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The mysterious Hypatia stone may contain the earliest evidence of Type Ia Supernova

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The mysterious Hypatia stone may contain the earliest evidence of Type Ia Supernova
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Tiny samples of the Hypatia stone next to a small coin. Rare type Ia supernovas are some of the most energetic events in the universe. Researchers found a consistent pattern of 15 elements in the Hypatia stone, unlike anything in our solar system or in the Milky Way

Enlarge / Tiny samples of the Hypatia stone next to a small coin. These supernovas of rare type Ia are among the most energetic in the universe. Researchers found a consistent pattern of 15 elements in the Hypatia stone, unlike anything in our solar system or in the Milky Way

Jan Kramers

In 1996, an archaeologist named Aly A. Barakat was doing fieldwork in an Egyptian desert and stumbled across an unusual shiny black pebble now known as the Hypatia stone (after Hypatia of Alexandria). The stone’s origin is unknown, but several years of research have shown that it has been proven. And according to a recent paper published in the journal Icarus, the stone’s parent body was likely born in the aftermath of a rare type Ia supernova explosion.

The Hypatia Stone was discovered in southwest Egypt, a region known for its Libyan Desert Glass. This glass is thought to have been formed by an extreme heating event or a meteorite. Although the impact may have been involved, evidence is more consistent with a comet as the parent body.

Jan Kramers, University of Johannesburg’s chief scientist, and his colleagues have been studying the Hypatia Stone for many years. Kramers likened the Hypatia stone’s internal structure to a fruitcake. A poorly mixed dough forms the bulk of the Hypatia stone (mixed matrixes), while the minerals grains hiding in the stone’s inclusions represent the cherries and the nuts. Kramers compared the secondary substances found in the stone’s cracks with the flour that fills in the gaps in a fruitcake.

In 2013 Kramers and colleagues published the results of a chemical analysis that provided strong evidence in favor of the stone being a comet fragment. This was an interesting suggestion, as most of the comet fragments on Earth are made up of microscopic dust particles found in the upper atmosphere or buried under Antarctic ice. The comet hypothesis would explain the presence of microscopic diamonds in the stone, likely formed in the impact when the comet exploded above Egypt some 28.5 million years ago. (The presence of those micro-diamonds is probably why the stone managed to make it to Earth without disintegrating)

However, work by other research teams in 2015 ruled out a comet or meteorite as the stone’s source, based on noble gas and nuclear probe analyses. It doesn’t look like the mineral matrix of known meteorites. For example, it contains a lot of carbon and very little silicon. It’s unlikely that it came from Earth.

A 3-gram sample of the Hypatia stone.

Enlarge / A 3-gram sample of the Hypatia stone.

Romano Serra

Kramers et al. ‘s 2018 micro-mineral analysis revealed that the matrix also has a high concentration of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)–a major component of interstellar dust–and those microscopic diamonds. These grains were composed of aluminum, silver, phosphide and silicon carbide. Very little iron was found. These elements are the main constituents of most rocky planets. Kramers and his coworkers concluded that the Hypatia rock contained matter that existed before our Solar System was formed.

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are
A player shouldering the ball



(Image credit: EA)

FIFA 23 might be the best game soccer game yet for terrible sports fans, as it lets you turn off commentary that criticizes your bad playing.

Now that the early access FIFA 23 release time has passed, EA Play and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can hop into the game ahead of its full release. But as Eurogamer (opens in new tab) spotted, they’ll find a peculiar option waiting for them.

FIFA 23 includes a toggle to turn off ‘Critical Commentary’. The setting lets you silence all negative in-match comments made about your technique, so you can protect your precious ego even when you miss an open goal or commit an obvious foul. The more positive commentary won’t be affected. 

Spare your feelings

A player dribbling the ball in FIFA 23

(Image credit: EA)

The feature looks tailored toward children and new players, who don’t want to have their confidence wrecked within mere minutes of picking up the controller. But even experienced players who just so happen to be terrible at the game might benefit.

It’s not perfect, though. According to Eurogamer, the feature didn’t seem to work during a FIFA Ultimate Team Division Rivals match, with critical comments slipping through the filter. Still, who hasn’t benefited from a light grilling every now and then?

Polite commentary isn’t the only new addition in FIFA 23. It’s the first game in the series to include women’s club football teams, and fancy overhauled animations that take advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S’s new-gen hardware. EA will be hoping to end on a high, as FIFA 23 will be the last of its soccer games to release with the official FIFA licence.

If disabling critical commentary doesn’t improve your soccer skills, maybe building a squad of Marvel superheroes will. Although you might not do much better with Ted Lasso wandering the pitch.

FIFA 23 is set to fully release this Friday, September 30.

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games. 

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch
The backs of the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro



(Image credit: Google)

We’re starting to hear more and more Google Pixel 7 leaks, with the launch of the phone just a week away, but tech fans might be getting a lot of déjà vu, with the leaks all listing near-identical specs to what we heard about the Pixel 6 a year ago.

It sounds like the new phones – a successor to the Pixel 6 Pro is also expected – could be very similar to their 2021 predecessors. And a new price leak has suggested that the phones’ costs could be the same too, as a Twitter user spotted the Pixel 7 briefly listed on Amazon (before being promptly taken down, of course).

Google pixel 7 on Amazon US. $599.99.It is still showing up in search cache but the listing gives an error if you click on it. We have the B0 number to keep track of though!#teampixel pic.twitter.com/w5Z09D28YESeptember 27, 2022

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According to these listings, the Pixel 7 will cost $599 while the Pixel 7 Pro will cost $899, both of which are identical to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro starting prices. The leak doesn’t include any other region prices, but in the UK the current models cost £599 and £849, while in Australia they went for AU$999 and AU$1,299.

So it sounds like Google is planning on retaining the same prices for its new phones as it sold the old ones for, a move which doesn’t make much sense.


Analysis: same price, new world

Google’s choice to keep the same price points is a little curious when you consider that the specs leaks suggest these phones are virtually unchanged from their predecessors. You’re buying year-old tech for the same price as before.

Do bear in mind that the price of tech generally lowers over time, so you can readily pick up a cheaper Pixel 6 or 6 Pro right now, and after the launch of the new ones, the older models will very likely get even cheaper.

But there’s another key factor to consider in the price: $599 might be the same number in 2022 as it was in 2021, but with the changing global climate, like wars and flailing currencies and cost of living crises, it’s a very different amount of money.

Some people just won’t be willing to shell out the amount this year, that they may have been able to last year. But this speaks to a wider issue in consumer tech.

Google isn’t the only tech company to completely neglect the challenging global climate when pricing its gadgets: Samsung is still releasing super-pricey folding phones, and the iPhone 14 is, for some incomprehensible reason, even pricier than the iPhone 13 in some regions. 

Too few brands are actually catering to the tough economic times many are facing right now, with companies increasing the price of their premium offerings to counter rising costs, instead of just designing more affordable alternatives to flagships.

These high and rising prices suggest that companies are totally out of touch with their buyers, and don’t understand the economic hardship troubling many.

We’ll have to reach a breaking point sooner or later, either with brands finally clueing into the fact that they need to release cheaper phones, or with customers voting with their wallets by sticking to second-hand or refurbished devices. But until then, you can buy the best cheap phones to show that cost is important to you.

Tom’s role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working in TechRadar freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. Outside of TechRadar he works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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