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Astronomy (General/Chat)

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  • Astronomers Prepare to Search for Alien Life at Nearby 'Habitable' Exoplanet

    01/22/2017 7:56:05 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 25 replies
    Seeker ^ | 20 Jan, 2017
    The Wolf 1061 star system is only 14 light-years away and a team of astronomers are doing the groundwork to begin looking for signs of extraterrestrial biology in one of its planet's atmospheres. As we continue the hunt for habitable worlds beyond our solar system, we're finding more and more candidates closer to home. There's even a small rocky exoplanet within the so-called "habitable zone" at Proxima Centauri, the dinky red dwarf star right next door. But there's more, and astronomers are beginning to identify which of these strange new worlds we could soon get a good look at with...
  • The First Sighting of a Black Hole

    01/19/2017 4:07:03 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 31 replies
    Air and Space Magazine ^ | January, 2017 | Matthew R. Francis
    We know one lurks at the center of the Milky Way, but to these astronomers, seeing will be believing. The center of the galaxy doesn’t look like much, even if you’re lucky enough to live in a place where the night sky is sufficiently dark to see the bands of the Milky Way. In visible light, the stars between here and there blur together into a single brilliant source, like a bright beam hiding the lighthouse behind it. But in other types of radiation—radio waves, infrared, X-rays—astronomers have detected the presence of an object with the mass of four million...
  • Cassini snaps a tiny moon shaping Saturn's ring

    01/19/2017 11:42:35 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 6 replies
    CNET ^ | 01/18/2017 | Michelle Starr
    This new picture from NASA's Cassini probe shows off the peculiarity of Daphnis, a moon so tiny it wasn't discovered until 2005. It's just 8 kilometres (5 miles) across, and irregularly shaped, which gives it a wobbly orbit. ... The Keeler gap is just 42 kilometres (26 miles) wide, and Daphnis' distance varies from Saturn by about 9 kilometres (5.6 miles), while it moves up and down by about 17 kilometres (10.5 miles). This eccentricity, and Daphnis' gravity, causes peaked waves to form on the edges of the gap, in both vertical and horizontal directions. In this new image, taken...
  • Prediction Of Merging Stars May Solve One Of Hubble's Greatest Mysteries

    01/18/2017 9:26:49 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 4 replies
    Forbes ^ | 17 Jan, 2017 | Ethan Siegel
    When you think about our Solar System, with its lone, luminous star dominating both the mass and light of our local corner of the Milky Way, you might think that this is what 'typical' looks like. In some ways, this is true, but a Solar System with multiple stars -- binaries, trinaries or more -- might be even more common. At interstellar distances, many of these binaries are too close together to resolve even with the most powerful of telescopes. Instead, it's only the variations in their light, where the stars more relative to one another, periodically eclipse (passing in...
  • EXACT date NIBIRU will DESTROY Earth REVEALED…and it’s THIS year a CONSPIRACY theorist claims to hav

    01/17/2017 9:22:52 AM PST · by FourtySeven · 134 replies
    Daily Star ^ | January 4, 2017 | David Trayner
    Conspiracy theorists have been warning a massive planet – called Planet X or Nibiru – will wipe out life on Earth for some time. Now a paranormal researcher claims to have combined astronomy, scientific research and the Bible to calculate the date of the apocalypse. ... Meade claims the Book of Revelation, in the Bible, says when Nibiru will reveal itself. Revelation 12: 1-2 speaks of a “sign in heaven” of “a woman clothed with the Sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head”. Using computer models of the movement of the...
  • Galaxy Murder Mystery

    01/18/2017 8:41:13 AM PST · by MtnClimber · 44 replies
    ICRAR ^ | 17 Jan, 2017 | International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research
    It’s the big astrophysical whodunnit. Across the Universe, galaxies are being killed and the question scientists want answered is, what’s killing them? New research published today by a global team of researchers, based at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), seeks to answer that question. The study reveals that a phenomenon called ram-pressure stripping is more prevalent than previously thought, driving gas from galaxies and sending them to an early death by depriving them of the material to make new stars. The study of 11,000 galaxies shows their gas—the lifeblood for star formation—is being violently stripped away on...
  • Nasa finally shares stunning footage of its 2005 landing on Saturn's moon, Titan [tr]

