NASA’s Kepler Mission discovered 1000 planets in its quest to find life — Six years ago this month NASA shot the Kepler telescope into the heavens on a galactic planet-finding mission. Now, the space agency has released a graphic (above) showing some figures from its quest.
~ Coffee breaks: 0
New time-lapse shows the Neptune system as never before — Dwarf planets, comets, and asteroids are all the rage these days, but we shouldn’t neglect our Solar System’s outer gas planets and their moons. In this new NASA video, 70 days of Neptunian activity was compressed down to 34 seconds — and the effect is pretty cool.
~ Neptuned in the bud.
Europa’s surface like cracked glass — A false-colour image of Europa, Jupiter’s fourth-largest moon, shows the water-covered giant has the smoothest surface in the Solar System. The criss-cross chunks of ice are may be caused by asteroid impacts, which moves the ice around – then it refreezes in the haphazard pattern you can see here.
~ Or it might be caused by … almost anything.
Bright spots — NASA’s Dawn mission, since moving on from Vesta, has begun to map Ceres, constructing the highest resolution global map ever, with better data to come. The greatest mystery so far is the two bright white spots at the bottom of a deep crater, brighter and more reflective than anything else on the planet’s surface.
~ Someone left the car lights on.
3D printing pills in odd shapes aids absorption — Medicine is one of the more exciting fields that 3D printing promises to radically innovate. Researchers in the pharmaceutical field have instead been dabbling with custom-shaped pills optimised for every patient’s treatment needs.
~ Pyramid-shaped pills are absorbed by the body the fastest; cylinder-shaped pills take much longer. How Pharaonic!
A weird new supercooled material crystallises and glows when touched — Diketopyrrolopyrrole (DPP) derivatives, which has similar but also odder properties than even super-cooled water. One particular derivative called DPP8 can be supercooled to 200F below its freezing point. When lightly touched, DPP8 suddenly crystallises, not unlike water turning into ice. The yellow crystals glow under ultraviolet light.
~ Perhaps it’s all the PP.
Napa earthquake unearthed a time capsule — Curious onlookers gathered at the Napa County Courthouse in California to glimpse the contents of a time capsule from 1979. They learned the time-capsulers of the 1970s included a bottle of the region’s favourite adult beverage.
~ Aged vinegar, anyone?