NASA Will Launch Alien Planet-Hunting Satellite the Size of a Cheerios Box Later Today

by Lauren Boisvert

NASA’s newest satellite is so cute. Literally, it’s called the Colorado Ultraviolet Transit Experiment, CUTE for short. According to the Daily Mail, the satellite cost $4 million and will launch today around 2:11 pm EST on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The Cube Satellite, or CubeSat, which is the size of a “family-sized box of Cheerios,” will explore “hot Jupiters” for seven months.

Both the CUTE and NASA’s Landsat Earth observer satellite will launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base in Lompoc, California. The CubeSat joins a NASA experiment to see how much data a small-scale satellite can collect.

According to the Daily Mail, once launched and in place, CUTE will measure the speed at which gasses escape from various hot Jupiters.

NASA: What are Hot Jupiters?

According to NASA, hot Jupiters are exoplanets that are more than twice the diameter of Earth and are have enough gravity to hold mostly hydrogen. These planets eventually turn into “gas giants” like Jupiter and Saturn, and of the nearly 300 planets discovered, most of them have been gas giants.

Hot Jupiters have short orbital periods, meaning they take much less time to orbit their star than Earth does. “Hot Juputers” got the names because of their proximities to their stars and high temperatures. Another characteristic that most hot Jupiters have is that they’re tidally locked. In other words, they always have one side facing their star as they orbit.

Volcanoes on Mars

In other recent NASA news, there were apparently supervolcanoes on Mars; a team out of the Goddard Space Flight Center researched what they thought were craters in the Arabia Terra quadrant of Mars. They discovered that the craters were actually calderas, huge holes left behind by massive explosions nearly 4 billion years ago.

A team in 2013 made a study of the amount of material the volcanoes possibly threw into the air during their time; the ash and other particles contributed to Mars’ atmosphere and landscape changes. The number of explosions over time rank in the thousands.

UFO Sightings?

In late July 2021, the Pentagon released a report and statement on the existence of UFOs, or, as they’re now known, Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon. According to the report, there is not a clear answer as to whether or not UAPs/UFOs exist. But, they did say it’s not completely improbable.

Apparently, during the week of Sept. 13, eagle-eyed UFO believers spotted something white and cylindrical in the sky during the day. On the same day, a live feed recorded something flying past NASA’s International Space Station. Were they UFOs? Technically, yes, as they were objects caught flying that could not be identified. But in the way, we use that word? To mean exclusively aliens? Who knows.

YouTuber MrMBB333 uploaded a video of the object in the daytime; you be the judge.