    01/17/2017 12:05:38 PM PST · by C19fan · 20 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | January 17, 2017 | Abigail Beall
    New footage released by Nasa shows exactly what it looks like to land on an alien world. It may seem like stuff of science fiction, but the scenes in the new video happened in real life, 12 years ago. The stunning video was captured when the space agency’s Huygens probe descended onto the mysterious world of Titan, Saturn’s biggest moon.
  • NASA to explore space rock worth so much money it would DESTROY world economy

    01/16/2017 4:24:39 PM PST · by COBOL2Java · 133 replies
    Daily Star ^ | 16th January 2017 | Peter Truman
    THE American space agency is planning to send a spacecraft to a lump of metal in space worth quadrillions of dollars. The 200km-wide asteroid is currently orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter. It is made up of various precious metals such as iron, nickel and gold. Experts believe the iron alone in the rock would be worth $10,000 quadrillion – enough to cause the world’s economy, worth $73.7 trillion, to promptly collapse altogether.
  • Venus wave may be Solar System's biggest

    01/16/2017 1:44:34 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 4 replies ^ | 16 January 2017 | Paul Rincon
    The...wave is thought to form as the lower atmosphere flows over mountains on Venus' surface. ... Just after entering orbit around Venus in 2015, the Akatsuki orbiter observed a bow-shaped feature in the upper atmosphere over several days. Curiously, the bright structure - which stretched for 10,000km - remained stationary at the altitude of Venus' cloud tops. This is difficult to reconcile with what we know about Venus' thick upper atmosphere, in which clouds streak by at 100 metres per second (m/s). The clouds travel much faster than the slowly rotating planet below, where a Venusian day lasts longer than...
  • We Still Don't Know How Fast The Universe Is Expanding

    01/13/2017 6:13:38 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 53 replies
    Forbes ^ | 12 Jan, 2017 | Ethan Siegel
    Once we discovered that the Universe was expanding, the next scientific step was to determine what the rate of expansion was. Despite the fact that it's been more than 80 years, we still don't have agreement on how fast that rate actually is. By looking at the largest cosmic scales and the oldest signals -- the leftover radiation from the Big Bang and the largest-scale galaxy correlations -- we get one number for the rate: 67 km/s/Mpc. But if we look at individual stars, galaxies, supernovae and other direct indicators, we get another number: 74 km/s/Mpc. The uncertainties are very...
  • Land On Titan With Huygens in Beautiful New Video

    01/13/2017 9:56:00 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 19 replies ^ | Nancy Atkinson
    JPL has released a re-mix of the data and images gathered by Huygens 12 years ago in a beautiful new video. This is the last opportunity to celebrate the success of Huygens before Cassini ends its mission in September of 2017. ... After a two-and-a-half-hour descent, the metallic, saucer-shaped spacecraft came to rest with a thud on a dark floodplain covered in cobbles of water ice, in temperatures hundreds of degrees below freezing. ... How much of this video is actual images and data vs computer graphics? Of course, the clips at the beginning and end of the video are...
  • END OF THE WORLD: Christians predict apocalypse THIS WEEK as Venus lines up with Wolf Moon

    01/12/2017 4:57:39 PM PST · by nickcarraway · 43 replies
    Express (U.K.) ^ | Thu, Jan 12, 2017 | Sean Martin
    CHRISTIANS around the globe are linking recent astronomical phenomenon to the end of the world - which they believe could happen this week.The evening of January 12 will see the first full moon of the year, known as the Wolf Moon, and Venus will be at its brightest for the first time in eight year. This, combined with the fact that they fall on the eve of the first Friday the 13th of the year, has led some to believe that the end is nigh. While separately the three incidents are nothing new, with a full moon every month, Venus...
  • A Sneaky Asteroid Buzzed By Earth Yesterday

