AFRL Spacecraft Collects Never Before Seen Data

A diagram of the Air Force Research Laboratory DSX and Japanese Space Agency Arase experiment in which the first space-to-space very low frequency transmission was conducted. The locations and directions of the spacecraft at the time of the experiment are shown, DSX in yellow and Arase in cyan, when they were 436 kilometers apart. Direct VLF wave paths from DSX are in blue, while the paths of waves reflected by magnetospheric plasma are in red. White dotted lines show magnetic field lines from the Earth’s magnetic field, which tends to guide the low-density plasma and, as a result, the VLF waves.

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AGU: Birth Of A Hawaiian Fissure Eruption

A fountaining eruption of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, which occurred May 5, 2018. Courtesy/AGU

AGU News:

Ready for a new kind of holiday yule log? Then this mesmerizing video of an erupting volcano is for you.

This spectacular footage captures a fountaining eruption of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano May 5, 2018. The eruption went through several phases:

  • First, there were pulsing bursts of escaping volcanic gas;
  • Next, closely spaced weak explosions of particles torn from magma in the volcanic vent; and
  • Last, weak incandescent fountaining of particles and gas.

Researchers analyzed the footage in

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Happy Holidays From New Mexico Museum Of Space History


The New Mexico Museum of Space History (NMMSH) in Alamogordo wishes everyone happy holidays.

The museum is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, under the leadership of the Governor’s Commission to the New Mexico Museum of Space History.

Programs and exhibits are supported by the International Space Hall of Fame Foundation through the generous support of donors.

Dedicated Oct. 5, 1976, as the International Space Hall of Fame, the New Mexico Museum of Space History’s mission is to inspire and educate, to promote and preserve, and to honor the pioneers of space

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‘Great Conjunction’: NASA Tips To View ‘Christmas Star’

Jupiter and Saturn will appear just one-tenth of a degree apart this evening, in an event known as a ‘great conjunction’. The planets will be visible to the naked eye when looking toward the southwest about an hour after sunset. Courtesy/NASA/JPL-Caltech

By Samantha Mathewson

Jupiter and Saturn will align in the night sky this evening in an event astronomers call the “great conjunction” — also referred to as the “Christmas Star” — marking the planets’ closest encounter in nearly 400 years.

When Saturn and Jupiter converge tonight, the two planets may appear as a bright point of

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LAPS Foundation: A School Day In This COVID Life With LAHS Science Teacher Stephanie Mitchell

Stephanie Mitchell with her new webcam/tripod/ drawing tablet provided by LAPS Foundation. Courtesy/LAPSF

LAPS Foundation News:

Do you ever wonder what a school day is actually like in Los Alamos this year?

The following is the last of three articles describing the school experience from different perspectives, brought to you by Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation.

Meet Stephanie Mitchell, a science teacher at Los Alamos High School (LAHS). Mitchell has been at LAHS since 2005 and teaches a variety of science classes, including biology, honors biology, AP biology and AP physics.

She was

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BSMA: Gadgets Gifts Available Online For Curbside Pickup

More gifts are available from Gadgets for curbside pickup at, Courtesy/Gadgets

BSMA News:

The holidays are here and that means that all of those last minute gift buyers are scrambling to find presents for the ones they love, or even the ones they’re not so sure about.

Well, scramble no more, ’cause Gadgets has got the gifts, and from Monday, Dec. 20 through Thursday, Dec. 24 (that’s right, Christmas Eve!) curbside pickup is available 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. each day at 190 Central Park Square.

And don’t forget, all LANL logo merchandise is on sale, including adorable teddy

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SpinLaunch Plans Major Expansion At Spaceport America

SpinLaunch’s 10,000 sq. ft. Integration Facility/Mission Control at Spaceport America. Courtesy/NMEDD


SPACEPORT AMERICA — A company developing and testing a mass accelerator with the aim of launching satellites into space orbit, using kinetic energy instead of rockets, is expanding at New Mexico’s Spaceport America, Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes announced Tuesday.

SpinLaunch signed a lease at Spaceport America in 2019 and has since invested in test facilities and an integration facility. The company is now set to hire an additional 59 highly-paid workers and complete

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Heinrich, Portman Secure Major Advancements For Artificial Intelligence In FY21 National Defense Authorization Act


  • Senators spearhead effort to create national strategy for AI, authorize $1.5B for AI initiatives

WASHINGTON (Dec. 15, 2020) – U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio), the co-founders of the Senate Artificial Intelligence Caucus, have secured the most significant advancements for Artificial Intelligence (AI) ever included in a defense policy bill.

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21 NDAA) authorizes versions of four major pieces of legislation championed by Senators Heinrich and Portman.

The four major

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Laser Talk ‘Return Into The Light’ With August Muth Dec. 20

August Muth

ART News:

SciArt Santa Fe and UNM College of Fine Arts celebrate the winter solstice with “Return Into the Light,” a LASER Santa Fe talk by artist and holographer August Muth.

Muth sculpts with light creating holograms that immerse the viewer in a multi-sensory experience of saturated color and mystery.

Presented in coordination with Leonardo / International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology and Biocultura.


