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Astronomers Watch as a Star Swallows an Entire Planet: Earth’s Final Fate



Astronomers have observed, for the first time, how a star swallows an entire planet, a fate that the Earth will suffer within 5 billion years, according to research published in the journal ‘Nature’.

When a star runs out of fuel it swells to 1 million times its original size, gobbling up whatever matter, including planets, it finds in its path. Scientists have observed hints of stars just before, and shortly after, the act of consuming entire planets, but have never caught one in the act until now.

Final fate

In the study, scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University, Caltech and other centers in the United States report that they have observed for the first time a star swallowing a planet. The planetary demise appears to have taken place in our own galaxy, some 12,000 light-years away, near the constellation Aquila. There, astronomers observed a star outburst that grew more than 100 times brighter in just 10 days, before rapidly fading.

Interestingly, this flash of white light was followed by a longer lasting, cooler signal. The scientists deduced that this combination could only be due to one event: a star engulfing a nearby planet. “We were seeing the final phase of the engulfment”, said lead author Kishalay De, a postdoctoral researcher at MIT’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, in a statement. In fact, scientists estimate that the planet that vanished was probably a hot Jupiter-sized world that spiraled in, was swept up by the dying star’s atmosphere and eventually by its core.

That could be our future

The Earth will suffer the same fate, although not for another 5 billion years, when the Sun is expected to burn out and burn the inner planets of the Solar System. “We are looking into the future of Earth”, says De. “If some other civilization were watching us from 10,000 light-years away as the sun engulfed Earth, they would see the sun suddenly shine as it ejected some material, then it forms dust around it, before returning to what it was.

The team discovered the burst in May 2020. However, it took astronomers another year to find an explanation for what it could be. The initial signal turned up in a search of data taken by the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), which is based at Caltech’s Palomar Observatory in California. The ZTF is an observatory that scans the sky for stars that change rapidly in brightness, the pattern of which could indicate the presence of supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, and other stellar phenomena.

A potential Jupiter

De was looking through the ZTF data for signs of flares in binary stars, systems in which 2 stars orbit around each other, one of which draws mass from the other every so often and briefly brightens as a result. “One night, I observed a star that brightened by a factor of 100 over the course of a week, out of nowhere”, recalls De. “It did not look like any starburst I have ever seen in my life”.

Hoping to determine the source with more data, De turned to observations of the same star made by the Keck Observatory in Hawaii. Keck telescopes make spectroscopic measurements of starlight, which scientists can use to discern a star’s chemical composition.

But what De discovered left him even more perplexed. While most binary stars give off stellar material, such as hydrogen and helium, as one star erodes the other, the new source gave off none of it. Instead, what De saw were signs of “peculiar molecules” that can only exist at very cold temperatures. “These molecules are only seen in very cool stars”, says De. “And when a star lights up, it usually gets hotter. Therefore, the low temperatures and the brightness of the stars do not go hand in hand.

It then became clear that the signal was not from a stellar binary. De decided to wait for more responses to emerge. About a year after his initial discovery, he and his colleagues analyzed observations of the same star, this time taken with an infrared camera at the Palomar Observatory. Within the infrared band, astronomers can see signs of cooler material, in contrast to the white-hot optical emissions that arise from binaries and other extreme stellar events.

“That infrared data made me fall out of my chair”, recalls De. “The source was incredibly bright in the near infrared”.

Apparently, after its initial hot flash, the star continued to spew out cooler energy for the next year. That icy material was probably gas from the star that shot up into space and condensed into dust, cold enough to be detected at infrared wavelengths. These data suggest that the star could be merging with another rather than shining as a result of a supernova explosion.

But when the team further analyzed the data and combined it with measurements made by NASA’s infrared space telescope, NEOWISE, they came to a much more interesting conclusion. From the data collected, they calculated the total amount of energy released by the star since its initial outburst and found it to be surprisingly small: about 1/1,000 the magnitude of any observed stellar merger in the past.

“That means that whatever merged with the star has to be a thousand times smaller than any other star we have seen”, De notes. “And it is a happy coincidence that Jupiter’s mass is about 1/1,000 the mass of the Sun”. It was then that we realized: This was a planet, colliding with its star.

With the pieces in place, scientists were finally able to explain the initial burst. The bright, hot flash was likely the final moment of a Jupiter-sized planet being swept up in the atmosphere of a dying star. As the planet fell into the star’s core, the outer layers of the star fell off and settled as cold dust over the next year.

“For decades we have been able to see the before and after”, says De. “Before, when the planets still orbit very close to their star and after that, just when a planet has already been swallowed and the star is gigantic. What we lacked was to capture the star in the act, when a planet suffers this fate in real time;that is what makes this discovery really exciting”.

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The Intersection of Blockchain and AI in Trading ⋆ The Costa Rica News



Blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) are two of the most revolutionary technologies of our time. When combined, they have the potential to transform various industries, and one area where their convergence is particularly promising is in trading. In this article, we will explore the intersection of blockchain and AI in the context of trading, focusing on their individual definitions, their complementary nature, their impact on trading efficiency, future implications, and the ethical considerations that arise from their use.

