Five space probes leaving the solar system (for now)

As of 2019, only five space probes are leaving the solar system: Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, Voyager 1, Voyager 2 and New Horizons. The Voyagers already left the solar system and entered the interstellar space (Voyager 1 on August 25, 2012, and Voyager 2 on November 5, 2018. The others also will leave the heliosphere Notes 1 and reach the interstellar space in a few years.

All of these spacecraft are launched by NASA.

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Speed of Light – See how torturously slow it is

The speed of light is the Universal speed limit – nothing can travel faster than light. In the vacuum (commonly denoted c), its exact value is 299,792,458 meters per second (around 186,000 miles per second). In other words, if you could travel at the speed of light, you could go around the Earth 7.5 times in one second.

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Global Warming: Three bad (very bad!) news

Our planet is getting warmer, with an increasing pace. This month, there were three bad, very bad news about global warming. According to a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Antarctica is losing six times more ice mass annually now than 40 years ago. Another study, published in the scientific journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences concluded that 2018 was the hottest year ever recorded for the Earth’s oceans. And, according to research released in the online journal Nature Communication, Permafrost is warming at a global scale – the temperature of the frozen ground in continuous permafrost zones rose by an average of 0.3 degrees Celsius between 2006 and 2017.

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Moon Plants: Another historic first by China’s Lunar Lander

Scientists from the China National Space Administration (CNSA) has confirmed that the seedlings taken to the far side of the moon with Chang’e 4 lunar lander have started sprouting. Or to put it another way: this is the first time something has been grown on an astronomical body outside of the Earth! Now we have “moon plants”!

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Margaret Hamilton – her code got humans on the moon

Margaret Hamilton is not only one of the first software developers, but she also literally created the term “Software Engineering” to describe her work. The code she wrote successfully put humans on the moon for the first time.

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First Flower Grown in Space

A beautiful photo showing the first flower grown in space (a zinnia flower) with our beautiful Earth in the background. Now retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly shared photographs of a blooming zinnia flower in the Veggie plant growth system aboard the International Space Station on his Twitter account back in 2016.

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The urbanization of the world

The world has been urbanizing rapidly in recent decades. In 1950, only 30 percent of the world’s population lived in urban areas, a proportion that grew to 55 percent by 2018. The global urbanization rate masks important differences in urbanization levels across geographic regions.

Northern America is the most urbanized region, with 82 percent of its population residing in urban areas, whereas Asia is approximately 50 percent urban, and Africa remains mostly rural with 43 percent of its population living in urban areas in 2018 (United Nations, 2018).

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African musicians protest the destruction of the environment with a song titled “Samalilani” (Preserve)

Musicians from Zambia (Africa) protest the destruction of the environment and the wildlife with the song titled “Samalilani” (means “preserve” in English). They also draw attention to climate change and environmental issues facing Zambia, like deforestation and charcoal burning.

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