Weekly RoundUp: The Monoliths’ Saga, the End of the Arecibo Telescope, and more

Weekly RoundUp: The Monoliths’ Saga, the End of the Arecibo Telescope, and more

The Monoliths’ Saga

On November 18th, state helicopters spotted a giant structure firmly mounted between the rocks in the desert of Utah. The mysterious metallic figure, with a triangular shape on the top, later vanished.

Dozens of theories started to circulate about the cause of the disappearance (one of the most popular was that aliens were the burglars), but photography cleared all the rumours: the metallic statue had been removed by four men. The group walked around with the pieces had left no trace of it.

In the following weeks, similar structures were spotted in Romania, and in California, this week. Unlike the original one, the monolith from Atascadero, California, was a little bit wobbly. Again, this monolith was destroyed and replaced by a wooden cross by a Christian group.


The Galactic Journey of the Arecibo Telescope has come to an end

The Arecibo Observatory, a 900-ton radio telescope, has collapsed. The 57-year-old facility, located in Puerto Rico, did not survive a break in the cables.

Ramon Lugo, director of the Florida Space Institute at the University of Central Florida, stated to the Science Magazine: “Truthfully, it was a lot of hard work by a lot of people trying to restore this facility. It’s disappointing we weren’t successful. It’s really a hard morning.”

Source: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/12/arecibo-telescope-collapses-ending-57-year-run

The UK approves Covid-19 vaccine, Russian begins mass vaccination

The United Kingdom was the first western country to approve a covid-19 vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine will be rolled out in the next week to front-line health care workers and care home staff and residents.

Today, Russian authorities started the vaccination process in Moscow. The Sputnik V vaccine, which is still undergoing mass testing, is being used.

Source: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/12/03/942446185/uks-approval-of-pfizer-vaccine-should-give-people-hope-vaccine-expert-says?t=1607105019193https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-55198166

ESA reveals candidates for interplanetary mining

Civilization has always been highly dependent on mining. If we are to colonize the moon or Mars, we will need the bring along the biominers.


This week in Science History, we remember the work of Lewis Thomas

Lewis Thomas was perhaps more famous as a writer and educator than a biologist. The author of The Lives of a Cell died 27 years ago.


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