What Would Happen in a Nuclear War?

With talks of another world war in the news, it is a frightening thought of what actually would happen if the United States were to become involved in a war with Russia or Iran. As we live in the modern age, wars have changed greatly compared to the last world war. We have better-developed weapons, we have better ammunition, and worst of all, many of the world’s countries have nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons have the ability to kill substantial portions of the population of a country or state. The thought of such a war happening is heartbreaking and frightening.

Historians and climatologists have tried to map out exactly what would happen if a nuclear war were to occur and as expected the results were horrendous. They believe that the people within a specific radius of the bomb would be obliterated immediately, but the impact would not stop there. Every part of the world would feel the impact of the bomb, including the oceans and wildlife.

They refer to the nuclear bomb as the sun coming to the surface of the Earth for a flash of a second and destroying everything with fire and storm. The nuclear bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima proved just how devastating they can be at ground zero. Those two nuclear bombs contained 15 kilotons of ammunition and incinerated everything in the two cities.

Scientists report that in a nuclear war that there would be so much smoke and dust generated that it could block the Sun’s light for up to 5 years. They believe that not only would it be much colder with a significant lack of sunlight, but also there will be excess UV rays as the ozone layer would become damaged or even destroyed during a nuclear war. Lower temperatures, due to smoke and dust blocking the sun would result in freezing, even in the summers, destroying fruit, vegetable and grain crops.

The impact of nuclear war on the Earth’s climate would not be limited to the land areas of Earth. Increasing the carbon dioxide content of the Earth’s air would mean that the air absorbed by water would turn the water acidic. The water would become acidic enough to dissolve shelled creatures and kill aquatic plants resulting in the extinction of marine life.

With a little study, it is obvious that there would be no winners in a nuclear war. All of humanity and Earth as we now know it would be lost.

Deep Space Signal

The question of whether alien life exists or not has been debated, pondered and experimented upon for decades. People have been trying to find a sign or a signal that will indicate life beyond our planet. Now, a Harvard professor believes we might be receiving a signal that may prove that aliens do exist.

In Canada, researchers discovered a very powerful radio signal that they believe could be coming from another distant galaxy. This signal seems to repeat itself every 16 days. A Harvard professor, who is the chair of the Harvard Astronomy Department, believes that this signal could be a sign of an alien civilization. However, he does acknowledge that signals could also be generated through young neutron stars or another phenomenon that is not familiar to us yet. The signal is called a fast radio bust or FBR.

He believes that a possibility could be that alien life could be using a beam of energy to transport something within space. The signal that is being received by the Canadian researchers is the energy or radiation that is being leaked from that. However, the amount of energy needed for such a beam would be equivalent to the energy needed to sustain Earth, which seems unlikely.

The Canadian researchers do not seem to have the same point of view as the Harvard researchers and have said that non-professionals claim it as extraterrestrial life when they do not believe so. However, the Harvard professor is insistent that it is a possibility that needs to be considered and should be looked into with detail, with regards to possible natural causes and phenomena.

If we think about how our lives will change if alien contact is made, the thought itself is staggering. When the news of this signal spread, some people began to express their worry and fear while others wanted to know more. Scientists believe that actual contact with such life are close to impossible, because traveling in space is too difficult for them to come to Earth, or for humans to meet them where they are situated.

At times, such news may show some signs of extraterrestrial life and may have researchers excited for what they may discover; however, there has never been any substantial proof of whether life exists beyond Earth.

Cyborg Jellyfish

When we consider jellyfish, we never think of them as cyborgs. They are fish in the sea that are usually transparent and sting when you get near their tentacles, sometimes powerful enough to kill a human. However, scientists have created cyborg jellyfish to explore the ocean in a more efficient way.

A team of scientists and researchers from world-class universities such as Caltech and Stanford decided to attach microelectronics that are low powered onto Jellyfish. These electronics will enable the jellyfish to swim three times as fast as the original, creating a bio-hybrid jellyfish.

The reason that researchers have done this is to enable themselves to look within area of the ocean where humans have been unable to explore. If we consider submarines, they are able to cover certain depths, however there is a limit to which they can go down. The jellyfish will be installed with sensors that will enable scientists to look and explore the depths of the oceans.

In the trials that were conducted by the scientists, the researchers were able to shock the jellyfish with the electronic device they had installed and it led to the jellyfish swimming faster and more efficiently. Hence proving to the researchers that exploring the oceans through jellyfish may actually be a very real possibility.

They claim that they have shown that jellyfish can move much faster with the help of the technology the scientists have installed without any effect to their metabolism. Normally jellyfish do not have the need to swim fast, but do hold the capability to swim much faster than their usual speed.

The simplicity of the electronics that have been designed by the researchers is such that the electronics use very little power, even less than aquatic robots, which is what makes them so efficient and well suited.

This discovery could revolutionize the way oceans are explored. Scientists believe they can take this electronic device a step further by making modifications to the design to allow measuring of temperature and depth, as well as directing and controlling the jellyfish.

This would change the way we see oceans. We will be able to see creatures that live far deeper than we’ve ever explored before and better understand life beneath the waves.

Time Machine

Inspired from many stories and movies like “Back to the Future”, everyone dreams of traveling back in time for many different reasons. Scientists and Astrophysicists are also keen to pursue this subject and after an immense struggle, they have been able to say that they know how to turn this fictional idea into a reality.

One such astrophysicist named Ron Mallett was confident that he had theoretically found a way to travel to the past. In an interview with CNN, he said that he has written a scientific equation that can be used as the basis for the actual time machine. He further said that using this equation, he had made a preliminary version of the time machine to demonstrate the main components of his theory to the world.

Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity performed an exceptional role in the making of Mallett’s time machine. Einstein’s theory of relativity states that time accelerates or decelerates depending upon the speed at which an object is moving. Based on this theory Mallett thought that if a person is traveling at the speed of light in a spaceship, time will pass slowly compared to the time passed by someone on Earth. Basically, this means that an astronaut can go around space in less than a week, but a decade would pass by the time of his return to earth.

Many physicists do agree that while going forward in time is possible, traveling back in time is not. This raised another issue, but Mallett proposed that by using lasers he can make that possible too.

For traveling back in time, the astrophysicist again used Einstein’s theory that states that space-time is bent by gigantic objects subject to gravity. The stronger the gravity is, the slower time passes and vice versa. Mallett told CNN that in Einstein’s theory when we talk of space, we involve time in it too and that’s why it is called space time, whatever you do to space also happens with time. He further said that if you can bend space, the possibility exists that you can twist it too.

Mallett argued that it is possible to bend time into a hoop or a loop, doing this will allow time to travel to the past. Using lasers, he even built a prototype and argued that by carefully studying the type of gravitational field that was produced by a ring laser, a new way of looking at the possibility of a time machine could be found based on a circulating ray of light.

Mallet is extremely positive about the success of his work, but his colleagues are doubtful whether he is on the right path to a working time machine or not. Astrophysicist Paul Sutter expressed his reservations on Mallett’s work as he identified some mathematical errors and mistakes in his theory.

Iranian Cyber-attack

A cyber-attack is a type of aggressive operation, which targets computer systems, infrastructures, computerized networks, or personal computer devices. The cyber attackers aim to access data, functions, or other important areas of the hacked system illegally. A cyber-attack can be carried out by an individual person, group of people, a country or some terrorist organizations as well.

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Before discussing the Iranian Cyber-attack, it is important to know the event that shaped the probabilities of Iranian cyber-attack to a serious extent. On 3rd January 2020, The United States killed Iran’s military general Qassim Suleimani. Shocked by the death of their beloved General, the Middle East declared payback for the murder.

Although the internet broke the news that world war-III was about to take place, but soon it started to speculate that the matter would not turn into a physical battle, rather would turn into a cyber-one which too is as serious as a physical attack. Jon Bateman, a fellow of cyber security for International peace said that a cyber-attack is expected in vengeance for Suleimani’s murder.

The next day, the United States’ department of homeland security in a bulletin warned Iran that the nation is capable of carrying out its own attack supported by a robust cyber program. When experts came to know about these warnings, they seemed to believe that the Iranian cyber-attack was impending.

Sergio Caltagirone, Vice President of Threat Intelligence said that when countries use cyber-attacks, a lot of the time the attacks are against civilian targets rather than military targets. He also said that, it looks like civilians and innocent people all around the world, including Iranians, Americans, and Saudis, will have to bear the effect of these attacks. Similarly, if Iran initiates a cyber-attack against the United States, the local residents of both the countries would suffer.

Iran and the United States have already been engaged in a cyber war for many years. The U.S has been blamed for using computers and computer viruses to disturb nuclear facilities and infrastructure in Iran. Iran was also held responsible for the 2018 cyber-attack that badly affected the government and residents of Atlanta. Chances are that this time Iran might hack the American Water system and power networks.

The one and only benefit of a cyber-attack over a physical battle is that it is generally anonymous. This means that a country can attack their enemies without letting them know who is responsible for all the damage.

To conclude, it can be said that the news of the assassination of Suleimani shocked many people, and will result in retaliations. The daughter of General Qassim Suleimani, Zeinab Suleimani, directly threatened the U.S. military by saying that “…the families of the American soldiers in western Asia… the west will spend their days waiting for the death of their children…”

NASA’s Most Powerful Rocket

After NASA’s marvelous achievement of sending humans to the moon for the very first time in 1969, NASA is now aiming to send the very first woman to the moon through its Artemis program.

Image: https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/sls_block1_on-pad_sunrisesmall.jpg

NASA recently revealed a new rocket named the Space Launch System, entrusted with the responsibility of carrying the first woman to the moon at the beginning of the new decade. Almost 212 feet tall, the Space Launch System is the tallest of NASA rockets to be constructed with more than a thousand businesses taking part in the construction of the SLS. Not just the tallest, the Space Launch System is the most technologically sophisticated rocket built by NASA. The rocket is expected to play an instrumental role in future space endeavors.

Before being publicly revealed, the Space Launch System had been tested for its reaction to compression, tension, and integrity. SLS behaved accordingly to the engineers’ expectations so will now be launched on an unmanned mission to the moon in 2020 which, if proven successful, could open new doors for NASA to explore our vast solar system with the next destination being Mars.

Of course, exiting the Earth’s atmosphere and escaping into the vast universe is no easy job. For a rocket to overcome such a strong gravitational force, it requires an extremely powerful thrust and that is exactly what the engineers at NASA had in mind when designing the Space Launch System. While taking off Space Launch Rocket is capable of producing an unbelievable 8.8 million pounds of thrust. To imagine such a figure is mind-boggling let alone building a machine capable of doing it. If you think that wasn’t “jaw-dropping” enough, the Space Launch System is capable of achieving a record speed of Mach 23 or more than 17,000 miles per hour before separating from the crew capsule. For a rocket the size of a 20 story building, exiting earth at a rate of 17,000 miles per hour is simply a scientific marvel.

According to the NASA officials, The Space Launch System is capable of scientific feats.

“Missions to the Moon are about 1,000 times farther from Earth than missions to the International Space Station, requiring systems that can reliably operate far from home, support the needs of human life, and still be light enough to launch”

Moreover, According to NASA:

“These technologies will become increasingly more important for the 34 million mile trip to Mars.”

With billions of dollars spent on the construction and testing of NASA’s most powerful rocket the discovery of other distant planets including Mars may be another step closer.