    01/11/2017 10:29:01 AM PST · by MtnClimber · 24 replies ^ | 10 Jan, 2016 | Jason Daley
    Monday at 7:47 A.M. EST, an asteroid passed by Earth at about half the distance between our planet and the Moon—roughly 119,500 miles, reports Mike Wall at The space rock, dubbed 2017 AG13 was on the "smallish" size as far as asteroids go, Wall reports, thought to be between 36 and 111 feet wide. But the most interesting thing about this near miss is that astronomers didn't spot the space rock till Saturday. It managed to fly under the radar for so long because the asteroid was fairly dim and moving fast (roughly ten miles per second). But just...
  • A new theory challenges everything astronomers thought they knew about how the Moon was created

    01/09/2017 9:59:14 AM PST · by Red Badger · 63 replies ^ | Jan. 10, 2017, 12:32 AM | Lindsay Dodgson
    Currently, the leading theory of the creation of the Moon is that it formed from a giant impact between a very early Earth and another Mars-sized planet. Yet new research from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel has put forward a theory that the Moon may have actually formed from a series of large impacts, rather than just one. The study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, explains why the Moon appears to be made mostly from Earth-like materials, rather than a mixture of our elements and those of another mystery planet. Lead author Dr Raluca Rufu and her...
  • Jumping on the Earth vs. Jumping on the Moon

    01/07/2017 8:59:33 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 42 replies
  • A bright new star will burst into the sky in five years, astronomers predict

    01/06/2017 9:14:20 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 31 replies ^ | January 6 at 11:15 AM | Blaine P. Friedlander Jr.
    A team of astronomers is making a bold forecast: A binary star found in the summer constellation Cygnus the swan will burst into a red nova sometime in 2022. When the two stars in the binary system crash into one another, they will create a brick-red beacon so bright that sky gazers will see it with the naked eye, Larry Molnar of Calvin College said Friday at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Grapevine, Tex. As the constellation Cygnus glides gracefully along the Milky Way every late spring and summer, the cosmic bird’s left wing houses a faint binary star...
  • Spectacular collision of suns will create new star in night sky in 2022

    01/06/2017 10:13:34 AM PST · by Red Badger · 11 replies ^ | 6 January 2017 • 4:15pm | Sarah Knapton, Science Editor
    At the beginning of the 3rd century civil war raged in Britain as the Roman emperor Septimius Severus sought to quell unrest in the north. But unknown to the fighting cohorts and Caledonian tribes, high above their heads two stars were coming together in a huge cataclysmic explosion. Now 1800 years later the light from that collision will finally arrive on Earth creating a new star in the night sky - dubbed the ‘Boom Star - in an incredibly rare event which is usually only spotted through telescopes. Before their meeting the two stars were too dim to be seen...
  • Great-Grandma Accidentally Prays to Lord of the Rings Figurine for Years (Lord Elrond)

    01/06/2017 6:49:04 AM PST · by brucedickinson · 37 replies
    Metro UK ^ | 1-5-2017 | Hattie Gladwell
    Her relative, Gabriela Brandão, a freelance makeup artist from Florianópolis, Brazil, made the discovery after taking a look at the great-grandmother’s figurine, and realising something wasn’t quite right. Following her gut instinct, Gabriela searched online for the figure – and found one exactly identical to the great-grandmother’s. However, there was only one problem – the figure wasn’t listed under ‘Saint Anthony’, it was in fact listed under ‘Elrond’. Oops.
  • NASA says mysterious object hurtling towards Earth could be an asteroid or a comet

