This Hubble Space Telescope view of the core of one of the nearest globular star clusters, called NGC 6397, resembles a treasure chest of glittering jewels. The cluster is located 8,200 light-years away in the constellation Ara. Here, the stars are jam-packed together. The stellar density is about a million times greater than in our Sun's stellar neighborhood. The stars are only a few light-weeks apart, while the nearest star to our Sun is over four light-years away. The stars in NGC 6397 are in constant motion, like a swarm of angry bees. The ancient stars are so crowded together that a few of them inevitably collide with each other once in a while. Near misses are even more common. Even so, collisions only occur every few million years or so. That's thousands of collisions in the 14-billion-year lifetime of the cluster. (Photo by NASA/WireImage)

For only the second time ever, a series of Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) have been discovered coming from a galaxy over 1 billion light years away. The extremely rare repetition was found by scientists in British Columbia. The bursts last less than half a second, but each one produces more energy than the sun does in one year.

Scientists remain stumped on what could be releasing the bursts. There are a vast array of occurrences that radio waves in space can indicate, such as star births, supermassive black holes, and dark matter.

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A Boeing 737-600 prepares to take off from Las Vegas's McCarran International Airport as part of Janet Airlines. (Screenshot via YouTube.)

Flight attendants don’t want their job to be interesting. When your workday ends up in the news because of a celebrity meltdown or because a passenger wants to try something creative like wearing all of his clothes at once, rather than pay a checked baggage fee, the skies don’t feel particularly friendly. The number of drunk airline passengers jumped 50 percent in 2017, sexual harassment and assault on the job is almost a given, and if the passengers aren’t misbehaving, their support animals are pooping and peeing on the plane or biting other passengers — so frequently that Delta is now changing its policies after seeing a 150 percent increase since 2015 in the number of support animals on planes — and a corresponding 85 percent increase in bad animal (and human) behavior.

Flight attendants who work for Janet, the top-secret, highly classified airline operated by the United States Air Force, however, may well enjoy quieter workdays. Janet Passengers tend to be military personnel and other government entities, and presumably their support animals are highly trained as well. Janet is said to stand for Just Another Non-Existent Terminal, and they are hiring.

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Screenshot via Facebook.

“As all regions below are replenished with living creatures... so may the heavens above be replenished with beings whose nature we do not understand.” – Sir Isaac Newton

We all want to believe that there are other intelligent, technologically-advanced civilizations somewhere in our galaxy. Considering the Milky Way contains 100-400 billion stars and trillions of planets, it would seem inevitable that life should have arisen somewhere else; it would be arguably more shocking if humanity was revealed to be alone in the Universe. And while projects like the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence or SETI, which has been listening for alien signals for nearly half a century, have yet to detect an artificial signal from another planet, reports of strange aerial craft and “close encounters” continue to be reported all over the world. Although most sightings can be attributed to misidentification, about 5 percent have no conventional explanation.

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[DIGEST: South China Morning Post, Ars Technica, Global Times, Science Magazine, The Guardian]

Last year China completed construction of the largest radio telescope in the world with the intention of studying the cosmos. Yet, nearly a year later, they have found no one to run it.

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[DIGEST: ScienceAlert 1, 2, 3, 4, UK Telegraph, Keele University]

Is Gliese 1132b the habitable Earth-like exoplanet we've been waiting for?

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[DIGEST: Seeker, EclectroOptics, IB Times, Universe Today, Space, NASA]

Technology originally developed for the military to detect airborne biohazards may now be used to search for life on Mars.

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[DIGEST: NPR, BBC, Digital Trends, Inverse]

The world’s largest radio telescope is now operational. China hopes to use it to achieve “major advances and breakthroughs at the frontier of science,” said China’s President Xi Jinping. In particular, the Chinese hope to learn more about how galaxies evolve and perhaps find definitive proof of extraterrestrial life.

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