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Astronomy (Bloggers & Personal)

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  • Humanity may not need a warp drive to go interstellar

    08/14/2016 4:49:11 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 37 replies
    Astronomy Magazine ^ | August 10, 2016 | David Warmflash
    Here are a few ways that humanity may be able to leave the cradle of Earth. The field equations of Einstein’s General Relativity theory say that faster-than-light (FTL) travel is possible, so a handful of researchers are working to see whether a Star Trek-style warp drive, or perhaps a kind of artificial wormhole, could be created through our technology. But even if shown feasible tomorrow, it’s possible that designs for an FTL system could be as far ahead of a functional starship as Leonardo da Vinci’s 16th century drawings of flying machines were ahead of the Wright Flyer of 1903....
  • Meteor shower visible late Thursday night

    08/11/2016 10:06:19 AM PDT · by SandRat · 33 replies
    Sierra Vista Herald ^ | Ted Forte, Huachuca Astronomy Club
    Meteor showers are associated with streams of debris left behind by comets. The Perseids are dust bits from Comet Swift-Tuttle and are famous for creating bright fireballs and elevated meteor activity for nearly two weeks in mid-August. This year it is predicted the shower will peak on the overnight of Thursday, Aug. 11, to Friday, Aug. 12. It is predicted to be twice the usual intensity. That’s because Earth will pass through the center of the debris stream rather than the grazing encounter we experience in most years. The display should be well worth the loss of a few hours’...
  • New paper claims that the EM Drive doesn't defy Newton's 3rd law after all

    06/18/2016 6:21:05 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 39 replies
    Science Alert ^ | June 16, 2016 | Fiona MacDonald
    So... it could still get us to Mars in 70 days? Physicists have just published a new paper that suggests the controversial EM drive - or electromagnetic drive - could actually work, and doesn't defy Newton's third law after all. In case you've missed the hype, here's a quick catch-up: a lot of space lovers are freaking out about the EM drive because of claims it could get humans to Mars in just 10 weeks, but just as many are sick of hearing about it, because, on paper at least, it doesn't work within the laws of physics. Despite that...
  • 'Alien Megastructure' Star Only Gets More Mysterious

    05/22/2016 6:39:00 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 53 replies
    Popular Science ^ | May 10, 2016 | Sarah Fecht
    Every now and then, a distant star called KIC 8462852 dims by as much as 20 percent. That's huge. Even a passing planet as big as Jupiter would only block about 1 percent of the star's light. Ruling out a planet, scientists have no idea what could be eclipsing the star (which is informally known as 'Tabby's Star'). The leading hypothesis is a family of really big comets, but that doesn't quite fit. Astronomer Jason Wright pointed out that the light patterns are consistent with what we'd expect if aliens had built a Dyson swarm of solar collectors around the...
  • Why sailing to the stars has suddenly become a realistic goal

    04/25/2016 2:20:19 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 17 replies
    Space Daily ^ | April 18, 2016 | Monica Grady, The Conversation
    It takes a bold person to declare that interstellar travel is now within our grasp. Physicist Stephen Hawking has shown that he is just that, taking part in the Breakthrough Starshot initiative. The project has announced a $100m research programme to investigate the technology of using light to propel spacecraft out of the solar system to explore neighbouring stars. For the first time in human history, interstellar travel is a realistic and achievable aspiration, and not just the playground of science fiction. So what has changed that makes interstellar travel achievable? First of all, clear expectations. This is not about...
  • Researcher links mass extinctions to 'Planet X'

    04/02/2016 2:43:56 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 40 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | March 30, 2016 | Bob Whitby
    Periodic mass extinctions on Earth, as indicated in the global fossil record, could be linked to a suspected ninth planet, according to research published by a faculty member of the University of Arkansas Department of Mathematical Sciences. Daniel Whitmire, a retired professor of astrophysics now working as a math instructor, published findings in the January issue of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society that the as yet undiscovered "Planet X" triggers comet showers linked to mass extinctions on Earth at intervals of approximately 27 million years. Though scientists have been looking for Planet X for 100 years, the possibility...
  • Scientist Reveals Propulsion Technology That Could Blast Probe To Mars In 30 Minutes

