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Astronomy (General/Chat)

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  • The patriarchal race to colonize Mars is just another example of male entitlement

    02/21/2018 1:19:10 PM PST · by C19fan · 80 replies
    NBC News ^ | February 21, 2018 | Marcie Bianco
    What does a midlife crisis look like in the 21st century? Frittering away your life savings on a red sports car is so last century. Instead, today’s man who is grappling with the limitations of his mortality spends $90 million on a rocket to launch a $100,000 electric car, helmed by a robot by the name of “Starman,” into space. “We want a new space race,” SpaceX founder Elon Musk said in a press conference shortly after the launch of his company’s Falcon Heavy rocket — and his Tesla Roadster — into space earlier in February. Like a child, he...
  • OSIRIS-REx Sends Home an Image of the Earth and Moon

    02/21/2018 11:31:43 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 11 replies
    Universe Today ^ | Feb 21, 2018 | Matt Williams
    On September 8th. 2016, NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) launched from Earth to rendezvous with the asteroid 101955 Bennu. This mission will be the first American robotic spacecraft to rendezvous with an asteroid, which it will reach by December of 2018, and return samples to Earth for analysis (by September 24th, 2023). Since that time, NASA has been keeping the public apprised of the mission’s progress, mainly by sending back images taken by the spacecraft. The latest image was one of the Earth and Moon, which the spacecraft took using its NavCam 1 imager on...
  • Why is Jeff Bezos building a giant ‘millennial' clock inside a mountain? [$42M!]

    02/21/2018 7:18:04 AM PST · by Red Badger · 63 replies
    www.techradar.com ^ | 21 Feb 2018 | By Jamie Carter
    The Long Now Foundation’s clock is a symbol for multi-generational thinking Jeff Bezos wants us all to be good ancestors. The Amazon supremo just tweeted that installation has begun on one of his pet projects of the last decade, the 10,000 Year Clock, also called the Clock of the Long Now. Designed to stay accurate for that huge time period, the giant clock will tick once a year, moving its century hand every 100 years, and send out a cuckoo once a millennia – just 10 times in its life. And it costs US$ 42 million. What is Bezos thinking?...
  • Jupiter’s Great Red Spot may be dying, and could disappear within our lifetimes

    02/19/2018 8:57:01 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 67 replies
    “In truth, the GRS has been shrinking for a long time,” Glenn Orton of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory told Business Insider. The storm was once as large as four times the diameter of Earth, but more recent observations have shown that it’s rapidly losing steam. “Now it’s something like 13 degrees wide in longitude and only 1.3 times the size of the Earth,” Orton says. “Nothing lasts forever.” Late last year, Juno revealed some surprising information about the huge storm, including how deep into the planet it goes. The data showed that the storm is up to 100 times deeper...
  • 12 World Secrets That We Will Never Know The Truth About

    02/19/2018 6:14:36 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 61 replies
    Aunty Acid ^ | dunno | beats me
    If you’re a lover of a good mystery, then get a load of some of these amazing phenomena! Some people think we’re not meant to understand everything in the world and in the universe. Others think there’s a logical explanation for everything. We just think that there are some amazing mysteries in the world that are waiting to be solved. So take a look at some of these X-files, you’ll definitely be scratching your head. Maybe you’ll wonder how you never heard of them before… and maybe question, just who is keeping this so quiet? ... 9. Red glow over...
  • The Little Rover That Could

    02/19/2018 1:57:07 PM PST · by Red Badger · 5 replies
    Popular Science ^ | February 17, 2018 | By Mary Beth Griggs
    We think you can, Opportunity. An artist's impression of the Opportunity rover on Mars. NASA _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ NASA’s Opportunity rover is the longest surviving rover on Mars. On Saturday, February 17, it experienced its 5,000th dawn on a distant planet. It was only scheduled to see 90. But Opportunity's long journey started much earlier, at the height of the space race. With gratitude towards Watty Piper and his beloved Little Engine, we start our story in the early 1960s. NASA is working on multiple fronts, pushing humans toward the Moon for the first time, but also struggling to reach Mars and...
  • Malaysia sorry for Chinese New Year rooster ad cock-up

    02/16/2018 3:49:56 PM PST · by csvset · 6 replies
    The Straits Times ^ | FEB 16, 2018, | AFP
    <p>KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Malaysia has apologised after a government ad in Chinese-language newspapers featuring a picture of a barking rooster to mark the Year of the Dog sparked a flood of mockery.</p> <p>The full-page advert by the domestic trade, cooperatives and consumerism ministry showed a rooster emitting the word "wang", used to represent a dog's bark in Mandarin.</p>
  • Humans will actually react pretty well to news of alien life

