Mysterious News Briefly — December 10, 2020
On the same day Elon Musk announced he was moving from Silicon Valley to Texas for tax reasons, SpaceX’s first high-altitude test flight of its next-generation Starship spacecraft ended in a massive fireball in South Texas. Did he announce the move in time to use it as a write-off?
NASA announced the names of the “Artemis Team” — 18 men and women who will be sent to the Moon beginning in 2024, with half having previous space experience, including and two currently onboard the International Space Station. There’s one Woody, but no Buzz, so they have plenty of time to come up with some toy-worthy nicknames.
As a way to reduce the amount of space junk, China’s space administration announced the Chang’e 5 mission’s ascent vehicle was instructed to land on the Moon’s surface rather than adding to the growing collection of stuff in lunar orbit. So now it’s land junk instead – is it time to get some new astronauts who are former sanitation engineers?
If you’re worried about those invasive giant Asian ‘murder’ hornets, bee researchers at the University of Guelph found that bees in Vietnam protect their hives from hornets by spreading animal dung around their entrances. Think about that the next time you notice your honey has an odd flavor.
Conspiracy believers rejoice – new research finds that many conspiracy theories and seemingly irrational beliefs are actually attempts to protect our mental health by responding to the very human needs for control, understanding and belonging. Does that mean Alex Jones can start charging an hourly rate for therapy?
Scientists at the University of Portsmouth studying the sex life of the giant feathery shipworm caught them on video in the act in an aquarium and described it as “They were using their siphons to wrestle and inseminate one another and trade sperm” and “multiple shipworms were recorded mating with one another, with some receiving sperm at one end, and planting their own sperm in a different shipworm at the same time.” Who then needed a smoke – the shipworms or the researchers?
Even though NASA’s Voyager spacecrafts are billions of miles from Earth, scientists have detected sudden bursts of cosmic rays around them that were caused by shock waves from solar eruptions that needed over year to get there from the Sun. Not to sound too anthropomorphic, but in these days filled with so much bad news, it’s somehow comforting to find out that, after over 40 years in space, the Voyagers are still ticklish.
Electric fishes living in caves in a remote area of the Brazilian Amazon Basin have been found to communicate with each other over surprisingly long distances using a technique similar to AM radio. Does this AM method limit them to talking strictly about sports and politics?
The YouTube channel DipYourCar covered a Lancer Evolution X with a water-based acrylic paint called Musou Black that absorbs 99.4 percent of visible light, making the car look like a silhouette in daylight and invisible at night. Well, at least until you drive it for a few times and then it’s covered with scratches, gray paint and bird droppings.
Astronomers delivered the sad news that WASP-12b – one of the hottest and blackest ‘hot Jupiter’ exoplanets in the galaxy — is heading to a fast and fiery death as it plunges into its yellow dwarf star. Could the astronomers be sad because hot, black and fast is also how they like their coffee?