To Understand The Atmospheres Of Distant Exoplanets, Look To Your Car Engine

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The next time you’re stuck in a mundane traffic jam, find some excitement in your car engine’s secret identity: it’s actually not so different from the exotic exoplanets in our universe.

Seriously. Stay with me here.

French astronomers discovered that computer models used to simulate how car engines emit pollutants could also be used to model hot exoplanet atmospheres.

An artist's impression of a "hot Jupiter," a gauzy color-streaked planet with a star peeking up behind it. Exoplanets like these can, surprisingly, be modeled by those that simulate car engines.
An artist’s impression of a “hot Jupiter.” Image Credit: NASA, ESA & G. Bacon

The planets in question are scorching goliaths. They’re the size of Neptune or Jupiter, but orbit 50 times closer to their star than Earth does the Sun. This gives them hydrogen-rich gaseous atmospheres of 1,000 to 3,000 degrees Celsius (1,832 to 5,431 degrees Fahrenheit), which whip around at speeds of 10,000 kilometers (over 6,000 miles) per hour.

Under such intense (to say the least) conditions, scientists historically had trouble modeling what chemicals might be found in these atmospheres. As the hellishly hot, insanely fast gasses swirl, they interact in unusual ways  – creating chemicals that don’t fit the typical models astrophysicists use to simulate planets.

Almost shockingly, these extreme temperature and pressure conditions are not so different from those found in car engines. Car engine pollution models can examine temperatures over 2,000 degrees Celsius, along with a wide range of pressures. This makes them flexible enough to study warm exoplanets, too. 

Since 2012, the research team has used these models to create simulations of the atmospheres on hot Jupiters and warm Neptunes, which were then made available to the astrophysics community in an open-access database.

The next step for this research will be to incorporate data from research at particle accelerators, which can provide information on how molecules absorb ultraviolet light at the extreme temperatures of exoplanets — data that was previously only available at room temperature.

“Other fields of research have an important role to play in the characterization of the fantastic diversity of worlds in the Universe, and in our understanding of their physical and chemical nature,” explained Oliva Venot, a lead authors and a researcher at Laboratoire Interuniversitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériques (Interuniversity Laboratory of Atmospheric Systems), in a press release.

These models could help scientists figure out how these far-away exoplanets work without ever being able to reach them. After all, at the moment, our car engines can’t yet transport us out to distant worlds. But they could get us a little closer to understanding them.

The post To Understand The Atmospheres Of Distant Exoplanets, Look To Your Car Engine appeared first on Futurism.

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Services poised to overthrow iPhone as Apple’s growth engine

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Apple’s long run of being an iPhone company is about to come to an end. With iPhone X sales supposedly slipping, Apple’s days of depending on device sales for growth are almost over. But according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty, services will contribute more to Apple’s growth over the next five years than the […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

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Explosive Apple Services growth expected to be main engine for future revenue expansion

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Apple may not be reliant on massive seasonal sales of the iPhone going forward for steady revenue growth, if a new analyst report is accurate.
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GE test-flies the world’s largest jet engine

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Airliners are growing ever bigger to haul more people per flight, which means they need appropriately massive engines — and GE Aviation is happy to oblige. It recently conducted the first test flight of the GE9X, widely billed as the world's larges…
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Firefox 60 Beta for Android includes faster Quantum CSS engine [APK Download]

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The release of Firefox 57 ‘Quantum’ last year included several major changes to the browser’s structure, including a new CSS engine known as Quantum CSS (formerly called ‘Stylo’). Simply put, Quantum CSS is the browser component that figures out what styles should be applied to what elements. Because modern sites often use thousands of lines of CSS with many overriding styles, the feature was designed to take advantage of multiple CPU cores, giving Firefox 57 a performance boost over previous versions.

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Firefox 60 Beta for Android includes faster Quantum CSS engine [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Valve Has ‘Dota 2’ and the Source 2 Engine Running on Mobile Devices, Other Mobile Ports Are Possible

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Last week I toured the Valve offices and got a hands-on preview of their upcoming collectable card game Artifact, but the most interesting thing to me was that Artifact runs on the Source 2 engine which Valve has successfully ported to mobile. In a passing comment surrounding Source 2 working on mobile devices, Gabe Newell also mentioned that they’ve got Dota 2 running on tablets, although it’s super difficult to control.

