Futurology ~ Rosetta weirder, nanosatellites, Pluto’s weird glow, Musk alien, synthesised human genome, free Chilean solar, origin of dogs

A photo of Pluto revealed an odd glowing patch
A photo of Pluto revealed an odd glowing patch

Rosetta’s comet is even weirder than we thought — If you thought a comet that contains the building blocks of life and creates its own weather couldn’t get any more interesting, think again. Scientists finally have a theory as to why comet 67P — also known as Rosetta’s comet — has two distinct lobes. It’s actually two distinct comets, which break up, orbit one another and smash together again and again for all of cometary eternity. And despite how strange this relationship sounds, it may be a lot more common than we thought.
~ Break up to make up.

Autonomous nano satellites make up their now minds — Nanosatellites are small satellites with sizes ranging from a shoe box to a small suitcase are popular because they are cheap: just some communication gear and a few instruments. Also, they can piggyback onto other space missions. NASA is now preparing to launch in orbit around Mars two CubeSats, small satellites that will piggyback on InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport), NASA’s mission to understand the interior structure of Mars, now likely to be launched in 2018.
~ Now we can shotgun hundreds of little satellites instead of putting all the eggs into one basket. 

What is this weird glowing spot hovering over Pluto? Strange, glowing patches over Pluto are actually something else (almost) as mysterious. As researchers looked closer at a photo of sunlight streaming through Pluto’s haze (main picture, above), a question emerged: what’s that weird glowing patch in the upper right hand corner?
~ Researchers now think it’s probably just a cloud reflecting sunlight. Boring.

Elon Musk an alien? It’s easy to get a kick out of Musk’s quirky quotables. But the closer you look at his words and actions, the more you’ll start to see: he’s an alien who came from another galaxy to help save humanity. Here’s proof
~ I think you could level this charge at many public figures. 

Plans to synthesise the human genome — After it was reported three weeks ago that scientists have held a secret meeting to consider creating a synthetic human genome, the participants of that meeting have officially published their plans.
~ This can’t end well. Only the rich can afford it, and they’re ruining everything for the rest of us already. 

Chile giving away free solar energy — Chile’s solar industry has expanded so quickly it’s giving electricity away for free. Spot prices reached zero in parts of the country on 113 days through April, a number that’s on track to beat last year’s total of 192 days, according to Chile’s central grid operator. While that may be good for consumers, it’s bad news for companies that own power plants struggling to generate revenue and developers seeking financing for new facilities.
~ Here’s a thought: give it to struggling families instead of copper miners. 

Exoskin is  a programmable hybrid shape-changing material — Programmable matter isn’t a thing that we have a lot of experience with yet. It’s still very much a technology that’s slowly emerging from research labs. MIT is one of those research centres, and Basheer Tome, a masters student at the MIT Tangible Media Group, has been working on “membrane-backed rigid material,” called Exoskin, made up of tessellated triangles of firm silicone mounted on top of a stack of flexible silicone bladders. By selectively inflating these air bladders, the Exoskin can dynamically change its shape to react to your touch, communicate information, change functionality, and more.
~ Fire up the compressor out, we’re adding an extension!

We were wrong about the origin of dogs — The precise origin of domesticated dogs is mired in controversy. But a new study suggests dogs emerged from two different populations of ancient wolves. What’s more, this dual domestication happened on opposite sides of the Eurasian continent.
~ Meanwhile, humans have evolved to walk behind them picking up their poo.