Welcome to this weeks edition of Science Thursday. This is a special edition of Science Thursday, as it is the last that will be found here, on my personal blog. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Science Thursday is growing up, and getting it’s own website. Next week, tune in to sciencethursday.org and find the same old Science Thursday in a brand new place. This week we have some downright exhilarating news, starting, with our favorite comet lander and orbiter.
On August 13, Rosetta reached perihelion coming to within 186 million km of the Sun. For reference, this is about 1/5 the optical diameter of Betelgeuse. The linked article has some photos of what the comet looked like during the event. Evidently, it is spewing 300kg of water vapor out into space every second. This was an exciting day for the comet. As the saying goes, it’s all downhill from here.
In an article posted in CBC News, we find that there is an automated lawnmower with U.S. approval. this is good news to all those children out there who are forced to mow the lawn. One day, sooner now, you will be able to just set the robot lawn mower off, and go back to watching the shitty cartoons on tv or playing your gamebox or twitting on faceplace or whatever kids do nowadays instead of mow lawns. Incidentally, this is also good news to most parents, who just want their lawns mowed, but bad news to the parents who viewed lawn mowing as a rite of passage type of thing. Maybe the new rite of passage can be fixing robomower when it breaks? Time will tell.
Oh boy, do I have a whacky conspiracy for you. Evidently, Mars is going to be as big as the moon. Except for one small thing. No. Just, no. It’s not. No. It is that time of the year again, the time of the Mars hoax. Normally, I would have just discounted this as a bunch of whackadoos who we let onto the internet as the name would lead you to believe, but this hoax is a little different. For starters, it has it’s own, relatively credible Wikipedia page. Also, it has a mostly credible (so far)NASA webpage. Evidently, an email went around back in 2003 (yes kids, there WAS email in 2003) which stated that mars would be the same size as the moon when mars was viewed with 75 power magnification. The 75 magnification bit may or may not be true, depending on which website you read. What is definitely not true is Mars looking the same size as the Moon from Earth. To put a slight spin on this, a way Mars would actually look as big as the Moon does on Earth is if we actually send people there. On the way, for an instant, Mars will appear exactly as big as the Moon does from your back porch. So let’s step to it NASA, and make this myth come true. For a select few astronauts. Briefly.
Here is some news for octopus fans. The octopus genome has been mapped. Finally! There are many novel genes that scientists found in the octopus genome that are responsible for things like octopus’ ability to change color. Which, I think, is pretty cool.
That’s it for this week’s Science Thursday. See you next week on the new website, sciencethursday.org. Thanks for reading. Until next time.