Why is the sky blue? It’s a question that you’d think kids have been asking for thousands of years, but it might not be that old at all. The ancient Greek poet Homer never used a word for blue in The Odyssey or The Iliad, because blue is one of the last colors that cultures pick out a word for.
One of the benefits of having a spacecraft in orbit around another planet for several years is the ability to make long-term observations and interpretations. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been orbiting Mars for over seven years now, and by studying before-and-after images from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, scientists have been [...]
Imagine to place New York City on another planet in our solar system. Life of course would cease to exist at least as we know it. You will realize once more that our beautiful blue planet is very rare. The following illustrations were made with the help of Marilyn Vogel.
Images and videos are still coming in from last week’s spectacular annular eclipse of the Sun, seen across Australia and the southern Pacific region on May 10, 2013.
NASA’s Kepler telescope has lost its ability to precisely point toward stars, putting its exoplanet search in jeopardy. One of the reaction wheels –devices which enable the spacecraft to aim in different directions without firing thrusters – has failed. This is of grave concern because last year reaction wheel #2 failed, and now #4 has failed. Kepler scientists say the spacecraft needs at least three reaction wheels to be able to point precisely enough to hunt for planets orbiting distant stars.
In the last century humanity has taken gigantic leaps forward in the robotic exploration of the cosmos — not least in the search for habitable worlds and environments that could house life outside of the Earth. The next logical step is for humanity itself to leave the confines of our planet, and take on long-term human exploration of the Solar System. Mars in particular is a key target for future human planetary adventures even though on the face of it, it seems so hostile to human life.
Houston, We Have A Viral Video – Chris Hadfield In Space
John McGinnis, a 47-year-old composite manufacturer, he taught himself fluid dynamics and aeronautical engineering over twenty years. His conceptual aircraft Synergy could be quieter, cheaper and at more than 40 mpg, up to three times as fuel-efficient.
My six-year old daughter is a question asking machine. We were driving home from school a couple of days ago, and she was grilling me about the nature of the Universe. One of her zingers was this, “What’s the Biggest Star in the Universe”? I had an easy answer, the Universe is a big place, and there’s no way we can possibly know what the biggest star is. But that’s not a real answer. So she refined the question. What’s the biggest star that we know of?
The research team, led by Alberto Saal of Brown University, analyzed the isotopic composition of hydrogen found in water within tiny bubbles of volcanic glass (supercooled lava) as well as melt inclusions (blobs of melted material trapped in slowly cooling magma that later solidified) in the Apollo-era rocks, as shown in the image above. Specifically, they looked at the ratio of deuterium isotopes (“heavy” hydrogen atoms that contain an added neutron) to normal hydrogen atoms.
Coming home to clear blue skies, green grass and warm weather, the Expedition 35 crew of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, NASA’s Tom Marshburn and Russia’s Roman Romanenko has returned after spending just over five months on the International Space Station.
Although scientists say this new method can’t find Earth-sized worlds using current technology, it offers astronomers a unique discovery opportunity. Unlike radial velocity searches, it doesn’t require high-precision spectra. Unlike transits, it doesn’t require a precise alignment of planet and star as seen from Earth.