Lot of action on the space front:
–Larry Page, a co-founder of Google, recently joined the board of the X Prize Foundation, as this article in the NYT mentions. The piece is about the interest by “thrillionaires” in space endeavors. It’s also well-known that Silicon Valley techies are naturally drawn to space exploration. Paypal’s Elon Musk has been tinkering for a few years now.
–Berkeley astronomers have discovered “the most Earth-like extrasolar planet yet: a possibly rocky world about 7.5 times as massive as the Earth. This hot “super-Earth,” just 15 light years away, travels in a nearly circular orbit only 2 million miles from its parent star, Gliese 876, and has a radius about twice that of Earth. (Picture is an enlarged view of the new Earth-like planet orbiting Gliese 876).