LED-lighted wingsuit jumpers light up the Spanish skies

The annual Perseid meteor shower reached its peak last week, putting on a fantastic show for stargazers watching the late night skies. To honor the “Lágrimas de San Lorenzo” (Saint Lorenzo’s tears) astronomical event, four wingsuit jumpers from around the world joined together with Red Bull to create a light show of their own.

The team of four skydivers, which included Norwegian Joacim Sommer,  Spaniard Armando del Rey, and Austrians Marco Waltenspiel and Georg Lettner, traveled to the Spanish island of La Palma in the Canary Islands. La Palma is best known for the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory, which is home to the world’s largest optic telescope and the background setting for the jump. The quartet loaded up their gear and climbed aboard a T-21 provided with support from the Air Force, the Canarian Astrophysics Institute and La Palma’s City Hall.

Once they arrived at jump elevation, the four skydivers lit up their LED-equipped wingsuits and prepared for an unbelievable nighttime flight in complete and utter darkness. “I was in this black tunnel and there was nothing else besides all those billions of stars in my face. It was a really unique visual because you could really feel the speed, but you have no other surroundings,” Sommer said in a statement. “You are just in pitch black; it is like you are out there in the outer space. It’s crazy, it was literally crazy.”

After exiting the plane at 1,800 meters, the team streaked across the sky at an eye-watering 170 kilometers per hour, creating a meteor shower of epic human proportion. A GoPro recorded a bird’s eye view of the stun, while photographers on the ground used long-exposure photography to capture the jumpers as they lighted up the sky. To cap off the event, the four paid tribute to firefighters who recently battled a forest fire in La Palma that burned almost 10,000 acres and required the evacuation of more than 3,000 residents.

Emerging Tech

Beautiful image of young planets sheds new light on planet formation

Researchers examining protoplanetary disks -- the belts of dust that eventually form planets -- have shared fascinating images of the planets from their survey, showing the various stages of planet formation.
Emerging Tech

Light, speed: Lighting kit for DJI Mavic 2 lets you fly and film in the dark

Lume Cube, maker of small battery-powered LED lights for mobile photography, has announced a new lighting kit built specifically for the DJI Mavic 2 -- the first of its kind. Already our favorite drone, this makes the Mavic 2 even better.
Emerging Tech

Thrill-seekers will be able to pilot themselves in a giant drone as soon as 2019

Want to hitch a ride on a giant drone? The startup Lift Aircraft is gearing up to let paying customers fly its 18-rotor giant drones over assorted scenic landscapes across the U.S.
Emerging Tech

CRISPR gene therapy regulates hunger, staves off severe obesity in mice

Researchers from UC San Francisco have demonstrated how CRISPR gene editing can be used to prevent severe obesity in mice, without making a single edit to the mouse's genome. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

Rise of the Machines: Here’s how much robots and A.I. progressed in 2018

2018 has generated no shortage of news, and the worlds of A.I. and robotics are no exception. Here are our picks for the most exciting, game changing examples of both we saw this year.
Emerging Tech

Parker Solar Probe captures first image from within the atmosphere of the sun

NASA has shared the first image from inside the atmosphere of the sun taken by the Parker Solar Probe. The probe made the closest ever approach to a star, gathering data which scientists have been interpreting and released this week.
Emerging Tech

Say cheese: InSight lander posts a selfie from the surface of Mars

NASA's InSight mission to Mars has commemorated its arrival by posting a selfie. The selfie is a composite of 11 different images which were taken by one of its instruments, the Instrument Deployment Camera.
Emerging Tech

Researchers create a flying wireless platform using bumblebees

Researchers at the University of Washington have come up with a novel way to create a wireless platform: using bumblebees. As mechanical drones' batteries run out too fast, the team made use of a biology-based solution using living insects.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Bright ‘hyperactive’ comet should be visible in the sky this weekend

An unusual green comet, 46P/Wirtanen, will be visible in the night sky this month as it makes its closest approach to Earth in 20 years. It may even be possible to see the comet without a telescope.
Emerging Tech

Gorgeous images show storms and cloud formations in the atmosphere of Jupiter

NASA's Juno mission arrived at Jupiter in 2016 and has been collecting data since then. NASA has shared an update on the progress of the mission as it reaches its halfway point, releasing stunning images of the planet as seen from orbit.
Emerging Tech

Delivery robot goes up in flames while out and about in California

A small meal-delivery robot suddenly caught fire in Berkeley, California, on Friday. The blaze was quickly tackled and no one was hurt, but the incident is nevertheless a troubling one for the fledgling robot delivery industry.