This rift, which may threaten the stability of Larsen C, has grown significantly and rapidly during the Antarctic polar night. It will shed an iceberg the size of Delaware. The rift is now 22km longer than when satellites were last able to observe it in March of this year. When this breaks free it will remove between nine and twelve percent of the ice shelf area and leave the ice front at its most retreated position ever.
Not only was the length of time our Solar System spent in the star’s remains surprising, it also coincides with an extinction event in Earth’s oceans, as well as a period of global cooling.
On Aug. 13th in China, photographer Phebe Pan was photographing the night sky, hoping to catch a Perseid meteor. Instead, he witnessed a spectacular bolt of “space lightning.” Working atop Shi Keng Kong, the highest mountain peak in the Guangdong province, “I was using a fisheye lens to capture as much of the sky as possible,” says Pan. “Suddenly we saw a flash of blue and purple ejected from the top of a nearby thundercloud. It just looked like a tree with branches, and grew up very fast. So awesome!”
Humpbacks have been witnessed 115 times intervening in orca hunts to save other mammals.
The UCI nanobattery endured 200,000 charge cycles over three months “with 94–96% average Coulombic efficiency.” It was effectively still brand new at the end of the experiment.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have engineered a potentially game-changing solar cell that cheaply and efficiently converts atmospheric carbon dioxide directly into usable hydrocarbon fuel, using only sunlight for energy.
AR Scorpii, previously identified as a single, variable star, is actually two, a compact white dwarf the size of the Earth but 200,000 times more massive, and a cool red dwarf a third the size of the Sun. By examining the system with the Very Large Telescope at the European Southern Observatory, the Hubble Space Telescope and others, astronomers have now learned that the white dwarf is spinning incredibly fast, charging up electrons to almost the speed of light.