sun fire hot research

DAILY DOSE: China flips the switch on a nuclear reactor that burns hotter than the sun.

China may have just kicked down the door to a new era of sustainable energy. To do it, they succeeded in creating a reaction that produced heat many times hotter than the Sun. Per the India Times, “China’s groundbreaking nuclear fusion reactor that has been dubbed as an “artificial sun” is officially switched on. The reactor holds the record for being able to sustain temperatures five times hotter than our sun for over 17 minutes (or at least according to Chinese state media). Called the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), the artificial sun touched temperatures of 70,000,000 degree Celsius during experiments, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.” If this works out in the long run, the benefits for the planet may be immense.

A legend in the fields of science and anthropology has passed away. Per Science, “Paleoanthropologist, conservationist, and political leader Richard Leakey died at his home near Nairobi, Kenya, on 2 January. He was 77 years old. The son of Louis and Mary Leakey, whose fossil discoveries in East Africa helped prove that humans evolved in Africa, Richard Leakey added to their legacy with numerous important finds in Kenya, where he was born. He later added conservation to his focus, working to end the poaching of elephants for ivory. Throughout, he supported students and scientists, especially other Kenyans, studying their country’s scientific riches.”

One of the most important and riskiest stages of the James Webb Space Telescope has is nearing completion. Per the Associated Press, “NASA’s new space telescope is on the verge of completing the riskiest part of its mission — unfolding and tightening a huge sunshade — after ground controllers fixed a pair of problems, officials said Monday. The tennis court-size sunshield on the James Webb Space Telescope is now fully open and in the process of being stretched tight. The operation should be complete by Wednesday. The $10 billion telescope — the largest and most powerful astronomical observatory ever launched — rocketed away Christmas Day from French Guiana. Its sunshield and primary mirror had to be folded to fit into the European Ariane rocket.” Needless to say, there must be a lot of gnawed and raw fingernails belonging to space agencies around the world. The sunshield maintains the telescope’s infrared-sensing instruments at subzero temperatures.

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.

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