5 things you need to know before markets open in Australia and around the world.

Here’s 5 things you need to know as the markets open around the world.

1. Nature Article reveals Some Modern Science is Wrong

Until recently, it was theorized that strong magnetic fields surrounding a neutron star would inhibit the release of matter in a relativistic jet. Essentially, or in layman’s terms, think of a very dense ball of water that is sucking up more water, the walls are struggling to keep the water in, but the gravitational forces of the core material are sucking more external water into the ball, and the external magnetic forces are acting like a force field shield keeping bits of water from spurting out, sort of like a comprehensive pressure release valve. So, that’s the theory; it was based on accumulated observations that showed neutron starts only produced relativistic jets (pressure releases) when the magnetic fields were weaker, by around 1,000 times of their counterparts that were totally silent.

Now, a recent observation has hanged this theory out of drying. In the distant constellation of Cassiopeia, which is roughly 24,000 light years away from us, sits a small dead star that should not be there. The reason it should not be there is because it was undented until a relativistic spurt of matter erupted from its core. Now you might ask, with an eyebrow raised, “and?”, and the answer would be simply, that this star has an extremely strong magnetic shield, around a 10 trillion times stronger than the one that our sun produces. As such, the old theory based on observation is not defunct based on new observation, sort of like when Galileo observed the sun and realized that we went around it and not it around us.

For those among us that were brought up on bread and butter and not quantum particles, a neutron star is a star that is dying, and during its decay, the core matter folds in on itself creating a very densely packed mass of gravity compressed matter of around 10 to 20 kilometers in diameter surrounded by a magnetic shield. Imagine compressing a ball that is roughly 2 to 3 times the size of our sun into a small 10-kilometer ball. That’s how high the compression becomes, and now you understand why the relativistic jets are similar to jets of water being released from an over-pressurized container.

The article that astronomer Jakob van den Eijnden of the University of Amsterdam and his team presented in Nature magazine goes and disrupts an entire scientific community’s tea time, and sends the researchers back to their telescopes to start observing and calculating what could be the cause of a relativistic jet, it’s obviously not got much to do with how strong the magnetic shield is surrounding the neutron star.

2. A Chinese Organic Photovoltaic Cell Breakthrough

Current commercial photosensitive cells are made of silicon, a stiff and somewhat ugly looking product that generates power from sunlight at an 18-22% efficiency. This week in Science, an article presented by a team of Chinese scientists at the Nankai University claims to have created an organic photovoltaic cell (OPV) that reaches 17.3% efficiency. This article comes only a few weeks from a University of Michigan study that released an organic photovoltaic cell that produces a 15% conversion rate. As you probably ascertain, every tenth of a percent is critical for photovoltaic conversion, and we are creeping up the line to replace the rigid silicon-based cells with flexible ink-based printed cells.

Just so you understand the importance of OPV’s, they are made of a carbon-based ink soluble material that is printed on any flexible surface, reducing production costs significantly as well as raising the applicability of these flexible OPVs significantly.

What makes the Chinese invention more interesting is how they adapted two cells into one structure, this way they could target two individual wavelengths, improving the overall efficiency of conversion. The Study Leader Dr. Yongshen Chen, Ph.D., stated to the BBC that “We have two layers of active materials; each layer can absorb different wavelengths of light. That means you can use sunlight in the wider wavelengths more efficiently, and this can generate more current.” According to Chen, a commercially viable solution could be ready on the market within 5 years. As usual, there are the detractors and nay Sayers, but Dr. Chen, as well as the researchers in Michigan all, claim that the future of photosensitive cells lies in OPV’s.

3. SpaceX Get its First Lunar Rover Passenger; Yusaku Maezawa

Space Exploration Technologies Corp., Elon Musk’s space venture has found its first passenger for the planned 2023 lunar round trip. Yusaku Maezawa, 42, is the founder of Start Today Co., a Japanese online retailer. His net worth is valued around $2.3 billion, and he intends to invite up to 8 artists to accompany him on this voyage. This announcement comes after the announcement that SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket has signed up Japanese Ispace for two commercial trips to the moon. The first trip planned for 2020 is to carry a lunar lander in orbit around the moon to test for a full lunar landing. The second trip is set for 2021 and will land the lander on the moon.