    01/04/2017 2:50:43 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 59 replies ^ | 11:20, 4 JAN 2017 | Libby Plummer
    NASA recently spotted two massive space objects hurtling towards Earth. While the American space agency has pinpointed one as a comet, the other has left it slightly more baffled. The comet is set to fly close to Earth this week, but the mystery object isn't expected to make an appearance until February. The object, dubbed "2016 WF9", was detected by NASA's asteroid- and comet-hunting NEOWISE project on 27 November 2016. It is roughly 0.3 to 0.6 miles (0.5 to 1 kilometres) across and is in an orbit that takes it on a scenic tour of our solar system. At its...
  • NASA says mysterious object hurtling towards Earth could be an asteroid or a comet

    01/04/2017 6:39:03 AM PST · by Red Badger · 56 replies ^ | Updated14:17, 4 JAN 2017 | ByLibby Plummer
    The American space agency says that one object is a massive comet, but has so far been unable to identify the other NASA recently spotted two massive space objects hurtling towards Earth. While the American space agency has pinpointed one as a comet, the other has left it slightly more baffled. The comet is set to fly close to Earth this week, but the mystery object isn't expected to make an appearance until February. The object, dubbed "2016 WF9", was detected by NASA's asteroid- and comet-hunting NEOWISE project on 27 November 2016. It is roughly 0.3 to 0.6 miles (0.5...
  • Rare Comet Visiting Inner Solar System For The First Time To Be Visible From Earth This January

    01/03/2017 8:35:33 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 46 replies
    Tech Times ^ | 3 January 2017, 5:47 am EST | Allan Adamson
    Seeing Comet C/2016 U1 NEOWISE fly by would be a rare opportunity for skygazers because the celestial body won't likely pass by Earth for the next thousands of years. Unlike short period comets such as Halley's, a comet which passes by our planet every 75 to 80 years, it would take C/2016 U1 NEOWISE far longer time before it gets to visit this region of the solar system again. ... Paul Chodas, from NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object (NEO) Studies, said that there is a good chance that the object will be visible from Earth using a good pair of...
  • Top 7 Must-See Sky Events for 2017

    01/02/2017 9:13:19 AM PST · by MtnClimber · 17 replies
    National Geographic ^ | 29 Dec, 2016 | Andrew Fazekas
    Among the many eye-catching astronomical shows coming up, 2017 may be best remembered for the much anticipated total eclipse of the sun that will cross the continental United States in August. In addition to that spectacular sight, sky-watchers will have a plethora of treats to look forward to in the coming months. To kick things off, an icy comet will swing by Earth in February, hopefully offering picturesque views. Elusive Mercury and giant Jupiter will both put their best faces forward as they appear their biggest and brightest early in the year. And in December, the annual Geminid meteor shower...
  • 39 New Years in 2017 – New Year Countdown

    01/01/2017 3:07:18 AM PST · by SES1066 · 2 replies
    Time and Date ^ | 12/31/2016
    1. Get There Last 26 hours after the first bottle of bubbly pops, Baker Island toasts the New Year. Kiritimati, Kiribati is into the second day of the year before Baker Island leaves 2016.
  • Trump Comet Welcomes New President

    12/29/2016 9:00:02 PM PST · by ShivaFan · 24 replies
    opinion | 29 Dec 2016 | ShivaFan
    Some Hindus are calling the New Years Eve Comet, known officially as Comet Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková, that will be just next to the crescent moon this New Years Eve, the "Trump Comet". This amazing greenish comet with fan tail which, with a good eye or better yet a pair of binoculars, will be seen near the crescent moon on this coming New Years Eve on the Western horizon after the sun sets. And it will be visible again even brighter in February 2017 to Welcome Donald J Trump the New President!
  • Hubble's Shining View Of Deep Space Beyond The Stars

    12/27/2016 4:52:59 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 33 replies
    Forbes ^ | 26 Dec, 2016 | Ethan Siegel
    From any point on Earth's surface, a clear night sky reveals a treasure trove of stars and deep-sky objects. Through a powerful telescope, billions of objects become visible, from stars and nebulae to the galaxies beyond our own. With the success of the Hubble deep fields in revealing distant, hitherto unseen galaxies, 2010 brought a new camera and a new ambition. The installation of the Wide Field Camera 3 enabled simultaneously large, deep views of space as never before. The Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS) began with this 2010 mosaic, which stitched together hundreds of images in visible and...
  • See a Christmas-Time Binocular Comet: 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova

