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Keyword: mars

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  • Mars Set to Make Closest Approach to Earth in 11 Years

    05/28/2016 1:22:57 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 36 replies
    abc News on Yahoo ^ | 5/26/16 | Alyssa Newcomb - abc News
    If Martians exist, they'll be closer to Earth on Memorial Day than they have been in 11 years. This Monday, around 5:34 p.m. EDT, when many Americans may be enjoying a holiday barbecue, the Red Planet will be the closest it has been to Earth in more than a decade, coming within 46.8 million miles, according to NASA. The relatively close encounter with Earth comes a week after the Martian opposition, when Mars and the sun lined up on exact opposite sides of the Earth.
  • Mars Used To Look More White Than Red

    05/26/2016 12:49:12 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 27 replies
    popularmechanics.com ^ | 05/26/2016 | William Herkewitz
    Had you searched the sky with a telescope just a few hundred thousand years ago, you would have struggled to find a red planet. Instead, you would have seen a gleaming-white ice ball where Mars should be. A team of astronomers led by Isaac Smith, an astrophysicist at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, has collected the first concrete evidence that Mars has just exited an extreme ice age, one so intense it would have put Earth's recent frosty foray to shame. Using cameras and a radar-pinging device on board NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Smith's team deduced this history...
  • India's Mini-Shuttle Blasts Into Elon Musk's Race For Space

    05/23/2016 6:14:59 AM PDT · by Republic_Venom · 21 replies
    www.ndtv.com ^ | May 23, 2016 | Anurag Kotoky, Ganesh Nagarajan, Bloomberg
    India successfully launched a scale model of a reusable spacecraft on Monday, a project that in time could pit the nation against billionaires Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk in the race to make access to space cheaper and easier. The winged vessel -- one-fifth of full size -- blasted off on a rocket from Sriharikota base on the southeastern coast, the Indian Space Research Organisation said. The spacecraft reached an altitude of 65 kilometers (40 miles) and glided back at supersonic speeds for a splashdown in the Bay of Bengal. The test took about 13 minutes.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Milky Way and Planets Near Opposition

    05/21/2016 12:47:18 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | Saturday, May 21, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: In this early May night skyscape, a mountain road near Bursa, Turkey seems to lead toward bright planets Mars and Saturn and the center of our Milky Way Galaxy, a direction nearly opposite the Sun in planet Earth's sky. The brightest celestial beacon on the scene, Mars, reaches its opposition tonight and Saturn in early June. Both will remain nearly opposite the Sun, up all night and close to Earth for the coming weeks, so the time is right for good telescopic viewing. Mars and Saturn form the tight celestial triangle with red giant star Antares just right of...
  • Mars Is Ready For Its Close-Up: Red Planet Easy To Spot This Weekend

    05/21/2016 10:47:53 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    Sometimes astronomy can be challenging, but spotting Mars this weekend should be a breeze. Step 1: Head outside right after sunset and look toward the southeastern sky. Step 2: Find the full moon. (So far, so good, right?) Step 3: Look up and to the right, and find what looks like a bright red star. That's Mars, our planetary neighbor — getting up close and personal. This weekend is the "Mars opposition," when the planet shines most brightly; at the end of the month, in a related event, we'll have the "Mars close approach," when there's the shortest distance between...
  • Humans on Mars: Scouting Needed for Red Planet Resources

    05/17/2016 6:27:21 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 48 replies
    Space.com ^ | 05/16/2016 | Leonard David,
    Last year, scientists proposed nearly 50 locations on Mars as possible places for future human landings. Those landing-zone sites contain "regions of interest" that can be reached from primary touchdown spots. Good touchdown sites will allow crews to land safely and carry out operations; offer a wealth of interesting science activities; and provide resources that the astronauts could use. For example, any favored exploration zone should allow expeditionary crews to tap into at least 100 metric tons (110 U.S. tons) of water, NASA officials have said. With its suite of instruments and cameras — particularly the sharp-shooting High Resolution Imaging...
  • NASA planning 'suspended animation' cryosleep chamber that lets astronauts hibernate...

