Friday Futures: aliens in the wrong place, Tesla, stardust

Image credit: Joachim Bago /

Welcome to Friday Futures, our weekly guide to the latest visions of The Future from around the web. This week: looking for aliens in the wrong places; waltzing Teslas; climate chaos in the Artic; harnessing light; life on Jupiter’s moons; the secrets of fingerprints.

We were looking for aliens in the wrong places

Astronomers were just able to rule out life on an entire class of exoplanets. The research, published Monday in the journal Nature, looked specifically at the exoplanet LHS 3844b — a small, rocky planet orbiting a star similar to our Sun. Read more…

Climate chaos hits the Artic, with a twist

Full tilt chaos has descended on the Arctic, a region that’s now warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. This summer it’s been sweltering under unprecedented heat, and wildfires have so far consumed 2.4 million acres in Alaska alone. Read more…

Teslas can waltz, if they need to

NASA is off to one of Jupiter’s moons

NASA has announced that it’s completing the final designs, and eventually constructing and testing, a spacecraft that could visit Jupiter’s icy moon Europa to look for signs of life. The agency is looking at a launch date as early as 2023. Read more…

Scientists just revolutionised how we can harness light

Scientists have designed organic molecules capable of generating two excitons per photon of light, a process called singlet fission. The excitons can live for much longer than those generated from their inorganic counterparts, which leads to an amplification of electricity generated per photon that is absorbed by a solar cell. Read more…

And here is how the light sail works

They just found stardust in the Antarctic

The rare isotope iron-60 is created in massive stellar explosions. Only a very small amount of this isotope reaches the earth from distant stars. Now, a research team has discovered iron-60 in Antarctic snow for the first time. The scientists suggest that the iron isotope comes from the interstellar neighbourhood. Read more…

MIT Professor says old age is in our imagination

He writes in MIT Technology Review that many of the products designed for older people, like hearing aids, cell phones with oversized buttons, and ambulance-summoning help buttons, are either surrounded by stigma or otherwise don’t match what people actually want or need. Read more…

Our fingerprints reveal way more than you think

 (Compiled by Alex Leslie and edited by Tony Poulos)

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