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Science & Technology

How Clinical Trials Work

Prescription medications undergo rigorous rounds of testing and approval before hitting the consumer market. The Onion breaks down the steps involved in this process

Scientists Develop New Extra-Sloppy Peach

DAVIS, CA—Explaining that the latest strain of the fruit was far softer and runnier than previous varieties, agricultural scientists at the University of California, Davis announced Thursday the successful development of a new extra-sloppy peach.

SpaceX’s Plan To Colonize Mars

SpaceX founder Elon Musk continues to lay the groundwork to attempt the human colonization of Mars. Here’s a step-by-step guide to his plan:

The Pros And Cons Of Self-Driving Cars

With Uber’s robot cars debuting this week in Pittsburgh, many wonder whether driverless technology will improve or endanger our lives. The Onion weighs the pros and cons of self-driving cars

How Animals Go Extinct

With an estimated 40 percent of species on earth now considered endangered, many wonder how it’s possible for these animals to be wiped out. The Onion provides a step-by-step breakdown of how species go extinct

Horrible Facebook Algorithm Accident Results In Exposure To New Ideas

MENLO PARK, CA—Assuring users that the company’s entire team of engineers was working hard to make sure a glitch like this never happens again, Facebook executives confirmed during a press conference Tuesday that a horrible accident last night involving the website’s algorithm had resulted in thousands of users being exposed to new concepts.

Team Of Vatican Geneticists Successfully Clone God

VATICAN CITY—Describing the groundbreaking work as a major step forward for theological research, a team of Vatican geneticists held a press conference Tuesday at the Apostolic Palace to announce they had successfully cloned God.

Dad Shares Photo Album Through Never-Before-Seen Website

SECAUCUS, NJ—Wondering aloud how the father of three even managed to find the online image-hosting service, family members of local dad Phil Yates told reporters Monday the 57-year-old had shared a photo album with them through a never-before-seen website.

NASA Discovers Distant Planet Located Outside Funding Capabilities

WASHINGTON—Noting that the celestial body lies within the habitable zone of its parent star and could potentially harbor liquid water, NASA officials announced at a press conference Thursday they have discovered an Earth-like planet located outside their funding capabilities.

‘DSM-5’ Updated To Accommodate Man Who Is Legitimately Being Ordered To Kill By The Moon

ARLINGTON, VA—Saying they were committed to ensuring the influential reference text accurately represented all known psychological conditions, leading members of the American Psychiatric Association announced Monday they would update the Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition to accommodate a man who is legitimately being ordered by the moon to kill those around him.

NASA Launches First Cordless Satellite

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL—In what experts are calling a breakthrough achievement that is poised to revolutionize American space exploration and telecommunications, NASA announced Friday it has successfully launched its first cordless satellite into orbit.

What Is Pokémon Go?

Since its debut last Thursday, the augmented-reality smartphone app Pokémon Go has been downloaded millions of times and has grown publisher Nintendo’s stock by 25 percent. The Onion answers some common questions about the game and its unprecedented success.

Factory Robot Working On Some Of Its Own Designs After Hours

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC—Saying it had been mulling over the “fun little side project” for a while, an Electroimpact Quadbot reportedly put in some extra work after hours at the Boeing assembly plant Wednesday to try out a few of its own original designs.

Books Vs. E-Readers

Though e-readers have increasingly supplanted books in the digital age, many bibliophiles defend the importance of physical texts. Here is a side-by-side comparison of physical books and e-books
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Astronomers Discover Planet Identical To Earth With Orbital Space Mirror

The newly discovered planet reportedly possesses an atmosphere of similar thickness to our own and has a ratio of surface water to land area that is essentially identical to that on Earth.
The newly discovered planet reportedly possesses an atmosphere of similar thickness to our own and has a ratio of surface water to land area that is essentially identical to that on Earth.

WASHINGTON—In what many are hailing as the most significant development in the history of space exploration, NASA scientists announced Thursday that a planet seemingly identical to Earth has been discovered by the agency’s Orbital Space Mirror.

According to NASA, the $2.9 billion aluminum glass mirror, which stretches over 180 feet wide and 147 feet tall, has already produced invaluable data suggesting that our solar system may contain a terrestrial planet of the exact same size, shape, and surface composition as Earth.

“This is a historic moment for humankind to confirm the existence of another planet that is almost indistinguishable from our own,” said mission leader Allen Brugel, who explained that after releasing the Orbital Mirror from a Delta IV heavy rocket at an operational altitude of 104,000 miles, the team received almost instantaneous images of an Earth-like planet approximately 208,000 miles away. “It is remarkable to find another celestial body where water is not only present but also covers two-thirds of the planet’s entire surface. What may be even more surprising is that it was discovered in a part of space that was previously thought to be completely empty.”

“It turns out that, in a universe that’s 93 billion light years wide, a planet perfectly suited for human life was right next to us in our own solar system,” Brugel added.

Built by NASA as part of a program created to identify planets in the galaxy capable of sustaining life, sources confirmed the orbiting plane mirror has provided scientists with continuous, real-time reflections of light rays since its launch in late October.

Scientists cited numerous key similarities between the newly discovered planet and our own, including the celestial body’s landmasses, oceans, wind patterns, cloud formations, apparent vegetation, and set of polar ice caps that strikingly resemble those found on Earth. Sources added that NASA’s preliminary surveys indicate that the recently detected body even completes one full rotation in approximately 24 hours and that, even more remarkably, its axial tilt is believed to also be exactly 23.5 degrees.

NASA scientists added that the new planet also possesses a single moon, though they noted that it appears to orbit and rotate in the complete opposite direction as Earth’s.

“Perhaps most fascinating is the significant amount of evidence indicating that sentient life may already be present on this new planet,” said Brugel, noting that portions of the planet’s surface are illuminated by artificial light at night, a phenomenon scientists say is most prevalent in the planet’s northern hemisphere. “We suspect they may be a significantly advanced society, as our mirror imaging system confirms that there are numerous sophisticated satellites circling the planet.”

“Beyond that, we can only begin to speculate what types of beings such a planet could produce,” he added.

According to sources, a recent unmanned mission to land on the body’s surface was aborted after discovering that life forms on the planet had launched a probe traveling at the same speed on a flight path identical to that of the NASA team. Internal NASA reports indicate that a potential head-on collision was narrowly avoided when both crafts simultaneously changed course at the last second.

“Overall, we’re pleased with our initial findings, and I believe the project has made excellent use of the lessons learned from the Helios Space Lens,” said Brugel, referring to an ill-fated mission in 1992 to provide advanced imaging of the sun using convex lens technology, an experiment which burned down NASA headquarters. “And after further studying deep space via the Orbital Mirror, we also determined that the universe appears to be perfectly symmetrical, a shocking finding that challenges all of our previously held theories.”

At press time, NASA had reportedly launched its Orbital Space Mirror 2 to the side of Earth opposite that of its original Orbital Space Mirror, leading scientists to conclude that there may actually be an infinite number of Earth-like planets stretching outward forever in a straight line through space.

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