    03/24/2016 2:41:15 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 89 replies
    Headlines & Global News ^ | February 29, 2016 | Chris Loterina
    The travel time from Earth to Mars using current space flight technologies is estimated to be 9 months. Last week, an innovative concept was proposed which claims to reduce the time that will be spent for Mars travel to merely three days through so-called photonic propulsion technology. But a new proposal threatens to radically shorten this period to an astounding 30 minutes. The idea was revealed by Phillip Lubin, who is a physics professor at the University of California Santa Barbara. Lubin was also responsible for the photonic propulsion technology proposal. This time, however, he identified the use of high-powered...
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson angers Twitter followers with a strangely pro Trump Tweet

    03/14/2016 12:47:55 AM PDT · by Bird Jenkins · 27 replies
    Twitter ^ | Neil deGrasse Tyson
    Neil deGrasse Tyson @neiltyson "People who are anti-Trump are actually anti-Trump supporters — they oppose free citizens voting for the @realDonaldTrump."
  • What Is The Universe Expanding Into?

    02/21/2016 2:52:24 PM PST · by Duke C. · 111 replies
    Forbes ^ | 2/19/16 | Ethan Siegel
    One of the most spectacular discoveries of the 20th century was that the Universe itself was expanding. When Einstein put forth his general theory of relativity, he swiftly recognized that there was a consequence he was unhappy about: a Universe that was filled with matter in all directions would be unstable against gravitational collapse. Einstein’s fix for this was to make up an invisible, outward-pushing force that prevented this collapse from occurring, a cosmological constant. But if you didn’t include this cosmological constant, others soon realized, you’d wind up with a Universe that wasn’t static in time, but where the...
  • Man records dazzling early morning UFO's flying over Homestead, Florida

    02/18/2016 5:11:39 PM PST · by Roman_War_Criminal · 76 replies
    NTEB ^ | 2/18/2016 | Geoffrey Grider
    John Shannon, who lives in Homestead, Florida, was leaving his house on February 11th to go to work. At 5:55AM, the morning sky was still black, and when he looked up he saw an amazing sight. As you can see in the video, it starts out like a beautiful falling meteor shower and then becomes something completely different. Very, very different.
  • Congressional panel told NASA has no plan for the Journey to Mars

    02/03/2016 2:42:13 PM PST · by Marcus · 29 replies
    Blasting News ^ | February 3, 2016 | Mark R. Whittington
    Testimony at a hearing before the House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Space suggested that NASA’s Journey to Mars lacks a plan to achieve the first human landing on the Red Planet almost six years after President Obama announced the goal on April 15, 2010. Moreover, two of the three witnesses argued that a more realistic near term goal for the space agency would be a return to the moon. The moon is not only a scientifically interesting and potentially commercially profitable place to go but access to lunar water, which can be refined into rocket fuel, would make the Journey...
  • Could a Mars colony become a nation?

    01/24/2016 8:30:07 PM PST · by Marcus · 66 replies
    Blasting News ^ | Jan 24, 2016 | Mark R. Whittington
    Could a Mars colony become a nation? That question was posed by Michael Byers, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law at the University of British Columbia in a Washington Post article. Byers’ answer to his question was yes. A body of international law has evolved over time that recognizes the rights of people to self-determination.
  • Hillary promises to investigate aliens if elected - the ones from space, not Mexico

