Today's bite-sized chunks of upbeat news from around the cosmos.
NASA telescopes start the year with a double bang! A colorful, festive image shows different types of light containing the remains of not one, but at least two exploded stars. This supernova remnant is part of a larger region of space where stars have been continuously forming for the past 8 to 10 million years. It is a complex landscape of dark clouds of gas, young stars, high-energy shocks, and superheated gas, located 160,000 light-years away from Earth in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small satellite galaxy of the Milky Way.
Time for a Change?
The owners of an "off-grid" Welsh island are on the hunt for two wardens to live and work there. The pair who land the gig on Bardsey Island (Ynys Enlli) off the coast of the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales will enjoy perks including one boat trip to the mainland per month, and be paid £11.44 ($14.50) per hour. The island, which measures 0.69 square miles, has a population of 11 and is said to be the burial site of mythical wizard Merlin, noted Sky News. Last year, the island became the first location in Europe to be given Dark Sky Sanctuary status.
New Tetris Titan
It's been a great week for Willis Gibson, a 13-year-old from Oklahoma, who is thought to be the first human to beat Tetris. Nintendo released the video game, which requires players to drop blocks into horizontal lines, more than three decades ago. Tetris is one of few games that are as addictive as they’re stressful, as the tetrominoes come at you faster and faster and you’re forced to make quicker decisions before your grid fills up and it’s game over. The US teenager posted a video on YouTube of himself reaching level 157 in just 38 minutes, making the game crash.
The world's first coin to be struck in 2024 highlights Australian space exploration history. "Out of this World - Australia in Space" was chosen by the Royal Australian Mint as its 2024 theme "to showcase Australia's history and significance as one of the earliest nations to launch its own satellite." The satellite, launched in 1967, which carried upper atmospheric radiation measurement experiments, established Australia as the seventh nation to put a satellite into orbit and the third country to launch from its own territory, after the Soviet Union and United States.
President Joe Biden has issued a federal pardon for all Americans who have used marijuana in the past, including those who were never arrested or prosecuted, covering both personal use and convictions for similar federal crimes. The move aims to address the impact of criminal records on employment, housing, and education opportunities, with thousands eligible for pardons.
Germany on Track
The share of renewables on Germany's power grids rose to 55 percent of the total last year, as Europe's largest economy moves closer to its 2030 target, reports Reuters. Germany wants green power to account for 80 percent of its energy mix by 2030. It has ditched nuclear power and aims to abandon most of its coal generation and use its remaining gas plants mostly for grid back-up.
"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free." Michelangelo
On This Day
5 January 1933: In San Francisco, construction began on the Golden Gate Bridge, a suspension bridge that once boasted the longest main span in the world.
Arctic Fox Love Story: After a long winter apart, an Arctic fox searches for his mate...