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Significant Digits for Thursday, Sept. 1

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news. It’s Guest Week here at this column, which means a cavalcade of FiveThirtyEight writers has agreed to keep you numerate. Today’s guest writer: @skepticalsports.


4.4 kilometers

Remember that time we landed a probe on a comet? Well, we’re doing it again! The Rosetta mission is coming to a close, and the Rosetta orbiter should join its companion Philae as residents of the 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko comet at the end of September. Rosetta came within 4.4 kilometers of the comet during its most recent approach. You can follow Rosetta’s progress here. [The Planetary Society]


16 of 24

Field goals converted from 50 or more yards at the half-way point in the Canadian Football League this year. In 2015, they made 19 all season. In 2014, they made seven. (It’s almost as if kickers are getting better.) [TSN]


30 of 38

Wins in one-run games by the Texas Rangers this season. Their .789 winning percentage in such games would be the highest of all time. [FiveThirtyEight]


100 percent

Odds that Mexico will pay for the “great wall” Donald Trump wants to build between the U.S. and Mexico, according to Donald Trump. Or possibly the share of the cost that Mexico will pay — I can’t really tell. Maybe Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto can shed some light for us. [Los Angeles Times]


100 percent

How former WWE champion Daniel Bryan feels about his health and readiness to return to the ring after retiring because of concussion-related symptoms. But he totally definitely for real isn’t coming back to wrestle Brock Lesnar at Wreslemania 33. [ESPN]


3,700-million years

Age of microbial fossils discovered by Australian geologists in Greenland. (And yes, they say “3,700-million,” not 3.7 billion. Because science.) This means life may have evolved even earlier than we previously thought, and may be even more common than we previously thought. Which, if you believe in the Great Filter, is very bad news. [The Washington Post]


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Benjamin Morris researches and writes about sports and other topics for FiveThirtyEight.

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