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Supernova Shockwave Recorded for the First Time

NASA's Kepler space telescope has captured the spectacular flash of a supernova shockwave, or "shock breakout," exploding 1.2 billion light-years from Earth. The stellar event, which occurs when a dying star collapses and bursts into a brilliant supernova, has never before been captured in visible light until now, Gizmodo reports.

The Kepler probe was deployed by NASA in 2009 to seek out planets beyond our solar system. Today the telescope is also used to study star clusters and supernovae, and in 2011 it recorded the fiery deaths of two colossal red supergiants. Only the larger of the two, a star about 500 times the size of our Sun, displayed a shock breakout that was detected in the Kepler recordings.

According to a study in Astrophysical Journal, a science team led by University of Notre Dame astrophysicist Peter Garnavich came across the event when sifting through mountains of data captured by the telescope from 500 different galaxies over the course of three years. They were on the lookout for evidence of supernovae, which are created when a giant star runs out of the fuel necessary to sustain itself, collapses under its own gravitational pull, and then explodes into a brilliant supernova, which can sometimes grow bright enough to outshine whole galaxies. Before a supernova starts to expand, a super-bright flash is created as the shockwave of the collapsing core breaks past the star's surface. You can see what this process looks like in the animation above.

Understanding how supernovae form is vital to understanding the universe. Heavy elements like silver, nickel, and copper are all derived from such explosions, and according to Steve Howell, project scientist for NASA's Kepler mission, life as we know it wouldn't exist without them.

Header/banner images courtesy of NASA via YouTube

[h/t Gizmodo]

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Afternoon Map
The Most Searched Shows on Netflix in 2017, By State

Orange is the New Black is the new black, at least as far as Netflix viewers are concerned. The women-in-prison dramedy may have premiered in 2013, but it’s still got viewers hooked. Just as they did in 2017, HighSpeedInternet.com took a deep dive into Netflix analytics using Google Trends to find out which shows people in each state were searching Netflix for throughout the year. While there was a little bit of crossover between 2016 and 2017, new series like American Vandal and Mindhunter gave viewers a host of new content. But that didn’t stop Orange is the New Black from dominating the map; it was the most searched show in 15 states.

Coming in at a faraway second place was American Vandal, a new true crime satire that captured the attention of five states (Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin). Even more impressive is the fact that the series premiered in mid-September, meaning that it found a large and rabid audience in a very short amount of time.

Folks in Alaska, Colorado, and Oregon were all destined to be disappointed; Star Trek: Discovery was the most searched-for series in each of these states, but it’s not yet available on Netflix in America (you’ve got to get CBS All Access for that, folks). Fourteen states broke the mold a bit with shows that were unique to their state only; this included Big Mouth in Delaware, The Keepers in Maryland, The OA in Pennsylvania, GLOW in Rhode Island, and Black Mirror in Hawaii.

Check out the map above to see if your favorite Netflix binge-watch matches up with your neighbors'. For more detailed findings, visit HighSpeedInternet.com.

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Afternoon Map
Monthly Internet Costs in Every Country

Thanks to the internet, people around the world can conduct global research, trade tips, and find faraway friends without ever leaving their couch. Not everyone pays the same price for these digital privileges, though, according to new data visualizations spotted by Thrillist.

To compare internet user prices in each country, cost information site HowMuch.net created a series of maps. The data comes courtesy of English market research consultancy BDRC and Cable.co.uk, which teamed up to analyze 3351 broadband packages in 196 nations between August 18, 2017 and October 12, 2017.

In the U.S., for example, the average cost for internet service is $66 per month. That’s substantially more than what browsers pay in neighboring Mexico ($27) and Canada ($55). Still, we don’t have it bad compared to either Namibia or Burkina Faso, where users shell out a staggering $464 and $924, respectively, for monthly broadband access. In fact, internet in the U.S. is far cheaper than what residents in 113 countries pay, including those in Saudi Arabia ($84), Indonesia ($72), and Greenland ($84).

On average, internet costs in Asia and Russia tend to be among the lowest, while access is prohibitively expensive in sub-Saharan Africa and in certain parts of Oceania. As for the world’s cheapest internet, you’ll find it in Ukraine and Iran.

Check out the maps below for more broadband insights, or view HowMuch.net’s full findings here.

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

[h/t Thrillist]

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