    01/04/2016 11:56:12 AM PST · by Sean_Anthony · 7 replies
    Canada Free Press ^ | 01/04/16 | RObert Laurie
    Call Mulder and Scully, Hillary has a job opening The United States is facing a lot of problems these days. We’ve got Islamic terrorism, mass shootings, hundreds of thousands of illegals flooding across our southern border, and an out-of-control federal government drowning in debt. We also, apparently, have concerns about aliens. No, we’re not talking about families wandering in from Tijuana, we’re talking about little green men who come to Earth to slaughter our cattle and probe us in our sleep. Don’t worry, though. Hillary Clinton is aware of your concerns and - if elected president - she’s going to...
  • A Message from Above

    12/23/2015 4:20:29 AM PST · by Sean_Anthony · 10 replies
    Canada Free Press ^ | 12/23/15 | Dr. Klaus Kaiser
    Planet of the red dwarf star WOLF-1016 Astronomers are excited: a new planet has been discovered, currently termed WOLF-1016c, a planet of the red dwarf star WOLF-1016. It’s said to be the planet most similar yet discovered to Earth, both in size, trajectory and other features but a bit far away, about 15 light years or so. Let’s put that distance into perspective.
  • "Where Did All of Mars' Carbon Go?" --JPL and Caltech

    11/25/2015 7:24:14 PM PST · by lbryce · 19 replies
    Galaxy Today ^ | November 24, 2015 | Staff
    Caltech and JPL scientists suggest the fingerprints of early photochemistry provide a solution to the long-standing mystery. Mars is blanketed by a thin, mostly carbon dioxide atmosphere—one that is far too thin to prevent large amounts of water on the surface of the planet from subliming or evaporating. But many researchers have suggested that the planet was once shrouded in an atmosphere many times thicker than Earth's. For decades that left the question, "Where did all the carbon go?" Now a team of scientists from Caltech and JPL thinks they have a possible answer. The researchers suggest that 3.8 billion...
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    10/26/2015 3:31:48 PM PDT · by · 195 replies
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  • Hubble Spies Big Bang Frontiers

    10/24/2015 11:39:43 AM PDT · by lbryce · 37 replies
    NASA ^ | October 22, 2015 | NASA
    Although impressive, the number of galaxies found at this early epoch is not the team’s only remarkable breakthrough, as Johan Richard from the Observatoire de Lyon, France, points out. “The faintest galaxies detected in these Hubble observations are fainter than any other yet uncovered in the deepest Hubble observations.” By looking at the light coming from the galaxies the team discovered that the accumulated light emitted by these galaxies could have played a major role in one of the most mysterious periods of the universe’s early history — the epoch of reionization. Reionization started when the thick fog of...
  • The Universe Never Expands Faster Than the Speed of Light

    10/13/2015 11:04:06 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 49 replies
    Preposterous Universe ^ | 10/13/15 | Sean Carroll
    The Universe Never Expands Faster Than the Speed of Light Breaking my radio silence here to get a little nitpick off my chest: the claim that during inflation, the universe “expanded faster than the speed of light.” It’s extraordinarily common, if utterly and hopelessly incorrect. (I just noticed it in this otherwise generally excellent post by Fraser Cain.) A Google search for “inflation superluminal expansion” reveals over 100,000 hits, although happily a few of the first ones are brave attempts to squelch the misconception. I can recommend this nice article by Tamara Davis and Charlie Lineweaver, which tries to address...
  • Journey to Mars lies through the moon

    10/02/2015 1:11:29 PM PDT · by Marcus · 28 replies
    The Hill ^ | October 2, 2015 | Mark R. Whittington
    The discovery of water on the surface of Mars, which just happened to coincide with the premiere of the hit film The Martian, starring Matt Damon as an astronaut marooned on the Red Planet, has caused some degree of excitement for space enthusiasts. NASA is particularly inspired because its central organizing project is “the journey to Mars” which is scheduled to put astronauts on the Martian surface by the 2030s. The discovery and the movie certainly would not hurt the effort to gin up support for the humans to Mars program.
  • Super Blood Moon? Sunday to Bring Rare ‘Supermoon’ Lunar Eclipse

