5 Random Info-Nuggets for Space Nerds

Sascha covers some mighty hot space news on this week’s edition of 60 Giggles. However, a mere minute allows only time for reviewing the hard-hitting cosmic happenings. In case our science-centric segment stimulated your alien interests, this list of five assorted space funfacts offers you even more extraterrestrial entertainment.

International Space Law Exists

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Yep, as of the Soviet’s launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957, international lawyers determined the “boundaries” of space and how to understand and regulate “space-based” resources. Heck, the U.N. controls a branch called UNOOSA (United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs), which sounds like – among other things – a ridiculously cool place to work. All of this begs the question, why aren’t there any alien lawyer T.V. shows? Intergalactic procedurals could unseat vampire-driven dramas as the new Hollywood craze.

SETI Released a “2012 Doomsday Factsheet”

 

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When not busy scouring the skies and crunching data in search of alien life, SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) takes time out of its schedule to assure us that the end times remain at bay. However, in case Mayan-specific Apocalypse scenarios particularly frightened you, SETI  created a factsheet just for that. If visions of Planet Nibiru hurtling towards Earth have kept you awake at night, go ahead set your mind at ease and worry about likelier catastrophes such as nuclear war or a zombie apocalypse.

SpaceX and Virgin Galactic Bring Space to Civilians

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The very fact that private space-centric companies like SpaceX and Virgin Galactic exist  proves that outer space could very well become the next Wild West. SpaceX founder Elon Musk and Virgin’s Richard Branson are the quintessential tycoons capable of staking claims in the cosmos. While SpaceX is mainly [for now] a private space transport system, and Virgin Galactic aims at commercial space travel, who knows what other companies will get in on the space game and capitalize on the potential of extra-planetary-related business ventures.

The Earth Impact Database Keeps Track of Craters

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Meteor Crater, Arizona Photo: Chris Bobst

A brainchild of Canadian astronomer Dr. Carlyle S. Beales in 1955, the Earth Impact Database catalogues all of the confirmed crater sites on the planet. As of 2011, the database boasted 178 sites, meaning Earth has been whammied more than just a few times. Don’t worry about shielding your delicate bits from falling space rocks, though. Your chances of being hit by a meteorite measure up to about 1 in 20,000,000,000,000 according to The Gaurdian UK.

The Drake Equation Calculates Chances of Alien Life

In 1961, UC Santa Cruz professor Frank Drake developed an equation for estimating the chances of other life existing in The Milky Way. It involves some pretty heaving math, which The Big Bang Theory‘s Sheldon Cooper explains rather frenetically/eloquently above. Doesn’t the very existence of such equation make you wonder if, somewhere across the galaxy, alien scientists are betting on us, too?

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 For more space-related goodness, check out A Few Underrated Space Pirates


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Kristen Bobst is a grade-A comedy writer, an unstoppable sock puppeteer, and the world's foremost whimsy aficionado. She certainly believes the meaning of life really is 42; and right now Kristen is really into The Carrie Diaries. Comediva. Where the funny girls are.

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