Mysterious News Briefly — March 2, 2022
Fans of blueblooded horseshoe crabs think these modern leftovers from the age of dinosaurs deserve to be classified as a unique species, but a new paper has put them in the unflattering family tree of the arachnids, with spiders and scorpions as close relatives. Horseshoe crabs have the sympathy of the similarly misunderstood bluebloods at Buckingham Palace.
Astronomers puzzled by a strange X-ray glow in the sky have determined it was the afterglow of a kilonova explosion that was generated by the collision of two neutron stars 3.5 years prior to its appearance – a phenomenon never before detected. We saw Kilonova Afterglow open for Aldo Nova.
New Zealand’s parliament is being accused of making its citizens sick with a radiation weapon by protesters wearing foil hats which they claim protects them from the radiation. While you’re waiting for this to be resolved, buy stock in aluminum companies.
The startup company Quaise, a spinoff of MIT, has raised $40 million for its project to use fusion power to drill 12 miles into the Earth and harvest the immense amounts of geothermal energy it claims are available down there in a nearly unlimited supply. When will we learn not to trust energy companies that use the words “unlimited supply”?
Using modern 3D technology, Swedish archaeologist and artist Oscar Nilsson recreated the face of a 4,000-year-old Stone Age woman, called the Raspberry girl because raspberry seeds were found in stomach, and it shows the 19-year-old had protruding teeth, an upward-tilting nose, low-set eyes, and a masculine lower jaw. In other words, she was a Stone Age babe.
A study of twenty 350,000-year-old skulls from a cave in northern Spain found that many of these members of a hominin species called Homo heidelbergensis suffered frequent head injuries but often lived long enough for those injuries to heal -- a few of the skulls had at least 10 healed fractures, suggesting Homo heidelbergensis was either very violent, very clumsy or both. Or they hadn’t yet figured that you need to hollow out the rock first before wearing it as a helmet.
Researchers from Lund University in Sweden mapping the location of elements in the Milky Way found that the element Ytterbium (Yb, atomic number 70), which is found in the black mineral gadolinite in Sweden’s Ytterby mine, largely originates from supernova explosions. Just think … Ytterbium on Earth may be the result of an ET saying, “Hold my beer and watch this!”
Many people are haunted by a bad meal but it’s usually not breakfast … however, a business owner uploaded security cam footage of what he calls the “ghost of a Cheerio” floating around his laboratory, which he later inspected and found nothing unusual. Most people think it’s just dust because a floating Cheerio without milk is bananas.
Things are not looking good for the next humans on the Moon – NASA’s latest status update shows the Artemis program is behind schedule and over budget, pushing the launch date from 2024 to 2026 or later, and the organization is blaming it on slow and unreliable contractors. Don’t any of these rocket scientists ever watch those home improvement shows?
What was thought to be the closest black hole to our solar system (HR 6819) got a closer look by astronomers using the ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) and a light-comparison tool on the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) and they’ve reclassified it as a binary system of two old stars with one sucking the life out of the other like a vampire. In memory of the late Anne Rice, they should call the report “Interview with a Vampire Star.”