    05/16/2016 7:07:18 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 26 replies
    mirror.co.uk ^ | 15:16, 16 May 2016 | Jasper Hamill
    "The idea of suspended animation for interstellar human spaceflight has often been posited as a promising far-term solution for long-duration spaceflight," said Dr John Bradford, CEO of the firm. The cryosleep system works by chilling humans and artificially inducing a state of hypothermia so astronauts can hibernate for up to two weeks. A similar technique is already used to cool the body of someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest in a bid to avoid brain damage. This would allow just one space man or woman to maintain the ship, meaning the spacecraft could be much smaller and travel more...
  • Sparks-based Sierra Nevada Corp. looks to hire up to 1,000 employees

    05/15/2016 8:32:40 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 2 replies
    mynews4.com ^ | Thursday, May 12th 2016 | By Matthew Seeman |
    Sierra Nevada Corporation was looking to make the hiring push over the course of a year. Most positions will be in Colorado, she said, but many positions, including administrative staff and some technical and engineering positions, will be in the Reno-Sparks area. ... The company is growing thanks to several new government and commercial contracts it has received this year, she explained, citing a new contract to resupply the International Space Station starting in 2019. Sierra Nevada Corp. received several contracts to provide hardware for NASA's 2020 Mars mission, according to a statement from the company released earlier this month.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Falcon 9 and Milky Way

    05/14/2016 1:08:21 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | Saturday, May 14, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On May 6, the after midnight launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lit up dark skies over Merritt Island, planet Earth. Its second stage bound for Earth orbit, the rocket's arc seems to be on course for the center of the Milky Way in this pleasing composite image looking toward the southeast. Two consecutive exposures made with camera fixed to a tripod were combined to follow rocket and home galaxy. A 3 minute long exposure at low sensitivity allowed the rocket's first stage burn to trace the bright orange arc and a 30 second exposure at high sensitivity...
  • Have you seen Mars?

    05/12/2016 4:41:57 PM PDT · by yoe · 33 replies
    Earth Sky ^ | May 12, 2016
    On May 22, Earth will fly between Mars and the sun for the first time in two years. It now appears in a triangle with Saturn and Antares. Recent images here![snip] The video above – by Jeremy Evans – shows the Milky Way Rising with Saturn, Mars, and Antares from Vermillion Cliffs National Monument near the Utah/Arizona border.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Saturn and Mars visit Milky Way Star Clouds

    05/10/2016 4:57:55 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | Tuesday, May 10, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Planets, stars, nebulas and a galaxy -- this impressive image has them all. Closest to home are the two planets Mars (right) and Saturn (center), visible as the two bright orange spots in the upper half of the featured image. On the central right are the colorful Rho Ophiuchus star clouds featuring the bright orange star Antares lined up below Mars. These interstellar clouds contain both red emission nebulas and blue reflection nebulas. At the top right of the image is the Blue Horsehead reflection nebula. On the lower left are many dark absorption nebulas that extend from the...
  • Mars and Earth are getting closer (for now)

    05/06/2016 1:06:47 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 13 replies
    The red planet will soon be closer to Earth that it has been in 11 years: On May 30, Mars will be about 46.8 million miles (75.3 million kilometers) from Earth. Yes, that’s still a long way off, but sometimes Mars is 249 million miles (400 million kilometers) from Earth. What does this close approach mean for sky watchers? It means Mars will appear bigger and brighter from May 18 until June 3, according to NASA. But you don’t have to wait. Mars already is putting on a spectacular show in the early morning sky. And you don’t need a...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Crossing Mars

    05/03/2016 12:36:30 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | Monday, May 02, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Where is NASA's rover Curiosity going on Mars? Its geographical goals are on the slopes of Mount Sharp, whose peak is seen in the background on the right. A key scientific goal, however, remains to better assess when and where conditions on Mars were once suitable for life, in particular microbial life. To further this goal, Curiosity was directed to cross the rugged terrain of Nautkluft Plateau, visible in the featured image on the foreground left. Curiosity is crossing toward smoother uphill sites with rocks containing hematite and sulfates, sites that could give the rolling rover new clues on...
  • Boeing demonstrates lightest metal ever

    10/15/2015 10:44:31 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 35 replies
    phys.org ^ | October 15, 2015 | Bob Yirka
    Airplane maker Boeing has unveiled what it calls the "The Lightest Metal Ever"—called microlattice, the material is a construct that is 99.99 per cent air. It has been developed by Boeing's HRL Laboratories along with colleagues at the University of California and the California Institute of Technology. The material has been developed as a way to reduce weight on airplanes or even rockets—a paper describing the development of the material was written by the team and published in the journal Science back in 2011—though the researchers have not yet revealed what sort of changes have been made since that time....
  • SpaceX planning to be first private company to land on Mars by 2018

