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Travelling between the stars has been a dream of humanity for generations. But while our species might not be able to make that trek for a long while, there are some seasoned travelers whizzing around the galaxy, and one of them stopped by our solar system this week.

Astronomer Rob Weryk, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy was working with data collected from the university’s Pan-STARRS 1 telescope on October 19 when he first noticed the strange moving object, and reported it to the Minor Planet Center, which compiles reports of minor planets, moons, natural satellites, and comets from all over the world.

The Pan-STARRS 1 telescope helps NASA identify and track near-Earth objects, like asteroids, which head into Earth’s neighborhood. Until now, all of those objects have originated from our own solar system. But this discovery was different. Instead of staying roughly in the same plane as most of the other planets, this object jetted in almost perpendicular to…basically everything else in the Solar system.

Other telescopes and astronomers around the world made similar observations and sent in reports tracking the movement of the object on its journey. It was decidedly odd, and incredibly exciting.

“This is the most extreme orbit I have ever seen,” Davide Farnocchia, a scientist at NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) says in a statement. “It is going extremely fast and on such a trajectory that we can say with confidence that this object is on its way out of the solar system and not coming back.”

The object, temporarily called A/2024 U1, is less than a quarter mile long, and when it was entering the solar system it was speeding along at 15 miles per second. At first, people thought it might be a comet, but it doesn’t have a comet’s distinctive tail. Astronomers calculate that it passed closest to the Sun on September 9, passing just inside the orbit of Mercury.

The Sun’s gravity changed its course and speed, sending it hurtling out of our star system and towards the constellation Pegasus. It came closest to Earth on October 14, zipping by just 15 million miles from our planet. To put that in perspective, that’s less than half the distance between Earth and Mars.

We don’t know much about the object, and as it’s moving away from us at about 27 miles per second, astronomers won’t get many more chances to make detailed observations, though there’s a chance the Hubble Space Telescope might be able to catch a glimpse of it as it flies away.

“A/2024 U1 is already faint and fading quickly. We can still use large telescopes to track its position for a month or maybe two,” Farnocchia says in an e-mail. “The object may already be too faint for physical characterization and measuring its size, mass or composition.”

Scientists are poring over the data they do have and trying to get a few last glimpses of the object before it fades from view. The early results are tantalizing. In addition to not being a comet, it seems to have a distinctly reddish color, similar to asteroids in the Kuiper Belt.

Spectrum of A/2024 U1 obtained on Wednesday night with the @INGLaPalma 4.2m WHT. Colour is red like Kuiper Belt Objects, featureless. chúng tôi Alan Fitzsimmons (@FitzsimmonsAlan) October 27, 2023

Even as observations continue to pile up, researchers are thrilled to see evidence of something that had been often discussed and theorized about, but that some astronomers didn’t expect to see in their careers, or at least, in the next few decades.

The observations so far do line up with published theories. In a 2024 paper, astronomers including Darin Ragozzine of Brigham Young University predicted that an interstellar object might initially be considered a Near Earth Object based on how it was moving. That’s what researchers thought A/2024 U1 might be initially, before they got additional glimpses of the object.

As researchers are celebrating the discovery and gathering more information about A/2024 U1, they’re also looking forward to finding other interstellar visitors. The eccentric path of A/2024 U1 tells researchers that it was probably flung out of another, distant solar system long ago.

“Observing ISOs [interstellar objects] in our solar system means we are probing the dynamics and formation of other solar systems! If these objects are getting kicked out of their home systems and into ours, we can learn about their home systems formation histories.” Bonnie Meinke, Deputy Project Scientist of the James Webb Space Telescope says in an e-mail. “This is similar to how planetary scientists learn about Mars by studying the Martian meteorites that hit Earth.”

In the future, the next generation of large telescopes, including the Large Survey Synoptic Telescope, currently under construction in Chile could help researchers like Ragozzine learn more about where those objects are coming from, giving us a better idea about whether they’re zipping in directly from a star that cast them away, or if they’ve wandered the galaxy, roving from star to star for billions of years.

“NASA has been searching for hazardous asteroids for about twenty years now, so a simple extrapolation would say one ISO discovery every twenty years, possibly more frequently as new surveys with more powerful telescopes come online in the future,” Farnocchia says. ”But we only have one discovery so far, too few to do any statistics, and so it’s not easy to reliably predict the rate at which new interstellar objects visit the solar system and we can discover them.”

