Our closest look at Ceres reveals a surface riddled with craters — As we get closer and closer to Ceres, we keep seeing new things. Initially, it was just the barest outline of the dwarf planet, then a strange selection of white spots, and, in these newest, sharpest images yet, you can see its mysteriously scarred surface.
~ At least it doesn’t have McDonalds and KFC yet.
A star came within 0.8 light-years of our Sun just 70,000 years ago — An international team of astronomers has identified a star that passed through the outer reaches of the Oort Cloud some 70,000 years ago. It came within a distance of 0.8 light-years, making it the closest known flyby of a star to the Solar System.
~ That’s a breathtakingly close 8 trillion kms.
Nix and Hydra are the tiny moons of Pluto — Eighty-five years ago, Clyde Tombaugh found a small dot of light shifting position while hunting for the trans-Neptune planet predicted by Percival Lowell. Now, the New Horizons probe en route to Pluto has photographed its tiny moons, Nix and Hydra.
~ Both names sound a bit negative, don’t they?
Theory of Information could resolve one of the great paradoxes of Cosmology — Stephen Hawking described it as the most spectacular failure of any physical theory in history. Can a new theory of information rescue cosmologists?
~ Well, I try not to worry too much about the cosmological constant paradox myself, but I’m glad someone is.
How a ‘Photoshop for sound’ could transform restaurants and music halls — Restaurants have to strike a fine balance between eerily quiet and shouting-across-the-table loud. At Oakland’s Oliveto, the high-tech solution is a set of mics, speakers and sound-absorbing panels that constantly record, modify and pipe back the ideal background noise — essentially real-time Photoshop for sound.
~ Dare I venture ‘just turn the damned music off’?
Researchers block HIV infection in monkeys with artificial protein — Immunologists have developed a synthetic molecule that’s able to attach to HIV and prevent it from interacting with healthy cells.
~ One suspects the monkeys were artificially infected in the first place. Still, I’m sure they’ll be relieved.
The medical miracle headlines of the future (from 1951) — On January 2, 1951, the Rex Morgan, MD comic strip featured a New Year’s greeting insisting to readers that time is measured by progress instead of simply by years. And it’s not a bad thought, but looking at the ‘headlines of the future’ from 1951, one can’t help but be a little bummed out.
~ Progress (still) needed.