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Astronomy (General/Chat)

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  • Space mining set to produce world’s first TRILLIONAIRE in galactic gold rush

    04/23/2018 10:12:11 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 84 replies ^ | Published 22nd April 2018 | By Rachel O'Donoghue
    A galactic gold rush has been predicted for some time, with experts saying teams will race against each other to collect precious metals from space rocks. Earlier this year, physicist Michio Kaku described asteroids as “flying gold mine[s] in outer space” that could replenish any metal shortage on Earth. Examples of valuable asteroids include one rock measuring 3,000ft across that contains $5.4 trillion worth of platinum. And now it is predicted the first trillionaire will make their fortune in outer space. PRICELESS: One asteroid contains $5.4trillion worth of platinum __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson: “The first trillionaire there will...
  • 'Interplanetary Shock Wave' Spawns Electric-Blue Auroras

    04/21/2018 10:32:02 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 9 replies ^ | April 21, 2018 08:00am ET | Sarah Lewin,
    A moderate geomagnetic storm kicked up in Earth's skies Friday morning (April 20), bringing green and rare electric-blue auroras that stretched as far south as Indiana. The space-weather news site reported that an "interplanetary shock wave" hit Earth's magnetic field at about 3:50 a.m. EDT (2350 on April 19 GMT), quadrupling the intensity of the flow of particles streaming from the sun toward Earth, called the solar wind. The incoming wave of material resulted in a G2-level, or moderate, geomagnetic storm, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). These types of storms can...
  • The History Of The Toothbrush

    04/21/2018 7:10:12 PM PDT · by SamAdams76 · 42 replies
    Some dentists got together and put up a website. ^ | A few years back | Jeff Salmeri
    Wow, sonic technology to clean our teeth! That's what we have now, and it makes it easy to have cleaner, whiter teeth and healthier gums. The sonic technology drives the bristle tip velocity so that fluids can clean into tight spaces and the gum line. Healthy gums translate to a healthier heart. The toothbrush has come a long way. But what did people use thousands of years ago before electricity or nylon was invented? Well the first toothbrush was no doubt the human finger. It is recorded that people used salt, chalk or soot and rubbed it on their teeth...
  • Taco Bell Space Station? It’s possible, panelists say

    04/19/2018 5:59:45 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 19 replies
    Space News ^ | 4/19/18 | Debra Werner
    COLORADO SPRINGS — Future private space stations may be sponsored by major corporations, which prompted a spirited discussion during a panel on the future of low Earth orbit at the 34th Space Symposium here. “I don’t want the Taco Bell International Space Station,” said Erin MacDonald, modeling and simulation engineer for Engility’s Space and Mission Systems Group. “I think it goes against what the public perceives the space station is supposed to be like.” While the International Space Station is unlikely to be rebranded by Taco Bell or any other corporation, if a new commercial space station is “paid for...
  • “To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before”

    04/19/2018 4:57:16 PM PDT · by Twotone · 55 replies
    Northwest Connection ^ | April 3, 2018 | Gordon Fulks
    Those who can remember a half century back will recall these words, spoken by Captain James Kirk of the starship Enterprise at the beginning of each episode of Star Trek: “Space—the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission—to explore strange new worlds—to seek out new life and new civilizations—to boldly go where no man has gone before.” Although the original series lasted only three years and 79 episodes, it spawned follow-on series and has become a cult classic. But this essay is not about classic science fiction, the starship Enterprise, or Captain Kirk. Yet...
  • How to Listen to the Background Hum of Gravitational Waves From all the Black Holes Colliding...

    04/19/2018 3:27:17 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 15 replies
    Universe Today ^ | 4/19/18 | Matt Williams
    How to Listen to the Background Hum of Gravitational Waves From all the Black Holes Colliding into Each Other Article written: 18 Apr , 2018 by Matt Williams The first-ever detection of gravitational waves (which took place in September of 2015) triggered a revolution in astronomy. Not only did this event confirm a theory predicted by Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity a century before, it also ushered in a new era where the mergers of distant black holes, supernovae, and neutron stars could be studied by examining their resulting waves.In addition, scientists have theorized that black hole mergers could actually...
  • NASA has a plan to put robot bees on Mars

    04/18/2018 7:42:50 AM PDT · by ETL · 47 replies ^ | Apr 9, 2018 | Rafi Letzter Staff Writer | LiveScience
    NASA has two teams of researchers working to design a robotic bee that can fly on Mars. The space agency announced the project on March 30. It's in its early stages, but the idea is to replace modern rovers — which are slow, bulky and very expensive — with swarms of sensor-studded, fast-moving micro-bots that can cover much more ground at a relatively low cost. Literally called Marsbees, the little bots are "flapping wing flyers of a bumblebee size with cicada-sized wings," NASA officials wrote.
  • "We Truly Don't Know What It Is" --Mystery Milky-Way Spectrum of Light Observed...