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“The Defenders”: An Excerpt From Our Sci

“The Defenders” by Will McIntosh

This is an excerpt from Popular Science’s special issue, Dispatches From The Future_. Visit iTunes to download the edition onto your iPad, or return to our list of excerpts._

In an eyeblink, Lila lost all contact with the rest of the world. The silence was shocking, the sense of isolation unnerving, partly because she knew it meant the jet had penetrated the Defenders’ cloak and entered Australian airspace. For a moment she stared blankly at the stray tufts of gray hair visible over the seat back in front of her. That would be Gayatri Nadal, the Ambassador from India. Then she thought to look out the window

There was nothing to see yet; they were still above the smoky cloud-cover. It was hard to believe Australia was down there. Over the past twenty-eight years it had taken on almost mythical dimensions in Lila’s mind, and knowing she would see it any moment, see what it had become, set her heart pounding.

The Spanish ambassador, in the seat next to Lila, turned, as if noticing her for the first time. “Nervous?”

She nodded. The word didn’t begin to describe the shades and layers of what Lila was feeling, but it would do as a rough approximation.

The Spaniard’s white eyebrows pinched. “Were you even alive when the Luyten invaded?” Bolibar: His name came to her as he spoke. “Have you ever seen a Defender?”

Lila laughed, not sure if he was trying to flatter her, or if he really thought she was still in her twenties. “Oh, I’ve seen Defenders. And Luyten.” She closed her mouth. That was all she wanted to say on that topic. The last thing she wanted, given that she was the youngest ambassador on the plane, was to seem immature by getting upset on the flight in.

“Ah. I’m sorry,” he said, reading her face. “You were a young girl? I’m sorry.”

The second apology was for bringing up the painful topic, no doubt. It was impolite to bring up the Luyten invasion if you weren’t sure the person you were speaking to was amenable to the topic.

“No worries. Who doesn’t have invasion memories?” She forced a smile, turned back to the window, but it was too late. As they surged toward Australia, and humanity’s first contact with their saviors in twenty-eight years, Lila’s memories reeled out. She saw the Luyten, like enormous starfish falling from the sky, twirling in one direction and then the other, deadly flashes bursting from the tips of their five or six or seven stunted appendages. Lila squeezed the armrest, trying to let the memory be, let it play out if it needed to. She’d learned that if she resisted it would only pull her in deeper, turn into a full-fledged flashback, and if she went into PTSD mode the embassy might just pull her at the first opportunity.

She focused on her breathing, kept it smooth and even as she saw her seven-year-old self rushing into the shelter of the high school as the ground shook from explosions and the air crackled with the Luytens’ electric fire, which stank like burning sweat.

Where are they? Where are the Defenders? someone had said as they huddled in the cafeteria, watching human soldiers set up defenses outside. The soldiers had pointed their weapons this way and that, knowing that no matter what they did the Luyten would be one step ahead of them.

Then, that first glimpse of a Luyten up close: Much bigger than Lila had expected, galloping out of the trees on three arms, barreling over swings and slides, its free arms pointed forward; the blinding flash, the screams of burning soldiers who’d mostly been facing the other way, because how do you fight an enemy who knows your every thought?

Lila had squeezed her eyes shut as a half-dozen more Luyten broke from the woods. She’d tried to think of something happy–The Mermaid Frolly Show, her favorite television program. She’d resolved to keep her eyes closed and think only of the show until it was over.

Then: Her father, rushing outside with other parents to fight the Luyten, because the soldiers were all dead and the Luyten were coming. The parents trying to reach the makeshift bunker where the dead soldiers’ weapons lay amidst their toasted bodies. She remembered Mr. Suchy, her social studies teacher, swinging a fire ax at a charging Luyten, who cut him in two at the chest with a whip of its cilia.

Then: The warm wash of pee down her thighs when that watery voice—that impossible accent—called from outside: Over soon. Think of Mermaid Frolly. All over soon.

Lila’s mother covering her eyes, her trembling fingers not doing a thorough enough job, because Lila saw between the slats of Mommy’s fingers, saw Daddy’s shoulder socket when the Luyten pulled his arm off. Their stubby, fingerless appendages were deceptive, because the cilia on the end worked like long, powerful fingers.