    09/25/2015 4:32:48 AM PDT · by lbryce · 23 replies
    Newsweek ^ | September 23 ,2015 | STAV ZEV
    A shadow falls on the moon as it undergoes a total lunar eclipse, as seen from Mexico City on April 15, 2014. On September 27, a lunar eclipse will occur at the same time as a supermoon for the first time since 1982. EDGARD GARRIDO/REUTERS
  • What’s Behind NASA’s Upcoming Mystery Announcement About Mars

    09/24/2015 4:22:36 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 71 replies
    Inverse ^ | September 24, 2015 | Neel V. Patel, science and tech journalist
    NASA officials will announce Monday morning a major scientific discovery related to their continued exploration of Mars. The agency won’t give too many details on what exactly the big reveal is, apart from the fact that the briefing will feature some pretty big names at the space agency (including Jim Green, director of planetary science at NASA HQ; Michael Meyer, the lead scientist for the Mars Exploration Program; Lujendra Ojha, a grad student at Georgia Tech; Mary Beth Wilhelm at NASA’s Ames Research Center, and a grad student at Georgia Tech as well; and Alfred McEwen at the University of...
  • Finally, Pluto In Real Color View

    09/24/2015 2:52:42 PM PDT · by lbryce · 64 replies
    Friends of NASA ^ | September 22m 2015 | Staff
  • New Pluto photo.. Majestic Mountains and Frozen Plains (Wow!)

    09/17/2015 5:26:37 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 63 replies
    John Hopkins ^ | 9/17/15
    Just 15 minutes after its closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft looked back toward the sun and captured a near-sunset view of the rugged, icy mountains and flat ice plains extending to Pluto's horizon. The smooth expanse of the informally named Sputnik Planum (right) is flanked to the west (left) by rugged mountains up to 11,000 feet (3,500 meters) high, including the informally named Norgay Montes in the foreground and Hillary Montes on the skyline. The backlighting highlights more than a dozen layers of haze in Pluto's tenuous but distended atmosphere. The image...
  • Latest Images from Pluto: 'It's Complicated,' Says NASA

    09/15/2015 7:38:43 AM PDT · by Enlightened1 · 17 replies ^ | September 11, 2015 | Jen Pikowski
    The New Horizons probe has sent back the latest images from its historic July 14 flyby of Pluto. While the first close-up photos of the dwarf planet, taken from 7800 miles above the surface, had the New Horizons team—and people around the world—giddy with excitement about intriguing features like 11,000-foot-tall ice mountains, the latest, downlinked over Labor Day weekend, have left them scratching their heads. "If an artist had painted this Pluto before our flyby, I probably would have called it over the top—but that’s what is actually there," said New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research...
  • New Horizons: River of Data Commences (95% of Pluto data still to come)

    09/08/2015 4:16:42 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 5 replies
    Centauri Dreams ^ | 9/8/15 | Paul Gilster
    New Horizons: River of Data Commences by Paul Gilster on September 8, 2015 Hard to believe it’s been 55 days since the New Horizons flyby. When the event occurred, I was in my daughter’s comfortable beach house working at a table in the living room, a laptop in front of me monitoring numerous feeds. My grandson, sitting to my right with his machine, was tracking social media on the event and downloading images. When I was Buzzy’s age that day, Scott Carpenter’s Mercury flight was in the works, and with all of Gemini and Apollo ahead, I remember the raw...
  • NASA says the world is not going to end in September

    08/23/2015 12:53:48 AM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 57 replies
    The Manchester Guardian ^ | August 21, 2015 | Claire Phipps
    Space agency kills off internet rumour by confirming an asteroid strike will not wipe out humanity in the next few weeks, or years, or decades.Good news for those with plans for October and beyond: the Earth will still be in existence. NASA has confirmed – after rumours swept the internet about an imminent asteroid strike expected between 15 and 28 September – that the two-week period in question will be entirely free of Earth-destroying space attacks. The likelihood of any known potentially hazardous asteroid striking the planet within the next 100 years stands at 0.01%, the space agency said in...
  • Scientists Confirm the Existence of Cosmic Neutrinos