    04/18/2018 12:04:23 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 31 replies
    "We Truly Don't Know What It Is" --Mystery Milky-Way Spectrum of Light Observed 'Not Produced By Any Known Emission' April 17, 2018   "We use special telescopes to catch X-ray light in the sky, and while looking at these X-rays, the telescopes noticed an unexpected feature and captured a spectrum of light, which is not produced by any known atomic emission," said University of Miami astrophysicist Nico Cappelluti. "This emission line is now called the 3.5 kiloelectron volt (keV). One interpretation of this emission line is that it's produced by the decay of dark matter." "This 3.5 keV emission line is...
  • The Aurora Station Will be the First Luxury Hotel in Space

    04/17/2018 11:47:38 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 20 replies
    Universe Today ^ | 4/17/18 | Evan Gough
    The Aurora Station space hotel will launch in 2021 and host its first guests in 2022. It has room for 4 guests and 2 crew. Image: Orion Span The Aurora Station Will be the First Luxury Hotel in Space Article written: 17 Apr , 2018 by Evan Gough Are you ready for a luxury hotel in space? We all knew it was coming, even though it seems impossibly futuristic. But this time it’s not just science fiction; somebody actually has a plan.The space hotel will be called “Aurora Station” and the company behind it is Orion Span, a Silicon...
  • Escape from Proxima b

    04/16/2018 1:36:42 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 27 replies
    Scientific American ^ | 4/16/18 | Abraham Loeb
    A civilization in the habitable zone of a dwarf star like Proxima Centauri might find it hard to get into interstellar space with conventional rocketsAlmost all space missions launched so far by our civilization have been based on chemical propulsion. The fundamental limitation here is easy to understand: a rocket is pushed forward by ejecting burnt fuel gases backwards through its exhaust. The characteristic composition and temperature of the burnt fuel set the exhaust speed to a typical value of a few kilometers per second. Momentum conservation implies that the terminal speed of the rocket is given by this exhaust...
  • Look at This Fascinating Variety of Planet-Forming Disks Around Other Stars

    04/13/2018 6:44:13 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 10 replies
    The European Southern Observatory (ESO) has released a stunning collection of images of the circumstellar discs that surround young stars. The images were captured with the SPHERE (Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch) instrument on the ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. We’ve been looking at images of circumstellar disks for quite some time, but this collection reveals the fascinating variety of shapes an sizes that these disks can take.
  • Dense Star Clusters Could be the Places Where Black Hole Mergers are Common

    04/13/2018 1:06:55 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 56 replies
    Universe Today ^ | 4/12/18 | Matt Williams
    Dense Star Clusters Could be the Places Where Black Hole Mergers are Common Article written: 12 Apr , 2018 by Matt Williams In February of 2016, scientists working for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) made history when they announced the first-ever detection of gravitational waves. Not only did this discovery confirm a century-old prediction made by Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, it also confirmed the existence of stellar binary black holes – which merged to produce the signal in the first place.And now, an international team led by MIT astrophysicist Carl Rodriguez has produced a study that suggests that ...
  • Earth’s Second Magnetic Field: Satellite Image Reveals Invisible Force From Ocean Currents

    04/12/2018 6:58:36 AM PDT · by DUMBGRUNT · 43 replies
    Inquisitr ^ | 12 Apr 2018 | Mia Lorenzo
    The Earth has a second magnetic field, one generated by ocean currents. Researchers know little about it, but images captured by satellites show this invisible force generated by the world’s salty oceans in perfect detail. ... ESA released a video detailing the changes in the Earth’s magnetic field over a 24-hour period... ...“It’s a really tiny magnetic field. It’s about 2-2.5 nanotesla at satellite altitude, which is about 20,000 times weaker than the Earth’s global magnetic field.”... Oceans may have a small contribution to the magnetic field that protects the planet from harmful cosmic rays, but it remains to be...
  • Joyce Clark teacher keeps students looking to the stars

