By Jupiter! Juno’s first major information dump revealed some incredible insights into our big ol’ friend, Jupiter. A few close approaches from the NASA spacecraft show that the gas giant has extremely chaotic storms and can generate aurorae in ways Earth can’t, among other oddities. In short, Jupiter is the Wild West of the solar system, and an incredible view of its rings proves just how true that is.
Jupiter is immense and this video is spectacular. The fifth planet from the sun has a diameter of 143,231 kilometres (89,000 miles) and could easily envelop every other planet (and Pluto). The gas giant also has 2.5 times the mass of all those planets combined. Even its enormous storms boggle the mind: the Great Red Spot is big enough to contain the Earth.
~ Suddenly Mars seems more attractive.
Solar plane to circumnavigate the Earth — A Russian tycoon and his Renova Group plan a record-breaking effort to send a plane around the world nonstop using only the power of the sun. If all goes well, a single pilot will fly for five days straight at altitudes of up to 10 miles, about a third higher than commercial airliners.
~ If he flew at a lower altitude, wouldn’t it be a shorter trip?
New tech could triple screen resolutions — A research team at the University of Central Florida has developed a new surface that allows the tuning of individual subpixels on a display. The breakthrough might mean the potential display resolutions on LCD TVs could triple, virtually overnight.
~ All hail embossed nanosurfaces.
Wooden skyscraper — Chicago’s John Hancock Center was built in 1965 and required 5 million pounds of aluminium. Five years later, engineers constructed the Sears Tower, a 1,400 foot skyscraper that used more than 176 million pounds of steel. An ambitious new proposal promises to introduce a new material to Chicago’s skyline, and to skyscrapers around the world: wood.
Architects are exploring a new kind of high-rise structure built entirely from timber. The River Beech Tower is a spindly, beechwood building whose 80 stories cut a blonde silhouette against Chicago’s dark, glassy horizon.
~ Do they have borer over there?
Ancient Chinese contraception proves ‘perfect’ — Researchers at UC Berkeley found a birth control that was hormone-free, 100% natural, resulted in no side effects, didn’t harm either eggs nor sperm, could be used in the long-term or short-term, and, perhaps the best part of all, could be used either before or after conception, and it came from ancient Chinese folk medicine…
Two plant compounds block fertilization at very, very low concentrations – about 10 times lower than levels of levonorgestrel in Plan B – they could be a new generation of emergency contraceptive.
~ They work as swim encumbrance. Seriously!
Ancient Egyptian DNA reveals … They left behind intricate coffins, massive pyramids and gorgeous hieroglyphs, a pictorial writing code cracked in 1799. But there was one persistent hole in ancient Egyptian identity: their chromosomes. A study led by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and the University of Tubingen in Germany managed to plug some of those genetic gaps.
Ancient Egyptians were closely related to people who lived along the eastern Mediterranean and shared genetic material with residents of the Turkish peninsula at the time and Europe.
The major finding was that “for 1300 years, we see complete genetic continuity.” Despite repeated conquests of Egypt, by Alexander the Great, Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Assyrians and more, ancient Egyptians showed little genetic change.
~ They also didn’t find much sub-Saharan African ancestry.