    08/22/2015 5:57:13 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 13 replies
    Gizmodo ^ | August 20, 2015 | Maddie Stone and The Guardian
    A team of Antarctic scientists has just verified the existence of cosmic neutrinos — tiny, energetic particles that might hail from far reaches of the Milky Way and beyond. And these ghostly little flecks of matter could hold the key to some of the deepest mysteries of the cosmos. High-energy cosmic neutrinos are thought to be produced by some of the universe’s most violent agents, including black holes, supernovae, and the energetic cores of galaxies. Unchanged as they zip across space and time, these particles may represent something of an intergalactic breadcrumb trail, pointing us in the direction of any...
  • Magnetic Wormhole Created in Lab

    08/22/2015 12:14:30 AM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 27 replies
    Scientific American ^ | August 21, 2015 | Tia Ghose and LiveScience
    Device acts like a wormhole, as if the magnetic field was transferred through an “extra special dimension”Ripped from the pages of a sci-fi novel, physicists have crafted a wormhole that tunnels a magnetic field through space. "This device can transmit the magnetic field from one point in space to another point, through a path that is magnetically invisible," said study co-author Jordi Prat-Camps, a doctoral candidate in physics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in Spain. "From a magnetic point of view, this device acts like a wormhole, as if the magnetic field was transferred through an extra special dimension."...
  • JPL and Its Spacecraft Exploratory Missions

    08/06/2015 7:11:28 AM PDT · by Sean_Anthony · 2 replies
    Canada Free Press ^ | 08/06/15 | Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh
    Once you visit the Space Flight Operations Facility, "I've been to the center of the Universe." On a recent trip to California, I was constantly reminded of what is wrong with California, a state whose economy was so booming decades ago that, had it been a stand-alone state, it would have been the world’s sixth largest economy. Looking at this state now, ravaged by years and years of Marxist policies, open borders, unchecked illegal immigration, anchor babies, multiculturalism, insane diversity rules, sanctuary cities, multi-lingual school system, illegal voting, tax everything and tax again, and environmentalist-driven water use plans including but...
  • NASA confirms the discovery of a rocky exoplanet just 21 light years away

    07/31/2015 4:43:42 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 17 replies
    The Verge ^ | July 30, 2015 | Sean O'Kane
    Earth just got a new next-door neighbor.Astronomers have found the closest rocky planet outside our solar system using the Spitzer Space telescope. The planet, known as HD 219134b, orbits a star just 21 light years away, and NASA is calling a "potential gold mine of science data." The planet is probably a bad place for life as we know it: it’s 1.6 times the size of Earth and more than four times the mass. Plus its three-day orbit is too close to its host star for liquid water to form, even though the star is cooler and smaller than our...
  • UK gov't: Earth will only have 12-hour warning to deal with massive Sun explosion

    07/30/2015 7:28:59 AM PDT · by PROCON · 51 replies ^ | July 29, 2015
    It sounds like a scene from a disaster movie – mass power failures, plane crashes, satellite disruptions, and train derailments. These are some of the threats modern society would face in the case of a massive solar storm, according to a new document released by the U.K. Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. The “Space Weather Preparedness Strategy” outlines the disturbances that could be caused by unpredictable solar weather. The most striking find from the report is the fact that a country would have only a 12-hour warning period before the storm would hit the planet. The worst possible scenario...
  • Is science drawing closer to an alien world?

