'Space Hurricane' confirmed to have formed above Earth

This storm rained electrons, shifted energy from the sun's rays to the magnetosphere, and went unnoticed for a long time.

Qing-He Zhang / Shandong University
  • An international team of scientists has confirmed the existence of a "space hurricane" seven years ago.
  • The storm formed in the magnetosphere above the North magnetic pole.
  • The storm posed to risk to life on Earth, though it might have interfered with some electronics.
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NASA's Perseverance rover has a 1997 computer chip brain. Here's why.

It may be old tech, but it's super-reliable.

Credit: NASA
  • A special super-tough version of an old chip made famous by Apple is running the show on NASA's Perseverance Mars rover.
  • The chip is slow by modern standards, but meets the reliability test.
  • The chip can be bombarded with radiation and still keeps on going.
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    Best. Science. Fiction. Show. Ever.

    "The Expanse" is the best vision I've ever seen of a space-faring future that may be just a few generations away.

    Credit: "The Expanse" / Syfy
    • Want three reasons why that headline is justified? Characters and acting, universe building, and science.
    • For those who don't know, "The Expanse" is a series that's run on SyFy and Amazon Prime set about 200 years in the future in a mostly settled solar system with three waring factions: Earth, Mars, and Belters.
    • No other show I know of manages to use real science so adeptly in the service of its story and its grand universe building.
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    Scientists grow extremophile microbes on rocks from Mars

    The results could help NASA's Perseverance rover find evidence of ancient life on Mars.

    Credit: Milojevic et al.
    • In a recent study, researchers simulated the environment of ancient Mars and tested whether a type of extremophile found on Earth could grow on fragments of a meteorite from Mars.
    • Extremophiles are organisms that have adapted to survive in conditions in which most life forms cannot, such as ice, volcanoes, and space.
    • The results showed that the extremophiles were able to convert the rock into energy. What's more, the microbes left behind biosignatures that could help scientists identify evidence of past life on Mars.
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    Astrophysicists find rare star spinning backwards

    A unique star system where exoplanets orbit their star backwards located by researchers.

    Illustration: Christoffer Grønne.
    • Astrophysicists find a very rare system with two exoplanets orbiting their star backwards.
    • The star system K2-290 is 897 light years away.
    • In our Solar System, all the planets revolve in the same direction as the rotation of the Sun.
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