    04/12/2018 4:50:04 AM PDT · by SandRat · 1 replies
    Sierra Vista Herald ^ | Johnny Tackitt
    Astronauts are always looking up at the stars in space. But for a seventh-grade science teacher, her stars are in the classroom. “I love seeing the kids when they are engaged and their ‘light bulb’ moments,” said Maura Neill, 57. “I get that moment every day, and I absolutely love it. I’ll stand at my desk and look around the room and see that they are all working. “That is such a wonderful moment.” However, for Neill, who is in her 20th year at Joyce Clark Middle School in Sierra Vista, teaching science goes far beyond the classroom. For many...
  • Air Force Wants Help to Operate and Maintain Space Surveillance Telescopes

    04/11/2018 4:43:54 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 6 replies ^ | April 10, 2018 04:27pm ET | Sandra Erwin, Space News |
    The Air Force Space Command last week posted a "sources sought" notice for the operations and maintenance of a network of space-staring telescopes known as the Ground-based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance System. The Air Force is sizing up the market and not seeking bids yet. Responses are due April 23. The notice came from the 21st Contracting Squadron at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. The squadron is looking for help providing 16-hour-a-day, seven-day a week operations of GEODSS sites at Socorro, New Mexico; Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory; and Maui, Hawaii. A fourth GEODSS site in South Korea was closed in...
  • Stuff in Space

    04/10/2018 8:24:30 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 23 replies
    Stuff in Space ^ | Updated periodically | Staff and others
    Link only, no text.
  • Astronomers Just Found 72 Stellar Explosions, but Don’t Know What’s Causing Them

    04/10/2018 7:50:37 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 39 replies
    Universe Today ^ | 9 Apr, 2018 | Matt Williams
    A supernova is one of the most impressive natural phenomena in the Universe. Unfortunately, such events are often brief and transient, temporarily becoming as bright as an entire galaxy and then fading away. But given what these bright explosions – which occur when a star reaches the end of its life cycle – can teach us about the Universe, scientists are naturally very interested in studying them. Using data from the Dark Energy Survey Supernova (DES-SN) program, a team of astronomers recently detected 72 supernovae, the largest number of events discovered to date. These supernovae were not only very bright,...
  • 'Hole' in the Sun Spawns Powerful Solar Wind; Could Amp Up Auroras

    04/10/2018 4:21:48 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 9 replies ^ | April 10, 2018 11:17am ET | By Samantha Mathewson, Contributor |
    A massive "hole" on the surface of the sun has unleashed a strong solar wind that scientists say may amp up the northern lights in some areas of the U.S. and could disrupt satellite communications over the next few days. Data from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory revealed a vast region where the sun's magnetic field has opened up, creating a gap in the sun's outer atmosphere, called the corona. This region, also known as a coronal hole, allows charged particles to escape and flow toward Earth in an increased solar wind. As a result, the U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center...
  • An Ultra-Powerful Flare Erupted From Our Nearest Neighbor Star

    04/10/2018 3:24:28 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 33 replies
    popularmechanics ^ | Apr 10, 2018 | By John Wenz
    Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the sun, recently burst forth with one of the most powerful flares ever seen for a star its size. The small red dwarf is generally invisible to the human eye, but this flare may have lit it up bright enough for some naked eye observers to see the event—at least under the right conditions, according to Alison Youngblood, a postdoctoral fellow at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. According to the team's findings, the star brightened by a factor of 68 during the "superflare," unleashing 316,227,766,000 petajoules (316,227 petawatts) of energy. Proxima Centauri is just...
  • Goodbye Kepler, hello TESS — passing the baton in the search for distant planets

    04/09/2018 8:38:33 AM PDT · by Simon Green · 3 replies ^ | 04/09/18 | Jason Steffen
    For centuries, human beings have wondered about the possibility of other Earths orbiting distant stars. Perhaps some of these alien worlds would harbor strange forms of life or have unique and telling histories or futures. But it was only in 1995 that astronomers spotted the first planets orbiting sunlike stars outside of our solar system. In the last decade, in particular, the number of planets known to orbit distant stars grew from under 100 to well over 2,000, with another 2,000 likely planets awaiting confirmation. Most of these new discoveries are due to a single endeavor—NASA's Kepler mission. Kepler is...