    07/27/2015 4:38:59 AM PDT · by bob_denard · 22 replies
    Paris (AFP) ^ | July 24, 2015 | By Mariette LE ROUX
    NASA's discovery of Earth-like exoplanet Kepler-452b, nicknamed "Earth 2.0", has social media buzzing about the chances of finding a faraway world, possibly with alien life or key resources such as water. Science or fiction? The experts respond. - Is 'Earth 2.0' like our planet? - Currently we don't know if this planet is terrestrial -- rocky -- or a small gas planet. If Kepler-452b turns out to be a terrestrial world, it will be the most Earth-like known which also orbits a G-class star like the Sun. The other leading competitors have mostly be found to orbit cooler dwarf stars....
  • Returning To The Moon Is Ten Times Cheaper Than Thought, And It Could Lead To Mars

    07/24/2015 5:25:44 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 58 replies
    IFL Science! ^ | July 22, 2015 | Jonathan O'Callaghan
    Traveling to the Moon just got a whole lot cheaper. A NASA-funded study (PDF) has found that the cost of lunar missions could be reduced by a factor of 10 using a number of techniques – and it could also have implications for getting humans to Mars. The extensive NexGen Space study by the National Space Society (NSS) and the Space Frontier Foundation (SFF) said that partnerships with private companies could return humans to the Moon for $10 billion (Ł6.4 billion), rather than the previosuly estimated $100 billion (Ł64 billion) that had turned off potential suitors. Utilizing fuel sourced from...
  • Interactive Solar System Scope:Great Simulation of the Solar Sytsem and Vicintiy

    07/23/2015 9:25:19 PM PDT · by lbryce · 4 replies
    Solar System Scope ^ | July 23, 2015 | Staff
  • Man on the Moon July 20, 1969-Remembering the "Magnificent Seven" Serbs in the Apollo Space Program

    07/23/2015 4:16:59 PM PDT · by Ravnagora · 8 replies ^ | July 21, 2015 | Tom Djurdjevich
    Aleksandra's Note: Many thanks to Tom Djurdjevich for this essay and reminder about the Serbs who were directly involved with the American Apollo Space Program. This makes me very proud to be an American Serb and I'm honored to call one of these gentlemen, NASA Project Coordinator David Vuich, a friend. David Vuich is one of our esteemed Serbian patriots here in America who was also very active in the "Mihailovich Monument in Washington, D.C. project" that was initiated in the mid 1970's. So glad that David Vuich is still going strong today. The Serbian Diaspora is very fortunate to...
  • Russian Entrepreneur Pledges $100 Million in Search for Extraterrestrial Life

    07/20/2015 3:15:30 PM PDT · by lbryce · 12 replies
    .Entrepreneur ^ | July 20, 2015 | Nina Zipkin
    Is there anyone else out there in the universe? The endeavor to answer that eternal question got a serious shot in the arm this week thanks to Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner. At the Royal Society in London, the billionaire announced the launch of Breakthrough Listen, a 10-year, $100 million initiative to search for signs of extraterrestrial life. Related: The Power of Planning: NASA's Pluto Flyby Was Epic and Amazing Aided by the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope in W. Va., the CSIRO Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia and the Lick Telescope in at the Lick Observatory in...
  • Very Cool Animated Flyover of Pluto’s Icy Mountain and Plains (Use Link in Body)

    07/17/2015 3:10:31 PM PDT · by lbryce · 10 replies
    YouTube ^ | July 17, 2015 | NASA
    Use this link below Very Cool Animated Flyover of Pluto’s Icy Mountain and Plains New Horizons spacecraft will do its closest flyby of Pluto on July 14, 2015. “The Wait” alludes to not just New Horizons’ 9-year, 3-billion-mile journey, but also the anticipation of people from all walks of life, excited about the first good look at Pluto. Don’t miss it as the fastest moving spacecraft to date is nearing the end of an epic journey to visit the final unexplored planet in our solar system and beyond, to the new horizons we will discover on the other side. Music...
  • God and His Creations:The Best Iteration of This Concept I've Seen

    07/12/2015 9:32:54 PM PDT · by lbryce · 5 replies
    Google Plus ^ | July 13, 2015 | Verion Mondo
  • Almost Time for Pluto’s Close-Up (See The Great Artist's Rendering Inside)

