The red giant star Pi1 Gruis is 530 light-years from Earth & 350 times the size of the Sun. Infrared images from the Very Large Telescope in Chile reveal that the star has giant convection cells, about 75 million miles (120 million kilometers) wide. #gam2018 #RandomAstroFact

Astronomers now know not to open a microwave oven prematurely: mysterious signals at an Australian radio telescope were tracked to an oven, not to space. Those signals confused studies of strange fast radio bursts, detected from distant space since 2001. #gam2018 #RandomAstroFact

Space scientists need fake dirt! So-called soil simulants mimic the known or likely properties of asteroid, Moon & Mars surface materials to facilitate lab tests of future rover probes & see how astronauts could use the real stuff to build shelters. #gam2018 #RandomAstroFact

Nearby star Proxima Centauri erupted in a huge stellar flare observed in 2017, perhaps blasting planet Proxima b with thousands of times the energy Earth receives from a flare on the Sun. Not healthy for any life on the closest known extrasolar planet! #gam2018 #RandomAstroFact

The first asteroid from beyond the solar system was found in 2017: ╩╗Oumuamua is long, dark, spinning, & heading away, likely never to be seen again. But probes sent by Japan & NASA will reach near-Earth asteroids Ryugu & Bennu this summer. #gam2018 #RandomAstroFact