OGN Thursday

Updated: Mar 16

All the good stuff happening on Earth and in space.

  • Astronomers have discovered and studied in great detail the most distant source of radio emissions ever found. Called a "radio-loud" quasar - which is a blindingly bright object with colossal jets emitting at radio wavelengths - so distant that its light took 13 billion years to reach Earth, says a study in the Astrophysical Journal. Thirteen billion years ago, the big bang had just unfolded, which means studying this quasar will help us understand the dawn of the universe.

  • French oaks that have been standing for hundreds of years in a once-royal forest now have a sacred destiny. Felled on Tuesday in the Loire region’s Forest of Bercé, they have been selected to help reconstruct Notre Dame Cathedral. Understandably, the dimensions required for Notre Dame’s anointed timbers are clinically precise: many trunks have to measure more than 1m (more than 3ft) wide and 18m (60ft) long. Eight of the trees – destined for the most monumental part of the spire – were found in the Forest of Bercé that once belonged to the kings of France. About 1,000 oaks in more than 200 French forests, both private and public, were chosen to make the frame of the cathedral transept and spire.

  • Selfless Kindness: When the Fukushima nuclear plant melted down 10 years, 160,000 residents were told to avoid radiation risk by rapidly escaping the city. However, it seems only 159,998 residents listened.

  • Britain's government plans to launch the world's first sovereign green savings bonds for retail investors as part of its push to create a net-zero-carbon economy by 2050. They will fund projects in areas such as renewable energy and clean transportation and will go on sale later this year, the Treasury said.

  • Vaccine efficacy good news: A few months ago the biggest question about covid-19 vaccines was whether any of them would work. Then, happily, we found out they worked and scientists calculated their efficacy based on clinical trial results. Today, we have 'real world' data and it's even better.

  • Spreading the word: A woman, nicknamed 'book lady,' wants to give away one million books to her Virginia community. So far she's given away 63,000 via 16 tiny, standalone libraries that Jennifer Williams keeps stocked. She also leaves books on picnic tables, in laundromats, and gives one every year to all the kids in her school.

  • Vertical Aerospace: The company's Urban Air Mobility craft is seeking to revolutionise short-range, emissions-free air travel and has now partnered with Rolls-Royce to supply its electric engines. Take off expected in 2024.

  • An increasing number of giant automakers have pledged to phase out carbon-emitting vehicles. Now delivery service FedEx has joined the bandwagon and will invest at least $2 billion in sustainable energy initiatives, including replacing all of its parcel delivery vehicles with zero-emission electric vehicles by 2040.

  • As it's one of the biggest per capita CO2 emitters in Asia, solar panels have been installed off the coast of Singapore to help the island city-state tackle its climate issues. The 13,000 panels are anchored to the seabed and will produce enough energy to power 1,500 homes for an entire year.

  • Cure for HIV? Researchers find largest ever group of people who have controlled HIV without drugs. Discovery of more than 400 'elite controllers' in Democratic Republic of Congo may hold promise of unlocking a cure for the disease.

  • Ever dreamed of flying with birds? Enjoy this amazing 4 minute video of flying alongside birds on board a microlight.