    04/27/2016 12:05:14 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 26 replies
    www.mirror.co.uk ^ | Updated 19:23, 27 Apr 2016 | By David Raven
    The company said it is planning to send their Dragon spacecraft to the red planet as early as 2018 SpaceX is planning to be the first private company to land on Mars within the next two years. The company said it is planning to send its Dragon spaceraft to the red planet as early as 2018. Bosses announced their intentions in a statement on Twitter this afternoon. A spokesperson tweeted: "Planning to send Dragon to Mars as soon as 2018. Red Dragons will inform overall Mars architecture, details to come." Earlier this month the US aerospace company successfully landed a...
  • Confessed time-traveller pretty sure he'll win U.S. presidency

    04/26/2016 2:31:04 PM PDT · by rickmichaels · 105 replies
    Toronto Sun ^ | April 26, 2016 | Postmedia Network
    If Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton don't resonate with American voters, they always have Andrew Basiago -- a presidential candidate who is pretty sure he's going to become "either president or vice-president" between 2016 and 2028, according to information he's gathered time travelling. Cheekily calling his campaign "a time for truth," Basiago, 54, brags on his site that he "served bravely in the two secret U.S. defence projects in which time travel on Earth and voyages to Mars were first undertaken." Basiago -- who has made similar claims in the past -- also said he's helped several former presidents make...
  • NASA's Bolden: Mars mission is 'closer than ever'

    04/03/2016 2:17:50 PM PDT · by repentant_pundit · 31 replies
    CNBC ^ | April 2, 2016 | Trent Gillies
    In the movie, "The Martian," Matt Damon was a fictional astronaut stranded on Mars. In reality, the head of NASA says astronauts could set foot on the Red Planet within the next twenty years. "We think we're on the right trajectory to get humans to Mars in the 2030's," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden told CNBC's "On the Money" in an interview this week. He should know: Prior to assuming NASA's top job in 2009, Bolden was himself an astronaut for 14 years, commanding two space shuttle missions during that time. The U.S.'s top space official says he's confident the agency's...
  • Mars Colony Will Have To Wait, Says NASA Scientists

    03/31/2016 10:05:23 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 72 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | 03/30/2016 | matt williams
    Establishing a human settlement on Mars has been the fevered dream of space agencies for some time. Long before NASA announced its “Journey to Mars” – a plan that outlined the steps that need to be taken to mount a manned mission by the 2030s – the agency’s was planning how a crewed mission could lead to the establishing of stations on the planet’s surface. And it seems that in the coming decades, this could finally become a reality. But when it comes to establishing a permanent colony – another point of interest when it comes to Mars missions –...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- NASA's Curiosity Rover at Namib Dune (360 View)

    03/29/2016 9:40:37 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | Tuesday, March 29, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Point or tilt to see a spectacular view of Mars visible to the Curiosity rover last December. In the foreground, part of Curiosity itself is visible, including its dusty sundial. Starting about seven meters back, the robotic rover is seen posing in front of a 5-meter tall dark sand dune named Namib, one of many dunes that span Bagnold field. Further in the distance is the summit of Mt. Sharp, the 5.5-kilometer peak at the center of 150-km wide Gale crater, the crater where Curiosity landed a few years ago. The featured composite spans a full 360-degrees around by...
  • New Mars map backs theory of plate tectonics at work

    10/17/2005 7:33:37 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 8 replies · 495+ views
    AFP on Yahoo ^ | 10/17/05 | AFP
    WASHINGTON (AFP) - A first-ever high-resolution map of Mars' entire magnetic field provides new evidence that Earth-like plate tectonics - great crustal plates pulling apart and crashing together - underpin the Red Planet's surface geology, US space agency NASA said. Using the map made by the National Aeronautic and Space Administration's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, scientists were able to detect signs of transform faults, which are tell-tale indications of plate tectonics on Earth. The results of the scientists' research appeared in the October 10 edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Evidence of plate tectonics at...
  • 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...
  • How Do We Terraform Mars?