    12/26/2016 6:49:16 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 10 replies
    universe today ^ | 12/25/2016 | Bob King
    While we’ve been shopping for gifts the past few weeks, a returning comet has been brightening up in the evening sky. Named 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova, it returns to the hood every 5.25 years after vacationing beyond the planet Jupiter... Comet 45P is a short period comet — one with an orbital period of fewer than 200 years — discovered on December 3, 1948 by Minoru Honda along with co-discoverers Antonin Mrkos and Ludmila Pajdusakova. Three names are the maximum a comet can have even if 15 people simultaneously discover it. 45P has a history of brightening rapidly as it approaches the sun,...
  • Will Earth still exist 5 billion years from now?

    12/26/2016 3:17:35 PM PST · by ETL · 148 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | December 8, 2016 | KU Leuven
    What will happen to Earth when, in a few billion years' time, the Sun is a hundred times bigger than it is today? Using the most powerful radio telescope in the world, an international team of astronomers has set out to look for answers in the star L2 Puppis. Five billion years ago, this star was very similar to the Sun as it is today. "Five billion years from now, the Sun will have grown into a red giant star, more than a hundred times larger than its current size," says Professor Leen Decin from the KU Leuven Institute of...
  • Chris Pratt of "Guardians of the Galaxy" Weighed Over 300 Pounds Recently??- PICS

    12/26/2016 8:26:33 AM PST · by brucedickinson · 20 replies
    Various ^ | 12-26-2016 | Self
    I was sitting around after a huge Christmas feast last night for Christmas, worrying I should hit the gym, and I saw a pic of Chris Pratt, the actor from Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy as a huge tubby. It really gives the motivation to take care of yourself. What a dramatic change.
  • THE SOLAR WIND CONTINUES TO BLOW: For the third day in a row

    12/24/2016 7:55:41 AM PST · by tired&retired · 27 replies ^ | Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016 |
    THE SOLAR WIND CONTINUES TO BLOW: For the third day in a row, Earth is inside a stream of solar wind blowing out of a large hole in the sun's atmosphere. This is causing magnetic unrest and bright auroras around the poles. NOAA forecasters estimate a 35% chance of G1-class geomagnetic storms on Dec. 24th. WHITE AURORAS? Auroras are usually green. Occasionally, other colors appear: red, purple, blue. One color that never shows itself, however, is white--that is, not until last night. "I saw white auroras over Tromsø, Norway!" reports veteran observer Markus Varik.
  • This Is Our Best Look Yet At Saturn's Moon Pandora

    12/21/2016 9:23:37 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 21 replies
    gizmodo ^ | 12/20/2016 | Maddie Stone
    Pandora is one of Saturn’s many baby moons, far too runty to form a sphere under its own gravity. Instead, this 52-mile across space rock looks more like a fossilized glob of silly putty in closest image ever captured by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Cassini is currently circling Saturn’s poles and skirting just outside the gas giant’s F-ring, in a series of dramatic “ring-grazing” orbits that NASA promised would give us an unprecedented look at some of Saturn’s smallest moons. And the spacecraft is already delivering on that promise. The image above was captured on December 18th, from a distance of...
  • The sun’s surface spins more slowly than the rest of the star. This may be why

    12/21/2016 7:12:28 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 22 replies
    Science | 21 Dec, 2016 | Ilima Loomis
    Sunbeams—what a drag. That’s the conclusion of physicists trying to solve a longstanding mystery: why the sun’s surface rotates more slowly than its inner core. The team argues that energy radiating outward from the sun pushes back slightly as it is expelled, providing just enough resistance to put on the brakes. The hypothesis is supported by a new observation: that the thin “skin” of the sun rotates more slowly than layers just beneath. “I really can’t believe nobody has thought of this,” says Hugh Hudson, a solar physicist at the University of California, Berkeley, who was not involved in the...
  • Surprise interaction between dark and ordinary matter found in mini-spiral galaxies