Takeshi Hakamada, CEO of Ispace told the media that “We share the vision with SpaceX of enabling humans to live in space, so we’re very glad they will join us in this first step of our journey.” Elon Musk’s SpaceX is performing extremely well and has undertaken sixteen successful return launches and missions so far. This comes in contrast to his rollercoaster ride with his EV venture Tesla Inc.

Ispace raised nearly $95 million from investors that included KDDI Corp and Suzuki Motor Corp. all aimed to initiate a commercial moon ferry that will send cargo and explorers to the moon. Their intention is to search for water and create the infrastructure for a lunar colony. Another commercial lunar agency is Israel’s SpaceIL, a company backed by the Israel Space Agency and funded by casino magnate and billionaire Sheldon Edelson. SpaceIL intends to join in one of the SpaceX planned missions this coming December.

4. NASA: 60 Years and Counting

NASA Official Brian Dunbar presents a short speech to the media on the NASA website; it is also viewable on YouTube. This is the transcript of his words.

“On October first, we celebrate NASA’s 60th birthday. From its inception, our great agency has changed the world for the better, and our story continues to be one of accomplishment and leadership. President Eisenhower launched our nation into the Space Age, and President Kennedy gave us the charge to reach the Moon. Over six incredible decades, we’ve brought the world an amazing number of bold missions in science, aviation, and human exploration.

NASA and its workforce have never failed to raise the bar of human potential and blaze a trail to the future. And we’re still doing it! We celebrate our legacy today with great promise and a strong direction from the President to return to the Moon and go on to Mars. Our work touches people across the globe.

I’m looking forward to the next breathtaking achievements of our astronauts in space, scientific discoveries undreamed of in our solar system and beyond, and breakthroughs in air and space technology that will fuel our missions and improve life for everyone on the planet. America will continue to lead in space. We will reach new milestones that change the world, and we will inspire the next generation to build on our legacy.

As we celebrate 60 years of NASA, I want to thank all of you once again for the vital work you do each day in support of the NASA mission and on behalf of the United States. Together, our momentum is charting NASA’s next great era of exploration.

Ad Astra.”

What is true is that the space race fueled by the cold war spurred American ingenuity and pushed the boundaries of space. Together, even in the slightly less tense geopolitical climate, the three giants, America, China, and Russia, compete together with Japan and Israel continuing to invest in Space exploration. The big difference today is that Space is no longer the domain of nations, it is now the domain of the private sector too.

5. Tesla Contracts China’s Biggest Lithium Supplier for a Fifth of its Needs

Tesla recently signed a very lucrative and long-term deal with China’s largest Lithium producer, Ganfeng. This deal supplies Tesla with at least one-fifth of all its Lithium needs and has a three-year extension over the initial two-year supply plan. Tesla needs to support its 35-gigawatt hours of energy storage product goals and the only way that this Nevada-based fabricator can reach this target, is by securing a constant flow of 28,000 tons of lithium annually. This amount is expected to grow, as the need for more EV cars grows in the ever-hungry alternative energy car market.

With this deal, Ganfeng seals a series of very lucrative long-term contracts that include a deal to supply Lithium to South Korean LG Chem Ltd. Who are the battery suppliers for Fisker and Renault. Ganfeng spokesperson stated to the media that “The agreement will help Ganfeng build a healthy long-term relationship with Tesla, which will help improve the company’s profitability, and benefit its long-term development.” These contracts boosted prices initially, raising shares by 10%. However, due to the adjusted lower price of the Hong Kong IPO, which are around 29% lower than the current traded price. Ganfeng prices on the Shenzhen stock exchange have dropped by around 32% to meet the future IPO price.

Andrew Mortimer
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