Understanding Blockchain and AI: A Brief Overview

Before delving into the intersection of blockchain and AI in trading, let’s take a moment to understand these two technologies in brief.

Blockchain technology, often hailed as the backbone of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, is revolutionizing industries beyond finance. Its decentralized and distributed ledger records transactions across multiple computers or nodes, ensuring transparency and security. The immutability of blockchain data, achieved through cryptographic hashing, makes it virtually impossible to alter historical records without detection. This feature not only enhances trust among parties but also opens up possibilities for applications in supply chain management, healthcare, voting systems, and more.

Defining Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology is a decentralized and distributed ledger that records transactions across multiple computers or nodes. Each transaction is grouped into a block, which is then added to the chain of previous blocks in a chronological order. This transparent and secure system eliminates the need for intermediaries, providing a tamper-proof record of transactions.

Moreover, smart contracts, self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement directly written into code, leverage blockchain’s capabilities to automate and enforce agreements. These contracts execute actions automatically when predefined conditions are met, streamlining processes in various sectors and reducing the need for manual intervention.

The Basics of Artificial Intelligence

On the other hand, artificial intelligence refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines, enabling them to perform tasks that traditionally require human capabilities, such as learning, problem-solving, and decision-making. AI algorithms analyze vast amounts of data to identify patterns and make predictions or recommendations.

Machine learning, a subset of AI, empowers systems to learn from data and improve their performance over time without explicit programming. This iterative learning process lies at the core of recommendation engines, fraud detection systems, autonomous vehicles, and personalized medicine. Deep learning, a sophisticated AI technique inspired by the human brain’s neural networks, has propelled advancements in image and speech recognition, natural language processing, and more.

The Convergence of Blockchain and AI

While blockchain and AI are distinct technologies, they possess complementary characteristics that make them a powerful combination in the trading world.

How Blockchain and AI Complement Each Other

Blockchain’s inherent transparency and immutability make it an ideal platform for storing and sharing data, while AI’s ability to analyze and utilize this data enables more efficient decision-making. By integrating AI algorithms with blockchain technology, trading systems can leverage the benefits of both technologies.

The Role of AI in Blockchain Transactions

In the context of trading, AI can be used to analyze market trends, predict price movements, and identify trading opportunities. By harnessing the power of AI, traders can make more informed decisions and execute trades with higher precision and speed.

Blockchain and AI in the Trading World

The convergence of blockchain and AI has far-reaching implications for the trading industry, revolutionizing various aspects of the trading process.

The Impact of Blockchain and AI on Trading Efficiency

One of the primary benefits of combining blockchain and Quantum AI in trading is increased efficiency. The transparency and decentralization offered by blockchain technology enable real-time access to trading data, eliminating the need for intermediaries and reducing transaction costs. AI algorithms can then analyze this data to identify patterns, optimize trading strategies, and automate trading processes, leading to faster and more efficient trades. By integrating resources from, traders can leverage the advanced capabilities of Quantum AI to further enhance the precision and speed of their trading decisions.

Risk Management in Trading with AI and Blockchain

The use of AI and blockchain in trading also enhances risk management capabilities. AI algorithms can detect anomalies and patterns in trading data, identify potential risks, and notify traders in real-time. Blockchain’s immutability ensures that the trading history is secure and transparent, facilitating better auditability and compliance.

Future Implications of Blockchain and AI in Trading

As blockchain and AI continue to evolve, their impact on the trading industry is expected to grow further.

Predicting Market Trends with AI and Blockchain

AI algorithms integrated with blockchain can analyze vast amounts of historical trading data to identify trends and patterns, enabling traders to make more accurate predictions. With real-time access to market data and the ability to analyze it in a decentralized and transparent manner, traders can gain a competitive edge and make more profitable trading decisions.

The Potential Challenges and Solutions

However, there are challenges that need to be addressed for the widespread adoption of blockchain and AI in trading. These include scalability, interoperability, data privacy, and regulatory frameworks. Efforts are underway to develop solutions that address these challenges without compromising the benefits of blockchain and AI. Collaboration between regulators, industry players, and technology providers is crucial to ensure a balanced and responsible integration of these technologies.

The Ethical Considerations of AI and Blockchain in Trading

While the convergence of blockchain and AI in trading offers significant opportunities, it also raises ethical considerations that must be carefully addressed.

Data Privacy and Security Concerns

The use of blockchain and AI involves the collection and analysis of vast amounts of personal and sensitive data. Ensuring data privacy and security is paramount to maintain trust and protect individuals’ rights. Robust security measures and privacy-preserving techniques should be implemented to safeguard data and prevent unauthorized access.

Regulatory Frameworks and Compliance Issues

The integration of blockchain and AI in trading requires an appropriate regulatory framework to ensure fair and transparent practices. Regulators need to keep pace with technological advancements while striking a balance that fosters innovation without compromising market integrity. Collaboration between regulators and industry participants is crucial to establish guidelines that address potential risks and ensure compliance

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Are Robots, Machines and AI Replacing Ticos at Work? ⋆ The Costa Rica News



“The process of accelerated price increases that Costa Rica is experiencing is making automation advance faster,” said Eli Feinzaig, head of the Progressive Liberal Party faction.

