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TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Brian Heater spotlights multiple MIT research projects, including MIT Space Exploration Initiative’s TESSERAE, CSAIL’s Robocraft and the recent development of miniature flying robotic drones.

The Verge

Associate Group Leader at the Lincoln Laboratory, William (Bill) Blackwell is the principal investigator for NASA’s TROPICS mission, which is preparing to launch small satellites into space to help better track the development of tropical storms, reports Justine Calma for The Verge. “With more frequent observations from these satellites, scientists hope to better understand how tropical storms grow and intensify,” writes Calma.

The Washington Post

William E. Stoney Jr. ’49, MS ’62, an aeronautical engineer who made great contributions in developing early rockets during NASA’s space race and lead engineering on the Apollo program died at the age of 96 on May 28, 2022, reports Emily Langer for The Washington Post. Stoney “served in top engineering roles during the Apollo program, whose signal accomplishment was the moon landing by astronaut Neil Armstrong in 1969,” writes Langer. “That year, Mr. Stoney received the NASA Exceptional Service Medal for his work on the Apollo mission.”

Gizmodo

Gizmodo reporter Passant Rabie writes that researchers from MIT Lincoln Laboratory developed a tiny gold-coated satellite called the TeraByte InfraRed Delivery (TBIRD) system with the goal of beaming “down data at the fastest rate ever achieved by space lasers.”

Scientific American

Scientists from MIT and other institutions have developed the largest, most detailed computer model of the universe’s first billion years, which could help shed light on how the early universe evolved, reports Charles Q. Choi for Scientific American. The model, named THESAN, “can track the birth and evolution of hundreds of thousands of galaxies within a cubic volume spanning more than 300 million light-years across.”

Popular Mechanics

Researchers at MIT have developed an automated search tool that can help astronomers identify the echoes emitted by a specific type of black hole, reports Juandre for Popular Mechanics. “The team’s algorithm, which they dubbed the ‘Reverberation Machine,’ pored through data collected by the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer, an x-ray telescope mounted to the International Space Station,” writes Juandre. “They identified previously undetected echoes from black hole binary systems in our galaxy.”

New York Times

MIT astronomers have used light echoes from X-ray bursts to try to map the environment around black holes, reports Dennis Overbye for The New York Times. Prof. Erin Kara then worked with education and music experts to transform the X-ray reflections into audible sound. “I just love that we can ‘hear’ the general relativity in these simulations,” said Kara.

CNN

CNN reporter Ashley Strickland writes that MIT astronomers developed an automated search tool and were able to “pin down the locations of eight rare pairings of black holes and the stars orbiting them, thanks to the X-ray echoes they release.”

VICE

Vice reporter Becky Ferreira writes that MIT researchers developed a new system, called the Reverberation Machine, to detect the echoes from eight new echoing black hole binaries. “These echoes offer a rarely seen glimpse into the otherworldly surroundings of stellar-mass black holes, which are about five to 15 times the mass of the Sun,” writes Ferreira.

Gizmodo

MIT researchers have detected eight echoing black hole binaries in the Milky Way and then converted the black hole X-ray emissions into sound waves, reports Isaac Schultz for Gizmodo. The researchers developed a new tool, dubbed the Reverberation Machine, which “combed satellite data from NICER, a telescope aboard the International Space Station that studies X-ray emissions from sources like black holes and neutron stars, including a weird type of emission known as an ‘echo.’”

Popular Science

Researchers from MIT and Arizona State University are working on a mission that “could resolve unanswered questions about ancient planetesimal cores floating in space – and go back in time to study Earth’s own formation,” reports Megan I. Gannon for Popular Science.

EOS

A study conducted by Prof. Susan Solomon and her colleagues has found that unlike CFCs, smoke destroys the ozone in a more roundabout way, creating concerns due to the impact of the Australian bushfires of 2019-2020, reports Krystal Vasquez for EOS. “Because of the sheer scale of the event [the Australian bushfires] massive amounts of smoke penetrated the normally pristine upper stratosphere,” writes Vasquez.

The Boston Globe

Researchers from MIT and other institutions have developed a new simulation that illuminates how stars formed in the early universe, reports Martin Finucane for The Boston Globe. “It was a neutral, dark cosmos that became bright and ionized as light began to emerge from the first galaxies,” explains Aaron Smith, a NASA Einstein Fellow in MIT’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research.

VICE

MIT researchers have developed a new simulation of the early universe, shedding light onto the period when the first stars were formed, reports Audrey Carleton for Vice. “Using existing models of the early universe and of cosmic dust, matched with new code created to interpret how light and gas interacted with one another, they created a visual depiction of the growth of the universe,” writes Carleton.

Newsweek

NASA astronaut Raja Chari SM ’01 and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Matthias Maurer performed a spacewalk to help maintain the crucial cooling systems aboard the International Space Station (ISS), reports Ed Browne for Newsweek. “Spacewalks are an important part of life on the space station,” writes Browne. “Also called an extravehicular activity (EVA), a spacewalk is when an astronaut or cosmonaut gets out of the ISS whilst wearing a pressurized and oxygenated space suit that protects them from the vacuum of space.”