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Science Saturday: China universe exploration, climate change, lunar exploration and sunken bounty hunting

Tech It Out


China universe exploration

The Chinese Academy of Sciences has unveiled a discovery that's literally out of this world! After using the Large High Altitude Air Shower Observatory, or LHAASO, a research team has spotted a giant ultra-high-energy gamma ray bubble structure in the Cygnus constellation, revealing a super cosmic ray accelerator. This marks the first identification of a source capable of accelerating cosmic rays to energies exceeding 10 petaelectronvolts. The discovery will help scientists understand the origin of cosmic rays.

Climate change crisis

We've crossed a crucial warming milestone for the first time. The EU's Climate Change Service said the global mean temperature for the 12-month period through to January was 1.52 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average and 0.64 degrees above the 1991-2020 average. At the same time, the ocean is getting warmer too. Since January 31, the daily sea surface temperature has reached new absolute records, surpassing the previous highest values from 2023. This image shows you the astonishing curve of 2023 and 2024; all other years between 1979 and 2022 are shown with gray lines.

Data source: Climate Change Service
Data source: Climate Change Service

Data source: Climate Change Service

U.S. space mission

The U.S.-based Intuitive Machines' "Odysseus" has made history as the first commercial spacecraft to ever land on the moon. The lunar landing is also the first by an American-built spacecraft since 1972. Despite a glitch with its laser instruments, it touched down successfully, carrying commercial and NASA scientific payloads. Odysseus is set for a week-long data collection mission.

Sunken bounty hunting

Colombia is deep-diving into history with underwater exploration. Sunk in the 18th century in the country's northern Caribbean, the San José galleon is believed to be bursting with billions of dollars in treasure. Discovered in 2015, yet shrouded in mystery and legal wrangles, the 300-year-old marvel lies 600 meters underwater. The government says it will invest around $4.5 million this year on an archaeological exploration of the 62-gun, three-masted galleon that sank in 1708 after being ambushed by an English squadron on its way to Cartagena.

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