Elon Musk gives a speech at the Powerpack Celebration in South Australia on September 29, 2017. (Screenshot via Youtube)

Riding high after a $50 million bet by Elon Musk that Tesla would be able to install the world’s largest battery system in South Australia in under 100 days, the massive Powerpack is now proving its worth.

The Loy Yang A 3 coal power plant in Victoria is one of the biggest power plants in Australia. On two different occasions, Loy Yang’s power grid experienced an outage, and both times, Tesla’s Powerpack battery was able to stabilize it within milliseconds, an especially impressive feat given that the coal plant is over 620 miles away.

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[DIGEST: Gizmodo, BBC, Popular Mechanics ]

Imagine tuning into a radio station and discovering only unwavering static, sometimes interrupted by a young woman reading out a string of numbers or an old drinking song. It might send chills up your spine if discovered while browsing the web late at night, but these mysterious stations serve a real and somewhat sinister purpose.

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[DIGEST: USA Today, The Atlantic, Science Daily]

Plastic has long been touted as a wonder material, but its growing environmental impact is becoming too large to ignore.

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[DIGEST: Fast Co. Design, Cornell University Library, Nature]

You might not be able to hold a conversation with your toaster just yet, but researchers at Facebook are trying to train bots to one day converse with humans in plain English.

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NASA DART rendering. (Credit: NASA)

Scientists from NASA are moving ahead with an ambitious plan to test a new type of asteroid deflection system, and the future of our planet might depend on its success. The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft has been scheduled to move into the preliminary design phase after NASA approved its further development on June 23rd. The DART, a kinetic impactor, would shift incoming asteroids off course by smashing into them at speeds of up to 3.7 miles per second (6 kilometers per second), nine times faster than a speeding bullet.

Up until now, NASA’s primary plan for deflecting dangerous space objects relied on using a spacecraft to gradually “tug” the asteroid out of our planet’s path with its gravity. This “gravity tractor” approach, where the satellite would fly alongside the asteroid for years––and even decades––works on a longer timescale and would require developing new technology before becoming feasible.

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[DIGEST: NYT (1, 2), PopSci, NPR]

New Yorkers, meet your newest neighbors. Whales, dolphins, and seals were once a familiar sight in the city’s busy waterways and harbor until years of industrial pollution ruined their hunting grounds. Now they’re coming home.

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