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OTFPOTD 9/12/11 - Science! Edition

The old post from a few days back got pushed off pretty quickly without filling up, so I'm taking the initiative to start a new one.  I am so proud of me.

 

Science seems to be trending today in my news feed.  Some examples:

You know Gypsy Moths?  Buggers are responsible for defoliation in the northeastern United States.  Now we have a virus that turns them into goo.  Gross, and scary, but also kind of cool.

We all like space, right?  The people behind that HARPS telescope that's on the hunt for exoplanets announced fifty new planets, one of which is 3.6 times the mass of earth and in the habitable zone.  The sensitivity of the telescope has gotten so fine that it can now detect planets at two times the earth's mass and can detect differences in radial velocity amplitudes that run under human walking speed.

Since Matthew was talking about the Battle of Marathon and such, that got me to thinking, "what else happened on this day in history?"  Well, as it turns out, September 12th is also the anniversary of the first demonstration of the integrated circuit (you're using one right now!) and today is the 45th anniversary of the launch for Gemini 11, which achieved the highest earth orbit ever by a manned spacecraft.  Its apogee is still a standing record.

Any fields of science that are of particular interest to you, LL readers?  Underappreciated advances?  Things you're still waiting on some kind of explanation for?  Feel free to talk about whatever else you talk about too.

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