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CERN Large Hadron Collider Geneva

Photo credit: CERN
CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest atom smasher, has been up and running for the past 7-years, confirming the existence of a mysterious subatomic particle known as the Higgs boson. Now, physicists have proposed a $24-billion project to build an even larger collider. Called “The Future Circular Collider (FCC),” this would be four times bigger and up to ten times more powerful than the LHC. “The FCC conceptual design report is a remarkable accomplishment.It shows the tremendous potential of the FCC to improve our knowledge of fundamental physics and to advance many technologies with a broad impact on society,” said CERN Director-General Fabiola Gianotti. Read more for another video and additional information.

China Moon Sprouting
It’s official, cotton seeds carried by China’s Chang’e 4 lunar lander have been captured sprouting, marking the first instance of biological matter growing on the moon. Chongqing University’s Liu Hanlong, a professor who led the research, stated that rapeseed and potato seeds had also germinated, but the cotton seeds were the first to sprout.”First in human history: A cotton seed brought to the moon by China’s Chang’e 4 probe has sprouted, the latest test photo has shown, marking the completion of humankind’s first biological experiment on the moon,” said the People’s Daily, China. Read more for a video and additional information.

Polar Vortex Fracture Split

Photo credit: Newsweek / The Weather Channel
The polar vortex swirling above the arctic broke apart into three parts to start off 2019, and now the eastern half of the United States is about to feel its effects. Recent weather models project the onset of a severe and punishing winter weather pattern in just over 10 days, with extreme cold, which will hit the Patriots-Chiefs game on Sunday as well. Despite the polar vortex splitting in the beginning of January, it often takes weeks for the effects to become apparent in day-to-day weather. Read more for another video and additional information.

Spider Brazil Raining Spiders
Photo credit: Daily Star
If you have arachnophobia, then it may not be the best time to visit Brazil right now, as there is at least one area where it seemingly is raining spiders. Residents living in the inland state of Minas Gerais reported seeing thousands of these eight-legged creatures in the sky, but in actuality, they were just crawling on a giant sticky web they created to capture prey. João Pedro Martinelli Fonseca, a 14-year-old who witnessed the bizarre phenomenon while visiting family in the area, said he was “stunned and scared” by the sight, particularly when at least one spider fell to the ground. Read more to watch the video he filmed.

Earth's Magnetic Field

Earth’s north magnetic pole is suddenly moving and scientists involved in tracking its motions don’t know why. The Earth’s magnetic field extends from the planet’s interior out into space, where it meets the solar wind, a stream of charged particles emanating from the Sun, and serves to deflect most of the solar wind, whose charged particles would otherwise strip away the ozone layer. “The magnetic pole is moving so quickly that it has forced the world’s geomagnetism experts into a rare move,” said science journal Nature. Read more for another video and additional information.

Video Game Console Mod Japan Law

Photo credit: Controller Chaos
Thinking about a video game console mod or possibly altering save files? It’s now illegal in Japan and both are punishable by up to five years in prison as well as fines up to 5 million yen ($46,000). Japan’s Association of Copyright for Computer Software states that modding games and consoles violate the country’s Unfair Competition Prevention Law. Peripheral maker Cyber Gadget immediately stopped selling its Save Editor data tool, which enabled gamers to use cheats and patch codes, immediately on its Japanese website. Read more for another video and additional information.

Astronaut 911 ISS

Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers accidentally called 9-1-1, an American emergency services number, from orbit during his time aboard the International Space Station. The 60-year-old, who spent more than 200 days among the stars over two separate missions in 2004 and 2011, said: “If you’re in space, it’s like you’re making a call via Houston, first you dial the 9 for an outside line and then 011 for an international line. The next day I received an email message: Did you call 911?,” said Kuipers. He quickly hung up, but the call triggered a Mission Control alert in Houston. Read more for an in-depth tour of the ISS given by Kuipers.

Quadrantids Meteor Shower 2019

Photo credit: AMS
Quadrantids will be the first meteor shower of 2019 year, and it peaks Thursday night. The best time to watch is from late night January 3 until dawn on January 4, as it’s been known to produce some 50-100 meteors in a dark sky. International Meteor Organization says the exact peak of the shower will be at 2:00 a.m. UTC, when sky-gazers in Europe get the best view. It’s expected to be visible in the Northern Hemisphere, especially mid-northern and far-northern latitudes, if weather conditions allow. Read more for another video about the meteor shower and additional information.

Apple NASDAQ AAPL

Apple cut guidance yesterday, but CEO Tim Cook revealed in an internal memo to employees that the company saw record Christmas Day iPhone activations in the United States and Canada, as well as inviting them to an all-hands meeting at 9:30 a.m. Pacific Time at Apple’s Town Hall auditorium on its Infinite Loop campus to discuss the first fiscal quarter of 2019. He also mentioned record revenue in “Services,” “Wearables” and “Mac” categories as well as “all-time revenue” in “key markets.” Read more for another video and additional information.

China Far Side of the Moon Landing Chang'e-4
Chang’e-4, a Chinese lunar probe, has successfully touched down on the far side of the moon, said state media, hailing it as an historic first landing there on a mission seen as an important step for the country’s space program. It officially made a “soft landing” at 0226 GMT in the South Pole-Aitken basin’s Von Kármán crater and transmitted the first-ever “close range” image of the dark side of the moon. The spacecraft, which includes a lander and a rover, touched down at a pre-selected landing area, after entering the moon’s orbit in mid-December. Read more for two additional videos and information.