    03/17/2016 11:37:24 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 72 replies
    Universe Today ^ | 3/15/16 | Matt Williams
    Artist's conception of a terraformed Mars. Credit: Ittiz/Wikimedia Commons Guide to Space, Mars, TerraformingHow Do We Terraform Mars? 15 Mar , 2016 by Matt Williams As part of our continuing “Definitive Guide To Terraforming” series, Universe Today is happy to present our guide to terraforming Mars. At present, there are several plans to put astronauts and ever settlers on the Red Planet. But if we really want to live there someday, we’re going to need to do a complete planetary renovation. What will it take?Despite having a very cold and very dry climate – not to mention little atmosphere...
  • Russia Thinks It Can Use Nukes to Fly to Mars in 45 Days—If It Can Find the Rubles

    03/11/2016 8:12:05 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 23 replies
    Last week, their national nuclear corporation Rosatom announced it isbuilding a nuclear engine that will reach Mars in a month and a half—with fuel to burn for the trip home. Russia might not achieve its goal of launching a prototype by 2025. But that has more to do with the country’s financial situation...than the technical challenges of a nuclear engine. ... “A nuclear contraption should not be too far off, not too complicated,” says Nikolai Sokov, senior fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, CA. “The really expensive thing will be designing a ship around these...
  • Monster volcano gave Mars extreme makeover: study

    03/03/2016 11:08:06 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 17 replies
    phys.org ^ | March 2, 2016 by | Laurence Coustal, Marlowe Hood
    A volcano on Mars half the size of France spewed so much lava 3.5 billion years ago that the weight displaced the Red Planet's outer layers, according to a study released Wednesday. Mars' original north and south poles, in other words, are no longer where they once were. The findings explain the unexpected location of dry river beds and underground reservoirs of water ice, as well as other Martian mysteries that have long perplexed scientists, the lead researcher told AFP. "If a similar shift happened on Earth, Paris would be in the Polar Circle," said Sylvain Bouley, a geomorphologist at...
  • Merchants of Despair! Robert Zubrin on Jacki Daily Show podcast!

    03/02/2016 6:15:15 PM PST · by RaceBannon · 6 replies
    The Jacki Daily Show ^ | 3/2/16 | The Jacki Daily Show
    Be Educated, not just entertained! Listen to The Jacki Daily Show! Jacki speaks with Robert Zubrin, author of Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism about the origins of the Green Party. @JackiDailyShow Jack Ekstrom of Vice President, Corporate and Government Relations Whiting Petroleum https://soundcloud.com/jacki-daily/the-dark-history-of-the-green-party-322016
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- White Rock Fingers on Mars

    02/16/2016 2:27:32 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | February 15, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What caused this unusual light rock formation on Mars? Intrigued by the possibility that they could be salt deposits left over as an ancient lakebed dried-up, detailed studies of these fingers now indicate a more mundane possibility: volcanic ash. Studying the exact color of the formation indicated the possible volcanic origin. The light material appears to have eroded away from surrounding area, indicating a very low-density substance. The stark contrast between the rocks and the surrounding sand is compounded by the unusual darkness of the sand. The featured picture was taken with the Thermal Emission Imaging System on the...
  • Mysterious Martian "Cauliflower" May Be the Latest Hint of Alien Life

    02/05/2016 1:23:16 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 13 replies
    smithsonianmag.com ^ | 02/01/2016 | Sarah Scoles
    The hunt for signs of life on Mars has been on for decades, and so far scientists have found only barren dirt and rocks. Now a pair of astronomers thinks that strangely shaped minerals inside a Martian crater could be the clue everyone has been waiting for. In 2008, scientists announced that NASA's Spirit rover had discovered deposits of a mineral called opaline silica inside Mars's Gusev crater. That on its own is not as noteworthy as the silica's shape: Its outer layers are covered in tiny nodules that look like heads of cauliflower sprouting from the red dirt. No...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Five Planets at Castell de Burriac

    02/06/2016 7:12:45 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    NASA ^ | February 06, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: February's five planet line-up stretches across a clear sky in this predawn scene. A hilltop Castell de Burriac looms in the foreground, overlooking the town of Cabrera de Mar near Barcelona, Spain, planet Earth. The mosaicked, panoramic image looks south. It merges three different exposure times to record a bright Last Quarter Moon, planets, seaside city lights, and dark castle ruins. Seen on February 1st the Moon was near Mars on the sky. But this week early morning risers have watched it move on, passing near Saturn and finally Venus and Mercury, sliding along near the ecliptic toward the...
  • NASA's Mars Rover Found Mysterious Growths On Mars That Could Be The Biggest Discovery In Science

