Showing posts from December 28, 2018

Astronomy Picture of the Day: New Horizons at Ultima Thule

New Horizons at Ultima Thule
When we celebrate the start of 2019, on January 1 the New Horizons spacecraft will flyby Ultima Thule. A world of the Kuiper belt 6.5 billion kilometers from the Sun, the nickname Ultima Thule (catalog designation 2014 MU69) fittingly means "beyond the known world". Following its 2015 flyby of Pluto, New Horizons was targeted for this journey, attempting the most distant flyby for a spacecraft from Earth by approaching Ultima Thule to within about 3500 kilometers. The tiny world itself is about 30 kilometers in size. This year, an observing campaign with Earth-based teles copes determined the shape of the object to be a contact binary or a close binary sytem as in this artist's illustration. New Horizons will image close up its unexplored surface in the dim light of the distant Sun.

December 29, 2018
via NASA Manage this Applet
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We've wasted so much plastic, it's almost impossible to picture—these charts will help

Environment The most mind-boggling statistic of the year, visualized. Less than 10 percent of all the plastic we've made has been recycled, but the enormity of that quantity is hard to really grasp. via Popular Science ""

The mystery of the ISS hole just got even weirder

Space The hole came from the inside. Earlier this week, a Russian cosmonaut who investigated the mysterious hole in the Soyuz capsule docked to the International Space Station revealed that the hole was… via Popular Science ""

In 2018, Alaska's Bering Sea was all out of whack.

Environment It was an extreme year. In some regions, this was the first time in 37 years of water surveys that there was no cold pool. via Popular Science ""

What is a super blood wolf moon?

Space What a strawberry moon? What is a worm moon? What is going on with my moon? Blue moons, strawberry moons, supermoons. For some reason your news aggregation algorithm of choice thinks you really really really want to know all about these moons. via Popular Science ""

Keep your home's temperature up and the heating bill down

DIY Stop fighting over the thermostat. When the leaves turn, the battle over the thermostat begins. This year, skip the debate over the ideal temperature. Here's how to keep warm without blasting the heat. via Popular Science ""

Last year in Tech 2018: Smartphone notches, data breaches, and sad CEOs

Technology A look back at 2018's big tech stories. Bring on 2019. via Popular Science ""

You say you hate Instagram's changes, but your eyeballs say otherwise

Technology It's 2018 and UX designers know us better than we know ourselves. Using Instagram feels increasingly terrible. But the numbers suggest the app is performing better than ever. What gives? via Popular Science ""

Here's how people jumped out of planes decades ago—and eject from them today

Aviation Exiting a speeding jet is no small feat. From parachutes for the balloon corps to the latest generation of high-speed ejection seats, here’s how we learned to make a swift aerial exit. From parachutes for the balloon corps to the latest generation of high-speed ejector seats, here’s how we learned to make a swift aerial exit. via Popular Science ""