The James Webb Space Telescope messaged us with some pics this week, so we’ve been gazing at the stars and wondering what’s beyond. Are aliens out there? What do they look like? Have they reached out to Earth, and if so, why did they talk to Demi Lovato

We’ve always been interested in alien stories, and that includes the fictional aliens from Star Wars, Star Trek, Alien, Thor, and Superman. And even without life, the planets and stars offer all kinds of mysteries for us to examine.

Here’s a look back at the facts we learned this week. The links all lead to full articles with much more info, so click every one that interests you, or the planets will destroy us all

1. An MIT scientist sent aliens images of our junk. 

He made a waveform by inserting a device into ballerinas’ contracting vaginas and then beamed it into space. 

2. In the 1970s, a bestseller claimed the planets would align and destroy everything.

It was called The Jupiter Effect, and it was nonsense, but people were terrified

3. Noted alien Superman may fly thanks to negative mass. 

This explains why he pushes down to launch himself without destroying the ground in the process. 

4. Mercury may be the core of a larger vanished planet. 

This planet would have been five times bigger, then a collision blasted most of it away

5. We used to think another planet orbited between the Sun and Mercury. 

We called it Vulcan, and its name lives on in Star Trek lore. 

6. NASA scientists designed the spaceships in 2001: A Space Odyssey

For more, read 20 Facts About Stanley Kubrick Movies

7. We were so sure Martians existed, we excluded them from a contest. 

An 1890 content offered big money to whoever contacted another planet ... except for Mars, because Mars was too easy, everyone knew aliens lived on Mars. 

8. Radiation may have kept earth from freezing with laughing gas. 

This happened because the Sun blasted us with ten superflares a day, the kind we thankfully get now only once a century. 

9. Van Halen's Sammy Hagar had something "uploaded" into his mind by an UFO.

According to Sammy Hagar, anyway. He says they inserted a numerical code, but since it used a different system from ours, we'll never know what it meant. 

10. In the '60s, the truly devoted believed aliens would save us from nukes.

This was thanks to one nut named George Van Tassel, who built a dome to commune with aliens and said they warned him of upcoming nuclear destruction. 

11. Star Trek got a porn parody, and it was pretty good actually.

Meaning, the story was pretty good. So good, fans remade it, without the sex scenes

12. Saturn will have rings for just a little while longer. 

For more, read 20 Facts That Are Worth Digging For

13. Aliens may have evolved into robots.

Giant robots even. Silicon forms of life would offer a lot of advantages. 

14. The US shot at something in the air over LA for an hour in 1942. 

People assumed the Japanese had attacked. The unidentified flying object turned out to be a weather balloon

15. There may be a ninth planet undiscovered in our solar system. 

It might be the size of a grapefruit but heavier than Earth. 

16. Universal posted fake alien abduction stories to market a movie, and things went poorly. 

They used the names of actual news outlets, who successfully sued. 

17. We discovered Uranus before we discovered Antarctica. 

We spotted Uranus in 1781 and reached Antarctica in 1820 (though we’d theorized about a southern continent earlier). 

18. A VHS movie fooled a bunch of '90s people into thinking it was real alien footage.

Then a TV network remade the film on a higher budget with disclaimers that it was fictional … and it fooled viewers again

19. To build the original xenomorph, they used condoms and K-Y jelly. 

For more, read 20 Facts About Our Favorite Movie And TV Aliens

20. The guy who discovered DNA thought aliens sent it. 

This might seem like a fringe belief for someone so legit, but he argued that it made more sense than the alternative: life arriving from other planets accidentally

21. The first alien adventure story is 2,000 years old. 

This ancient novel was called A True Story. It was satire and yet unknowingly launched an entire genre. 

22. Iraqi fighters wore helmets based on Darth Vader’s.

They definitely embraced the dark side, based on some of the atrocities they committed. 

23. The Roswell incident was considered a non-story for decades.

Following initial fears of a flying saucer, people realized a weather balloon crashed, and that was that. Not till a documentary and book in the ‘70s and ’80s did people again start linking the incident to aliens. 

24. The latest UFO alien talk comes from one tiny self-interested group. 

All the “news” you’ve heard these last couple years is promoted by one organization that makes movies and sells merch

25. Still, the number of planets out there raises the chance of extraterrestrial life to near-certainty. 

The Milky Way alone may hold 300 million habitable planets. The universe overall? More planets than you could possibly understand. 

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