  • Date/Time: at noon MT, Dec. 20;
  • Location: Online, Zoom webinar;
  • Admission: Free. Donations accepted. Registration required; and
  • Registration/ more

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AGU: Few Studies Focus On Fish Communication

Underwater recorders, known as ‘hydrophones’, are deployed near the seafloor for months to years at a time. Shallow locations are maintained by divers, while deeper locations contain ‘acoustic releases’ that can be triggered with a signal to send the equipment back to the surface for retrieval. Photos by Peter Auster/University of Connecticut; Paul Caiger and John Atkins/Ocean Instruments LTD

AGU News:

Abstract – Ocean acoustics is a rapidly growing field, yet few studies have focused on fish communication. Understanding fish signaling is crucial for recognizing how fish behave

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Biosciences Company NTx Led By Former LANL Scientist Alex Koglin Set To Launch Major Expansion In New Mexico

NTx Co-founder/President Alex Koglin went to work at LANL in 2009 as the J. Robert Oppenheimer Fellow specializing in antibacterial drug resistance as part of the biosecurity and defense program. Courtesy/NTx

State Economic Development Department News:

  • STEM employer will add 116 jobs with LEDA assistance

RIO RANCHO – A home-grown biosciences company that can make New Mexico a leader in the development and manufacturing of life-saving medicines will receive state economic assistance as it expands into a new research and production center, Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia

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Second Annual New Mexico Governor’s STEM Challenge


ALBUQUERQUE — High school students from 33 schools will be competing for $5,000 in prize money from 18 employers in the 2nd Annual New Mexico Governor’s STEM Challenge.

Hosted and organized by New Mexico State University (NMSU), Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation, New Mexico Public Education Department (PED), and New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS), this event will be entirely virtual Saturday, Dec. 12.  

Ten-person student teams have submitted solutions to the NMSU formulated question, “How can you combine New Mexico’s natural resources with technology

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UbiQD Announces $7M In Series A Funding To Scale Deployment Of Quantum Dot Technology In Agriculture And Energy

Greenhouses with UbiGro® consistently produce larger crop yields by enhancing the spectral quality of sunlight. Courtesy/UbiQD, Inc.

UbiQD, Inc. Founder and CEO, Hunter McDaniel, PhD. Courtesy/UbiQD, Inc.


  • As the first company to implement quantum dots in an agriculture product, UbiQD addresses growers’ need for the best possible light quality in greenhouses

UbiQD, Inc., an advanced materials company powering product innovation in agriculture, clean energy, and security, today announced the close of a $7M Series A funding round.

The round was co-led by Scout Ventures

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AFRL Receives First Component Of Solar-Beaming Project

AFRL’s Arachne spacecraft that will pave the way for development of a space-based solar power transmission system capable of providing useable power regardless of time of day, latitude or weather. Courtesy/Melissa Grim, Partise

AFRL News:

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE — The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has received the first flight hardware component of the Arachne spacecraft from Northrop Grumman.

Arachne is the flagship experiment within the Space Solar Power Incremental Demonstrations and Research, or SSPIDR, project.

The component, named “Helios”, is a commoditized spacecraft

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LANL: Breakthrough Material Makes Pathway To Hydrogen Use For Fuel Cells Under Hot And Dry Conditions

Researchers have developed a proton conductor for fuel cells based on polystyrene phosphonic acids that maintain high protonic conductivity at high temperatures without water. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

A collaborative research team, including Los Alamos National Laboratory, University of Stuttgart (Germany), University of New Mexico, and Sandia National Laboratories, has developed a proton conductor for fuel cells based on polystyrene phosphonic acids that maintain high protonic conductivity up to 200 °C without water.

The team describes the material advance in a paper published

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LANL: Machine Learning Expert Studies How Computers And Humans Perceive Photos Differently

Nga Nguyen-Fotiadis

LANL News:

Which is more powerful, the Trinity supercomputer or a human brain? How is a computer’s neural network different from a human’s? And what, if anything, does that have to do with the shows Netflix recommended for you last night?

Los Alamos National Laboratory staff scientist Nga Nguyen-Fotiadis will lead a virtual conversation “Deep focus: Techniques for image recognition in machine learning,” 5:30–7 p.m., Monday, Dec. 14 during the latest Science on Tap.

Nguyen-Fotiadis is an expert in machine learning, a branch of artificial intelligence allowing computer

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AGU: Cluster Of Alaskan Islands Could Be Single, Interconnected Giant Volcano

An aerial oblique photo of the volcanoes in the Islands of Four Mountains, Alaska, July 2014. In the center is the summit of Mount Tana. Behind Tana are from left, Herbert, Cleveland, and Carlisle Volcanoes. Courtesy/John Lyons/USGS

AGU News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A small group of volcanic islands in Alaska’s Aleutian chain might be part of a single, undiscovered giant volcano, say scientists presenting the findings Monday, Dec. 7 at AGU’s Fall Meeting 2020.

If the researchers’ suspicions are correct, the newfound volcanic caldera would belong to the same category of volcanoes as the

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NIST: Software Shows Progress Recognizing Masked Faces

Some of the digitally applied face mask variations used in the NIST study, including the four different colors used (black, red, white and light blue) and some of the different shapes and amounts of face covering. Courtesy/B. Hayes, M. Ngan/NIST

NIST News:

A new study of face recognition technology created after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic shows that some software developers have made demonstrable progress at recognizing masked faces.

The findings, produced by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), are detailed in a new report called Ongoing Face Recognition

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AGU: Roly Poly Bugs Threaten Fish Populations

California’s Big Creek meets the Pacific Ocean on the stretch of coast known as Big Sur. New research finds steelhead trout in Big Creek accumulate mercury when the fish eat roly polies. Courtesy/Dave Rundio

AGU News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Roly poly bugs may be a source of fun for kids and adults but these little bugs that form into balls at the slightest touch are causing problems for some threatened fish.

New research finds steelhead trout in a stream on the California coast accumulate mercury in their bodies when the fish eat roly polies and similar terrestrial bugs that fall into local waterways.

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