The fascinating part of this is that it means that mobile ports of all sorts of Valve titles (and other games that run on Source 2) are now technically possible. Additionally, given Valve’s flat structure and the complete freedom employees have to create new products and experiment with old ones, the only thing stopping all the Valve games eventually being released on the App Store is someone willing to champion that cause at the company. Valve team members are free to do whatever they want, as long as they feel it will bring value to the customer, after all.

Is it a major stretch to suggest we’ll see games like Portal on our iPhones? Of course it is, but, when you look at the history of the App Store and mobile gaming as a whole, there was a point in time where it would have been equally laughable to suggest that Square Enix would bring practically every Final Fantasy game to the platform. Hell, we’re even experiencing that right now with Fortnite not only coming to the iPhone but also supporting cross-platform play with the Xbox. If you would have floated that as a possibility as little as two weeks ago, you would have been dismissed as a dreamer, but, here we are.

So, for real, we need everyone in Touch Arcade land to cross their fingers and toes that somewhere along the lifecycle of Artifact coming to the App Store someone at Valve gets passionate enough about mobile gaming to take charge of bringing the rest of their library. Yes, controls will be an issue for games originally designed for the PC with a keyboard and mouse, but, when there’s a will there’s a way.

Valve… don’t make me do this. I totally will.

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Valve bringing ‘Artifact’ card game to iOS as company’s first mobile title using the Source 2 engine

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‘Artifact’ will be one of Valve Software’s first Source 2 games to ship on iPhone and iPad, the game developer confirmed on Friday, adding the upcoming trading card game differing from its competitors in a variety of ways, including that it will not strictly be a free-to-play release.
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Mazda rotary engine returning in 2019 as EV range extender, exec says

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It seems that a range-extended Mazda electric car with a rotary engine is for real, and coming sooner than expected. An automotive news outlet from the Netherlands called AutoRAI spoke with Mazda's European vice president for sales and customer servi…
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Qualcomm Snapdragon 700 Mobile Platform Series with multi-core Qualcomm AI Engine announced

Qualcomm at the MWC 2018 announced Snapdragon 700 Mobile Platform Series with on-device Artificial Intelligence with multi-core Qualcomm AI Engine offering 2x improvements compared to Snapdragon 600 Series. This will bring features and performance previously only available in the premium Snapdragon 800 Mobile Platform Series, says Qualcomm. In addition to AI, this also brings improved camera, device performance and power, supported by the heterogeneous compute power of premium features including the Qualcomm Spectra ISP, Qualcomm Kryo CPU, Qualcomm Hexagon Vector Processor and Qualcomm Adreno Visual Processing subsystem to offer up to 30% improvements in power efficiency, and better performance and battery life compared to Snapdragon 660 Mobile Platform. It will also offer ultra-fast LTE, carrier Wi-Fi features, as well as enhanced Bluetooth 5. The Snapdragon 700 Series Mobile Platforms is expected to be available for OEMs in the first half of 2018, so we can expected new 700 Series SoCs sometime in Q2 2018. Commenting on the new Snapdragon 700 series, Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager, mobile, Qualcomm Technologies, said: The Snapdragon 700 Mobile Platform Series will bring premium tier technologies and features into more affordable devices, something our global OEM customers and consumers are demanding. From our cutting-edge Qualcomm AI Engine to superior camera, device performance …
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Qualcomm AI Engine with support for existing Snapdragon mobile platforms announced

Qualcomm today announced the new Artificial Intelligence engine consisting of several hardware and software components to accelerate on-device AI-enabled user experiences. The new AI engine will be supported on Snapdragon 845, 835, 820 and 660 mobile platforms, and the latest Snapdragon 845 with on-device AI processing. Qualcomm details the key benefits of on-device AI include real-time responsiveness, improved privacy, and enhanced reliability. The AI engine gets its support from Snapdragon core hardware architectures like the Qualcomm Hexagon Vector Processor, Adreno GPU and Kryo CPU that are designed to run AI applications quickly and efficiently on-device. This approach gives developers and OEMs the ability to optimize AI user experiences on smartphones and other edge devices. Key features of the Qualcomm AI Engine include Snapdragon neural processing engine which is designed to make it easy for developers to choose the optimal Snapdragon core for the desired user experience including the Hexagon Vector Processor, Adreno GPU, and Kryo CPU and perfect their AI user experiences on the device. It also supports Tensorflow, Caffe and Caffe2 frameworks, in addition to the Open Neural Network Exchange. It also offers support for the Android Neural Networks API which was first made available with Android Oreo giving developers access to Snapdragon platforms directly through …
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