Disappointing news for any readers eagerly awaiting Cthulhu to rouse from his sleep at the bottom of the ocean and usher in an era of terror the likes of which we can’t even imagine. I’m sure we got your hopes up last week when we told you how a giant, disembodied eyeball washed up on a Florida beach. Now any hopes of tentacled horrors rising from the deep have been dashed; it turns out it’s probably just a swordfish eye.
Have you ever wanted your very own gun that shoots electricity instead of bullets? Well, Rob Flickenger — a wireless designer from Seattle, Washington — made a his mad scientist dreams come true by building a “ray-gun” using a Tesla coil and a Nerf toy gun. Hopefully he will use his invention for good and not for evil.
“Space Harpooner” may be an honest-to-god job description in the future. A British firm is looking to develop technology that will make it possible to “harpoon” space debris orbiting the Earth. The idea would be to harpoon the debris, drag it back to Earth, and let it burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Astrium UK is a space and technology company that boasts being the third largest company to specialize in space engineering and science. They want to build a machine that would launch into outer space and collect unused man-made objects such as “out-of-service satellites, used rocket sections, or simply tiny scraps caused by collisions.” Their work could help clean up our orbital space, which is cluttered with such debris.
The project would consist of launching a satellite into space (potentially creating more space junk) that would be controlled by engineers on Earth. They would target space junk by shooting out a 30cm spear attached to a polymer cord, piercing the space refuse. The plan after that would be either to drag the broken satellite or to detach the spear and have boosters thrust the object towards the Earth’s atmosphere so it can burn up and disintegrate.
In space, no one can hear Earth scream. That is, unless you happen to have an extra Electric and Magnetic Field Instrument Suite and Integrated Science (EMFISIS) receiver. NASA has two, and they’ve recorded the Earth’s “chorus,” the sound of oscillating radio waves projected by the plasma radiation in the Van Allen Radiation Belt.
Take a listen here.
EMFISIS is actually one of two receivers strapped to Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP), sent into orbit to collect data on the physical dynamics of these radiation belts with hopes of finding patterns providing scientists the capability of making future predictions about said belts.
The sounds recorded, dubbed “Earth’s Song,” bear no resemblance to Michael Jackson. The noises are in 16-bit mono, similar to CD-quality audio out of one speaker, are less like a song, and more like a bunch of crickets with a ’50s science fiction sound effects program. Not that it wouldn’t be easy to sample it into a hip hop track, but that aspiring artist might want to wait until the higher resolution stereo recording is released when the RBSP mission is complete.