Science Saturday: China’s Radio Telescope, climate change and total solar eclipse

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China’s radio telescope

China’s Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) opens global applications for free observation projects. Located in southwest China’s Guizhou Province, FAST is the world’s largest single-dish and most sensitive radio telescope. It helps to conduct scientific observation missions, including pulsar time survey, neutral hydrogen survey and fast radio bursts detection. The deadline for submissions is May 15, 2024. The observing period for the telescope is from August this year until July next year.

Climate change

Austrian glaciers will be gone in 45 years. The warning comes from the Austrian Alpine Club. It says 93 glaciers in Austria have been rapidly shrinking in the last couple of years. Experts say this is caused by extreme warming in the Alps. They are calling for increased protection of glaciers as part of efforts to sustain biodiversity. They also say the expansion of ski resorts have put Alpine regions under constant pressure.

Medical science frontier

The world’s most powerful MRI machine has scanned its first living human brains. The images give an ultra-high-resolution glimpse into the brain. For conventional MRI machines, patients would need to lie perfectly still for more than two hours to get that shot. Developed by the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, the Iseult MRI machine allows us to better understand the nature of consciousness and treat neurodegenerative diseases.  

2024 total solar eclipse 

Millions watched a total solar eclipse sweep across North America. Monday’s phenomenon was seen over parts of Mexico, 15 U.S. states and eastern Canada. Those viewing nature’s wonder could see the sun’s outer atmosphere shining bright around the edge of the moon as it was blocked. The total eclipse lasted up to four minutes and 28 seconds.