Hubble Space Telescope Photographs Mysterious Star Cluster with Same-Generation Stars

Hubble Space Telescope Photographs Mysterious Star Cluster with Same-Generation Stars "A celestial workhorse and its dedicated team of astronomers are at it again," reports Space.com, "by delivering a hypnotic new image of a globular cluster and its infinite depth of stars." But while a new image from the Hubble Space Telescope is stunning, there's much more to this section of the heavens than the eye can see. The cluster, called Ruprecht 106, is also home to a great mystery of Sherlockian proportions — and the game's afoot to unlock clues to the cluster's enigmatic makeup, according to a statement from the European Space Agency, a partner on the observatory. Scientists agree that even though the core stars in a globular cluster were all born at roughly the same time and location, there are stars within these cosmic nurseries that exhibit unique chemical compositions that can differ widely. Astronomers believe that this variation represents later stars formed from gas polluted by processed material of the larger first-generation stars. However, rare globular clusters like Ruprecht 106 are devoid of these varieties of stars and instead are cataloged as single-population clusters, where no second- or third-generation stars ever formed. Astronomers hope that studying this captivating globular cluster in more detail can explain why it sports only one generation of stars.

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US Probes How American Electronics Wound Up in Russian Military Equipment in Ukraine

America's federal agents "have begun questioning U.S. technology companies on how their computer chips ended up in Russian military equipment recovered in Ukraine," reports the Washington Post: Commerce Department agents who enforce export controls are conducting the inquiries together with the FBI, paying joint visits to companies to ask about Western chips and components found in Russian radar systems, drones, tanks, ground-control equipment and littoral ships, according to people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive investigations. "Our goal is to actually try to track that back, all the way back to the U.S. supplier" to determine "how did it find its way into that weapons system," one Commerce Department official said of the probes.... It isn't clear which specific components are being probed. But investigators from a variety of countries have identified Western electronics in Russian weaponry found in Ukraine. Many of those components appear to have been manufactured years ago, before the United States tightened export restrictions after Russia seized Crimea in 2014. But others were manufactured as recently as 2020, according to Conflict Armament Research (CAR), a research group in London that has examined some of the parts.... CAR last month sent investigators to Ukraine to examine Russian weaponry and communications equipment, and reported finding components from 70 companies based in the United States and Europe. They found the parts in military radios, airborne defense systems and in remnants of cruise missiles that the Ukrainians recovered in various towns and villages, Damien Spleeters, one of the CAR investigators, said in an interview. An associate professor of electrical/computer engineering at Purdue tells the Post "Most of the items they are listing are available through any commercial computer parts supplier or digital parts supplier." But the Post spoke to a lawyer representing one of the contacted technology companies. "Among the questions federal agents are asking: whether tech companies sold their products to a specific list of companies, including middlemen, that may have been involved in the supply chain."

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