Kepler finds a trove of planets — At the 227th meeting of the American Astronomical Society, astronomers announced a whopping 234 new exoplanet candidates discovered by Kepler in 2014. The best part? All of them are just tens of light years away.
The deluge of planetary candidates are distributed among 208 star systems, which means we have the honor of welcoming many new multi-planet systems to our cosmic neighborhood.
~ Kepler strove and found a trove.
Closest neighbour galaxy harbours something odd — The Andromeda galaxy, our own Milky Way’s next-door neighbour, just served up the best look we’ve ever managed to get and there’s something very strange hidden in this picture (above).
Taken with NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, an X-Ray telescope designed especially for getting unusually deep-space views – captured over 40 different instances of a mysterious space object called an X-ray binary, which are the results of dead or exploded stars that suck in huge amounts of nearby (living) stars and space debris, while throwing off a steady stream of X-ray radiation..
~ Well, I find all of space odd.
The Naked Black Hole — Most galaxies have supermassive black holes at their centres surrounded by dense clouds of stars. Now, researchers have found one that seems to have lost almost its entire entourage. The team reported its find at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society. It says it doesn’t know what stripped the stars away but has put forward a tantalising possibility: The object could be an extremely rare medium-sized black hole, which theorists have predicted but observers have never seen.
~ I predict many more inexplicables that will one dale become explicables.
Life in star clusters … maybe — Globular clusters are ancient, gravitationally-bound regions of space that can pack a whopping million stars per hundred cubic light years. Once thought to be uninhabitable, new research by Rosanne Di Stefano of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Alak Ray of the Tata Institute in Mumbai suggests that globular clusters may, in fact, be the ideal places for advanced civilisations to flourish.
~ I thought the ideal places were ‘anywhere with internet’.
Astronomers want to build a 12-metre wide telescope to find the next Earth — Representatives from the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) shared their hopes and dreams at the American Astronomical Society meeting for the next flagship, space-based observatory — the successor to the JWST scheduled to launch in 2018 and to run for up to a decade.It wouldn’t launch until the 2030s, but would seek answers to two profound questions: whether or not we’re alone in the universe and how the building blocks of our universe have evolved over cosmic time.
~ The race is on to find the next ‘Earth’ by the time we’ve totally trashed this one.
Microsoft, Google, Apple identifying what 1st graders should know — K12CS.org has announced a New Framework to Define K-12 Computer Science Education, the collaboration of participants from a number of states plus technology companies (Microsoft, Google, Apple) and organisations and individuals want to define what kids should be learning, because …
~ … we’d like to define our future workforces now!
Molecules observed self replicating — Researchers at the University of Groningen (Netherlands) have developed a self-replicating system able to not only pass hereditary information from one generation to another, but also mutate. It is a crucial step towards Darwinian evolution of abiotic species and artificial life.
~ Let’s call them Replicants – after all, Ray Batty just got activated …
Kodak launches film video cameras … really! Kodak chief Jeff Clarke told the Wall Street Journal that film for new ‘Super 8’ cameras will cost $US50 ($71) to $US75 ($106) a cartridge, and the camera itself will set you back $US400 ($567) to $US750 ($1059). After processing, you’ll also have two options for media: either digital copies of your home movies or 8mm film you can put in a projector.
Columbia has digitised a bestselling anatomy flipbook from the 1600s — In 1613 Johann Remmelin published Catoptrum Microcosmicum, which became a best-seller for about 150 years. Columbia University has just published it online. The work, originally in Latin, was translated into several languages and explained the human body using movable flaps to take people down through successive layers.
~ It’s here in all it’s monotone gory glory.