    02/16/2018 12:18:24 PM PST · by Red Badger · 80 replies
    phys.org ^ | February 16, 2018 | Arizona State University
    Credit: CC0 Public Domain __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ As humans reach out technologically to see if there are other life forms in the universe, one important question needs to be answered: When we make contact, how are we going to handle it? Will we feel threatened and react in horror? Will we embrace it? Will we even understand it? Or, will we shrug it off as another thing we have to deal with in our increasingly fast-paced world? "If we came face to face with life outside of Earth, we would actually be pretty upbeat about it," said Arizona State University Assistant...
  • The Moon's equatorial bulge hints at Earth's early conditions

    02/15/2018 9:44:00 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    Astronomy ^ | Tuesday, February 13, 2018 | Amber Jorgenson
    Over two centuries ago, Pierre-Simon Laplace, a French physicist and mathematician, noticed that the Moon's equatorial bulge is about 20 times larger than expected. Now, researchers are trying to find out why. Although the Moon looks quite spherical from the ground, it is flatter at its poles and wider at its equator, a trait known as an equatorial bulge. This characteristic is common; it's usually caused by an object's rotation around its axis. However, it's been noted that the Moon's bulge is about 20 times larger than it should be given its rotational rate of once per month... researchers at...
  • Neptune's Mysterious Storm is Dying, Possibly Smells Like Rotten Eggs

    02/15/2018 2:32:31 PM PST · by Red Badger · 26 replies
    www.popularmechanics.com ^ | Feb 15, 2018 | By David Grossman
    Like Jupiter, Neptune has a giant spinning mystery. NASA's Hubble Telescope captured a time-lapse of the storm for the first time and found a surprising conclusion—it is shrinking. Officially called a "dark vortex," the Neptunian storm shares a few properties with Jupiter's Great Red Spot (GRS). Like the GRS, a dark vortex is moving in a anti-cyclonic direction that sweeps up material from the planet's icy atmosphere. “We have no evidence of how these vortices are formed or how fast they rotate,” said Agustín Sánchez-Lavega from the University of the Basque Country in Spain in a NASA press statement. “It...
  • Solar flare could impact Earth Thursday

    02/15/2018 5:14:50 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    On Sunday night into Monday morning, the Solar Dynamics Observatory Satellite of NASA showed a solar flare on the sun released a coronal mass ejection towards Earth that could impact us on Thursday. The solar flare was not particularly large, but NOAA has issued A G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storm watch, in effect for Thursday.  The G1 Watch has been issued due to the likely response associated with the arrival of an asymmetric halo coronal mass ejection glancing blow late on the Wednesday to early Thursday. The CME was first observed in  at 8:25 p.m. on Sunday. ... According to NASA, solar activity associated with Space...
  • Astrophotographer Spots Elon Musk's Roadster Cruising Through Space (Video)

    02/14/2018 7:43:01 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 28 replies
    Space.com ^ | February 14, 2018 04:45pm ET | Hanneke Weitering, Staff Writer |
    "Once footage of the car and Starman started to arrive and people wondered if it could be observed from Earth, there was just one thing in my mind: to find the answer to that question and if yes, to try take a picture — better yet, a video — of it," Andreo wrote on his website, DeepSkyColors.com. To catch a view of the shiny car as it cruised off into space, Andreo packed up his telescopes and cameras, and drove to the Monte Bello Open Space Preserve in California, a semidark site just a short drive from his home in Sunnyvale. Using...
  • Trump's NASA Budget Would Cancel Space Telescope & 5 Earth Science Missions

    02/13/2018 2:26:18 AM PST · by Simon Green · 35 replies
    Space.com ^ | 02/12/18 | Sarah Lewin
    The Trump administration's budget request for fiscal year 2019 calls for work on a major NASA space observatory and five Earth-science missions to be canceled. NASA's Office of Education would also be terminated. The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), which would have used an existing spy satellite retired from the National Reconnaissance Office, would no longer receive funding. According to the White House's 2019 budget request, released today (Feb. 12), WFIRST would have required a significant funding increase. Instead, the budget proposal requests that the funding go to smaller astrophysics missions. The Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) satellite;...
  • If We Receive a Message From Aliens, Should We Delete it Without Reading it?

