Oregon Coast Science Roundup: New Planets, Kooky Octopus, Meteorites
(Oregon Coast) – More interesting science tidbits have popped up in this area and around the world, including a major astronomy discovery, a place to find meteorites on the Oregon coast and an octopus that may make you laugh.
On the north Oregon coast, at the Seaside Aquarium, their tiny Octopus Rubescens has been rather entertaining lately. Still a baby, it's been squeezing into some rather odd places.
Aquarium specialist Tiffany Boothe explains that octopuses are extremely adaptable and can fit into the darnedest of spots.
“They can transform a small cave, a glass bottle, or even large, abandoned sea shell into a cozy home,” Boothe said. “Their bodies are comprised almost entirely of muscle and tissue, making them exceedingly flexible and allowing them to fit into incredibly small spaces.”
Case in point: he's recently been spotted hiding inside an empty snail shell and then a barnacle shell. He comes out at night to hunt for small crabs and shrimp. Seaside Aquarium. On the Prom in Seaside. 503-738-6211. (Ocotpus photos above courtesy Seaside Aquarium). Latest Seaside Aquarium News.
A little farther out of this world and beyond these oceans – have you ever wondered where you can purchase an actual meteorite in Oregon? Bridging the gap between outer space and the Oregon coast, it turns out gem and agate shop Rock Your World in Lincoln City has meteorites.
Owner Laura Joki said she doesn't have a lot of them in stock, but often the ones she acquires are from a meteor crater in Arizona. Others do indeed come from around the world as well.
“A lot of them are made form nickel iron, but some of them are really dense rocks which survived the journey,” Joki said.
Rock Your World is at 1423 NW Hwy 101 in Lincoln City, Oregon. 541-351-8423. www.rockyourworldgems.com.
Finally, even farther out in space, OMSI planetarium manager Jim Todd alerted Oregon Coast Beach Connection to a stunning scientific find. NASA's Kepler program just announced it has verified a staggering 715 new planets in solar systems way out there.
Todd said by using a technique called verification by multiplicity, the Kepler team has nearly quadrupled the number of verified planets it has discovered.
“This latest discovery brings the confirmed count of planets outside our solar system to nearly 1,700,” Todd said.
According to NASA, these new planets are orbiting some 305 solar systems, many of them with multiple planets like our own.
NASA said four of these new planets are less than 2.5 times the size of Earth and are orbiting their sun's habitable zone. A habitable zone is defined as the range of distance from a star where the surface temperature of an orbiting planet may be suitable for life-giving liquid water.
The Oregon coast would officially like to invite E.T. to visit here first. Well, we can wish, can't we?
More on NASA's press release here.
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