This week in space: 7/13 - 7/20
With everything that happens on earth in a given week, it's easy to forget that things, indeed, are constantly happening outside our own atmosphere.
From a few fun alien conspiracy theories to the discovery of 104 potentially habitable planets, here's everything important that happened in space last week.
5. UFO hunter claims to have found remains of Martian King on Red Planet
Just this month, China announced it finished constructing a giant telescope around the size of 30 football fields to aid in the hunt for alien life -- but one man believes he might've beat them to it.
"This is undoubtedly the skeletal remains of an alien humanoid in my opinion," the video said. "I have cross referenced the remains and compared them with bones found in humans, and the comparison is undeniable."
Paranormal Crucible also shared a colorized version of NASA's original image on Facebook as further proof.
"This added with my previous video of a dinosaur skull found by the Curiosity Rover confirms without doubt that Mars did have life on it," they concluded.
Yes, we're sure NASA managed to miss the one thing they've been searching for for decades in a photo that they took.
4. A massive hole appeared on the surface of the Sun
On July 11, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured a big hole on the surface of the sun.
Tom Yulsman, who writes for Discover's ImaGeo blog, noted that there is no reason for people to be concerned.
He explained that the massive dark area in our star's swirly, golden corona is simply, "a place where the Sun's magnetic field opens out into interplanetary space, allowing hot material from the corona to speed outward."
As the area houses less hot plasma than those adjacent, it takes on a darker appearance.
This sort of feature, which is called a coronal hole, develops every now and then and, at worst, tends to cause problems with satellite communications.
*tries not to panic* *PANICS*
3. NASA cut a livestream video feed right as a UFO appeared to enter Earth's atmosphere
It's truly been a red letter week for aliens and their hunters.
Alien hunters believed they spotted a UFO entering the earth's atmosphere on July 9 via NASA's International Space Station's live feed.
But wait, the plot got even thicker -- shortly after the 'UFO' was seen entering the atmosphere, the ISS feed was inexplicably cut due to "signal loss."
The alleged alien invasion was first reported by the UFO hunter Streetcap1 in a YouTube video, which has since been viewed over half a million times.
Naturally, people ran wild with their speculations.
Some guessed the object might have been the Chinese space station Tiangong-1, which China had lost contact with, returning to Earth.
Others, including Streetcap1, believed the answer was a lot simpler.
"Remember a ufo is an unidentified flying object," he wrote in his video's description. "This could well be a meteor or the like."
2. Juno sent its first image of Jupiter back from orbit
NASA's spacecraft Juno left Earth nearly 5 years ago, and a few weeks ago, it finally reached its destination, entering Jupiter's orbit.
However, at the time, we didn't get much visual information in terms of what Juno saw as it approached the giant planet.
On Tuesday, the agency released the first set of images from Juno's in-orbit view and, as expected, they were spectacular.
According to NASA, "The new view was obtained on July 10, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. PDT (1:30 p.m. EDT, 5:30 UTC), when the spacecraft was 2.7 million miles (4.3 million kilometers) from Jupiter on the outbound leg of its initial 53.5-day capture orbit. The color image shows atmospheric features on Jupiter, including the famous Great Red Spot, and three of the massive planet's four largest moons — Io, Europa and Ganymede, from left to right in the image."
The agency expects to receive first high-resolution images of the gas giant after several weeks.
1. NASA's Kepler spotted over 100 new exoplanets -- some in the habitable zone
NASA's Kepler Space Telescope has been hard at work scanning the universe for planetary bodies and has now confirmed a whopping 104 of them outside our solar system as part of its K2 mission.
Four of the orbs are believed to be rocky and two rest within their star's habitable zone.
According to NASA, "The planets, all between 20 and 50 percent larger than Earth by diameter, are orbiting the M dwarf star K2-72, found 181 light years away...The host star is less than half the size of the sun and less bright. The planets' orbital periods range from five and a half to 24 days, and two of them may experience irradiation levels from their star comparable to those on Earth. Despite their tight orbits...the possibility that life could arise on a planet around such a star cannot be ruled out."
Now ... if only we could figure out how to travel 181 light years just a little bit faster.
That's all for now, have a stellar week!