See All 46 Billion Pixels of this Record-Breaking Milky Way Photo

Nothing beats gazing up at a clear night sky, but astronomers at Germany's Ruhr-Universität Bochum have produced the next best thing—and it’s absolutely stunning.

The team has created the largest astronomical image ever, and it features the Milky Way. Containing 46 billion pixels, the 194-gigabyte file is so large that it must be viewed through the university’s online tool, where you can zip around to different regions and even search for particular celestial landmarks.

The image is the culmination of five years of observations focused on the search for objects with variable brightness. Such objects with changing luminosity are valuable tools for astronomers, who can use them to find planets, stars, or other bodies. In their research, the team found more than 50,000 never-before-recorded objects with variable brightness.

Because the Milky Way is so expansive (and yet on a universal scale so very, very small), researchers split up the sky into 286 regions to observe. Those regions were individually photographed over time and then compiled into a complete picture of the galaxy. The photos were taken from an observatory in Chile’s Atacama Desert.

A Florida Brewery Created Edible Six-Pack Rings to Protect Marine Animals

For tiny scraps of plastic, six-pack rings can pose a huge threat to marine life. Small enough and ubiquitous enough that they’re easy to discard and forget about, the little plastic webs all too often make their way to the ocean, where animals can ingest or become trapped in them. In order to combat that problem, Florida-based Saltwater Brewery has created what they say is the world’s first fully biodegradable, compostable, edible six-pack rings.

The edible rings are made of barley and wheat and are, if not necessarily tasty, at least safe for animals and humans to ingest. Saltwater Brewery started packaging their beers with the edible six-pack rings in 2016. They charge slightly more for their brews to offset the cost of the rings' production. They hope that customers will be willing to pay a bit more for the environmentally friendly beers and are encouraging other companies to adopt the edible six-pack rings in order to lower manufacturing prices and save more animals.

As Saltwater Brewery president Chris Gove says in the video above: “We want to influence the big guys and kind of inspire them to also get on board.”

When Chuck Yeager Tweeted Details About His Historic, Sound Barrier-Breaking Flight

Seventy years ago today—on October 14, 1947—Charles Elwood Yeager became the first person to travel faster than the speed of sound. The Air Force pilot broke the sound barrier in an experimental X-1 rocket plane (nicknamed “Glamorous Glennis”) over a California dry lake at an altitude of 25,000 feet.

In 2015, the nonagenarian posted a few details on Twitter surrounding the anniversary of the achievement, giving amazing insight into the history-making flight.

For even more on the historic ride, check out the video below.


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