    02/05/2016 12:46:49 AM PST · by blam · 42 replies
    BI ^ | 2-5-2016
    NASA's Spirit Mars Rover Found Mysterious Growths On Mars That Could Be The Biggest Discovery In Science Jennifer Deal February 5, 2016 Four billion years ago, Mars looked a lot like Earth does today. So it's not surprising that a team of scientists believe that they may have discovered the first signs of ancient alien life on the planet.(click to the site to see the video)
  • The Moon or Mars? NASA Must Pick 1 Goal for Astronauts, Experts Tell Congress

    02/04/2016 2:57:22 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 37 replies
    space.com ^ | 02/04/2016 | Calla Cofield,
    NASA can't afford to put humans on Mars while also pursuing missions to put astronauts back on the moon, according to a panel of experts who testified to the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Space yesterday (Feb. 3). "Today the future of NASA's human spaceflight program is far from clear," said Tom Young, former director of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "There has been continual debate about should we go to the moon or Mars or both ... It is clear, again, that we cannot do both. And there is a need to focus our attention, capability and resources...
  • Scientists Debate Signatures of Alien Life

    02/03/2016 7:23:06 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 19 replies
    Quanta Magazine ^ | 2/2/16 | Natalie Wolchover
    Scientists Debate Signatures of Alien Life Searching for signs of life on faraway planets, astrobiologists must decide which telltale biosignature gases to target. Photo illustration by Olena Shmahalo/Quanta Magazine February 2, 2016 Comments (5) Share this: facebooktwitterredditmail PDF Print Huddled in a coffee shop one drizzly Seattle morning six years ago, the astrobiologist Shawn Domagal-Goldman stared blankly at his laptop screen, paralyzed. He had been running a simulation of an evolving planet, when suddenly oxygen started accumulating in the virtual planet’s atmosphere. Up the concentration ticked, from 0 to 5 to 10 percent.“Is something wrong?” his wife asked.“Yeah.”The rise of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Five Planet Dawn [see my preemptive comment]

    01/30/2016 3:23:39 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    NASA ^ | January 30, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: As January closes and in the coming days of February, early morning risers can spot the five naked-eye planets before dawn. Though some might claim to see six planets, in this seaside panoramic view all five celestial wanderers were found above the horizon along with a bright waning gibbous Moon on January 27. Nearly aligned along the plane of the ecliptic, but not along a line with the Sun, the five planets are spread well over 100 degrees across the sky. Just arriving on the predawn scene, fleeting Mercury stands above the southeastern horizon in the golden light of...
  • ...Antarctic fungi survives Martian conditions...strapped outside the space station for 18 months

    01/28/2016 6:28:56 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 9 replies
    daily mail uk ^ | 01/25/2016 | cheyenne macdonald
    After a year-and-a-half long voyage aboard the International Space Station, a group of fungi collected from Antarctica has proven its ability to withstand harsh, Mars-like conditions. More than half of the cells remained intact over the course of the 18-month study, providing new insight for the possibility of life on Mars. These fungal samples, along with lichens from Spain and Austria, have allowed European researchers to assess the survivability and stability of microscopic lifeforms on the red planet. The tiny fungi taken from Antarctica are typically found in the cracks of rocks in this dry, hostile region. Scientists took samples...
  • 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.
  • Former commercial astronaut says NASA must lead the way in space exploration

    01/23/2016 4:31:17 AM PST · by Marcus · 6 replies
    Blasting News ^ | Jan 23, 2016 | Mark R. Whittington
    Charles D. Walker (a former commercial astronaut), kicked up something of a fuss recently when he opined in the pages of the Arizona Daily Star that NASA should lead the way in space exploration and not leave everything to the private sector. The reasons he cites are risk and lack of a clear profit motive, particularly related to going to Mars. The commercial space sector should be encouraged to bring down the cost of space travel, particularly by operating a space taxi service to the International Space Station, in his view. But NASA must lead the way in exploration, particularly...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Dark Sand Dune on Mars

    01/19/2016 1:31:48 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 25 replies
    NASA ^ | January 19, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What is that dark sand dune doing on Mars? NASA's robotic rover Curiosity has been studying it to find out, making this the first-ever up-close investigation of an active sane dune on another world. Named Namib Dune, the dark sand mound stands about 4 meters tall and, along with the other Bagnold Dunes, is located on the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp. The featured image was taken last month and horizontally compressed here for comprehensibility. Wind is causing the dune to advance about one meter a year across the light bedrock underneath, and wind-blown sand is visible on the...
  • WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR ELON MUSK REVEALS HIS MARS COLONIAL TRANSPORTER PLANS?