Then: Cheering, as two Defenders leaped from the roof of the school, impossibly tall on three knobby, bone-white legs, their automatic weapons blasting the Luyten with bullets the size of cannonballs, their razor sharp exoskeletons slashing the Luyton wide open as they grappled, spilling their steaming green goo insides onto the playground. The cheering redoubled when the surviving Luyton fled, with the Defenders in pursuit.

Lila took a deep, sighing breath. It had been four or five years since her last full-blown flashback, but it was inevitable. Seeing Defenders, actually standing before the massive things and talking to them, was bound to bring the memories back. It was worth it, though, to be one of the first to see how the Defenders lived, to see what sort of society they had built, and to have the opportunity to finally thank them personally.

To keep reading, visit iTunes and download our _Dispatches From The Future_ special issue_ onto your iPad._

Our Sun Might Have Been Born With An Evil Twin Called ‘Nemesis’

NASA released this October-appropriate image of the sun last week, showing active regions that mimic a Jack-O’-Lantern’s toothy grin. It’s just a coincidence, but it’s nice to see old Sol getting in on the Halloween action. NASA/GSFC/SDO

Sunlike stars often come in twos and threes, and astronomers and astrophysicists have long wondered why. Are these pairs and trios born as multiple stars orbiting the same point, or do they meet up when the gravity of one star captures another?

A new analysis out of Harvard and UC-Berkeley suggests that, in fact, nearly all stars are likely born with a twin—including our own sun. The findings, recently accepted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, are based on observations of newborn stars in a large cloud in the constellation Perseus.

Stars are born inside egg-shaped clouds called dense cores. These dusty gas clouds block the light from the stars inside and behind them. But fortunately for us, radio waves can penetrate through the darkness. The Very Large Array recently used radio waves to map all the young stars in the Perseus nursery, and the researchers drew on this data to understand the relationships between stars of different ages.

They found that binary stars separated by distances of 500 AU or more—that’s 500 times the distance between Earth and the sun—were extremely young stars less than 500,000 years old. In these systems, the two stars tended to be aligned with the long axis of the egg-shaped cloud.

Slightly older stars, between 500,000 and a million years old, tended to be closer together—separated by about 200 AU—and had no particular alignment within the cloud.

The study authors came up with a variety of mathematical models to explain the stars’ distribution, and concluded that the only way it makes sense is if all stars with sunlike masses start off with distant twins. Over the course of a million years or so, about 60 percent of the pairs split up (the authors think) and the rest ease in closer to one another.

The results support computer simulations that previously suggested stars form in twos, as well as observations that younger stars are more likely than older stars to form binary pairs. But the authors caution that the findings need to be checked in other star-forming clouds, and that more work needs to be done to understand the physics of this phenomenon.

If the results can be replicated, they’ll provide new evidence that the sun formed with a (non-identical) twin located 17 times farther away than Neptune. And it might have been an evil twin to boot. Scientists call this long-hypothesized twin “Nemesis“, because they suspect it booted the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs into Earth’s orbit.

“We are saying, yes, there probably was a Nemesis, a long time ago,” co-author Steven Stahler of UC Berkeley said in a statement.

But Nemesis has never been found. If it ever existed, it must have escaped from the gravitational pull of our sun and run off into the Milky Way, never to be seen again. So much for family.

Sun Bears Mimic Faces Just Like Us, And It’s Raising Some Eyebrows

Earth’s smallest bears dwell in lowland forests that stretch from southern China down to India and Indonesia. Measuring a wee four feet long and weighing in at around 120 pounds, sun bears are notably shy, solitary creatures.

Scientists think the majority of social interaction the bears see is during mating season and while females raise their cubs, who stick together with mom for two years or more.

So it was particularly shocking when researchers saw pairs of sun bears in a Malaysian conservation center precisely mimic each other’s facial expressions in less than a second, a sign of social intelligence only before seen in humans and apes.

“This is so surprising because the sun bear is not a social animal,” says Marina Davila-Ross, a comparative psychologist at the University of Portsmouth and co-author on a new study detailing the observations published Thursday in Scientific Reports.

Previously, their claim to fame was the golden semicircle of fur on their chests. Many thought the marking—which is unique to each bear, like a fingerprint—looked like the rising sun, earning the ursine icon it’s common name. With sharp claws and a cartoonishly long tongue, sun bears dig into tree bark, termite mounds, and beehives in search of snacks. (To the dismay of farmers, they also enjoy the occasional coconut or banana.) They’re unbearably cute, but they’re not what you think of when you conjure an image of a socially intelligent animal.