    02/13/2018 1:12:06 AM PST · by LibWhacker · 69 replies
    Universe Today ^ | 2/13/18 | Matt Williams
    Roughly half a century ago, Cornell astronomer Frank Drake conducted Project Ozma, the first systematic SETI survey at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia. Since that time, scientists have conducted multiple surveys in the hopes of find indications of “technosignatures” – i.e. evidence of technologically-advanced life (such as radio communications). To put it plainly, if humanity were to receive a message from an extra-terrestrial civilization right now, it would be the single-greatest event in the history of civilization. But according to a new study, such a message could also pose a serious risk to humanity. Drawing...
  • Are you rocky or are you gassy? Astronomers unlock the mysteries of super-Earths

    02/08/2018 10:45:25 AM PST · by Red Badger · 20 replies
    phys.org ^ | 02-08-2018 | Carnegie Institution for Science
    An artist's impression of a stellar system with three super-Earths. Credit: ESO. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ A star about 100 light years away in the Pisces constellation, GJ 9827, hosts what may be one of the most massive and dense super-Earth planets detected to date according to new research led by Carnegie's Johanna Teske. This new information provides evidence to help astronomers better understand the process by which such planets form. The GJ 9827 star actually hosts a trio of planets, discovered by NASA's exoplanet-hunting Kepler/K2 mission, and all three are slightly larger than Earth. This is the size that the Kepler...
  • Two Asteroids Make Close Flybys of Earth

    02/08/2018 9:39:35 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 14 replies
    The two asteroids are called 2018 CB and 2018 CC, and they were both discovered February 4 through an automated telescope search called the Catalina Sky Survey, according to NASA's Minor Planet Center. The Catalina telescopes belong to just one of many observatories worldwide that regularly scan the sky to track and search for space rocks, also known as asteroids. While the majority of asteroids in Earth's solar system orbit in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, asteroid flybys of Earth happen several times a year. The last known close asteroid flyby was on Sunday (Feb. 4). The flybys...
  • Starman's view of Earth: Elon Musk releases stunning real-time video of Tesla Roadster [tr]

    02/07/2018 5:23:50 AM PST · by C19fan · 58 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | February 7, 2018 | Harry Pettit and Cheyenne Macdonald
    The most powerful rocket to leave Earth since the Apollo missions launched from Florida yesterday. The Falcon Heavy jumbo rocket, developed by flamboyant SpaceX billionaire Elon Musk, had a sole 'passenger' onboard - a mannequin named 'Starman' - who rode to space inside a Tesla roadster. Incredible real-time footage has emerged from inside the car showing stunning views of our planet sailing past its windscreen, as David Bowie's Life on Mars plays in the background.
  • The amazing moment SpaceX simultaneously lands TWO boosters back on Earth [tr]

    02/07/2018 5:20:43 AM PST · by C19fan · 12 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | February 6, 2018 | Annie Palmer and Harry Pettit and Cheyenne Macdonald
    As if SpaceX's successful Falcon Heavy launch wasn't impressive enough, the firm managed to complete another remarkable feat as the megarocket blasted off to Mars. Stunning video from today's launch shows the twin boosters returning to Cape Canaveral in a synchronized landing. The massive rocket launched at 3:45 p.m. ET, carrying Elon Musk's cherry red Tesla roadster on board. Just over three minutes into the launch, the side boosters detached from the rocket and launch operators confirmed the rocket was on the right trajectory.
  • SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket soars in debut test launch from Florida

    02/06/2018 8:42:54 PM PST · by WMarshal · 96 replies
    Yahoo News ^ | Joey Roulette
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - The world's most powerful rocket, SpaceX's Falcon Heavy, roared into space through clear blue skies in its debut test flight on Tuesday from a Florida launch site where moon missions once began, in another milestone for billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk's private rocket service. ..... Then, capitalizing on cost-cutting reusable rocket technology pioneered by SpaceX, the two boosters flew themselves back to Earth for safe simultaneous touchdowns on twin landing pads at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, about eight minutes after launch. Each rocket unleashed a double sonic boom as it neared the landing zone.
  • Watch Elon Musk Launch of Falcon Heavy Live

    02/06/2018 11:36:57 AM PST · by Robert DeLong · 67 replies
    SpaceX Website ^ | 2.6/2018
    Watch Elon Musk Launch his person Tesla with dummy dressed in space suit in the driver's seat. Live in 71 minutes February 6, 2:45 PM