    07/07/2015 11:07:06 AM PDT · by lbryce · 33 replies
    New York times ^ | July 6, 2015 | Kenneth Chang
    <p>In a few days, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will zip past the former ninth planet, the first up-closelook of the icy world in the outer solar system.</p> <p>The pictures coming back from Pluto are still a bit fuzzy. But just wait.</p>
  • NASA's Latest Pluto Images Actually Show a Planet

    07/06/2015 6:50:08 PM PDT · by lbryce · 51 replies
    Endgadget ^ | July 6, 2015 | John fingas
    At last, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is sending back images of Pluto that look (slightly) better than brown blobs or pixel art. The probe has delivered a new batch of images from between 7.8 million to 9.2 million miles away, or close enough that the dwarf planet is starting to reveal some meaningful detail. There's still no explanation for those giant spots, but it's evident that there's a "continuous swath" of dark ground near the equator. And if you'd like pictures that are better than fuzzy, you might not have to hold out for too much longer. New Horizons...
  • Alien Life On Philae Comet, Scientists Say

    07/06/2015 5:10:49 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 59 replies
    Sky News ^ | July 6, 2015
    Experts discover dark material is being constantly replenished and say: "Something must be doing that at a fairly prolific rate."Evidence of alien life is "unequivocal" on the comet carrying the Philae probe through space, two leading astronomers have said. The experts say the most likely explanation for certain features of the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet, such as its organic-rich black crust, is the presence of living organisms beneath an icy surface. Rosetta, the European spacecraft orbiting the comet, is also said to have picked up strange "clusters" of organic material that resemble viral particles. But neither Rosetta nor its lander probe, Philae,...
  • What to expect when you're expecting a flyby: Planning your July around New Horizons' Pluto Pics...

    07/03/2015 9:57:02 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 9 replies
    The Planetary Society ^ | June 24, 2015 | Emily Lakdawalla
    What to expect when you're expecting a flyby: Planning your July around New Horizons' Pluto Pictures (version 2) Posted By Emily Lakdawalla Wed Jun 24 2015 12:57:00 GMT-0700 (Pacific Standard Time) Topics: New Horizons, Pluto, Charon, mission status New Horizons is getting close to Pluto. Pluto and Charon have enlarged from featureless dots into worlds. Pluto's surface clearly bears streaks and splotches, while Charon is beginning to show the first hints of discernible features. Excitement is building for flyby day, July 14!Key places to watch for New Horizons information: Twitter: @NASANewHorizons (official NASA feed) and @NewHorizons2015 (run by principal investigator...
  • First Movie pf Pluto and Charon Surfaces in Living Color

    07/03/2015 2:49:28 PM PDT · by lbryce · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | July 3,, 2015 | Staff
    This is the first movie created by New Horizons to reveal color surface features of Pluto and its largest moon Charon. “It’s a bit unusual to see so much surface detail at this distance,” said New Horizons co-investigator William McKinnon of the Geology and Geophysics Investigation Team, Washington University in Saint Louis. “What’s especially noteworthy is the level of detail in both bodies. It’s certainly whetting our appetite for what’s to come.” The images were taken between June 23 and June 29, 2015, as New Horizons’ distance to Pluto decreased from a distance of 15 million to 11 million...
  • NASA Asteroid Redirect Mission on the brink of cancellation

    06/30/2015 11:55:03 AM PDT · by Marcus · 14 replies
    Houston Space Examiner ^ | June 30, 2015 | Mark R. Whittington
    NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission is still gasping along, but at least one space blogger suggests that its cancellation is all but inevitable. In the meantime, Space News just on Tuesday reported that the space agency has decided that the ARM must actually capture a boulder and take it to a retrograde lunar orbit to be considered a success. This metric was actually in doubt, with some NASA managers suggesting that as long as an unmanned probe, propelled by a solar selection propulsion engine, rendezvoused with an asteroid and then returned, even without anything resembling a rock, it would be a...
  • Garrett’s Blog: Venus & Jupiter Overlap June 30th; Star of Bethlehem

