SpaceX unveils the Interplanetary Transport System to colonize Mars

Elon Musk, the founder, CEO, and Lead Designer of the private space travel company SpaceX announced that “they are planning to get humans to Mars in six years”. In order to achieve this goal, Musk revealed the Interplanetary Transport System, which aims to reach Mars with a human crew for the first time in history.

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Largest snakes of the world

Like crocodiles, snakes also suffer from a prevalence of “big fish” stories and over-exaggeration in the internet era. In fact, it is very difficult to measure how large actually a snake is, especially if it’s really big. So, how big are the largest snakes actually?

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Top 10 Largest Insects on Earth

The largest insects on Earth – preparing such a list is not an easy task. Because, how can you identify the “large”? It is a relative term: if you mean the “bulkiest” by largest, for instance, this title may go to the Goliath beetle (Goliathus), which are among the largest insects on Earth, if measured in terms of size, bulk, and weight. They measure from 60-110 millimeters (2.4-4.3 in) for males and 50-80 millimeters (2.0-3.1 in) for females, as adults, and can reach weights of up to 80-100 grams (2.8-3.5 oz) in the larval stage, though the adults are only about half this weight.

Or maybe Actaeon beetle (Megasoma actaeon) claims the title, which is a rhinoceros beetle, a member of the Scarabaeidae family. They can be up to 7 centimeters (2.8 in) across, with a body length of up to 13.5 cm (5.4 in) long by 4 cm (1.6 in) thick.

If you are looking for the “heaviest”, check out the Giant Weta, the heaviest insect in the world. A female giant weta filled with eggs can reach up to 70 grams!

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Scale of the Solar System (and the first flybys of planets)

Previously I posted two articles titled “If The Moon Were Only 1 Pixel – A Tediously Accurate Map Of The Solar System“, and “A Scale Model of Solar System Drawn in the Desert and the Result is Stunning“. Since the human brain cannot deal with the really large numbers, these articles provide an amazing way to understand how big actually our Solar System is.

Now, I decided to put the Solar System into scale as an infographic. You can see a scaled Solar System below, the planets’ distances from the Sun, and the first flybys over them. Plus some statistics about the planets and our home planet, the Earth.

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Amazing Earth photos from ISS

The Expedition 49 Notes 1 (the 49th expedition to the International Space Station) crew members (Anatoli Ivanishin, Kathleen Rubins and Takuya Onishi) has taken amazing photos of Earth from ISS. Four of them have been published on the ISS Facebook page. They are really, really beautiful and awe-inspiring!

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Ava, the bronze-age woman

A woman’s face, who buried over 3,700 years ago in Northern Scotland has been reconstructed by a team of archaeologists and forensic artists led by Maya Hoole. It was the bronze-age at that time in the area.

In 1987 the remains of an individual (a woman between 18-22 years old) buried over 3,700 years ago were discovered at Achavanich in Caithness in the north of Scotland. She was a member of a European group known as the Beaker people. She has been nicknamed ‘Ava’, an abbreviation of the place -Achavanich- she was found.

The site was rescued and excavated by the Highland Regional Council Archaeology Unit. Then, the site was mostly forgotten about over the next three decades.

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The fastest land animals

If you search for the fastest land animals on the Internet, you will find many “fastest animals” lists, most of them are popular “top list” sites. But, in fact, there is a tendency to overestimate the speed of fast animals. Even the speed of the world’s fastest land animal, cheetah’s speed is usually highly overestimated.

Measuring an animal’s speed is a very hard task, and very few of them were properly authenticated. Some of them are really fast, that’s true, but what is the exact number? This information is usually not measured correctly.

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Proxima Centauri b: Did We Find Earth’s Cousin?

On August 24, 2016, a group of scientists led by Dr. Guillem Anglada-Escude at the Queen Mary University of London, announced the discovery of a terrestrial exoplanet orbiting the red dwarf Proxima Centauri, the nearest known star to the Sun. Proxima Centauri is a Latin idiom, meaning “nearest (star) of Centaurus” (see notes 1). The new planet is named Proxima Centauri b and it is predicted to be orbiting within the habitable zone!

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Okavango Delta, Botswana

The Okavango Delta is a unique pulsing wetland where the 1,600 km (990 mi) long Okavango River reaches a tectonic trough in the middle of the Kalahari Desert in northern Botswana. Each year approximately 11 cubic kilometers of water spread over the 6,000-15,000 km2 area. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as well as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. (1)

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Slope Point, New Zealand

“Slope Point” is the southernmost point of New Zealand’s South Island. It lies 4803 km (2984 mi) from the South Pole and 5140 km (3194 mi) from the equator. It offers spectacular views of the surrounding ocean and coastline.

The place is regularly exposed to extreme weather conditions including heavy winds. The fierce and cold Antarctic winds can uninterruptedly travel over the Southern Ocean for 3200 km (2000 mi) and turn trees into strange but somehow beautiful statues.

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