China sends most accurate clock in the world to the Tiangong-2 space station

China flag
A stickler for time? You may want to go to space.

After all, that is where you can find the most accurate clock in the world. The most precise time-keeping device on the planet is officially off the planet and is now orbiting Earth in Tiangong-2, the second space station to be launched by China’s space program.

On Thursday, the space station was launched from the Gobi Desert and included in its precious cargo was the world’s first cold atomic clock. Over the course of the next two years, astronauts aboard the Tiangong-2 plan on conducting experiments involving the Cold Atomic Clock in Space (CACS), notably, whether or not “escaping the effects of gravity increases the accuracy of the timepiece,” the Christian Science Monitor reports.

While all clocks on Earth are ultimately just a tiny bit inaccurate — thanks, gravity — the CACS is even less inaccurate. Whereas the best clock on the planet loses a second every 300 million years, the atomic clock slows down by a second only once every billion years.

For this reason, atomic clocks are often used to calibrate highly delicate electronics, like GPS, or used in particle physics, geology, and other fields where accuracy and precision are of the utmost importance. And now, China hopes to use the CACS to further improve practices with both government and civilian uses.

“It is the world’s first cold atomic clock to operate in space … it will have military and civilian applications,” said Professor Xu Zhen, a scientist involved with the atomic clock project, in an interview with the South China Morning Post. For example, China hopes that the CACS will help the country improve its own GPS. And of course, Chinese astronauts would also like to make this particular atomic clock the most accurate device in — or off —  the world.

Product Review

Digital Storm’s Lynx PC appeals to gamers with stylish, upgradeable design

Digital Storm’s Lynx provides an excellent alternative to gamers who don’t want to build their own gaming PCs. Equipped with powerful hardware and space for two graphics cards, the Lynx is a PC that’s capable of growing with your…
Computing

Nvidia’s A.I. Playground lets you edit photos, experience deep learning research

Nvidia is making it easier to access information on deep learning research. It has launched an online space with three demos for image editing, styling, as well as photorealistic image synthesis. 
Gaming

You won't need a new hard drive thanks to these tips for deleting games from a PS4

PlayStation 4 games eat up storage space quickly, which will inevitably require you to make room for new games. Here's how to delete and reinstall games on PS4 for those times when you have to manage your storage space.
Emerging Tech

Toyota shoots for the moon with its new lunar rover concept

Toyota announced it will be teaming up with the Japanese space agency to design and built a lunar rover. The two organizations aim to collaborate to create a manned, pressurized rover that would be suitable for mobility on the moon.
Emerging Tech

Gorgeous image of the Cosmic Bat nebula leaves us starry-eyed

The "Cosmic Bat" nebula has been captured in beautiful detail by the European Southern Observatory. Formally known as NGC 1788, the nebula is two thousand light-years away in a dark corner of the Orion constellation.
Emerging Tech

Super telescope captures supermassive black holes forming billions of years ago

The Subaru Telescope in Hawaii has captured evidence of supermassive black holes forming in the ancient universe. Astronomers discovered 83 quasars powered by supermassive black holes from billions of years ago.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Mind-bending model shows Venus isn’t our nearest neighbor — it’s Mercury

Every textbook and table on the internet agrees -- the closest planet to Earth is Venus. But a new mathematical model shows that this is wrong. In fact, the planet closest to us on average is Mercury.
Emerging Tech

Desk lamps take on a new task by converting their light to power

What if we could charge devices using light from indoor sources like desk lamps? A group of scientists working on a technology called organic photovoltaics (OPVs) aim to do just that.
Emerging Tech

Body surrogate robot helps people with motor impairments care for themselves

A team from Georgia Tech has come up with an assistant robot to help people who have severe motor impairments to perform tasks like shaving, brushing their hair, or drinking water.
Emerging Tech

New Hubble image displays dazzling Messier 28 globular cluster

Messier 28 is a group of stars in the constellation of Sagittarius, located 18,000 light-years from our planet. Thousands of stars are packed tightly together in this sparkling image.
Emerging Tech

Cosmic dust bunnies: Scientists find unexpected ring around Mercury

A pair of scientists searching for a dust-free region near the Sun have made an unexpected discovery: a vast cosmic dust ring millions of miles wide around the tiny planet Mercury.
Emerging Tech

Take a dip in the Lagoon Nebula in first image from SPECULOOS instrument

The European Southern Observatory has released the first image collected by their new SPECULOOS instrument, and it's a stunning portrait of the Lagoon Nebula, a swirling cloud of dust and gas where new stars are born.
Emerging Tech

Robot assistants from Toyota and Panasonic gear up for the Tokyo Olympics

Japan plans to use the 2020 Olympics to showcase a range of its advanced technologies. Toyota and Panasonic are already getting in on the act, recently unveiling several robotic designs that they intend to deploy at the event.