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What is the optimal fuel for space flight? Efficiency, cost, and environmental impact

Kapitonova et al. | Dec 28, 2023

What is the optimal fuel for space flight? Efficiency, cost, and environmental impact
Image credit: NASA

Here, the authors sought to investigate the efficiency, cost, and environmental impact of several possible propellants that are or could be used for space flight. By deriving three novel equations, they identified harm, energy, and cost scores for each fuel, suggesting that considering each factor will be essential to the ongoing growth of the space industry.

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Access to public parks, drinking fountains, and clean public drinking water in the Bay Area is not driven by income

Zaroff et al. | Jul 15, 2021

Access to public parks, drinking fountains, and clean public drinking water in the Bay Area is not driven by income

Access to green space—an area of grass, trees, or other vegetation set apart for recreational or aesthetic purposes in an urban environment—and clean drinking water can be unequally distributed in urban spaces, which are often associated with income inequality. Little is known about public drinking water and green space inequities in the Bay Area. For our study, we sought to understand how public park access, drinking fountain access, and the quality of public drinking water differ across income brackets in the Bay Area. Though we observed smaller-scale instances of inequalities, in the park distribution in the Bay Area as a whole, and in the Southern Bay’s water quality and park distribution, our results indicate that other factors could be influencing water quality, and park and fountain access in the Bay Area.

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The velocity of white dwarf stars relates to their magnitude

Glazer et al. | Jun 30, 2023

The velocity of white dwarf stars relates to their magnitude
Image credit: Jacub Gomez

Using the European Space Agency’s Gaia dataset, the authors analyzed the relationship between white dwarfs’ magnitudes and proper motions. They hypothesized that older white dwarf stars may have different velocities than younger ones, possibly that stars slow down as they age. They found that the white dwarfs in the dataset were substantially redder and higher magnitude (traits traditionally associated with older stars) as compared to their non-fast counterparts.

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Ground-based Follow-up Observations of TESS Exoplanet Candidates

Tang et al. | May 29, 2020

Ground-based Follow-up Observations of  TESS Exoplanet Candidates

The goal of this study was to further confirm, characterize, and classify LHS 3844 b, an exoplanet detected by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). Additionally, we strove to determine the likeliness of LHS 3844 b and similar planets as qualified candidates for observation with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

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Optimizing Interplanetary Travel Using a Genetic Algorithm

Murali et al. | Oct 28, 2018

Optimizing Interplanetary Travel Using a Genetic Algorithm

In this work, the authors develop an algorithm that solves the problem of efficient space travel between planets. This is a problem that could soon be of relevance as mankind continues to expand its exploration of outer space, and potentially attempt to inhabit it.

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Mathematical modeling of plant community composition for urban greenery plans

Fang et al. | Jul 05, 2023

Mathematical modeling of plant community composition for urban greenery plans
Image credit: CHUTTERSNAP

Here recognizing the importance of urban green space for the health of humans and other organisms, the authors investigated if mathematical modeling can be used to develop an urban greenery management plan with high eco-sustainability by calculating the composition of a plant community. They optimized and tested their model against green fields in a Beijing city park. Although the compositions predicted by their models differed somewhat from the composition of testing fields, they conclude that by using a mathematical model such as this urban green space can be finely designed to be ecologically and economically sustainable.

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Open Source RNN designed for text generation is capable of composing music similar to Baroque composers

Goel et al. | May 05, 2021

Open Source RNN designed for text generation is capable of composing music similar to Baroque composers

Recurrent neural networks (RNNs) are useful for text generation since they can generate outputs in the context of previous ones. Baroque music and language are similar, as every word or note exists in context with others, and they both follow strict rules. The authors hypothesized that if we represent music in a text format, an RNN designed to generate language could train on it and create music structurally similar to Bach’s. They found that the music generated by our RNN shared a similar structure with Bach’s music in the input dataset, while Bachbot’s outputs are significantly different from this experiment’s outputs and thus are less similar to Bach’s repertoire compared to our algorithm.

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An Analysis on Exoplanets and How They are Affected by Different Factors in Their Star Systems

Selph et al. | Dec 06, 2018

An Analysis on Exoplanets and How They are Affected by Different Factors in Their Star Systems

In this article, the authors systematically study whether the type of a star is correlated with the number of planets it can support. Their study shows that medium-sized stars are likely to support more than one planet, just like the case in our solar system. They predict that, of the hundreds of planets beyond our solar system, 6% might be habitable. As humans work to travel further and further into space, some of those might truly be suited for human life.

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