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The Spill: Bernie Victory

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New Hampshire Primary

The United States is now in an election year, and the process of choosing candidates to run for the next presidency is gaining speed. The Democrat who will compete with President Trump in 2020 will be selected in the caucus and primary process, and the New Hampshire Primary gave some indications of who that person may turn out to be.

After last week’s debacle in the Iowa Caucus, where votes were neither counted nor results announced until days later, Democratic Party nominees hoped for smooth sailing in the New Hampshire race. Luckily there was less confusion this time, and the winner was announced to be Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is known for his socialist beliefs. Second was former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, who is more moderate in his political views. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, also a moderate contender, came third.

Other candidates didn’t do so well, with former Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren in fourth and fifth places. Outsider candidates Andrew Yang and Colorado Senator Michael Bennet announced they were dropping out of the race after achieving poor results. As time goes on, more candidates will be forced to admit defeat and the race will eventually be narrowed down to a single victor.

Predictions have begun to come forward that the fight for the chance to run against President Trump during the election will end up being between two opposite factions of the Democrat party: the radical socialist Bernie Sanders and a more centrist candidate like Buttigieg or Klobuchar.

“This victory here is the beginning of the end for Donald Trump,” Sanders said about his win in the primary. Buttigieg has suggested, however, that Sanders’ radical policies such as Medicare for All may be “alienating Americans at this critical moment.”

But perhaps there is a challenger waiting in the wings…

“Everyone had counted us out even a week ago,” Klobuchar said. “I came back and we delivered.”

Is the future of the Democrats a socialist one or will they be tamed into a more moderate party?

Acquitted Trump Campaigning for 2020 Election

Last week, President Donald Trump was acquitted by the Senate of any wrongdoing in the impeachment trial against him. Much like the initial House of Representatives vote to begin impeachment fell along party lines, the Senate vote was also Republicans against Democrats. Republicans felt that a compelling case against the president had not been presented, and since they currently make up the majority of seats in the Senate, the president was found not guilty.

Some have suggested that the negative publicity surrounding the impeachment proceedings may have affected Trump’s campaign for the next election, but the president appears ready to fight hard for a second term. With all the media focus on the Democratic presidential primaries taking place, very few are paying attention to the Republican primaries. Most people assume that Trump will be the Republican nominee for president in the 2020 election. Unsurprisingly, both in Iowa and New Hampshire (the only two states to have so far declared their choice of candidates), the president won, securing all but one of the 62 delegates available.

On Twitter, Trump noted that he had won a “record setting number of voters in New Hampshire (and in Iowa),” with over 150,000 Republican voters casting their ballot in his favor.

Donald Trump has become notorious for his rallies in which thousands of his supporters attend to hear often off-the-cuff speeches; New Hampshire was no different. On the evening before voters headed to the polls, the president held a rally in Manchester, NH, in which he spoke of his accomplishments and derided his Democrat opponents. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was the target of much of the president’s anger, and he accused her of “mumbling” behind him throughout his State of the Union address.

On the day of the primaries, the president tweeted:

“Great being in New Hampshire last night. I would say that was the biggest political Rally in New Hampshire history. Incredible evening!”

Mission to the Sun

The sun is the center of our solar system and the primary source of energy for life on Earth – but how much do scientists know about this star? Astronomers are hoping to learn more about the sun with a mission that launched on Sunday, February 9.

In a collaboration between the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA), the Solar Orbiter craft was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, attached to a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket which it shed soon after.

The aim is to study the sun up close and provide scientists their first-ever look at its north and south poles. However, astronomy is not for the impatient, as it will take two years for the craft to arrive in the correct position to start measuring solar activity.

Over the next days and months, the orbiter will activate communication antennas, solar panels, and microphone boom, while mission controllers on the ground will check to see that it is working correctly.

To achieve this momentous feat, the orbiter not only requires instruments capable of detailing and measuring exceedingly high temperatures, but the craft itself also needs super high-tech heat shields that can reflect the fierce conditions it will encounter. Dr. Michelle Sprake, with the European aerospace manufacturer Airbus, revealed that certain parts of the shielding are made “out of baked animal bones.”

The Solar Orbiter will collect data on solar wind (heat particle streams that emanate from the sun), and information on the magnetic field the star produces. Ultimately, scientists want to discover what drives the star itself and how these processes impact the Earth. It has long been known that the magnetic forces of the sun affect satellites, electricity grids, and even radio signals. The information gathered on this mission will allow scientists to predict and adjust for unusual solar activity.

The orbiter will venture at times to within 26 million miles of the sun, which is closer to the star than the planet Mercury.

For more information, check out this video by NASA and the ESA:

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