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From: Gizmodo - The Newly Discovered TRAPPIST-1 Star System Was Hiding In Elite: Dangerous All Along

NASA had some big news this past week. No, it wasn’t aliens. It was the next best thing: the discovery of seven new “Earth-sized exoplanets,” a few of which could be hospitable to life. Now, it turns out that Elite: Dangerous actually predicted the existence of the TRAPPIST-1 star system where they’re located.

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From: GeekWire - Watch on the Web: ‘Ring of Fire’ solar eclipse serves as a warmup for totality

Annular solar eclipse
Skywatchers in South America and Africa will be seeing an unusual “Ring of Fire” solar eclipse on Sunday, and the rest of us should be able to look over their shoulders online. But you might have to get up before sun-up to catch the show. Sunday’s event is known as an annular solar eclipse, with “annular” coming from the Latin word for “ring.” All solar eclipses take place when the moon comes between Earth and the sun, blocking out the sun’s disk. If the orbital mechanics are such that the moon totally blocks the disk, that’s a total eclipse. But… Read More

From: GeekWire - Watch on the Web: ‘Ring of Fire’ solar eclipse serves as a warmup for totality

Annular solar eclipse
Skywatchers in South America and Africa will be seeing an unusual “Ring of Fire” solar eclipse on Sunday, and the rest of us should be able to look over their shoulders online. But you might have to get up before sun-up to catch the show. Sunday’s event is known as an annular solar eclipse, with “annular” coming from the Latin word for “ring.” All solar eclipses take place when the moon comes between Earth and the sun, blocking out the sun’s disk. If the orbital mechanics are such that the moon totally blocks the disk, that’s a total eclipse. But… Read More

From: Blog – Hackaday - Growing Plants on Mars… on Earth

One of the biggest challenges of traveling to Mars is that it’s far away. That might seem obvious, but that comes with its own set of problems when compared to traveling to something relatively close like the Moon. The core issue is weight, and this becomes a big deal when you have to feed several astronauts for months or years. If food could be grown on Mars, however, this would make the trip easier to make. This is exactly the problem that [Clinton] is working on with his Martian terrarium, or “marsarium”.

The first task was to obtain some soil …read more

From: GeekWire - ‘Late Show’ host Stephen Colbert dons Boeing’s spacesuit for Starliner stardom


Let history record that America’s first late-night astronaut is … Stephen Colbert? In a pre-recorded bit that was broadcast Friday night on CBS’ “Late Show,” Colbert wore the spacesuit designed for crews on Boeing’s Starliner space taxi and did his shtick at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with Boeing’s Chris Ferguson as straight man. “How does it feel to be the first honorary Starliner astronaut?” Colbert asks in one clip. “I’ve made it. This is what all of this comedy work has been leading up to: wearing a very tight jumpsuit with a really big inflatable butt on it.” Even United Launch… Read More

From: GeekWire - Star-studded cast watches Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo glide through test flight

SpaceShipTwo and White Knight Two
Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket plane glided through its third free-flying test run today, and although it hasn’t yet lit up its engine, there was a high-powered crowd to fuel the excitement at California’s Mojave Air and Space Port. The company’s billionaire founder, Richard Branson, was in attendance, as was his son, Sam Branson. Brian Cox, the British physicist and TV host, was there as well. Cox is working on a documentary for the BBC and the Smithsonian Channel titled “The Quest for Space,” and today’s test is likely to provide grist for the show. For what it’s worth, Cox is… Read More

From: GeekWire - Alien horror movie ‘Life’ draws upon real-life biology and space station’s worst-case scenarios


A real-life organism provides the inspiration for the alien monster at the center of “Life,” a horror movie that’s set on the International Space Station. But you’d never guess which one. Would you believe … slime mold? “We used that as a model, working with the effects team, but ramped it up enormously,” said Adam Rutherford, who served as a science consultant for the film. Moviegoers can get a glimpse at the results in the online trailers for “Life,” which opens in theaters on March 24. Rutherford didn’t just throw a dart at the tree of life to select slime mold.… Read More

From: Gizmodo - This Week’s Big New Exoplanet Discovery Is Becoming Science Nerd Fanfic

On Wednesday, Earthlings were shocked—and certainly relieved—to finally get a push notification about planetary discovery, not political corruption. News broke that an international team of scientists had spied seven Earth-sized planets orbiting the nearby star TRAPPIST-1. Three of those planets are located in the…

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