    12/16/2016 7:57:51 PM PST · by Lorianne · 19 replies
    UPI ^ | 15 December 2016 | Brooks Hays
    In a recent survey of mini-spiral galaxies, astronomers found a unexpected relationship between dark and light matter. The relationship is easy to measure yet impossible to explain using the Standard Model of physics. Researchers from Italy's International School for Advanced Studies conducted a statistical analysis of three dozen mini-spiral galaxies. Their work revealed a strong correlation between the organization of dark and regular matter in each galaxy. If, for example, ordinary matter was condensed at the center of a mini-spiral galaxy, so too was dark matter. If the bulk of regular matter was scattered across the outskirts of the galaxy,...
  • Ice, Ice Everywhere, says New Study on Ceres

    12/15/2016 7:22:57 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 10 replies ^ | 15 Dec , 2016 | Matt Williams
    Dawn’s Gamma Ray and Neutron Detector (GRaND) determined the concentrations of hydrogen, iron and potassium in Ceres crust. In so doing, it was able to place constraints on the planet’s ice content, and how the surface was likely altered by liquid water in Ceres’ interior. In short, the GRaND instrument detected high levels of hydrogen in Ceres’ uppermost structure (10% by weight), which appeared most prominently around the mid-latitudes. These readings were consistent with broad expanses of water ice. The GRaND data also showed that rather than consisting of a solid ice layer, the ice was likely to take the...
  • All I Want for Christmas is a Green Laser: How to Choose and Use One

    12/14/2016 6:21:53 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 28 replies
    Devious humans have given green lasers a bad name. Aiming a laser at an aircraft or the flight path of an aircraft is illegal according to a 2012 U.S. federal law. Jail time awaits offenders. Don’t point at a police officer either.... But if you mind your manners, a green laser is one of the best tools available to amateur astronomers eager to share the wonders of the night sky with the public. There’s simply nothing better to point out constellations, comets, individual stars and satellites in the night sky. Amateurs love ’em! So does the public. Go to a...
  • New telescope chip offers clear view of alien planets

    12/14/2016 12:52:18 PM PST · by Red Badger · 27 replies ^ | 12-06-2016 | by Will Wright & Provided by: Australian National University
    The new telescope chip. Credit: Stuart Hay, ANU ======================================================================================================================= Associate Professor Steve Madden. Credit: Australian National University =========================================================================================================================== Scientists have developed a new optical chip for a telescope that enables astronomers to have a clear view of alien planets that may support life. Seeing a planet outside the solar system which is close to its host sun, similar to Earth, is very difficult with today's standard astronomical instruments due to the brightness of the sun. Associate Professor Steve Madden from The Australian National University (ANU) said the new chip removes light from the host sun, allowing astronomers for the...
  • Sustainable nano-spacecraft explored by researchers

    12/12/2016 8:53:17 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 18 replies ^ | December 11, 2016 | by Nancy Owano
    EEE Spectrum said that in working with KAIST, NASA was pioneering development of "tiny spacecraft made from a single silicon chip that could slash interstellar exploration times." ... Neel Patel in Inverse referred to ambitions "to create chip-sized spacecraft that could be shot off into space at ultra-high speeds and reach neighboring star systems within a generation's time." Patel said that out of five interstellar probes (Voyager 1, Voyager 2, Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, and New Horizons), only Voyager 1 made it to interstellar space. Making it is not easy. Patel wrote how "deep space is riddled with intense bouts...
  • Ancient eclipse records show that days on Earth are getting just a little longer

