Scientific news of the month

Discover the FI Match selection of 3 scientific news not to be missed in September.

Perseverance, a NASA Mars rover, transforms the air of Mars into oxygen

Arrived 18 months ago on the ground of the planet Mars, Perseverance landed with various experimental materials including an instrument called Moxie (Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment). Oxygen being non-existent on this planet, Moxie aims to overcome this problem in order to prepare for a possible human mission.

The Martian universe being rich in CO2, Moxie was able to start producing oxygen as soon as it landed. The results were quickly encouraging, but long-term tests during the many variations in temperature and air density were essential. For 18 months Moxie produced 6 grams of oxygen per hour, the amount generated by a small tree, and passed the tests every season. The next goal of the instrument is to generate maximum oxygen during the Martian spring, and to test its resistance to rapid temperature changes at dawn and dusk.

Turning plastic into diamonds is now possible!

German researchers from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden Rossendorf laboratory sought to confirm the hypothesis that it rains diamonds on Uranus and Neptune. To do this, they bombarded a film of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), also known as the plastic that makes up our bottles, with a laser.

The hydrogen, carbon and oxygen composition of polyethylene terephthalate is close to the atmospheric composition of Neptune and Uranus. The laser, meanwhile, represents the variation in temperature and pressure present within these two planets. Thus, the German researchers were able to analyze, thanks to oxygen, an acceleration of the separation between carbon and hydrogen encouraging the formation of nanodiamonds.
In addition to the new knowledge on the planets provided, the creation of nanodiamonds by laser would make it possible to design them in a different way than with explosives, in controlled and tailor-made sizes according to demand.

A painting created by artificial intelligence wins an art competition

Many artificial visual intelligence platforms have appeared in recent months. Midjourney, Imagen, Dall.e all work the same way: write the description of an image you want to generate and it appears. In a few seconds, your computer designs an illustration containing all your keywords.

During the Colorado State Fair, the art fair organized in the state of which it bears the name, the painting Space Opera Theater by Jason Allen received the first prize in the category “Digital arts and digitally manipulated photography”. Indeed, the author used the artificial intelligence platform Midjourney to generate hundreds of illustrations. He then printed three that he submitted to the competition.

Even though the judges were unaware that artificial intelligence was used to create the winning entry, his entry was submitted as Jason M. Allen via Midjourney. According to the organizers of the competition, the painting Théâtre D’opéra Spatial falls well within the category in which it was awarded.

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Sources:

  • https://www.futura-sciences.com/sciences/breves/mars-2020-rover-nasa-nomme-rover-mars-2020-perseverance-1824/
  • https://www.01net.com/actualites/un-tableau-cree-par-une-ia-raborde-le-premier-prix-dune-competition-dart-et-declenche-la-polemique.html
  • https://www.lesechos.fr/idees-debats/sciences-prospective/esthetique-artificielle-1785802
  • https://www.futura-sciences.com/sciences/actualites/mars-transformer-air-martien-oxygene-operation-reussie-perseverance-86952/
  • https://www.futura-sciences.com/sciences/actualites/physique-scientifiques-transform-plastique-diamant-100567/

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