Futurology ~ Warped Milky Way, heavy metal planet, Light Sail works, Intel Ice Lake, better bubble wrap, cockroach bot, Texan wind, permanent magnetics

The Light Sail satellite has successfully sail in space

The Milky Way is no frisbee — Rather than being flat as a Frisbee, the Milky Way’s star-studded disk is twisted and warped, according to a new three-dimensional map of our home galaxy. Viewed from the side, the spiral arms girdling our galaxy’s bulging core would resemble a record bent into an S shape, or a softly poached egg sliding off a slotted spoon.
~ Take that, Flat Universers!

Football planet leaks heavy metal — Iron and magnesium gases are escaping the atmosphere of WASP-121b, a hot Jupiter located around 880 light-years from Earth, according to new research published in the Astronomical Journal.
WASP-121b has a mass about 1.8 times that of Jupiter, and it’s very close to its host star, requiring just 1.275 days to make a complete orbit.
~ Hang on for a wild ride.

Light sail cube sat proves itself — Since unfurling the spacecraft’s silver solar sail last week, mission managers have been optimising the way the spacecraft orients itself during solar sailing. LightSail 2 has begun raising its orbit around the Earth to about 2 kilometres. The mission team has confirmed the apogee increase can only be attributed to solar sailing, meaning LightSail 2 has successfully completed its primary goal of demonstrating flight by light for CubeSats.
~ LightSail is a citizen-funded project from The Planetary Society.

Intel Ice Lake processors — Intel has finally unveiled its first batch of 10th-generation Core processors, Ice Lake. The 10-nanometer laptop chips are designed for better board integration and include native support for Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 3.
~ Thus these are options Apple has for future MacBooks.

Better bubble wrap — 3M has created an alternative to space-wasting and plastic proliferating bubble wrap  with Flex & Seal Shipping Rolls. The material is like a padded shipping envelope that comes deconstructed: the shipper has to do all of the assembly. But it allows for the creation of custom padded envelopes that are only as large as needed.
~ The plastic is even recyclable, to a degree anyway. 

Soft robot as ‘good’ as a cockroach — A group of researchers from Tsinghua University in China and University of California, Berkeley have presented a new kind of soft robot that’s both higher performance and much more robust than just about anything seen before. The deceptively simple robot looks like a bent strip of paper, but it’s able to move at 20 body lengths per second and survive being stomped on. Take that, cockroaches.
~ Hopefully they’re more hygienic, too. 

Texan wind — Wind power has surpassed coal for the first time in Texas, according to a new report. The numbers cap an enormous rise in wind power in the nation’s top energy-producing state over the past decades.
~ The real challenge is to harness all that wind from Donald Trump into something actually beneficial to all humans. 

Permanently magnetic — Scientists have created a permanently magnetic liquid. The liquid droplets can morph into various shapes and be externally manipulated to move around, according to a new study.
The liquid droplets can change shape from a sphere to a cylinder to a pancake.
~ So can I stick my drink to a metal table top? That could be useful in space.