On December 31st, a 998kg fireworks shell with a diameter of 142cm was launched in the United Arab Emirates to help welcome the arrival of 2018, and usher in a new Guinness World Record.
Astronomers spend their days looking at the sky. Maybe some crazy complex new telescope is helping, or some form of AI is teasing the complexities out of vast piles of data. It's still just the sky. The sky isn't immutable, though. Some of the most interesting science happens when brief blips pass into and out of existence. These dots send their light in the form of radio waves, microwaves, visible light and gamma rays into measuring apparatuses and tell us something new about the universe. They might even send space itself rippling with gravitational waves.
I realise that airbags have saved countless lives since they were introduced in the early '70s, but that doesn't make the idea of having a giant pillow explode in your face any less terrifying. Especially after watching the explosive mechanism that fills an airbag in just 0.03 seconds detonate in super slow motion.
The Earth, the Sun, Andromeda galaxy, they have all been around for as long as you can remember and as long as humanity has been around. So when a new light suddenly shows up in the distance, it's a weird occurrence. But a newly-detected explosion could be one of the weirdest - and it isn't the only one.
Look up and you might see the bright constellation Cassiopeia trace a zig-zag across the sky as it seemingly always has. But almost 450 years ago, it was the source of surprise: A bright flash, Tycho's supernova, or "SN 1572" as scientists call it. This was one of the few supernovae humans have been able to see with their naked eyes throughout history. What caused the explosion is still unknown.
Elon Musk has been sitting on a trove of spectacular fail videos from the SpaceX archives, and on August 31st he promised to release a blooper reel with "some epic explosion footage." This morning, he made good on that promise. Now you can watch many millions of dollars go kaboom in just over two minutes.
Video: When you get exclusive access to a 45m-tall tower, you're going to want to do more than just take in the view. So when the team from How Ridiculous got just such an opportunity, they made the most of it, hauling a heavy anvil to the top and then dropping it on a stack of spray paint cans on the ground below.
For the first time, researchers say they have made a lithium-ion battery that uses a water-salt solution as its electrolyte and can reach the voltage needed to power household electronics and it doesn't come with the fire and the explosions and the arrgghh that is a risk with "some commercially available non-aqueous lithium-ion batteries".
The key to this battery? The special coating.
If a looming helium shortage isn't enough to dissuade you from getting balloons for your next birthday party, consider the consequences if they escape from their ribbon moorings and end up brushing against some high-voltage power lines. You might be safer decorating for your kid's party with hand grenades.
Video: When thing go wrong underground, we're often reminded that the Earth is nothing but a big ball of hot rocks, covered in a delicate skin of smaller, slightly cooler rocks. That became clear on Monday, when an underground water pipe exploded in Kiev, Ukraine. It actually looked kinda hilarious.
Video: Unlike a battery, which stores power as chemical energy that's slowly and steadily discharged to keep your gadgets running, a capacitor can unload all of its juice in the blink of an eye. Even a small capacitor has the potential to stop your heart, but when it's the size of a dishwasher, well, this watermelon demonstrates exactly how destructive it can be.