Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Weird Science: Cosmos, aliens, clowns

Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte is set to become the seventh space tourist (a clown in space, if you will)...On the menu for the latest edition of Weird Science: Cosmic cannibals, a presidential alien abduction, and clowns in space. The Andromeda galaxy, our nearest neighbor in space, turns out to have a nasty appetite.

Using a telescope scan, astronomers have found evidence of Andromeda's galactic meals. From the AP: "What we're seeing right now are the signs of cannibalism," said study lead author Alan McConnachie of the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics in Victoria, British Columbia. "We're finding things that have been destroyed...partly digested remains." Earth's galaxy, the Milky Way, is next on Andromeda's snack list. John Dubinksi, co-author of the project, says the two galaxies are headed toward each other at a rate of 75 miles per second. But not to worry: We won't be dinner for another few billion years.

Back on Earth, a U.S.-Australian research team has discovered the coldest, driest, calmest place on the planet. The spot, known only as "Ridge A," is located on the Antarctic Plateau. From LiveScience: "It's so calm that there's almost no wind or weather there at all," said study leader Will Saunders.

I hear Venus is beautiful this time of year: Reuters is reporting that Miyuki Hatoyama, Japan's next first lady, claims she was abducted by aliens and taken to Venus. The new prime minister's wife wrote a book last year called Very Strange Things I've Encountered, in which she describes her close encounter: More>>