Fly over Jupiter in this stunning video from NASA’s Juno spacecraft

What if you could hitch a ride on NASA’s Juno spacecraft at Jupiter? We may be stuck on Earth, but the space agency has given us the next best option: a new video flyover of Jupiter based on photos from Juno’s recent flyby in June. 

The stunning video, which is made up of 41 images captured on June 2, gives us a glimpse of what we’d see if we were able to fly around Jupiter ourselves, combining pictures taken from different angles as the spacecraft sped by the solar system’s largest planet. 

Throughout the video, we see zoomed-in views of Jupiter’s upper atmosphere at Juno’s closest approach, when the spacecraft was about 2,100 miles (3,400 kilometers) above the planet’s cloud tops, as well as zoomed-out views. At the spacecraft’s closest point to Jupiter, the gas giant’s powerful gravity sped the spacecraft up to an impressive 130,000 mph (209,000 kph) relative to the planet, according to a NASA statement

In photos: Juno’s amazing views of Jupiter

NASA compiled images taken from the agency’s Juno spacecraft to recreate a Jupiter flyby.  (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS )

Citizen scientist Kevin Gill created the video with data from Juno’s JunoCam, which digitally projects images onto a sphere with a virtual “camera,” giving us these beautiful views of Jupiter. These pictures were taken between 5:47 a.m. and 7:25 a.m. EDT (0947 and 1125 GMT) on June 2 as the spacecraft made its 27th close flyby of the planet. 

Juno launched in 2011 and, after a five-year trek through space, reached Jupiter in July 2016. The spacecraft circles the solar system’s largest planet taking data so we can understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter. Since its first flyby, Juno has provided incredible information about the planet, including an up-close look at Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, a giant storm swirling through the planet’s atmosphere. 

Though the spacecraft was meant to take a dive into Jupiter’s atmosphere in 2018, NASA has extended its mission through 2021. 

Follow Kasandra Brabaw on Twitter @KassieBrabaw. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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Dinosaurs with bat wings ‘could barely fly, like chickens’ scientists reveal

How Ambopteryx might have looked in flight (McGill)
How Ambopteryx might have looked in flight (McGill)

Two tiny dinosaurs which had bat-like wings, could only manage a clumsy glide, and were wiped out by birds and other dinosaurs. 

Yi and Ambopteryx were small animals from Late Jurassic China, living about 160 million years ago. 

They could only glide, researchers believe, after reconstructing them by scanning fossils. 

This meant they were unable to compete with rivals in the forests where they lived, and died out in just a few million years. 

“We know some dinosaurs could fly before they evolved into birds,” says Professor Larsson, Director of McGill’s Redpath Museum.

“What this shows us is that at least one lineage of dinosaurs experimented with a completely different mode of aerial locomotion. Gliding evolved countless times in arboreal amphibians, mammals, lizards, and even snakes – and now we have an example of dinosaurs.”

The research was published in the journal Cell. 

Read more; Ancient remains could rewrite history of human intelligence

Thomas Dececchi, Assistant Professor of Biology at Mount Marty University said,  “Once birds got into the air, these two species were so poorly capable of being in the air that they just got squeezed out.

 “Maybe you can survive a few million years underperforming, but you have predators from the top, competition from the bottom, and even some small mammals adding into that, squeezing them out until they disappeared.”

Weighing in at less than two pounds, they are unusual examples of theropod dinosaurs, the group that gave rise to birds.

Most theropods were ground-loving carnivores, but Yi and Ambopteryx were at home in the trees and lived on a diet of insects, seeds, and other plants.

Read more: Ancient skull found in China could rewrite history of the human race

Dececchi and his collaborators scanned fossils using laser-stimulated fluorescence (LSF), a technique that uses laser light to pick up soft-tissue details that can’t be seen with standard white light. 

Later, the team used mathematical models to predict how they might have flown, testing many different variables like weight, wingspan, and muscle placement.

Dececchi said, “They really can’t do powered flight. You have to give them extremely generous assumptions in how they can flap their wings. 

“You basically have to model them as the biggest bat, make them the lightest weight, make them flap as fast as a really fast bird, and give them muscles higher than they were likely to have had to cross that threshold.

“They could glide, but even their gliding wasn’t great.”

While gliding is not an efficient form of flight, since it can only be done if the animal has already climbed to a high point, it did help Yi and Ambopteryx stay out of danger while they were still alive.

Dececchi said, “If an animal needs to travel long distances for whatever reason, gliding costs a bit more energy at the start, but it’s faster. It can also be used as an escape hatch. It’s not a great thing to do, but

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Belmont Students Want Trump Campaign to Follow University’s COVID Protocol, Say Disregard for Masks ‘Doesn’t Fly Here’

As Belmont University prepares for Thursday’s final presidential debate, students are conflicted over the school’s decision to host the event amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But it’s not the school administration that students have a problem with, it’s the Trump campaign’s disregard for face masks and other health and safety measures.

