This week I’m going for another space summary, simply because there were so many interesting headlines that they deserve to be at least mentioned here. As usual, references and the links just after the general description.
The first and most disquieting of all, this article about a startling declaration by Professor Stephen Hawking: we humans have to find a new planet to populate within 100 years. Why? It’s our only way to survive. Climate change, overdue asteroid strikes, epidemics and population growth, will lead us to extinction otherwise. This is not the first time Hawking said that, but in the past he put a 1,000 year time limit. It seems we’re running out of time.
NASA space probes have detected a massive, human-made ‘barrier’ surrounding Earth, and this is rather worrying, too. As the article explains,”that’s a big deal, because not only do we know very little about these quantum phase transitions – it’s been less than a year since they were observed for the first time – but they could also be the key to unlocking all kinds of crazy properties, such as high-temperature superconductivity.”
Scientists at the University of British Columbia have proposed a radical new theory to explain the exponentially increasing size of the universe, which is promising in terms of implications, especially in the field of the mysterious dark energy (does it even exist for real? Still controversial).
Finally, one news that not exactly space-related for now, but that is going to be. The new type of massive German nuclear fusion reactor looks the real deal. [The reactor] “was successfully able to contain a scorching hot blob of helium plasma. But since then, there’s been a big question – is the device working the way it’s supposed to? That’s pretty crucial when you’re talking about a machine that could potentially maintain controlled nuclear fusion reactions one day, and thankfully, the answer is yes.”