Stellar rebirth, Pluto, Earth’s Moon, hotter, nano-meds, spray-tough, tiny France, Apple II update, 168-year-old ship, Maya Codex, Tech podcast


Pluto's moon Charon got its red cap from Pluto
Pluto’s moon Charon got its red cap from Pluto

Astronomers just witnessed a rare stellar rebirth for the first time — At the heart of the Stingray Nebula some 2700 light years from Earth lies a small, aging star known as SAO 244567. Astronomers have been observing it on and off for decades, and they can now confirm they’ve witnessed something amazing: a never-before-seen stellar rebirth.
~ Gee, I’ve never seen one of those before. 

Pluto emits X-Rays, and it’s moon once banged into Mars — Something very strange is going on around Pluto. The icy world that sits some 3.6 billion miles from the sun appears to be emitting X-Rays—high energy radiation associated with gases with temperatures of a million degrees. That makes Pluto the furthest known x-ray source in our solar system. If confirmed, the finding could reshape our understanding of the dwarf planet’s atmosphere. Also its moon, Charon, got its strange red cap, apparently, from methane gas escaping the dwarf planet Pluto itself. It then froze solid in the frigid pole.
~ Is it that weird? I’m pretty sure my dentist emits X-Rays too. 

We were wrong about our Moon — New measurements from Apollo-era moon rocks suggest that the moon and Earth had a much more savage past than we knew.
A new paper out in Nature says the moon formed as a result of a more violent space collision than previously believed. Since the 1970s, many researchers have championed a theory in which the moon was created from thrown-off debris when a Mars-sized body grazed Earth in a relatively low-contact collision. Instead, the researchers say new evidence shows that the impact was more “like a sledgehammer hitting a watermelon.”
~ I’d rather be the sledgehammer than the watermelon. Yes I would …

Gifs shows Earth warming — We just had the warmest August on record, which also tied last month for the warmest month ever recorded. But it’s the overall trend that’s truly scary, and now you can watch it unfold right before your eyes.
~ Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton must have did it.

Nano-sized metal fish deliver targeted drugs to your body — Doctors have long dreamed of delivering drugs to specific parts of your body, and they may soon have a clever way to do it: fish. UC San Diego researchers have developed nanoscale metallic fish (they’re just 800 nanometers long) that could carry medicine into the deeper reaches of your bloodstream. Each critter has a gold head and tailfin, as well as a nickel body joined by silver hinges.
~ As long as doctors make a fortune from prescribing them , right? 

Spay-on coating even makes eggs indestructible — Line-X’s spray on coating makes things super tough. So YouTube’s How Ridiculous tried it on an egg.

Tiny house costs NZ$1652 and can be built in three hours — ‘France’ is a prototype designed by Joshua Woodsman of Pin-Up Houses, which sells plans for sheds, cottages, and tiny houses. According to Woodsman, his latest creation only costs US$1200, and takes a team of three people about three hours to put together.
~ Just need to work on downsizing Aucklands’ expectations. 

This Apple II is at MOTAT in Auckland
This Apple II is at MOTAT in Auckland

Apple II receives OS update after 23 years — Software developer John Brooks released what is clearly a work of pure love: the first update to an operating system for the Apple II computer family since 1993. ProDOS 2.4, released on the 30th anniversary of the introduction of the Apple II GS, brings the enhanced operating system to even older Apple II systems, including the original Apple ][ and ][+.
~ Now we have ‘Apple Too’

168-year-old Arctic wreck — An arctic research mission claims it’s discovered the HMS Terror, one of two Franklin Expedition ships that sunk during a doomed attempt to traverse the Northwest Passage. Incredibly, the 168-year-old wreck would probably not have been found if it weren’t for information provided by an indigenous crew member. Underwater footage shows the ship in excellent condition, with all three masts still standing and nearly all hatches closed. A pair of wine bottles, tables, a desk (with its drawers open), and empty shelving were seen inside the wreck.
~ OK, let’s take a look at that ship’s name again …

Controversial Maya Codex appears to be real after all — Scientists have been arguing over the authenticity of an ancient document called the Grolier Codex for 50 years. A new analysis published in a special section of the journal Maya Archaeology has concluded the codex is indeed genuine, making it the oldest surviving manuscript from the pre-Colombian era.
~ ‘Begin by frying an onion in a little oil …’

Tech talkin’ — Want to hear me chat about tech and the Apple announcements? I’m on this long-running (episode 301!) NZ tech podcast show with host Paul Spain.

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