We’re driven to determine if “the truth is out there.” If we just had all of the pieces, they might fit together and form the bridge to a greater understanding.
The team will gather evidence and analyze data for unexplained events in the sky from a scientific perspective to determine if they are natural or require other explanation. The nine-month study kicks off in the fall, and the findings will be shared with the public.
“I’ve spent most of my career as a cosmologist. I can tell you, we don’t know what makes up 95% of the universe,” said astrophysicist David Spergel, who will lead the team.
To tide you over, here are some other unusual things we learned this week.
Across the universe
Mysterious fast radio bursts have long intrigued astronomers because they don’t understand what causes the bright, millisecond-long flashes in space.
The celestial object constantly released weaker radio waves between the repeating bursts. There is only one other fast radio burst known to do this, which has astronomers questioning if there is more than one kind of these unexplained phenomena.
It’s a livin’ thing.
For the first time ever, scientists have learned how to grow humanlike skin on a robotic finger.
This advancement is one step closer to giving robots the look and touch of living creatures, according to the researchers.
The researchers are interested in adding a vascular system that could help the skin sustain itself, grow nails and even sweat. Having humanlike hands could one day enable robots to help us with a surprising range of tasks.
Meet Fernanda. She’s kind of a big deal in the Galapagos Islands, and we don’t blame you if you sing a version of ABBA’s “Fernando” in her honor.
The lone small female tortoise was found living on Fernandina Island in the Galapagos archipelago in 2019. Her discovery shocked scientists because they thought Fernandina tortoises were extinct, especially given the island’s very active volcano.
A new genetic study revealed Fernanda is indeed a native species of her island, especially when compared with the DNA of a male tortoise specimen collected from the island in 1906.
The Ingenuity helicopter is battling a hazy shade of winter on Mars.
It’s possible that the bones, from an animal that lived 125 million years ago, belonged to a newly discovered species instead. But scientists need more information to make the determination.
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