Here’s some of the most interesting things happening on Planet Earth…
- The OSIRIS REx satellite will be visiting Bennu, an asteroid consisting of carbon and other elements. Anything containing carbon is considered ‘organic’, so it is interesting to visit these places, since all life as we know it is organic. This particular asteroid is shedding light on the early development of the Solar System. It is accompanied by a family of asteroids that are different shapes and sizes than previously studied ones. This new asteroid family is also organic, and the chunks of space rock are shaped like V’s. Most asteroids are more globular. These findings support an interesting theory called the Gravitational Collapse Theory, which states that the Solar System started formin 4.5 billion years ago, much more recently than previously hypothesized.
- Propaganda and other information is now deliverable by bombs. The U.S. Air Force has completed tests of its new leaflet delivery system: B-52’s dropping paper-filled bombs. Nearly a million leaflets can be delivered by a single B-52 Stratofortress carrying 16 leaflet bombs, which fall from the plane, and release the leaflets after falling a safe distance from the craft. This method can be used to deliver instructions, propaganda, or any other kind of information that would be useful in a military situation.
- A planet called WASP 121b has a stratosphere, which is awesome because it is the first exoplanet discovered to exhibit this important feature. The planet is called a hot Jupiter, because it is similar in some ways to our own Solar System neighbor — just twice it’s size. Astronomers are excited about finding a planet besides Earth with a stratosphere, because that is just one more way that Earth is not entirely unique in this Universe, a step towards the scientific confirmation of life on extraterrestrial worlds.
- After 30 years of trying, the Cincinnati Zoo has finally had babies — Baby Lemurs, that is. 3 new tiny creatures were born over a three day period between last Friday and Sunday. It is not known whether or not the new family plans to visit Lemuria.