    12/07/2016 2:56:09 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 47 replies ^ | 12/07/2016 | Deborah Netburn
    The latest findings in Earth science are brought to you by ancient astronomers who observed the heavens as much as 2,700 years ago. Thanks to hundreds of records of lunar and solar eclipses carved in clay tablets and written into dynastic histories, modern scientists have determined that the amount of time it takes for Earth to complete a single rotation on its axis has slowed by 1.8 milliseconds per day over the course of a century, according to a report published Wednesday in Proceedings of the Royal Society A. It may not sound significant, but over the course of 2½...
  • Advanced USAF Tactical Satcom Set for Stunning Dec. 7 Nighttime Blastoff- Watch Live

    12/06/2016 11:04:39 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 7 replies ^ | 7 Dec , 2016 | Ken Kremer
    Blastoff of the Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS-8) mission for the U.S. Air Force is slated for 6:53 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016 from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. WGS-8 will be delivered to a supersynchronous transfer orbit atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Medium+ rocket. The launch window runs for 49 minutes from 6:53-7:42 p.m. EST. You can watch the Delta launch live on a ULA webcast. The live launch broadcast will begin at 6:33 p.m. EST here: The weather forecast for Wednesday Dec. 6, calls for an 80 percent chance...
  • This new photo shows the sun with a gigantic smile (Who knew.. Sol a Trumpian)

    12/02/2016 9:09:06 PM PST · by LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget · 14 replies
    mashable ^ | December 2, 2016 | Miriam Kramer
    The sun looks like a proud, happy dad with a huge smile in new photos beamed back to Earth by a sun-staring spacecraft. The new images — taken by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory — show various features of the sun coincidentally coming together to look just like a face with a crooked smile and male-patterned baldness. All in all, this makes the sun bear a striking resemblance to Frasier Crane or perhaps your father. The smiley sun photo was first pointed out on Twitter by solar scientist Karl Battams after the Solar Dynamics Observatory's website was updated with the new...
  • 6-Foot-Wide 'Bald' Asteroid Is Smallest Ever Studied

    12/02/2016 5:16:10 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 6 replies
    Space,com ^ | December 1, 2016 07:00am ET | Mike Wall
    Astronomers have set a new record, taking the measure of a tiny space rock just 6 feet wide. The researchers used four different telescopes on Earth to study the near-Earth asteroid (NEA), which is called 2015 TC25, during a close flyby it made of the planet in October 2015. "This is the first time we have optical, infrared and radar data on such a small asteroid, which is essentially a meteoroid," Vishnu Reddy, of the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, said in a statement. "You can think of it as a meteorite floating in space that hasn't hit...
  • TECH BLACKOUT: Huge solar storm which could WIPE OUT modern technology expected by 2020

    11/29/2016 1:16:44 PM PST · by Tilted Irish Kilt · 145 replies ^ | 11/29/16 | Sean Martin
    THERE is a one in eight chance that the Earth will be hit by a huge solar storm by 2020 which could potentially leave the world without Internet, phone service and many more services that modern-day humans rely on. Researchers have warned that there is roughly a 12 per cent chance that a solar storm could smash into Earth by the end of the decade.(emphasis mine) The powerful event would likely be as huge as the Carrington Event, which occurred on 1859. The solar storm which hit 150 years ago was so powerful that its southern auroras could be seen...
  • Lookin' Good, Mars! ExoMars' First High-Res Photos Are Incredible

    11/29/2016 11:15:47 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 9 replies ^ | 11/29/2016 | Hanneke Weitering
    The European Space Agency's new Mars orbiter just sent back its first high-resolution images of the Red Planet, and the view is amazing. The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) arrived at Mars on Oct. 19, when its companion spacecraft Schiaparelli crash-landed on the planet's surface. Since then, TGO has been circling Mars, testing out its machinery, and taking spectacularly sharp pictures of the landscape using its Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS). ESA stitched together the best of these photos in a cool new flyover video. "The first images we received are absolutely spectacular ― and it was only...
  • Variable, Not Constant: Speed Of Light Theory Challenging Einstein’s Physics Can Now Be Tested

    11/27/2016 11:30:21 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 56 replies
    Tech Times ^ | 27 November 2016, 1:16 am EST | Dianne Depra
    Researchers suggesting that the speed of light varies have come up with a numerical prediction that will allow their theory to be tested. Many theories in physics are built upon the idea that the speed of light is at a constant rate, but João Magueijo and Niayesh Afshordi think otherwise. In a paper published in the journal Physical Review D, they detailed the creation of an exact figure on the spectral index, a model that can be used to determine if their theory is valid or not. All structures in the universe today were created when fluctuations occurred in the...
  • What is Cydonia?

