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Significant Digits For Thursday, March 29, 2018

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news. This is Julia Wolfe, filling in for Walt Hickey, our most significant leader, for a couple of days while he gets a little R&R.


Scientists have discovered a new galaxy that is stumping astrophysicists. It appears to have only 1/400th of the expected amount of dark matter as a usual galaxy, which should be a problem since dark matter is considered to be a galaxy’s “glue.” But the NGC1052-DF2 galaxy is out there anyway, a cosmic mystery in the stars. [Motherboard]

14 percent chance

FiveThirtyEight’s MLB predictions are up and there’s no clear favorite. The Indians and Astros (last year’s champ) are on top, each with a 14 percent chance of winning the World Series. [FiveThirtyEight]

86 cents on the dollar

Tesla has never shown an annual profit, and things are looking especially dicey for the company’s fiscal future. Bondholders are worried about the company’s ability to deliver electric cars to market. The company’s notes fell to 86 cents on the dollar following a fatal car crash and credit rating downgrade. At its current spending rate and without more money, they company will run out of funds by the end of the year. [Bloomberg]


The Supreme Court is hearing arguments from Maryland Republicans that Democrats gerrymandered the state’s 6th district. The 2011 redistricting helped Democrats gain an additional seat in the state’s congressional delegation, nudging it from 6-2 to 7-1 in favor of Democrats. Justice Anthony Kennedy will likely be the deciding vote. [Axios]

33 miles of wall

Congress has allocated $1.6 billion for 33 miles of a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Current plans for the wall include connecting existing sections in Hidalgo and Starr counties. This puts several protected wildlife-areas in the potential construction zone, including a butterfly refuge. [Vox]

18.2 million viewers

Roseanne’s revival has garnered attention for the titular character’s support of President Trump and the awkward plot holes left from the original run’s last season. But it’s noteworthy in another way: wild success. The premier episode brought in a whopping 18.2 million viewers, the highest rating of any comedy on any network since Sept. 2014. [Buzzfeed]

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If you see a significant digit in the wild, send it to @juruwolfe.

Julia Wolfe is FiveThirtyEight’s former senior editor, data visualization.