    01/01/2016 9:05:08 PM PST · by MinorityRepublican · 34 replies
    Universe Today ^ | January 1, 2016 | Nancy Atkinson
    There are several space stories we’re anticipating for 2016 but one story might appear — to some — to belong in the realm of science fiction: sometime in the coming year Elon Musk will likely reveal his plans for colonizing Mars. Early in 2015, Musk hinted that he would be publicly disclosing his strategies for the Mars Colonial Transport system sometime in late 2015, but then later said the announcement would come in 2016.
  • Spot five planets at once and a transit of Mercury in 2016

    12/31/2015 11:16:31 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 3 replies
    Batlimore Sun ^ | 12/31/2015 | Scott Dance
    Skywatchers will have many opportunities in 2016 to see just how small we are in the universe. Four days into the new year, hundreds of meteors will dance across the night skies.... Come September, an outer ring of the sun's annular eclipse will be visible across Africa. In between, there will be spectacular shooting stars, super moons, and lunar eclipses to take in. ... From about Jan. 20 to Feb. 20, all five planets that are visible to the naked eye — Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn — will occupy the morning sky. This hasn't happened since 2005, according...
  • Astrobiology Top 10: Earth's Moon May Not Be Critical to Life

    12/25/2015 12:03:24 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 44 replies
    Astrobiology ^ | Wednesday, December 23, 2015 | Keith Cooper
    In 1993, French astronomer Jacques Laskar ran a series of calculations indicating that the gravity of the Moon is vital to stabilizing the tilt of our planet. Earth's obliquity, as this tilt is technically known as, has huge repercussions for climate. Laskar argued that should Earth's obliquity wander over hundreds of thousands of years, it would cause environmental chaos by creating a climate too variable for complex life to develop in relative peace. So his argument goes, we should feel remarkably lucky to have such a large moon on our doorstep, as no other terrestrial planet in our solar system...
  • A Challenge to Get to Mars and Back

    12/25/2015 6:31:42 AM PST · by Kaslin · 73 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | December 25 | Suzanne Fields
    Measure it any way you like, but this hasn't been that championship season of the "can do" spirit of America. Most of the presidential campaigners spend their allotted minutes criticizing what's wrong with the country, how others have made a mess of things and why voters should put them in charge of changing things. It's difficult to find the formula through the haze of confusion and fog of rhetoric. There's far more blowhard nastiness than creative eloquence. That's what politics is about, of course, but it gets tiresome in the holiday season when we're craving inspiration from our better angels,...
  • Earth-Smashing Space Rocks Undercounted

    12/23/2015 10:12:19 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 16 replies
    discovery.com ^ | 12/22/2015 | Mariette Le Roux, AFP
    Most studies of potential Earth-smashers focus on objects in the asteroid belt roughly between Mars, Earth's outside neighbour, and Jupiter on its other flank, said the researchers. But they noted that the discovery in the last two decades of hundreds of giant comets dubbed centaurs, albeit with much larger orbits, requires expanding the list of potential hazards. These balls of ice and dust, typically 50-100 kilometres (31-62 miles) wide, have unstable, elliptical orbits that start way beyond Neptune, the most distant planet from the Sun. Their paths cross those of the giant planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, whose gravity...
  • NASA's next Mars mission suspended

    12/24/2015 6:14:20 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 8 replies
    cnn ^ | Amanda Barnett and Azadeh Ansari,
    space agency planned to launch a new Mars lander called InSight in March from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. InSight, short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations Geodesy and Heat Transport, was expected to arrive at Mars in September to take measurements of the red planet's interior and its atmosphere and to take color images. Instead, it's being sent back to its maker - Lockheed Martin - in Denver, Colorado. The faulty instrument is a very sensitive seismometer designed to measure movements in the Martian soil as small as the diameter of an atom, NASA said in a statement....
  • NASA calls off next Mars mission; no time to fix leaky seal

