Speak about destruction. A comet slammed into Earth’s atmosphere 28 million years ago and basically killed everything with fire below, leaving a huge deposit of yellow silica glass in its wake, a team of astronomers say.
Remember that planet discovered near Alpha Centauri almost exactly a year ago? As you may remember, it’s the closest system to Earth, making some people speculate about how quickly we could get a spacecraft in that general direction. Four light years is close in galactic terms, but it’s a little far away for the technology we have now — unless we wanted to wait a few tens thousands of years for the journey to complete.
Could this be as surprising as Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates? What you’re looking at here is a container that could one day contain samples of Mars. Yup, even though a “sample return” mission is still years away, the European Space Agency is already designing a container so that when the time comes, they’ll be ready for the trip.
The space age began on October 4, 1957 with the launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1. This tiny spacecraft lasted only three months in orbit, finally burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Following in these historic footsteps, many more spacecraft have been sent into Earth’s orbit, around the Moon, the Sun, the other planets, and even out of the Solar System itself.
Undoubtedly, you’ve been seeing the recent images of Comet ISON now that it is approaching its close encounter with the Sun on November 28. ISON is currently visible to space telescopes like the Hubble and amateur astronomers with larger telescopes. But you might be wondering why many images show the comet with a green-ish “teal” or blue-green color.
Here’s your amazing oh-my-gosh-space-is-so-cool video of the day — a “canyon of fire” forming on the Sun after the liftoff and detachment of an enormous filament on September 29-30. A new video, created from images captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and assembled by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, shows the entire dramatic event unfolding in all its mesmerizing magnetic glory.
Astronauts have said adapting to weightlessness is much easier than readapting to gravity when they returned to Earth. Muscle weakness, wobbly legs, and feeling like the room is spinning is common after long duration spaceflight, not to mention the long-term issues like bone loss, diminished eyesight, and a heart that has to recondition itself to pump blood harder to overcome gravity.
It turns out spiders have similar issues.
What If Earth Was Threatened by An Asteroid Strike? Astronaut Panel Brings Up Ideas To Search, Deflect These Threats
“If we get hit 20 years from now, that’s not bad luck. That’s stupidity.”
That’s what former NASA astronaut Ed Lu has to say about asteroids and our efforts to search for them. He delivered those comments at a panel discussion today at New York’s American Museum of Natural History. He and several other astronauts spoke on behalf of the Association of Space Explorers (which, as the name implies, consists of astronauts, cosmonauts and the like.)
A combination of exceptionally clear weather, the steady approach of northern summer, and a poleward orbital path has given Cassini — and Cassini scientists — unprecedented views of countless lakes scattered across Titan’s north polar region. In the near-infrared mosaic above they can be seen as dark splotches and speckles scattered around the moon’s north pole. Previously observed mainly via radar, these are the best visual and infrared wavelength images ever obtained of Titan’s northern “land o’ lakes!”
Man-made ozone hole near the South Pole shrinks according to scientists because of the warm upper air this September and October.
Scientists detect the most distant spectroscopically confirmed galaxy ever found — one created within 700 million years after the Big Bang.
So often, when we think of all the Apollo missions to the Moon, we recall the videos of the astronauts walking, jumping and driving around on the Moon. But the actual landing of the Lunar Module was such a key – if not nail-biting – part of the mission. Here in this video you can watch all six Apollo lunar landings at once.
Is time travel a fact or is it just science fiction? Thanks to time dilation and Einstein’s theory of relativity, we know that time travel can and actually does happen, albeit only in extremely tiny increments at the speeds and distances we can travel in space. If you add up the accumulated speed cosmonaut Sergei Krivalev has traveled in space – the most of any human with a total time spent in orbit of 803 days 9 hours and 39 minutes – he has actually time-traveled into his own future by 0.02 seconds.
The European Space Agency’s Planck Observatory has delivered many discoveries in its 4.5 year career, ranging from our Milky Way backyard to the first few moments of the Universe, 13.82 billion years ago.