Mysterious News Briefly — February 10, 2022
The mysterious surprise tsunami that began in the South Atlantic Ocean last August and slowly traveled over 10,000 km (6,200 miles) through the North Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans has been explained – a new look at the seismological data suggests it was caused by a series of five sub-quakes, of which the third was a ‘silent’ quake that struck just 15 kilometers below the Earth's surface at a magnitude of 8.2 without being detected. Is it time for a surfer song dedicated to seismologists?
Planetary scientists and astronomers at the University of Leicester have identified the cause of Saturn’s mysterious glow – the auroras are caused partly by swirling winds within Saturn’s atmosphere which also affect the radio emission “pulses” used to measure the lengths of days on gas planets like Saturn. The more we learn about it, the more we wonder why visitors from other star systems would come to Earth instead of Saturn.
A McGill University study for NASA shows how a 10-meter wide laser array on Earth could heat hydrogen plasma in a chamber behind a spacecraft to produce a hydrogen gas thrust that would send the craft to Mars in just 45 days – making it feasible for delivering supplies to human colonists. If NASA wants speed, they need to commission a study from Domino’s.
The quantum boomerang effect – a theoretical phenomenon where particles sent into chaos eventually return to where they started – has been witnessed for the first time by researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, using ultracold lithium atoms. Don’t challenge any members of the team to a game of billiards.
It’s not just Winter Olympic athletes -- researchers at Georgia State University found that tufted capuchin monkeys choked under pressure when performing difficult tasks on a computer. We’re now choking under pressure caused by the fact that monkeys are using computers.
The UK-based Joint European Torus lab broke a 25-year-old record in nuclear fusion by producing 59 megajoules of energy over five seconds (the equivalent of 30 pounds of TNT) and had a camera in the reactor to record the glowing plasma spinning around the interior of the donut-shaped chamber. Nuclear fusion and donuts – was Homer Simpson at the controls?
NASA’s Ames Center in Mountain View, California, was overrun by about two dozen wild turkeys which are defecating everywhere, blocking traffic, pecking at windows and endangering aircraft – they had to be humanely trapped and transported to a wildlife reserve. NASA employees should be on guard -- if an Amazon Prime box is gobbling, don’t open it.
It seems only natural that the country famous for blue cheese would come up with blue beer – the French brewer Hoppy Urban Brew unveiled a blue beer made from spirulina, an algae that has a naturally blue tint. Papa Smurf, we think you have a problem.
Companies looking to shake up the non-dairy milk world are switching from nuts and grains to potatoes – a Swedish company has debuted the first commercially available potato milk that they hope will fry the competition and mash the markets. Is that bottle next to it chocolate or gravy-flavored?
SpaceX launched 49 satellites from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on February 3rd, only to have 40 of them fried by a powerful geomagnetic storm the following day which caused them to begin plummeting back into Earth’s atmosphere to burn up. Do you still trust Tesla’s self-driving mode?