Hubble – the telescope that keeps on giving

Plus, AI continues to innovate.
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The Futurist is your daily tech, cosmic, and science (both weird or otherwise) newsletter with articles and content curated just for you.

Civilization Trivia:

How many cars are there on Catalina Island off the California coast?

Hint: Definitely not “too many”.


(Scroll to the bottom for the answer!)

Hubble captures a monster merger | NASA

“The new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image features Arp 122, a peculiar galaxy that in fact comprises two galaxies – NGC 6040, the tilted, warped spiral galaxy and LEDA 59642, the round, face-on spiral – that are in the midst of a collision. This dramatic cosmic encounter is located at the very safe distance of roughly 570 million light-years from Earth. Peeking in at the lower-left corner is the elliptical galaxy NGC 6041, a central member of the galaxy cluster that Arp 122 resides in, but otherwise not participating in this monster merger.”

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Google DeepMind's Lila Ibrahim: AI is upending science | Axios

“AI is unlocking a ‘completely different understanding of what's out there’ and shaking up materials science and biology, Google DeepMind Chief Operating Officer Lila Ibrahim told Axios' Alison Snyder at the World Economic Forum in Davos. In 2023, Google DeepMind revealed it had used an AI tool called GNoME to discover 2.2 million possible new materials. The discovery of these potential new materials could offer shortcuts to new types of chips, batteries and solar panels, among other innovations.”

This 'self-eating' rocket consumes its own body for fuel | Gizmodo

“A new rocket is designed for its own destruction, eating itself as it makes its way through Earth’s atmosphere to power its journey. … A group of researchers from the University of Glasgow has built the first unsupported autophage rocket engine, which uses waste heat from combustion to melt its plastic fuselage and use it as fuel. … Since it requires less propellant packed from Earth, the rocket has more room to carry payloads to space compared to other vehicles of similar mass.”

Toptal - Unleash The Power of the Top 3% [Partner]

Looking for high-caliber talent to elevate your projects? Dive into Toptal’s exclusive network of expertly vetted freelancers in development, design, and more. Every project has unique needs, and Toptal understands that. With Toptal, you don't just hire freelancers; you partner with industry experts. Say goodbye to prolonged hiring processes and hello to instant matches with the top 3% talent pool. [Ad]

Glazed tower embraces the outdoors with breezy tree-filled interior | New Atlas

“Netherlands-based architecture firm MVRDV has revealed plans for a new tower in Chengdu, China. Rising to 150 m (492 ft) tall, the office high-rise will be arranged around a large full-height atrium filled with greenery that will help the interior maintain a comfortable temperature naturally. … ‘The atrium forms a semi-outdoor space: it is open at its base, where swooping lines gradually merge with a shopping podium, and it is enclosed by a mesh facade. … It therefore shades the terraces and helps to reduce the cooling requirements of the office spaces, reducing the building's energy use.’”

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The answer: Only a very few

The answer: Only a very few

According to the Frommer's travel website: “Since Avalon is the only city in California authorized by the state legislature to regulate the number of vehicles allowed to drive on city streets (there's a 17-year wait list to register one), there are no rental cars and only a handful of privately owned vehicles. Visitors are not allowed to drive cars on the island, and most residents motor about in golf carts (many of the homes only have golf-cart-size driveways).”