Strange Days In Science #1: Does Planet X Exist? And Did It Bring Friends?

By on January 18, 2015 // Science // 2 Comments

Does Planet X Exist?
Image: NASA/Goddard/S. Wiessinger via CC by 2.0

Every week, there are stories I miss. It’s unavoidable. New breakthroughs in science are happening every day, but I can’t post about them all because I’m too busy trying to build a time machine. Maybe once I’m finished, I can fix that. But until then, every weekend, I’d like to take a brief look back at the previous week’s strangest science news. I’ll share some stories and some links, right here in a single post. This is…

Strange Days In Science, Issue #1

Headlining this week’s issue is news that Planet X may actually be a thing, or at least something like it. According to NBC News/Space.com, researchers studying the orbits of “extreme trans-Neptunian objects” have found what they believe could be evidence of at least two hidden planets beyond Neptune and Pluto.

Read Mike Wall’s full report on this curious finding at Space.com. And if you’d like to read more about Planet X, check out my old post Ends of the World: Rogue Planets.

Other Things You May Have Missed

Sarah Brightman, the original Christine from Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera, has had enough of the Phantom’s shenanigans and will soon begin training for her escape to the International Space Station this October.

If you ever need to remember anything, close your eyes.

Before we unwittingly usher in the Robot Apocalypse, Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and other scientists recently pledged to “ensure artificial intelligence research benefits mankind,” according to BBC News. And by “ensure artificial intelligence research benefits mankind,” they basically mean “ensure artificial intelligence research doesn’t become self-aware and eat our face.” Or at least avoid harm in the form of negative economic effects and infrastructure-disrupting malfunctions.

…which is good, because apparently now robots can learn just by watching YouTube videos.

Speaking of Elon Musk, he and Richard Branson have plans to invest heavily in satellite Internet. Branson’s OneWeb Ltd., in particular, “plans worldwide Internet service powered by a constellation of 648 small satellites,” according to the LA Times.

NASA found the Beagle 2 Mars lander, by the way. I know you were worried about that.

And this: An asteroid will cruise by Earth on January 26.

The megalodon is dead. I think.

NASA is also looking to build “a blimp-suspended city in the clouds” on Venus, reports Fox News. I just hope they don’t involve anyone named Comstock. And please, no DLC.

According to ScienceNews, Loggerhead sea turtles navigate to their nesting ground using Earth’s magnetic field as a guide.

“Was this Nessie’s ancestor?” asks The Telegraph. No, but archaeologists did discover a new prehistoric species on the Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland.

“A warp in the fabric of space-time has caused a pulsar in a binary star system about 25,000 light-years from Earth to vanish, at least for now,” reports the International Business Times. The pulsar will return to view in about 160 years “after it emerges from the ‘gravitational well.’”

And that’s all I have for this week. Until next time!

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About the Author

Rob Schwarz is a writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. He manages Stranger Dimensions in between changing aquarium filters and reading bad novels about mermaids.
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  • Strange Days in Science. I like this idea Rob – nice one.