There’s a lot to be jealous about in this week’s science news. A nebula gets nicknamed (and all this time you’ve reached year 7 of wishing everyone would call you “hawt-dawg”) and a piece of art gets sent to the moon before you do. Finally, a woman may get to give birth to a Neanderthal while your genetic code is stuck reproducing dumb old Homo sapiens. Life is so unfair!
Plus, more water news on Mars and get your peepers prepped because tonight Jupiter plans on making an appearance.
Applause for an Appulse!
Hey Monday stargazers, check out Jupiter tonight! Most of the United States and Canada will get to see a glimpse of the largest planet in the Solar System tonight because it is when the moon and Jupiter will appear closest together. This won’t happen again until 2026.
Now, the moon and Jupiter aren’t actually physically closer together. It’s an illusion known as an appulse. So, when you look up in the sky tonight, look for a non-twinkling star above the moon. That’ll be Jupiter. Or Criss Angel.
Thanks to Google, we can all pretend to be spies with cool gadgets!
Google is developing a new way to log-in to your Google accounts via a finger-ring or a keycard, so ideally you won’t have to worry about rehashing sad memories because your password is the name of your dead pet.
Oh, and you wouldn’t have to worry about getting hacked, either.
Rght now, Google is running a pilot program that uses cards that plug into a device’s USB drive. They’re called Yubikeys. With Yubikeys, access to your accounts would no longer be reliable on a password you SWEAR this time you will remember, however, your accounts’ security would now be dependent on an actual device. Let’s just hope you don’t throw your Yubikeys out by accident.
Nebula gets new nickname. Unfortunately, it’s not Nebulicious.
A flowy-looking Nebula known as W50 has officially been nicknamed the Manatee Nebula due to the fact that its shape resembles a manatee floating on its back. The nebula is actually the leftovers of a star that died in a supernova explosion about 20,000 years ago. The nickname was made official by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at the Florida Manatee Festival.
In other news, manatee festivals exist!
Mona Lisa gets lunar.
In their aim to advance communication for interplanetary spacecrafts, NASA scientists tested a laser signal by sending a picture of the Mona Lisa to the moon. An image of the Da Vinci masterpiece was transmitted via an installation in Maryland to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been circling the moon since 2009.
Despite this being a major advance in communicating at planetary distances, what’s more shocking is that it still takes the Mona Lisa a shorter amount of time to reach the moon than it does to stand in line to see the actual painting at the Louvre. I mean, am I right, people?
Non-Curiosity Rover finds cooler, more awesome, evidence of presence of water.
Move over, Curiosity! The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter would like to take the spotlight, please!
While exploring McLaughlin crater NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter detected rocks and other Martian materials that may indicate the crater was once filled with water. What’s interesting about this is that the McLaughlin crater has crevices that indicate water was able to reach its surface.
So, does this mean that the McLaughlin Crater was once a Martian-tourist hotspot? A Sandals Resort of the Red Planet, if you will?
As we all know, water is a necessary ingredient for the sustainability of life and this new discovery was just be another clue into the idea that life forms may have inhabited Mars and possibly enjoyed sunbathing.
Ladies, need a job? Sign up to give birth to a Neanderthal!
Today in “are you for real?” news, the Times of India is reporting that a US scientist in Melbourne is looking for a “brave” female to volunteer to give birth to a genetically-engineered Neanderthal.
Scientist George Church told a German newspaper that he has Neanderthal DNA and within time could possibly recreate our extinct ancestors, as long as there’s a willing surrogate mother.
So, is there a willing surrogate mother?
Pretty much all you have to do is give birth to Encino Man.
That doesn’t sound half bad. You know what? Bring it on, Dr. Weirdo!