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Unbound: No 45 – Spring Edition 🌺 

 March 21, 2021

By  Barbara

Minute Read

Over the past few weeks, big-name musicians have made millions selling non-fungible tokens, blockchain-based certificates of authenticity that can be linked to individual digital artworks. Grimes sold almost $6 million in NFTs in just 20 minutes; Steve Aoki sold a collection for upwards of $4.25 million; and Kings of Leon sold a batch for roughly $2 million

The meteoric rise of the market for NFTs has been great for artists who are already well-known, already successful, and already rich. But so far, it's hard to find examples of it offering a windfall to those who could actually use the money: small and midsize independent musicians.


4 Min Read →


Sandia National Laboratories physicist Susan Clark leads the team that built the Quantum Scientific Computing Open User Testbed. The ion-based quantum computer was made for outside researchers to use. Credit: Bret Latter, Sandia National Laboratories

Scientists worldwide can use ion-based testbed at Sandia National Laboratories.

A new Department of Energy open-access quantum computing testbed is ready for the public. Scientists from Indiana University recently became the first team to begin using Sandia National Laboratories’ Quantum Scientific Computing Open User Testbed, or QSCOUT.

Quantum computers are poised to become major technological drivers over the coming decades. But to get there, scientists need to experiment with quantum machines that relatively few universities or companies have. Now, scientists can use Sandia’s QSCOUT for research that might not be possible at their home institutions, without the cost or restrictions of using a commercial testbed.

2 min read →


Going public through a special purpose acquisition company is officially mainstream. Special purpose acquisition companies, once looked down upon by Wall Street-types as a less respectable way to go public, have been forming and going public at an unprecedented pace this year.

According to SPAC Insider, 276 SPACs have had an initial public offering so far this year, raising nearly $90 billion in gross proceeds. While last year was considered a record year for SPACs, this year has already shattered that record less than three months in.

4 min read →


⭐️ NASA - Best Photo from Last Week

Saturn's Spring
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2021, Editor:  Yvette Smith

Spring doesn't just hapen on Earth. Spring also happens on some of our neighboring planets in the solar system.

Of the countless equinoxes Saturn has seen since the birth of the solar system, this one, captured here in a mosaic of light and dark, is the first witnessed up close by an emissary from Earth … none other than our faithful robotic explorer, Cassini in this image from 2009.

Seen from our planet, the view of Saturn's rings during equinox is extremely foreshortened and limited. But in orbit around Saturn, Cassini had no such problems. From 20 degrees above the ring plane, Cassini's wide angle camera shot 75 exposures in succession for this mosaic showing Saturn, its rings, and a few of its moons a day and a half after exact Saturn equinox, when the sun's disk was exactly overhead at the planet's equator.

At equinox, the shadows of the planet's expansive rings are compressed into a single, narrow band cast onto the planet as seen in this mosaic. At this time so close to equinox, illumination of the rings by sunlight reflected off the planet vastly dominates any meager sunlight falling on the rings. Hence, the half of the rings on the left illuminated by planetshine is, before processing, much brighter than the half of the rings on the right. On the right, it is only the vertically extended parts of the rings that catch any substantial sunlight.

With no enhancement, the rings would be essentially invisible in this mosaic. To improve their visibility, the dark (right) half of the rings has been brightened relative to the brighter (left) half by a factor of three, and then the whole ring system has been brightened by a factor of 20 relative to the planet. So the dark half of the rings is 60 times brighter, and the bright half 20 times brighter, than they would have appeared if the entire system, planet included, could have been captured in a single image.

This view looks toward the northern side of the rings from about 20 degrees above the ring plane.

The images were taken on Aug. 12, 2009, beginning about 1.25 days after exact equinox, using the red, green and blue spectral filters of the wide angle camera and were combined to create this natural color view. The images were obtained at a distance of approximately 847,000 kilometers (526,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 74 degrees. Image scale is 50 kilometers (31 miles) per pixel.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute


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About the author 

Barbara

An award-winning CTO and VC Fund Manager helping entrepreneurs and investors understand emerging technology.

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