The employed population in Costa Rica was reduced by more than 91 thousand jobs for the last quarter of last year compared to the same period in 2022.These are jobs that disappeared and at this moment no one knows why.

Technology at fault

Entrepreneurs, economists and deputies have different hypotheses, but one of the ones that sounds the most strongly is related to the automation of services and tasks through machines, robots and Artificial Intelligence.

To this, we should add some conditions that accelerate the replacement of Costa Rican workers with machines, such as, for example, the appreciation of the colon against the dollar, the high energy cost and high social charges, which would motivate companies to invest. in technology to reduce costs and hire fewer staff.

Other possible explanations are related to the existing divorce between available jobs and the capacity of the workforce, in addition to the difficulties that companies outside free zones face to stay afloat.

Unusual and worrying

Regardless of which of these explanations has more weight, the experts consulted point out that the loss of jobs is something “unusual and worrying,” which is why a diagnosis must be made as soon as possible to prevent the number of employed people from continuing down.

“The reduction in the number of jobs may be associated with the transformation of employment. Today, automation, the use of artificial intelligence and digital platforms and shared services that can be used in the cloud, make companies more optimal in their current expenses and, with it, in their payroll.

This means that if before a company needed 10 people in Costa Rica, now, with all the technology, one is required here and the other 9 can be replaced by artificial intelligence or another country with a lower economy of scale,” said Daniel Suchar, economic analyst.

Meanwhile, Eli Feinzaig, economist and faction leader of the Progressive Liberal Party, adds that this automation that Suchar describes is accelerating in the country due to how expensive it is to produce in Costa Rica.

As an example, he gave the 15% energy increase that companies are already paying and the appreciation of the colon against the dollar, which hits the income of free zones, tourism and the export sector.

“The process of accelerated cost increases that Costa Rica is experiencing is making automation advance faster and some jobs are being lost in the process of implementing robots and machines. Companies seek to produce at a lower cost,” said Feinzaig.

Drop in the employment rate

The two experts consulted and others warn that the drop in the employment rate requires immediate attention. In that sense, Fernando Rodríguez, economist at the National University and former Minister of Finance, warns that the macroeconomic achievements of the Rodrigo Chaves government do not necessarily translate into jobs and that it is necessary to study the phenomenon.

“We are undoubtedly facing an unprecedented situation. What is growing in our economy is mainly free zones, with minimal (or no) impact on employment, while the rest of the sectors are growing little or are stagnant, and their growth is not driving job creation. If more is not invested and the government does not reactivate spending in certain important areas (security, for example), economic growth will be difficult; We will be left watching how a small group of activities grow with a very poor connection with the rest of the economy,” Rodríguez said.

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Costa Rica’s Digital Animation Industry is Promoted in the World ⋆ The Costa Rica News



From February 4 to 7, Costa Rica promoted the talent and creativity of its digital animation industry at the Kidscreen Summit 2024 fair, in San Diego, California. The country was represented by a delegation made up of the Foreign Trade Promoter of Costa Rica (PROCOMER) and four prominent Costa Rican digital animation studios such as MarteStudio, Estudio Shout, Herald Entertainment and La Sala Post.

The event brought together more than 1,800 attendees from more than 50 countries, and had the participation of world-renowned studios such as Nickelodeon, BBC Kids, Disney Junior, Warner Bros, Paramount, The Walt Disney Company, YouTube, Sony Kids, among others.

Esencial Costa Rica

Highlighting the country’s natural intelligence through the Esencial Costa Rica stand, the Costa Rican delegation promoted the digital animation sector, and also had the opportunity to test their productions with industry experts, consolidate business relationships with distributors, broadcasters and producers; as well as learning about trends in the sector through talks with industry professionals and a close understanding of international competition.

“Participation in the Kidscreen Summit had the objective of promoting the talent of Costa Ricans to the digital animation industry. At PROCOMER we are committed to continuing to offer Costa Rican companies the opportunity to connect with strategic actors in the sector. The Costa Rica stand has been designed with the theme “Fun by Nature”, reflecting the quality and creativity of the country’s digital animation sector,” commented Mario Sáenz, Export Development Manager at PROCOMER.

As part of the digital animation services offered by the participating Costa Rican studios, the following stood out:

• 3D & 2D Animation

• Storytelling & Illustration

• Character Design & Concept Art

• Rigging, Texturing, Shading & Lighting

• Live Action & Motion Graphics

• Sound Design, Music & Dubbing

• AR/VR, VFX, Editing & Compositing

• Creation of intellectual properties for distribution, sale, broadcasting, etc.

In addition, around 15 business meetings were held with strategic players in the sector in one-on-one meetings.

According to PROCOMER data, at the end of the third quarter of 2023, exports from the computer, information and telecommunications sector (sector to which digital animation belongs) reflected a growth of more than $190 million, compared to the same period in 2022.

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