Electrons live at least 5 Quintillion times the age of the universe — Basic physics suggests that electrons are essentially immortal. A fascinating experiment recently failed to overthrow this fundamental assumption. But the effort has produced a revised minimum lifespan for electrons: 60,000 yottayears, which is — get this — about five-quintillion times the current age of the Universe.
~ That’s what we call a whole lot of quite a lot.
Blast of beads is an analogue for the early universe — A machine shoots a blast of beads at a metal target. The result is a beautiful conical structure known as a ‘water bell’. It’s significant because one kind of substance (granular material) changes its behaviour to act like another substance entirely — and the universe has seen this kind of change before.
~ I’ve seen it before too – it’s called ‘making a smoothie’.
Simulation figures out potential life — Our home galaxy isn’t as hospitable to life as you might hope. Cosmic radiation, supernova explosions and collisions with small galaxies make much of the Milky Way too hellish for biology. But a detailed new simulation locates quiet and fertile cosmic neighborhoods, including a surprising locale: wispy streams of stars flung far beyond the main body of the Milky Way.
~ Doesn’t really explain where Earth fits, though.
Weather satellite orbiting Venus — Venus has a new climate observing spacecraft, Akatsuki. The spacecraft approached Venus to make its audacious, last-ditch attempt at orbit. The plan worked, giving the planet its first robotic companion since the European Space Agency’s Venus Express died in January 2015.
~ Outlook for Thursday: Venusian.
Rover goes into a Martian sand-dune — A remarkable image (above) shows a super close-up view of an undisturbed patch of Martian sand. These course grains remain on the surface as smaller particles get sifted downwards when the wind blows.
~ I thought it would be red.
Motion tracking helps NASA plan space environments — A clever new technology could help NASA figure out how astronauts use their environments, so that we can build much better ones
~ May also help figure out how astronauts will one day be able to play Twister.
Soccer-ball sized hover-bot is much safer — Fleye is the exact opposite of classic drones, according to the Belgian engineers behind the bot. There’s no huge propeller, no clunky frame, and no heavy crashing into bleachers at sporting events. It’s being billed as a personal, autonomous robot.
~ Major challenge is getting hot to stay in the air longer than ten minutes.
Wolfram teaching kids his language — Stephen Wolfram received a PhD in particle physics at age 20. Wolfram’s new book, An Elementary Introduction to the Wolfram Language (free on the web), aspires to teach those new to programming how to do much more than just move Minecraft and Star Wars characters around.
Angkor Wat’s ‘Last Stand’ — A new excavation on an iconic Cambodian temple reveals who worked there, how they lived, and how they may have been conquered.
~ Let’s hope they weren’t Trumped.