Tech Net News 05-19-2018

wx4nhc qsl front web_2Don’t forget, our next Lecture and Lab will be one week from today. We’ll be learning more about the awesome, fun, and cheap USB radio receivers we set up last month. Don’t worry: it’s not too late for you to order one and join in the fun. We’ve got more details here.

In amateur radio news, there’s some great new information about the work done by ham radio citizen scientists during the 2017 total solar eclipse. You can read the original paper here or a less-geeky summary here.

The use of the FT8 digital mode is increasing very rapidly. I know that it’s gotten me back on the air despite lousy conditions; with FT8, a short opening is all you need.

And the WX4NCH National Hurricane Center amateur radio station will be on the air next Saturday, May 26th, from 8am-4pm Dallas time.

In news from the world of science:

NASA is calling for proposals for experiments to be flown on a future interplanetary lander. No, it’s not a mission to Mars…it’s a lander on its way to Europa! All these worlds are yours…

If you are late for dinner and you’re beginning to turn into a Hungry Mungry, don’t worry. You’re not as hungry as this new discovery: the fastest-growing black hole known to science.

Scientists may have moved memories from one snail to another using RNA. This is a fairly controversial result; most scientists believe that changes in synapses (the connections between nerve cells) encode memories, but a minority have believed for decades that changes in RNA might be important, too. This result comes from workers in the RNA camp.

NASA’s new planet-hunting spacecraft, TESS, has taken its first photo. TESS is about a month away from starting its official science mission, and the mission is looking good.

And finally, remember that 2018 is the Year of the Bird. If you see a baby bird in your yard and you wonder if it needs help, be sure to check out this handy guide. And if you need a pick-me-up after reading the if-it-bleeds-it-leads daily news, just read this heartwarming story about an owl.

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