Space is chock full of weird stuff this week, from the perhaps Holy Grail of astronomy in Gliese 581 e, a small, rocky exoplanet that exists in a potentially habitable orbital zone to a Jupiter sized planet with one of the strangest looking orbits ever observed, existing for most of its’ orbit in the Goldilocks zone and occasionally swooping in close and nearly grazing (in a cosmic sense) the star it orbits. These two planets are just two of the more interesting examples of the scads of planets that are being discovered recently. At this point, finding another planet that supports life somewhere in the universe looks more like a matter of time than anything else. And considering how far rocketry has come in just the past two centuries, from firing sheep into the stratosphere to capturing incredible images of the far side of the galaxy, like the ones sent back by NASA’s Kepler Mission earlier this week, it may not even be a matter of that much time. Heck, if the proposed Ceres Lander gets off the ground, we might not even have to leave our solar system to find evidence of extraterrestrial life.

The Big Wide World, Courtesy of Kepler

The Big Wide World, Courtesy of Kepler

Speaking of our cozy little solar system, you probably haven’t noticed it, but the sun is acting a touch peculiar as of late. Not that it’s anything to be concerned about. After all, new stars are always being born and researchers in Dublin may have come a step closer to understanding just how that happens.

No, you should save all of your concern for the following two questions: a) what is the ‘space blob‘? and b) does it spell our imminent cosmic doom? 

 

The Blob That Shall Not Be Named

The Blob That Shall Not Be Named

I’m going with a) some kind of dark and sleeping elder god from the realms beyond sanity and b) I guess that depends on what you mean by imminent. I mean, chances are we’ve got another like, five or ten years. Unless we start running into terrible omens, like sharks appearing where they do not belong.

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