Farout, New Caledonia, Amborella, Rocket Lab – 12/19/2018

Space

A new dwarf planet, 2018 VG18 Farout, has been discovered at 120 AU (astronomical unit) from the Sun, 120 times farther than our Earth and 3.5 times farther than Pluto. It’s waaaaay out there, like really….farout. You can probably guess where the name came from. The dwarf planet, announced by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center, is approximately 311 miles (500 km for the rest of the world) in diameter and had a pink color which means it could be icy. It was discovered with the Subaru telescope in Hawaii by Scott S. Sheppard, David Tholen, and Chad Trujillo, the same team which discovered The Goblin earlier this year. Another interesting fact about Farout is that if it gets close to the gas giants in our Solar System (Jupiter through Neptune, all of the really large ones) there’s a theory on how it got to its current location but if it doesn’t it could point to the mysterious Planet X some experts believe exists far out in the forgotten reaches of our Solar System, waiting to be explored.


Credit: Al Jazeera English

I’m a bit late for these countries but I thought I’d mention them. New Caledonia recently voted in a referendum on becoming independent but fell short and remained apart of France through France’s Overseas territories. The Kingdom of Swaziland in Africa also experienced a change when their king decided to change the name of the nation to eSwatini. As a quick reminder while I still have your attention, a few years ago the Czech Republic decided to create an easier name for people to use to refer to the country and decided on Czechia. While not an official name change it is a new name for them.

Sustainability

Credit: INSIDER

Lollipops are a fun piece of candy we pick up for a fast snack. We all remember their abundance at the doctor’s office or at children’s parties but you may also remember throwing them away. This is an unnecessary part of the culture we have created where we throw away so much trash when we don’t have to. Amborella Organics is a company which created a solution to this problem in the form of planting the lollipop sticks. They created a biodegradable lollipop stick made from recycled paper which will decompose in the soil. Since they’re made from organic pure cane sugar and beet juice they’re organic and vegan they’ll be popular with a broader category of people. The most important part to this solution is that the sticks themselves contain seeds from various plants.

Amborella sells a variety of seeds from different herbs and edible flowers including sage, rosetta cosmo, mint, lavender, thyme, baby blue eyes and marigold. Borage, a flower from the Mediterranean, was added later in the watermelon lollipop. You can look up the instructions for growing your flowers if you want but the steps are pretty simple. Stick the stick (haha) in the soil and water daily; easier than feeding your dog…or cat…or…maybe lizard? In any case each one has a unique taste and cost $2.25 apiece or $6.75 for a 3 pack. You could get free shipping but you’ll have to buy over 48 which costs over $100. Despite the price we need to think about incorporating sustainable elements into our everyday disposable lifestyles and learn to change in order to preserve our shared environment.


Interstellar Technology attempted to launch their rocket, Momo-2, yet it was a failure, stalling the first Japanese private space company to have a successful rocket launch.


In a turnabout of good news Rocket Lab successfully launched their rocket from New Zealand and after reaching orbit it detached six satellites into orbit. Their specialty is lowering the cost of spaceflight from the 100s of millions to a few million. The catch is that the satellites have to be fairly small.


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