    11/25/2016 4:23:08 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 34 replies ^ | 11/25/2016 | Matt Williams
    ydonia was first photographed by the Viking 1 and 2 orbiters. Between the two, eighteen images were taken of the region, all of which were of limited resolution. Of these, only five were considered suitable for studying surface features. Because of their limited quality, a particular mesa resembled a humanoid face (see below). It would be another 20 years before other spacecraft photographed the region as they conducted observations of Mars. These included NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor, which orbited Mars from 1997 to 2006; the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), which reached the planet in 2006 and is still in operation;...
  • Cassini Is About To Graze Saturn’s Rings In Mission Endgame

    11/22/2016 9:40:46 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 2 replies ^ | 11/22/2016 | Nancy Atkinson
    On November 30, Cassini will begin a phase of the mission that the science team calls “Cassini’s Ring-Grazing Orbits,” as the spacecraft will start skimming past the outer edge of the rings, coming within – at times — 4,850 miles (7,800 kilometers) of the rings. ... Between November 30, 2016 and April 22, 2017 Cassini will circle high over and under the poles of Saturn, diving every seven days for a total of 20 times through the unexplored region at the outer edge of the main rings. During the close passes, Cassini’s instruments will attempt to directly sample the icy...
  • Working Earthquake Prediction Model?

    11/21/2016 2:00:26 PM PST · by pa_dweller · 2 replies
  • The Best 24/7 Live Streams Currently on Youtube

    11/18/2016 10:45:39 PM PST · by fella · 17 replies
    The Best 24/7 Live Streams Currently on YouTube
  • In Americas? Watch supermoon tonight

    11/13/2016 10:13:49 AM PST · by EveningStar · 23 replies
    EarthSky ^ | November 13, 2016 | Bruce McClure
    The full moon of November 14, 2016 is not only the biggest, closest and brightest supermoon of this year. It’s the closest supermoon since January 26, 1948. Should you watch for this full moon on the night of November 14? Sure, and, if you do, it’ll be beautiful. But, for us in the Americas the moon is closer to full on the night of November 13. The moon turns precisely full on November 14, 2016 at 13:52 UTC. This full moon instant will happen in the morning hours before sunrise November 14 in western North America and on many Pacific...
  • How to Photograph the Supermoon: NASA Pro Shares His Tips

    11/12/2016 11:40:22 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 34 replies ^ | 11/12/2016 | Elizabeth Howell
    2. Scout the location carefully Use every tool possible to get the perfect shot, including Google Maps and compasses, to help you locate a spot where you'll be able to see the moon as well as the reference object you want to include. That may mean learning how to read a map, and finding out where the moon will appear on the horizon based on your location. If possible, travel to an area far from city lights to avoid light pollution. And make sure to be precise; Ingalls said he recalls setting up near Washington, D.C.'s Iwo Jima monument hundreds...
  • Princeton Team Directly Observes Planets Around Nearby Stars

    11/11/2016 8:39:24 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    Universe Today ^ | 11/11/2016 | Evan Gough
    Coronagraphic High Angular Resolution Imaging Spectrograph (CHARIS) has captured the light from one of those exoplanets. This has the researchers excited about what they can see. CHARIS allows astronomers to isolate light reflecting from planets. That’s difficult to do, since they are so much dimmer than the stars they orbit. CHARIS is able to isolate the reflective light from planets larger than Jupiter. Then astronomers can analyze that light to learn about the planet’s age, atmospheric composition, and its size. ... CHARIS was designed and built by a team led by N. Jeremy Kasdin, a professor of mechanical and aerospace...