News Roundup: February 23

Today is Thursday, February 23rd, and here are the stories that interest me.

The Minnesota House has passed a bill aimed at lifting liquor sales on Sunday. Since the state’s formation, Sunday sales of Alcohol have been prohibited. The Bill passed by an 85-85 vote and now goes to the Senate for approval. If passed and signed by the Governor, the law will go into effect July 2, 2017.

Coral bleaching continues into its 4th year in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, with divers spotting new bleach spots in the northerns Great Barrier Reef. Despite the La Nina in effect, experts expect up to 3 months of bleaching for the Reef, putting it at greater stress and potential large die-off.

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of 7 earth like planets orbiting a nearby star. The system, referred to as the TRAPPIST-1 System, named after The Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope in Chile, had been discovered in May 2016 as having three planets. The Spitzer Space Telescope found a further 4. The planets look to be rocky planets with three in the habitable zone of the ultra cool red dwarf star. The Star is located only 40 light years away and hints that more stars in the local neighborhood could contain earth-like planets and therefore life. The Hubble Space Telescope is going to be trained on the far-away star and 4 of its planets to try and discover any type of  atmosphere with hopes that the James Webb Telescope, being launched in 2018 will provide even greater detail. This represents the first, best chance of finding habitable planets beyond Earth.

And with that, have a great day!

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