Mysterious News Briefly — October 5, 2021
Asteroid (248370) 2005 QN137, discovered by the Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) survey, is just the eighth main-belt asteroid, out of more than half a million known main-belt asteroids, confirmed to be active on more than one occasion, and has now also been confirmed to be a so-called main-belt comet, one of just 20 of those known. That’s a rare double-space-rock score if you’re playing Astronomy Scrabble.
Russia’s space program launched actress Julia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko on a Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station to film scenes for a feature-length movie — “The Challenge” — about a medical emergency in orbit. Soon-to-be-astronaut and actor William Shatner says they’re doing it backwards.
Blue Origin confirmed that William Shatner, Captain James T. Kirk in the original Star Trek series, will fly to ‘near’ space October 12 aboard the company’s crewed rocket, becoming at 90 the oldest ever astronaut. He’s hoping the space toilet is fixed because he doesn’t want to boldly go where no man has gone before.
A new Turkish study found that children with higher levels of general knowledge and verbal reasoning are better able to produce humor, showing that the link between humor and high intelligence appears to be much stronger in children than adults. Does this mean fart jokes are a sign of high intelligence?
The makers of Barbie dolls has teamed up with the European Space Agency’s (ESA) only active female astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti, to create a doll to inspire young girls into the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) fields. Where’s Ken – driving the bus to the launch pad?
It may have been a record hot summer in parts of the Northern Hemisphere, but winter in Antarctica set its own mark for the coldest average temperature on record — minus-78 degrees (minus-61 Celsius), which was 4.5 degrees lower than the most recent 30-year average. It was so cold, even King penguins were complaining about shrinkage.
The highly secretive U.S. military X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-6) has passed 500 days in Earth orbit on its first mission under the command of the U.S. Space Force. It may not have a crew but it’s intelligent enough to not want to come back for a while.
A long lava-tube cavern in northern Saudi Arabia contains piles of gnawed bones left by hyenas that lived there for millennia, and researchers have now discovered some of the bones are from humans, but they believe the hyenas scavenged corpses from graves rather than killing humans for food. Just to be on the safe side at the zoo, laugh along with the hyenas even if you don’t think their joke is funny.
Ohio businessman and real-estate entrepreneur Larry Connor will pilot the first-ever, all-civilian private space mission to the ISS in February 2022 but says he’s just an average guy from Ohio who’s had the good fortune and opportunity to do fairly interesting and extraordinary things. And if you believe that, he has some land to sell you in Ohio.
Doctors in Lithuania safely removed roughly two-and-a-half pounds of miscellaneous nails, screws, nuts, and other metal objects he had swallowed since he quit drinking a month before. Was this a case of severe withdrawal from Screwdrivers and Rusty Nails?