How it Could Be

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez expresses the messages behind an urgent video on climate change released Wednesday by The Intercept.

“Before we can win a Green New Deal, we need to be able to close our eyes and imagine it. We can be whatever we have the courage to see.”

The video, A Message From the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, was produced by The Intercept‘s Naomi Klein. Narrated by AOC, the short film is presented as a look back to the present day from a future in which the Green New Deal passed Congress and reshaped America and the planet for the better.

The video features art from Molly Crabapple and was written by Ocasio-Cortez and Avi Lewis. It was co-directed by Kim Boekbinder and Jim Batt.

Check the video:

Rise

The next Star Wars movie of the epic nine-film arc has some big expectations to meet, and the first trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker took the first step.

It begins with Daisy Ridley’s Rey on yet another desert planet activating her lightsaber and sprinting into a sick back-flip toward a pursuing craft. It proceeds to show some of the other main characters, including John Boyega’s Finn, Oscar Isaac’s Po, Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren, and Billy Dee Williams reprising his role as Lando Calrissian in this highly anticipated final chapter.

And then there’s Carrie Fisher’s General Organa in a deep embrace with Rey. Just to hit everyone in the feels.

The trailer shows a lot of neat images of battles but doesn’t give away a whole lot outright, but there’s plenty of morsels for theory-craters to chew over. Not the least of which is a familiar sounding cackle at the very end.

Behold:

This hype train goes to 11.

Curiosity Catches Two Eclipses

The cameras on NASA’s Curiosity rover usually look down at the rocks on Mars, divining clues in the minerals of what the planet was like billions of years ago.

Sometimes though, the rover also looks up, and in March it spotted two eclipses (eclipsi?).

Eclipses on Mars are not as total as those on Earth where the moon completely blots out the sun. The two moons of Mars are tiny. Phobos is 7 miles wide while Deimos is even tinier, just 1.5 miles in diameter. They only partially block the sun when they pass in front of it.

The camera on Curiosity’s mast is equipped with solar filters that allow it to look directly at the sun and photograph eclipses. On March 17, Curiosity observed Demios eclipsing the sun. Nine days later, it also spotted Phobos passing in front.

The observations by Curiosity, and by earlier NASA Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, enable more precise pinpointing of the moons’ orbits, which are jostled around by the gravity of Mars, Jupiter, and even each other.

Although Phobos and Deimos are small, the details of their formation are of considerable scientific interest. Japan’s space agency plans to send a spacecraft to the two moons within the next decade. The Mars Moon Exploration probe, or MMX, will collect samples and return them to Earth for study. A panel of scientific experts recently approved the sample-return phase of the mission.

Something, Something, Hype Train…Here’s the Civil War Trailer!

Neat!

Captain America: Civil War will see the Avengers turn against one another in a fight over government oversight. On one side is Captain America, who is told that the world can no longer tolerate his un-checked vigilantism but that’s not the way he sees it. On the other side is Iron Man, who views the limitations placed on them as what separates the heroes from the bad guys, and also want to punch Steve in his face.

The havoc of the past films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe seems seem to have left civilians anxious about these super-powerful dudes roaming the planet. And the government has drafted legislation that would require would-be heroes to prove their goodwill by working under strict oversight.

The movie is directed by The Winter Soldier filmmakers Joe and Anthony Russo. The story was inspired by the seven-part story-line written by Mark Millar in 2006-07 which pitted heroes against heroes in a crossover event that had the entire world of characters choosing sides behind either Captain America or Iron Man.

What Happened to Mars’ Atmosphere?

The Earth-like atmosphere that once existed on Mars seems to have been blown away by solar wind, according to new findings from NASA’s ongoing exploration of the red planet.

In a press conference Thursday, the space agency confirmed that solar wind played a major role in the disappearance of the Mars’ atmosphere and water.

The discovery, published in the journals Science and Geophysical Research Letters, sheds new light on how the planet evolved from having a warm and wet environment that might have hosted life to becoming the cold, arid world it is today. Solar winds did have the same effect on Earth due to our planet’s strong magnetic fields.