To figure out exactly what was going on, Davila-Ross and her colleagues studied footage from the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. There, the animals are kept in a single enclosed area, but with enough space to live solitary lives if they wish. Sun bears occasionally engaged in a kind of play-wrestling—which was sometimes gentle, and other times rough—during which one bear would flash an “open-mouth” expression, jaws wide and tongue out. By mimicking the expression precisely and immediately, researchers think that the playmate bears are signaling they’re ready to start playing more roughly, a sign of tighter social bonds.

The researchers studied two years worth of footage of 22 sun bears between the ages of two and 12 years old. They catalogued bear faces in hundreds and hundreds of play interactions. In that period, 21 of the 22 bears showed the open-mouth expression, and 13 did so within a second of seeing their playmate’s expressions.

If the researchers’ theory holds up in the wild—which Davila-Ross would like to test, though it’s difficult since so few sun bears are left and they’re extremely solitary—it would shake down the way we think human communication methods are superior to other species’.

“We can speculate a lot about the social behaviour of sun bears, as it will probably be a loooong time before any methods are found how to ‘spy’ on them in a tropical rainforest,” Gabriella Fredriksson, a conservation biologist and co-chair of the of the IUCN sun bear expert team who wasn’t involved with the new study, told PopSci in an email. “But from their behaviour in enclosures it seems that they are quite capable of pretty good social interactions!”

Sun bears’ long claws and tongues are the perfect tools for digging into termite mounds, tree bark, and coconut shells. Daniela Hartmann

We know for sure that humans, apes, and animals domesticated to live with us communicate using facial expressions. Davila-Ross published a study in 2023 that shows our canine companions are more dramatic when they know we’re looking at them. But if the solitary sun bear can convey feelings through facial expressions and can mimic one another quickly and with accuracy, it’s totally plausible to think various other animals are excellent communicators, too. Davila-Ross says she’s interested in looking at this in solitary predators like tigers or the clouded leopard.

And aside from dismantling our worldview of communication in the animal kingdom, knowing how sun bears bond socially and parlay with one another could be really useful when it comes to conservation. The IUCN lists sun bears as vulnerable due to a number of factors—farmers kill them when they wreak havoc on their crops, locals kill mother sun bears to sell the cubs as pets, and others are kept as prisoners while their bile is harvested for use in Chinese medicine or sold on the black market. While it’ll take a culture change and new laws to truly save the sun bear, understanding more about the elusive animals will help scientists rehabilitate them with the right skills they need to survive in the wild.

“We see so much potential here in these animals to learn more,” says Davila-Ross. “Knowing more can help us increase their chances of survival.”

Battlefield 2042 Just Dropped From The Top 50 Most

Battlefield 2042 just dropped from the top 50 most-played Xbox games




If you’re a Battlefield player, it’s possible that you’ve noticed the game 2042 is no longer in the top 50 most-played games on Xbox.

The top 50 games are those with the highest number of players in a single hour.

The game has been performing poorly since its launch with reported glitches and a revamped progression system.

The Battlefield franchise has been a mainstay of the Xbox Live charts for years but it seems the luck is changing if the latest reports are anything to go by. 

When the official date and game requirements were announced, things seemed to be moving swiftly in the right direction.

However, the recent release of Battlefield 2042 has not only been a disappointment for fans of the Battlefield franchise but it’s also brought down the series’ ranking in the top 50 played games on Xbox Live.

The game suffered from technical issues at launch, including rampant crashes and memory leaks. The game also featured a revamped progression system that turned off many fans of the classic Battlefield experience.

Drop from the top

Battlefield 2042 is not in the top 50 most-played games on the system, despite releasing just about three months ago. Battlefield 2042 has been on a downward trend for months, with many users complaining about bugs, glitches and boring gameplay.

This is pretty surprising, considering that Battlefield 2042 was once the most played Xbox game on Steam. Now, Battlefield 5 seems to be progressing at a faster rate leaving Battlefield 2042 behind.

In fact, according to data from Steam Charts, Battlefield 5 is now more popular than Battlefield 2042 on PC.  Server issues aren’t the whole story here, though. The game’s retention numbers are also low, with about half of all players who try the game giving up after just one match.

A fall from grace

Battlefield 2042 is no longer being played by many people and has fallen off a major leaderboard that tracks the most popular multiplayer games on the Xbox One. The slip from charts is not a good sign as reports also indicate the numbers on Steam are also not doing so well.

