Getting Ready For That OTHER Comet Encounter

Never mind Comet ISON: If all goes well, in January the European Space Agency's Rosetta probe will "wake up" in preparation for a rendezvous with Comet 67-P, currently hanging out in the vicinity of Jupiter.

What's the Latest Development?

While astronomers both amateur and professional get ready for the possibly awe-inspiring arrival of Comet ISON in November, a team of European Space Agency (ESA) scientists are geeked about Comet 67-P and the probe they sent out in 2004 to meet it near Jupiter. That probe, Rosetta, has been "asleep" since 2011 in order to save energy, but it's scheduled to "wake itself up" this January and begin preparations for a rendezvous. And that's not all: The probe has a lander, Philae, that the team will deploy on the comet itself.

What's the Big Idea?

The four-kilometer-wide Comet 67-P was first discovered by Russian scientists in 1969. Recent observations of its approximately six-year-long orbit show that its passes around the sun have been "relatively smooth," which should help Rosetta catch up to it. Still, there are a lot of extra heart-in-mouth moments until then, not the least of which is the actual waking-up. ESA official Mark McCaughrean says, "[W]e do expect [the internal alarm clock] to go off. And when it does...we will receive a signal. We don't know exactly when we'll receive that signal. It will happen in a window."

Photo Credit:

Read it at BBC News

How to bring more confidence to your conversations

Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.

  • To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
  • Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
  • There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
Keep reading Show less

Bespoke suicide pods now available for death in style

Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.

The Sarco assisted suicide pod
Technology & Innovation

Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco! 

Keep reading Show less

Scientists find a horrible new way cocaine can damage your brain

Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.

Getty Images
Mind & Brain
  • Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
  • Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
  • Government health programs should encourage testing of cocaine for purity.
Keep reading Show less