    12/22/2015 7:31:16 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 22 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Dec 22, 2015 5:54 PM EST | Mike Schneider
    NASA is calling off its next mission to Mars because there isn't enough time to fix a leaky seal on a key science instrument. The InSight spacecraft was set for launch in March. The problem is with a protective pouch around the lander's seismometer, which was designed to measure ground movement on the red planet. NASA managers and French designers of the instrument said Tuesday they must now decide whether the pouch's vacuum seal needs to be repaired, redesigned or the mission scrapped. ...
  • Curiouser And Curiouser: NASA's Curiosity Rover Finds Piles Of Silica On Mars

    12/19/2015 4:50:10 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 37 replies
    NPR ^ | 12/18/2015 | Bill Chappell
    In a finding that suggests "considerable water activity" on Mars, NASA says its Curiosity rover has found very high concentrations of silica on the red planet. The agency says it also found "a mineral named tridymite, rare on Earth and never seen before on Mars." The discoveries took place on Mount Sharp, where Curiosity drilled into a rock called "Buckskin" to find the tridymite, and where it used its "ChemCam" laser to measure high silica levels. The odd findings led researchers to take the rare step of ordering Curiosity to retrace its path to learn more. Explanations for the high...
  • Curiosity Reaches Massive Field of Spectacularly Rippled Active Martian Sand Dunes

    12/14/2015 8:53:19 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 23 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | 14 Dec , 2015
    The dark dunes, named the "Bagnold Dunes," skirt the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp and lie on the alien road of Curiosity's daring trek up the lower portion of the layered Martian mountain. Today, Dec 14, Curiosity is exploring a spectacular spot dubbed the "Namib Dune" shown in our new photo mosaic above. Ascending and diligently exploring the sedimentary lower layers of Mount Sharp, which towers 3.4 miles (5.5 kilometers) into the Martian sky, is the primary destination and goal of the rovers long term scientific expedition on the Red Planet. ... Before crossing the dune field, the team is...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Dark Sand Cascades on Mars

    11/30/2015 9:43:23 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    NASA ^ | November 29, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: They might look like trees on Mars, but they're not. Groups of dark brown streaks have been photographed by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on melting pinkish sand dunes covered with light frost. The above image was taken in 2008 April near the North Pole of Mars. At that time, dark sand on the interior of Martian sand dunes became more and more visible as the spring Sun melted the lighter carbon dioxide ice. When occurring near the top of a dune, dark sand may cascade down the dune leaving dark surface streaks -- streaks that might appear at first...
  • "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...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Planets of the Morning

    11/26/2015 9:20:51 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | November 26, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Planet Earth's horizon stretches across this recent Solar System group portrait, seen from the southern hemisphere's Las Campanas Observatory. Taken before dawn it traces the ecliptic with a line-up familiar to November's early morning risers. Toward the east are bright planets Venus, Mars, and Jupiter as well as Regulus, alpha star of the constellation Leo. Of course the planets are immersed in the faint glow of zodiacal light, visible from the dark site rising at an angle from the horizon. Sometimes known as the false dawn, it's no accident the zodiacal light and planets both lie along the ecliptic....
  • Mars Will Become a Ringed Planet When Phobos Dies

    11/23/2015 7:09:44 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 27 replies
    Discovery News ^ | 23 Nov, 2015 | IRENE KLOTZ
    Phobos survived a giant impact early in its history, but damage from the crash left the moon weak, say Benjamin Black and Tushar Mittal, planetary scientists with University of California at Berkeley. Their study shows that in 20 million to 40 million years, Phobos will break apart, leaving a cloud of debris that will relatively quickly assembly into a ring around Mars. Initially, the ring will be as dense as Saturn's rings today, and it will last for up to 100 million years, the study shows.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Phobos: Doomed Moon of Mars

    11/22/2015 6:33:53 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 42 replies
    NASA ^ | November 22, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This moon is doomed. Mars, the red planet named for the Roman god of war, has two tiny moons, Phobos and Deimos, whose names are derived from the Greek for Fear and Panic. These martian moons may well be captured asteroids originating in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter or perhaps from even more distant reaches of the Solar System. The larger moon, Phobos, is indeed seen to be a cratered, asteroid-like object in this stunning color image from the robotic Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, recorded at a resolution of about seven meters per pixel. But Phobos orbits...