Chip Fraud, Space Station Future, Neutron Star. Mar 2, 2018, Part 1

Mar 02, 2018, 09:36 PM

Currently, the International Space Station is the only destination for astronauts traveling into lower-earth orbit. It’s also the only way for scientists to conduct experiments in microgravity. After two decades, it’s still proving to be incredibly useful to researchers. But time is running out. President Trump has indicated he wants to defund the station as scheduled by 2025, it’s nearing the end of its expected lifetime, and private companies have indicated that they, too, want to invest in the space station market. What does the future hold for science’s single biggest asset in lower earth orbit?

Plus, researchers investigating mysterious X-ray sources in other galaxies are finding something strange: neutron stars that burn hundreds of times brighter than they should be able to. And new research published in Nature Astronomy suggests that the answer has to do with a magnetic field 10 billion times stronger than the strongest one ever generated on Earth by human physics experiments.

It’s been about two years since U.S. retailers and lenders began converting to chip-based credit card technology—all in an effort to fend off the kind of fraud and hacks that stole millions of credit card numbers from big retailers like Target, Home Depot, and Michael’s a few years ago. Has it made a difference?

And Gizmodo's Ryan Mandelbaum tells Ira about the biggest science stories this week in the News Round-up.