Not many people outside of Jammy Toast will know this, but today is the fiftieth anniversary of the great UFO invasion of England. No, today is not April 1st and we have not been smoking Flat Eric’s magic mushroom. This really happened. They had big metal domes, emitted a strange, ominous hum and appeared one morning in a straight line across southern England. Members of the public, police and the Army saw the alien spaceships had landed and some panic did ensue – until it was revealed to be a stunt by students. But how was the hoax so successful?
Here at Jammy Toast we get the feeling that some Australians have been out in the sun for too long and it has befuddled their brains. The latest is senator-elect Malcolm Roberts who thinks there is no such thing as global warming and that NASA has manipulated the figures. Even when Jammy Toast favourite Professor Brian Cox argued otherwise Malcolm Roberts was having none of it. The British physicist behind Wonders of the Universe was a guest on the adversarial panel show Q&A. with Mr Roberts who is from the anti-immigration One Nation party.
American astronomers say they have strong evidence that there is a ninth planet in our Solar System orbiting far beyond even the dwarf world Pluto. The team, from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), has no direct observations to confirm its presence just yet. Rather, the scientists make the claim based on the way other far-flung objects are seen to move. But if proven, the putative planet would be 10 times the size of Earth. The Caltech astronomers have a vague idea where it ought to be in the sky, and their work is sure to fire a campaign to try to track it down.
When you think of Christmas you tend to think of it as the time for friends and family. The time for sharing food and company and catching up on long lost friends. Seeing adverts on the telly for The Samaritans and people being lonely at Christmas is the saddest sight of all. The thought of someone spending Christmas day on their own is horrible. I suffer, if that is the word, from Anthropomorphism – that is giving human characteristics and qualities to objects. When I sell a car I feel sorry for that car and I am sorry to see it go and I always remember it fondly. So for me, even the thought of a man-made object being lonely can make me quite sad and the loneliest man-made object I can envision is Voyager 1.
As many of you already know, Einstein Bear is the bear here at Jammy Toast who is the brains of the outfit. Edward is one clever bear but he is clever where it comes to technology, which he studied at university, whereas Einstein’s intelligence covers many subjects. However, today he astounded even us when he came out with something so profound that he had us all wondering. We were discussing next Tuesday, which happens to be the shortest day and the Winter Solstice, and how the mornings and evenings will start to get lighter. When Einstein stopped everyone in their tracks by pronouncing; “Not necessarily.”
The other day we reported that scientists had found what they think could be an Earth-like planet which could hold a second Jammy Toast Retirement Home. Well, today we can report that scientists are now reporting that the human race could indeed be doomed on this Earth because of the damage we are causing so maybe we better start packing ready to move to the second Earth. The report, led by the universities of Stanford, Princeton and Berkeley, said vertebrates were disappearing at a rate 114 times faster than normal. One of the new study’s authors said; “We are now entering the sixth great mass extinction event. The last such event was 65 million years ago, when dinosaurs were wiped out, in all likelihood by a large meteor hitting Earth. If it is allowed to continue, life would take many millions of years to recover and our species itself would likely disappear early on,” said the lead author, Gerardo Ceballos.
NASA scientists, searching the universe for Earth-like planets, may have found a second Jammy Toast. A haul of planets from the Kepler telescope includes a world sharing many characteristics with Earth. Kepler-452b orbits at a very similar distance from its star, though its radius is 60% larger. Mission scientists say they believe it is the most Earth-like planet they have discovered to date. Such worlds are of interest to astronomers because they might be small and cool enough to host liquid water on their surface – therefore they might be hospitable to life, have Renault Bears or even their very own Jammy Toast Retirement Home.
There are quite a few bleary eyes around Jammy Toast today as many of us bears stayed up late last night to see the Supermoon coincide with a lunar eclipse. Astronomers all over the UK where waiting for a sight of the rare phenomenon which occurs when the Moon is in the closest part of its orbit to Earth, meaning it appears larger in the sky. The eclipse – which makes the Moon appear red in colour – was then visible in North America, South America, West Africa and Western Europe. According to NASA, a Supermoon last coincided with a lunar eclipse in 1982 and is not expected to again until 2033. However, the definition of a Supermoon is debated among many astronomers.
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has made the first visit to Pluto, speeding past at 14km per second. Earlier, the space agency released the most detailed picture yet as it hurtled towards the dwarf planet. The probe was set to grab more images and other data as it passed just 12,500km from the little world at 12:50 BST. The spacecraft is currently out of contact with Earth as it continues its observations. However, scientists already have colour data from the approach and said they might release another new picture of Pluto later today.
As we have mentioned before here at Jammy Toast we love a bit of space exploration and so things are starting to hot up around here as New Horizons nears Pluto. Launched from Earth in 2006, New Horizons is currently bearing down on Pluto and its moons at nearly 14km/sec. The probe is due to make its close approach to the dwarf on 14th July, gathering a welter of photographs and other data as it zooms past. NASA’s Pluto probe experienced a fault on Saturday that put it temporarily out of contact with the Earth, as it speeds towards a flyby next week. Principal investigator Alan Stern said that about 30 observations of the dwarf planet were missed as a consequence of the hiccup.