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Flashing meteor that exploded over Norway landed in a nearby forest
Created for blog@iirsg.org |  Web Version
July 27, 2021
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The Launchpad
Flashing meteor that exploded over Norway landed somewhere in a nearby forest
(Norwegian Meteor Network)
The hunt for fragments of an "unusually large meteor" that lit up the skies over Norway on Sunday (July 25) has begun. The meteor awakened awestruck residents of the country's capital city, Oslo, with the sound of a large explosion.
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In the wisp-thin sky of Jupiter's moon Ganymede, the largest satellite in the solar system, astronomers have for the first time detected evidence of water vapor, a new study finds. The discovery could shed light on similar watery atmospheres that may envelop other icy bodies in the solar system and beyond, researchers said.
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Spaceflight
New FAA rules change who qualifies for commercial astronaut wings
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has changed their qualifications for commercial astronaut wings, and Blue Origin's first flight crew might no longer be eligible. That, however, doesn't change whether they are astronauts.
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When billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos soared into space this month aboard their companies' suborbital tourism vehicles, much of the world clapped in awe. But for some scientists, these milestones represented something other than just a technical accomplishment. Achieved after years of delays and despite significant setbacks, the flights marked the potential beginning of a long-awaited era that might see rockets fly through the so-far rather pristine upper layers of the atmosphere far more often than they do today.
Full Story: Space (7/26) 
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Science & Astronomy
German X-ray space telescope captures most complete map of black holes ever
(MPE/IKI)
A German-built space telescope is creating the most detailed map of black holes and neutron stars across our universe, revealing more than 3 million newfound objects in less than two years. The observatory, called eROSITA, launched in 2019 and is the first space-based X-ray telescope capable of imaging the entire sky.
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Earth — the blue marble — is our spherical home. But what if Earth were flat? After all, some people truly believe in this retrograde idea. How would everyday life function? Would it function at all? We explore how much of an oddball, or "oddslice" Earth would be if it were flat and whether there are any advantages to living on a strange disk with the sun and moon rotating overhead like a cosmic carousel.
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Technology
Can we stop Earth from heating up?
(Pixabay)
A research group at Harvard University thinks it might be possible to achieve a temporary reduction in global temperatures by tweaking the composition of Earth's upper atmosphere. Researchers were hoping to test some of that technology — and the viability of their theory — this summer, in what they call the Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment (SCoPEx).
Full Story: Space (7/26) 
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Search for Life
'Galileo Project' will search for evidence of extraterrestrial life from the technology it leaves behind
(M. Kornmesser/ESO)
Astronomers have announced a new venture designed to advance humankind's search for artifacts from extraterrestrial technological civilizations (ETCs) — The Galileo Project. The project aims to address the question "are we the smartest kids on our cosmic block?" Harvard astrophysicist Avi Loeb, a co-founder of the initiative, said in a news conference about the big announcement.
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Entertainment
EA unveils 'Dead Space' remake plans for next-gen game consoles
(Electronic Arts)
Electronic Arts has unveiled that game developer Motive is going to remake the hit space-horror game "Dead Space." The new "Dead Space," announced during EA's Play Live 2021 event, is set to be more than just a standard remaster as the game will feature completely rebuilt assets and all-new technology to harness the power of next-gen game consoles.
Full Story: Space (7/27) 
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