This isn’t a good sign for the game’s future, because if there aren’t that many people playing it, then it’s probably on its way towards going free-to-play.

A quick glance at the top 50 most-played games on Xbox includes; Halo Infinite, Apex Legends, Grand Theft Auto 5, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and Fortnite, with the number 50 slot going to Call of Duty: Black Ops 3.

Free or not, problems are still there

EA hasn’t made any official announcements about Battlefield 2042 going free-to-play, but this move would make a lot of sense for them.

If Battlefield 2042 is going to make a comeback, it’s going to need to do more than just make its premium content free – it will need to overhaul the game’s core mechanics.

EA has been under a lot of pressure recently due to the loot box debacle and some other decisions that upset their customers. This is mostly because the last Battlefield game did not meet expectations within the company.

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Fabricjs � � How To Check If A Polygon Object Intersects With Another Object

We can create a Polygon object by creating an instance of fabric.Polygon. A polygon object can be characterized by any closed shape consisting of a set of connected straight line segments. Since it is one of the basic elements of FabricJS, we can also easily customize it by applying properties like angle, opacity etc.

In order to check if a Polygon object intersects with another object, we use the intersectsWithObject method. This method checks whether the object that is passed to it, intersects with the polygon object.

Syntax intersectsWithObject(other: Object, absolute: Boolean, calculate: Boolean ): Boolean Parameters

other − This parameter accepts an Object which specifies the object we want to test.

absolute (optional) − This parameter accepts a String value which specifies whether to use coordinates without viewportTransform or not. This parameter is optional.

Calculate (optional) − This parameter accepts a Boolean value which specifies whether to use coordinates of current position. This parameter is optional.

Example 1: Using intersectsWithObject Method

Let’s see a code example to see the logged output when the intersectsWithObject method is used. The intersectsWithObject method returns true or false on checking if the polygon object intersects with another object. Here, we have initialized two rectangle objects namely rectangleRed and rectangleBlue. Since our polygon object intersects with rectangleRed, a true value is returned.

var canvas = new fabric.Canvas(“canvas”); canvas.setWidth(document.body.scrollWidth); canvas.setHeight(250);

var polygon = new fabric.Polygon( [ { x: -20, y: -35 }, { x: 20, y: -35 }, { x: 40, y: 0 }, { x: 20, y: 35 }, { x: -20, y: 35 }, { x: -40, y: 0 }, ], { stroke: “red”, left: 100, top: 10, fill: “black”, strokeWidth: 2, strokeLineJoin: “bevil”, } );

var rectangleRed = new fabric.Rect({ width: 60, height: 20, top: 40, left: 80, fill: “red”, strokeWidth: 6, });

var rectangleBlue = new fabric.Rect({ width: 20, height: 40, top: 70, left: 200, fill: “blue”, });

canvas.add(polygon); canvas.add(rectangleRed); canvas.add(rectangleBlue);

console.log( “Does the polygon object intersect with rectangleRed?: “, polygon.intersectsWithObject(rectangleRed) ); console.log( “Does the polygon object intersect with rectangleBlue?: “, polygon.intersectsWithObject(rectangleBlue) );

Example 2: Using intersectsWithObject Method with Different Objects

In this example, we have used the intersectsWithObject method along with different objects to prove that this method can work with any object.

var canvas = new fabric.Canvas(“canvas”); canvas.setWidth(document.body.scrollWidth); canvas.setHeight(250);

var polygon = new fabric.Polygon( [ { x: -20, y: -35 }, { x: 20, y: -35 }, { x: 40, y: 0 }, { x: 20, y: 35 }, { x: -20, y: 35 }, { x: -40, y: 0 }, ], { stroke: “red”, left: 100, top: 10, fill: “black”, strokeWidth: 2, strokeLineJoin: “bevil”, } );

var triangle = new fabric.Triangle({ width: 90, height: 70, top: 40, left: 80, fill: “red”, strokeWidth: 6, });

var circle = new fabric.Circle({ radius: 40, top: 70, left: 200, fill: “blue”, });

canvas.add(polygon); canvas.add(triangle); canvas.add(circle);

console.log( “Does the polygon object intersect with triangle?: “, polygon.intersectsWithObject(triangle) ); console.log( “Does the polygon object intersect with circle?: “, polygon.intersectsWithObject(circle) );


In this tutorial, we used two examples to demonstrate how you can check if a Polygon object intersects with another object using FabricJS.

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