Incredible animation reveals exoplanets orbiting a star

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A mesmerising new animation reveals four alien worlds orbiting a star 129 light years away. The planets, each more massive than Jupiter, are circling a bright young star that lies in the constellation Pegasus. It comes as the result of seven years of observations at the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, providing a captivating glimpse at four planets whose orbital periods are in nearly precise ratio with each other. These objects have vastly different orbital periods, from 40 years to more than 400. But, researchers believe they are in a one-two-four-eight resonance with each other.


Rare cosmic balancing act makes Perseid meteor showers brighter

New Scientist

In certain sweet spots, the gravitational pulls of Saturn and Jupiter might combine to cause spectacular meteor showers. The effect requires clockwork precision – but it may be responsible for one of the best showers in recent memory. From 1989 to 1994, the Perseid meteors, which occur every August, came in bright staccato bursts. One particular night in 1993 stood out to observers in Europe. "It's known as the night of the howling dogs," says Peter Jenniskens of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California.


Orbital survival simulator 'Adr1ft' floats to Vive in May

Engadget

Folks who (digitally) lined up to buy the HTC Vive have another game to add to their wishlist: Adr1ft. Publisher 505 Games announced today that the game inspired by its creator's Twitter freakout will hit HTC and Valve's room-scale VR platform this May for 20. It's already available for Oculus Rift and has been confirmed for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, albeit in non-VR form.


Tidal patterns suggest Saturn's moons may be younger than the dinosaurs

Daily Mail - Science & tech

While Saturn's rings and moons were first spotted in 1600s, there is an ongoing debate about how old they are. Many assume that they are primordial - as old as the planet itself - making them around four billion years old. However, new evidence suggests the majority of its moons are significantly younger than this and may have even formed at the same time dinosaurs roamed the Earth. While Saturn's rings and moons (pictured) were first spotted in 1600s, there is a debate about how old they are. Many assume that they are as old as the planet itself, at four billion years old.


Northtrop Grumman to buy space firm Orbital for $9.2 bn

Daily Mail - Science & tech

US defense group Northrop Grumman will buy out the rocket and missile maker Orbital ATK in a deal worth $9.2 billion, the firms said on Monday. The announcement comes around two weeks after industrial conglomerate United Technologies acquired aerospace supplier Rockwell Collins in a $30 billion deal. 'Northrop Grumman will acquire Orbital ATK for approximately $7.8 billion in cash, plus the assumption of $1.4 billion in net debt,' the companies said in a statement. Northrop Grumman will buy out the rocket and missile maker Orbital ATK in a deal worth $9.2 billion In 2015, Northrop won an $80 billion mega-contract from the US military for the Long Range Strike Bomber planned for the mid-2020s. Orbital ATK has contracts with NASA as well as the U.S. Army and the deal would give Northrop more than $4.4 billion in annual revenue according to Orbital's 2016 financials.