NASA Debuts ‘Galaxy of Horrors’ Exoplanet Posters, Just in Time for Halloween

NASA
NASA

If the many Hollywood blockbusters about extraterrestrial life and space exploration gone wrong haven’t already scared you into believing that the universe is truly terrifying, these Halloween-themed NASA posters just might do the trick.

The “Galaxy of Horrors” digital posters, styled like horror film advertisements from the 1950s, feature different exoplanets—planets that orbit stars other than the sun—and highlight what exactly makes them so frightening.

Space.com reports that on HD 189733 b, for example, sharp shards of silicate blow through the air faster than 5400 mph, which the poster describes as “Rains of Terror” and adds “It’s death by a million cuts on this slasher planet!” for emphasis.

nasa galaxy of horrors exoplanet poster
NASA

The planets Poltergeist, Draugr, and Phobetor, found on the "Zombie Worlds" poster, orbit an undead star called a pulsar, whose core emits constant pulsing beams of radiation and makes Chernobyl seem like Disneyland.

You can also browse other inhospitable exoplanet posters on the site, including “Monster Mash,” a very hungry star that's slowly gobbling up pieces of a nearby planet; “The Twilight Zone,” featuring a planet with a surface covered in boiling lava; and “Eternal Darkness,” the darkest planet ever discovered orbiting a star—it’s less reflective than coal.

NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program created the posters and even paired them with a vintage-themed film trailer to further illustrate the "Galaxy of Horrors."

“I think for many people the posters are an entryway,” Gary Blackwood, the Exoplanet Exploration Program’s manager, said in a statement. “They make exoplanet science cool, and that opens a door for many members of the public—especially students—to learn more about the science behind the posters.”

You can read more about the exoplanets and download the posters in a few different sizes and formats here.

Looking to learn more about the Milky Way? Start with these 10 misconceptions about space.

[h/t Space.com]

Keep Your Cat Busy With a Board Game That Doubles as a Scratch Pad

Cheerble
Cheerble

No matter how much you love playing with your cat, waving a feather toy in front of its face can get monotonous after a while (for the both of you). To shake up playtime, the Cheerble three-in-one board game looks to provide your feline housemate with hours of hands-free entertainment.

Cheerble's board game, which is currently raising money on Kickstarter, is designed to keep even the most restless cats stimulated. The first component of the game is the electronic Cheerble ball, which rolls on its own when your cat touches it with their paw or nose—no remote control required. And on days when your cat is especially energetic, you can adjust the ball's settings to roll and bounce in a way that matches their stamina.

Cheerable cat toy on Kickstarter.
Cheerble

The Cheerble balls are meant to pair with the Cheerble game board, which consists of a box that has plenty of room for balls to roll around. The board is also covered on one side with a platform that has holes big enough for your cat to fit their paws through, so they can hunt the balls like a game of Whack-a-Mole. And if your cat ever loses interest in chasing the ball, the board also includes a built-in scratch pad and fluffy wand toy to slap around. A simplified version of the board game includes the scratch pad without the wand or hole maze, so you can tailor your purchase for your cat's interests.

Cheerble cat board game.
Cheerble

Since launching its campaign on Kickstarter on April 23, Cheerble has raised over $128,000, already blowing past its initial goal of $6416. You can back the Kickstarter today to claim a Cheerble product, with $32 getting you a ball and $58 getting you the board game. You can make your pledge here, with shipping estimated for July 2020.

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Where to Watch SpaceX’s Historic Astronaut Launch Live

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

SpaceX will make history today when it launches its first crewed spacecraft from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 4:33 p.m. EDT. Powered by a Falcon 9 rocket, the Crew Dragon spacecraft will transport NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station, marking the company's first-ever crewed mission and the first crewed launch from the U.S. since 2011. If you want to watch the momentous event from home, there are plenty of ways to stream it live online.

Both SpaceX and NASA will be hosting livestreams of the May 27 launch. NASA's webcast kicks off at 12:15 p.m. EDT today with live looks at the Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 rocket at the Kennedy Space Center. The feed will continue streaming until late in the morning of Thursday, May 28, when the spacecraft is set to dock at the International Space Station. You can catch the coverage on NASA's website, its social media channels, or on the NASA TV channel through cable or satellite. SpaceX's stream also starts at 12:15 p.m. EDT, and it will be broadcast on the company's YouTube channel. (You can watch the video below).

Several television networks will be covering the event, with ABC and National Geographic airing "Launch America: Mission to Space Live" at 3 p.m., and Discovery and the Science Channel showing "Space Launch Live: America Returns to Space" at 2 p.m. If you're looking for more online streaming options, the American Museum of Natural History and Intrepid Museum in New York City will be hosting live events to celebrate the launch this afternoon on YouTube.

The launch has been scheduled down to the minute, but SpaceX still has time to change that depending on the weather. If today's launch doesn't happen according to plan, there are windows on May 30 and May 31 set aside for second attempts.

[h/t TechCrunch]