    06/29/2015 11:00:09 PM PDT · by Brad from Tennessee · 29 replies
    5 News WFSM ^ | June 29, 2015 | by Garrett Lewis
    You may have noticed two “bright stars” in the sky shortly after dusk recently. The two bright spots are actually two of the brightest planets in the night sky: Jupiter & Venus. Since planets orbit the Sun on the Plane of the Ecliptic, Venus has been visually getting closer to Jupiter in the night sky each day this month. The closest point will be Tuesday evening when both planets will appear on top of each other creating a very bright “star” in the western sky between 8-9pm (Central) June 30th. Astronomers call this overlap a conjunction. A similar series of...
  • 'Echoes of Apollo' is an action packed technothriller about the first space war

    06/27/2015 6:04:39 AM PDT · by Marcus · 4 replies
    Houston Space Examiner ^ | June 27, 2015 | Mark R. Whittington
    “Echoes of Apollo” by George Thompson is the sort of space faring technothriller that Tom Clancy would have been proud to have placed his name on if he was still alive. The novel is a near future story of what amounts to the first space war between China and the United States. “Echoes of Apollo” not only involve the sort of cutting edge technological toys inherent in the genre, but also makes clever use of the technology of the past. The story also casts a new light on the ongoing debate as to whether or not to return to the...
  • How Noam Chomsky and Lawrence Krauss got space exploration wrong

    06/24/2015 9:11:48 PM PDT · by Marcus · 5 replies
    Houston Space Examiner ^ | June 24, 2015 | Mark R. Whittington
    According to a Tuesday piece in Motherboard, Noam Chomsky, a philosopher and political commentator, and Lawrence Krauss, a physicist and cosmologist, had a public dialogue about space exploration. Being both men of the far left, they concluded that space travel should be best left to robots and conducted by governments. The conclusions are the exact opposite of what the prevailing trends are in space policy.
  • Gizmodo article accuses America of space imperialism during Apollo program

    06/19/2015 1:58:59 PM PDT · by Marcus · 8 replies
    Houston Space Examiner ^ | June 19, 2015 | Mark R. Whittington
    Gizmodo, as part of a series of stories about space, ran a piece on Thursday called ‘What is Stopping Us from Building Cities in Space? No, it’s not Tech.” The article attempts to examine some of the political impediments that have stymied the settlement of the high frontier. Unfortunately, the piece would have been more convincing had it not been for one rather glaring error. The piece suggested that the United States attempted to claim the moon as sovereign territory when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted the American flag at Tranquility Base on July 20, 1969. “So much of...
  • Cosmos From Nothing?

    06/03/2015 3:46:03 PM PDT · by lbryce · 26 replies
    The Christian Century ^ | June 3, 2015 | Karl W. Giberson
    Freshman astronomy books typically include a timeline outlining the major events of the universe over the past 13.7 billion years, from the appearance of our universe to the present. Most timelines put a question mark at the very beginning to reflect the incomplete state of our knowledge about how the universe got started. We don’t know what lit the spark that launched the grand adventure of our universe, despite millennia of wondering and decades of intriguing progress. Remarkably, we know a lot about what happened a fraction of a second after the Big Bang. We have robust theories that have...
  • ‘Beautiful Mind’ Mathematician John Nash Replaced Einstein’s Theory Of Relativity Days Before Death

    06/01/2015 12:19:56 AM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 104 replies
    The Inquisitr News ^ | May 30, 2015 | Tara West
    John Forbes Nash Jr. was a mathematical genius who had his life chronicled in the movie A Beautiful Mind. One of Nash’s colleagues says that just days before he died in a New York taxi cab accident, he had discussed his latest and possibly most brilliant discovery to date. Mathematician Cédric Villan says that Nash told him that he had replaced Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and that the new equation would further explain quantum gravity. The Daily Mail reports that on May 20, 2015, just three days before the tax cab accident that would take his life, Nash spoke to...