Two potentially life-friendly planets found orbiting a nearby star — A tiny, old star just 12 light-years away might host two temperate, rocky planets, astronomers have announced. If confirmed, both of the newly spotted worlds are nearly identical to Earth in mass, and both planets are in orbits that could allow liquid water to trickle and puddle on their surfaces.
~ I christen you Puddle and Trickle, then.
Absence of aliens inspires more ambitions — The Breakthrough Listen project has completed a sweeping search of over 1700 nearby stars for signs of alien technology. Sadly, no evidence of extraterrestrials was found, but the $145 million project took a major leap forward in terms of its ability to continue the search. But those involved intend to try again, with better tools and refined techniques.
~ By ‘refined’ I am guessing they mean those Star Trek and Orville style aliens who almost all, magically, speak English.
The Comet Interceptor mission will include a mothership and two ‘daughter’ spacecraft — The ESA describes the new Comet Interceptor mission, scheduled for launch in 2028, as unique in that it’ll be our first encounter with a comet making its first trip into the inner solar system. (Americans are less interested in NASA sending humans to the moon or Mars than they are in the US space agency focusing on potential asteroid impacts.)
~ It’s ‘pristine’.
The Plastic Age — If civilisations are remembered for what they leave behind, our time might be labelled the Plastic Age. Plastic can endure for centuries. It’s everywhere, even in our clothes, from polyester leisure suits to fleece jackets.
A Silicon Valley startup is trying to get the plastic out of clothing and put something else in: biopolymers. Unlike plastic, they can be broken down into natural materials.
~ As long as these clothes don’t start eating their occupants.
Boaty McBoatface plumbs the depths — The British research submarine Boaty McBoatface has made an impressive debut in the scientific arena, discovering a significant link between Antarctic winds and rising sea temperatures on its maiden outing. Its findings have revealed how increasingly strong winds in the region are causing turbulence deep within the sea, mixing warm water from middle levels with colder water in the abyss.
~ The abyss really sounds like no fun at all.
Wifi-transmitting smart bulbs — Signify (formerly known as Philips Lighting) produces Hue-branded smart lights and has announced a new range of internet-transmitting Li-Fi lights called Truelifi. They’re capable of transmitting data to devices like laptops at speeds of up to 150 Mbps using light waves, rather than the radio signals used by 4G or Wi-Fi.
~ I’ll just beam that data across the office, then.
Stick like a snail — Scientists have developed an adhesive both sticky and reusable thanks to inspiration from snail mucus. Things stick together thanks to a combination of various microscopic and macroscopic behaviours, influenced by interactions between individual molecules and the shapes of surfaces.
~ Yeah, I was going to say that.
Lost city teems with life — A black puma was just a taste of the magnificence Larsen and his team would find in the recently discovered lost city in Honduras’ Mosquitia Rainforest. This remote region is teeming with life – some of which was believed extinct.
~ Except this region is subject to very hard-to-control human ravages.