Good News Thursday

Updated: Mar 14

Today's eclectic bundle of positive news nuggets from around the cosmos.


Solar plume erupting out into space.
Credit: Solar Orbiter/EUI Team/ESA & NASA
Solar Plume

This image of a solar prominence erupting from our sun isn't notable for just the arcing plume of plasma cutting a path through outer space. It's the whole scene that's important: the solar prominence, the full view of the sun it's emanating from, and most importantly the sense of scale you get when you see them both in full view, side by side. This first-of-its-kind image marks the largest solar prominence eruption ever captured in a single image alongside the entirety of the sun, says the European Space Agency. It comes to us from the Solar Orbiter, a sun-observing satellite developed by the ESA and funded in part by NASA.


Mum hugging new born baby daughter with dad looking on.
Special Twosday

It's a 'twosday' to remember for this North Carolina family. New mom Aberli Spear gave birth to daughter Judah Grace on Feb. 22, 2022, in delivery room 2, at 2:22 am. "Today is an extra special 'twos-day' for this newborn and her family!" Cone Health Alamance Regional Medical Center wrote in a Facebook post. "Judah Grace Spear was born on 2/22/22 at 2:22 a.m. at Alamance Regional Medical Center – in labor and delivery room 2!"


Oak forest from above showing heart shaped clearing.

Love is...

A heart-shaped clearing in Gloucestershire, England, can be seen in woodland where Winston Howes planted 600 oak trees in a six acre field on his farm, leaving the clearing in the middle as a tribute to his late wife Janet to whom he was married for 33 years.


Superbug Detector

Something good has come out of the Covid pandemic. Scientists at Semmelweis University in Budapest are developing lateral flow tests to detect superbug infections, which could be a “game changer”, cutting the time it takes to identify the bacteria from 24 hours to just 30 minutes. Experts say this would not only revolutionise patient care, as medics would be able to prescribe targeted antibiotics within half an hour, but would also help to reduce the spread of drug resistant bacteria. The misuse and overuse of antibiotics is a major driver of the development of superbugs, according to the World Health Organization.


Restitution

A huge Moai statue, one of the iconic stone monuments from Easter Island, began its journey back home this week, after being removed and taken to Santiago, where it has been housed since 1870. The return of the statue (similar to the ones pictured) comes after a long campaign to have it returned to Rapa Nui, as Easter Island is known locally. The ancient sculpture will set sail on a naval ship on a journey of about five days to reach Rapa Nui. The initiative is part of a repatriation program seeking to return ancestral remains, sacred and funerary objects to the island.


Solar Farming

Germany is encouraging farmers to install solar panels alongside crops in a bid to accelerate the expansion of renewable power. The government will support farmers in setting aside as much as 15 percent of their fields for solar power. Protected areas, grassland, arable land relevant to nature conservation and moorland are excluded for reasons of conservation and climate protection. However, the initiative could create some 200 gigawatts of additional solar capacity, compared with just 60-GW now. 'This advances climate protection and at the same time keeps an eye on the interests of agriculture and nature conservation,' Economy Minister Robert Habeck says. The objective is for Germany to achieve 80 percent of its electricity requirements from renewable energy by 2030.

 
Quote of the Day

"Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes."

Jim Carrey

 
On this Day

24 February 1803: In Marbury v. Madison, the U.S. Supreme Court declared an act of Congress unconstitutional, thus establishing the doctrine of judicial review.

 

Dive in Deeper


The Secret of Mayan Chocolate

Archaeologists have long known the Maya viewed cacao as a gift from the gods and cultivated cacao trees in sacred groves. But given that the dry climate of the Yucatan Peninsula makes for poor cacao-growing conditions, scientists have been puzzled as to where these groves might have been. Not any more...


'Smells Delicious'

Prince Charles was given a soft-top Aston Martin DB6 by his mum on his 21st birthday. It now runs on wine and cheese. Read on...

 
Alone in the Night

Spectacular time lapse film of Earth as seen from the ISS.