Students are confident in Belmont’s handling of the coronavirus and, for the most part, support the college’s “strict” COVID-19 protocol.

“Students are thinking, ‘is it hypocritical that we’re hosting [the debate] if we’re being so strict on campus, yet we’re allowing members of the Trump administration on campus?’,” Belmont junior Caroline Bugg told Newsweek.

“I think there’s a lot of students who are just frustrated—we can’t even have our mom come and stay with us or visitors come, yet both of these administrations are coming on campus and are just allowed to be here,” she added.

Under Belmont’s “Staying Healthy Together Pledge,” students are required to wear masks at all times on campus, both indoors and outdoors, to maintain social distance and undergo COVID-19 screening and testing.

Due to the outbreaks on other college campuses across the country, Belmont added a new protocol at the end of August prohibiting students from organizing, hosting, promoting, or attending large on or off-campus gatherings.

Students lost their Fall break so that the semester could be condensed and completed in time for Thanksgiving. And all these measures have worked.

Since reopening in mid-August, Belmont has reported only 82 student cases of COVID-19. Of the roughly 2,800 students enrolled at the private Christian university, only one percent of the student population has been infected.

There have also been an additional eight coronavirus cases among faculty and staff.

Belmont University Debate
A sign requiring to wear a mask is seen at Belmont University near the 2020 US Presidential elections debate hall on October 20,2020 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Eric Baradat/AFP

These figures come in stark opposition from those reported in Nashville, where Belmont is located, and the rest of Tennessee, which is undergoing a massive spike in hospitalizations related to the novel coronavirus.

On Tuesday, Tennessee’s COVID-19 hospitalizations reached an all-time high when the state’s department of health announced there were 1,259 patients hospitalized for their infections. In Nashville, health officials announced 441 new cases on Tuesday after reporting 276 new cases the day before.

Belmont, however, has managed to inoculate itself both as a college campus and in downtown Nashville, two factors that should have propelled the university into hotspot status.

But students are worried the debate and those attending it will burst their bubble.

“It would be a shame if this is what brought us down because we’ve been doing pretty good so far,” Belmont junior Wade Evans told Newsweek.

Evans said the college has worked tirelessly to enforce its safety protocols but the willingness of students to follow those protocols may not match those of the two presidential campaigns setting foot on campus Thursday.

“The students are all really good about wearing their masks and

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Elon Musk says SpaceX’s 1st Starship trip to Mars could fly in 4 years

SpaceX is almost ready to start building a permanent human settlement on Mars with its massive Starship rocket.

The private spaceflight company is on track to launch its first uncrewed mission to Mars in as little as four years from now, SpaceX’s founder and CEO Elon Musk said Friday (Oct. 16) at the International Mars Society Convention. 

“I think we have a fighting chance of making that second Mars transfer window,” Musk said in a discussion with Mars Society founder Robert Zubrin. You can watch a replay of the talk here.

That window Musk referred to is a launch opportunity that arises every 26 months for mission to Mars. NASA, China and the United Arab Emirates all launched missions to mars in July of this year. The next window opens in 2022 with Musk referring to the 2024 Mars launch opportunity. 

The mission will launch to the Red Planet on a SpaceX Starship vehicle, a reusable rocket-and-spacecraft combo that is currently under development at the company’s South Texas facility. SpaceX is also planning to use Starship for missions to the moon starting in 2022, as well as point-to-point trips around the Earth.

Related: Starship and Super Heavy: SpaceX’s Mars-colonizing vehicles in images

Musk has long said that humans need to establish a permanent and self-sustaining presence on Mars to ensure “the continuance of consciousness as we know it” — just in case planet Earth is left uninhabitable by a something like a nuclear war or an asteroid strike. 

But SpaceX doesn’t have any plans to actually build a Mars base. As a transportation company, its only goal is to ferry cargo (and humans) to and from the Red Planet, facilitating the development of someone else’s Mars base.

“SpaceX is taking on the biggest single challenge, which is the transportation system. There’s all sorts of other systems that are going to be needed,” Mars Society founder Robert Zubrin said during the convention. 

“My personal hope is that we’re gonna see Starship in the stratosphere before this year’s out, and if Elon is right, reach orbit next year or the year after,” Zubrin added. “This will change people’s minds as to what is possible. And then, you know, we’ll have NASA seeking to fund the remaining pieces of the puzzle or entrepreneurs stepping forward to develop remaining pieces of the puzzle.”

This SpaceX infographic shows how the company aims to use its Starship interstellar spacecraft to transport humans and cargo to and from the Red Planet.  (Image credit: SpaceX)

If Musk’s projections are correct — he is known for offering overly ambitious timelines — SpaceX’s first Mars mission would launch in the same year that NASA astronauts return to the moon under the Artemis program. SpaceX is also planning to fly space tourists on a Starship mission around the moon in 2023. NASA has also picked SpaceX as one of three commercial teams to develop moon landers for the Artemis program.

Musk said Friday that if it weren’t for the orbital mechanics

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