and openly and has maintained close cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) on global virus traceability. However, some Western politicians and the media have spoken out for political purposes, adding noise to the tracers of the virus that is a scientific issue.

On the eve of the WHO’s international expert group on the traceability of the new coronavirus came to visit China, the WHO experts once again reiterated that their trip was not for “inquiry” and has nothing to do with politics. WHO experts also reminded the media not to use Trump-style accusations.

According to a report by the British “Guardian” on January 12, Fabian Leendertz, one of the members of the international expert group and professor of epidemiology at the Robert Koch Institute of German Public Health Agency, pointed out that he was on-site in China. The location related to the epidemic is very important, but it may take a long time to figure out the origin of the virus. “We may only put forward an idea, but cannot come up with scientific proof.”

Fabian Leendertz

According to the report, like other colleagues who participated in this inspection, Leendertz’s attitude is very clear. He said: “This is not to inquire’ China, nor is it to say that it (the virus) starts from here, and the error is only 3 meters. ‘This is to reduce the risk (of virus transmission).”

He added: “The media also help. Don’t use ‘Trump-style’ accusations. Our work has nothing to do with politics.”

In the interview, Leendertz also mentioned that WHO experts had previously held several fruitful video conferences with their Chinese counterparts.

Regarding the “accusation of China”, another member of the international expert group, Marion Koopmans, director of virology at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, also expressed similar views to Leendertz.

In an interview with China International Television (CGTN) a few days ago, Koopmans said: “The World Health Organization has warned of the risk of emerging diseases. I don’t think any country can be spared. So I don’t think it should be blame, but about understanding. And learn about the future of global prevention work.”

Screenshot of CGTN report

In an exclusive interview with CGTN on the 12th, WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris said that joint scientific research cooperation “has nothing to do with politics and politics should be set aside.” Harris pointed out that he hopes to put forward some possible scientific hypotheses and research directions on some important scientific issues through understanding and research, through scientific research cooperation between the expert group and Chinese scientists.

Michael Ryan, head of WHO’s health emergency program, also emphasized this point at a regular press conference in Geneva on January 11. According to the United Nations news website, Ryan stated that the purpose of the expert team’s trip to China was to “clarify the source of the disease, not who should be held responsible” and to find key scientific evidence to find out how the virus can enter the human body from animals. Specific opportunities and events.

Ryan said: “I implore everyone to make this investigation related to science, not politics. We are looking for some answers that may save human lives in the future, rather than looking for people to blame… Sometimes I think the latter is everyone. This kind of thinking is not helpful to science and will create obstacles for WHO to cooperate with member states and perform its duties.

According to Xinhua News Agency, Ruian also said on the same day that the research results of the international expert group’s investigation in China may help form scientific hypotheses, and may also lead to the need for further traceability studies in other countries. In terms of virus traceability and understanding of the impact of the epidemic, WHO will go to any country and any region to collect relevant information as needed.

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