This perspective view of Pluto, based on the latest high-resolution images from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, shows what you would see if you were approximately 1,100 miles (1,800 kilometers) above Pluto’s equatorial area, looking northeast over the dark, cratered, informally named Cthulhu Regio toward the bright, smooth, expanse of icy plains informally called Sputnik Planum. The entire expanse of terrain seen in this image is 1,100 miles (1,800 kilometers) across. The images were taken as New Horizons flew past Pluto on July 14, 2015, from a distance of 50,000 miles (80,000 kilometers).
WASHINGTON – Apple is known for keeping a pretty tight leash on apps, often blocking or refusing to sell programs it deems too offensive or too sexually suggestive.
The creator of an app that tracks published reports of American drone strikes around the world probably figured his program was in no danger of running afoul of Apple’s strict rules.
Source: CBS DC
Liquid water runs down canyons and crater walls over the summer months on Mars, according to researchers who say the discovery raises the chances of being home to some form of life.
The trickles leave long, dark stains on the Martian terrain that can reach hundreds of metres downhill in the warmer months, before they dry up in the autumn as surface temperatures drop.
“The mystery has been, what is permitting this flow? Presumably water, but until now, there has been no spectral signature. From this, we conclude that the RSL are generated by water interacting with percholorates, forming a brine that flows downhill.”
Images taken from the Mars orbit show cliffs, and the steep walls of valleys and craters, streaked with summertime flows that in the most active spots combine to form intricate fan-like patterns.
Scientists are unsure where the water comes from, but it may rise up from underground ice or salty aquifers, or condense out of the thin Martian atmosphere.
“There is liquid water today on the surface of Mars,” Michael Meyer, the lead scientist on Nasa’s Mars exploration programme, told the Guardian. “Because of this, we suspect that it is at least possible to have a habitable environment today.”
The water flows could point Nasa and other space agencies towards the most promising sites to find life on Mars, and to landing spots for future human missions where water can be collected from a natural supply.
Some of the earliest missions to Mars revealed a planet with a watery past. Pictures beamed back to Earth in the 1970s showed a surface crossed by dried-up rivers and plains once submerged beneath vast ancient lakes. Earlier this year, Nasa unveiled evidence of an ocean that might have covered half of the planet’s northern hemisphere in the distant past.
But occasionally, Mars probes have found hints that the planet might still be wet. Nearly a decade ago, Nasa’s Mars Global Surveyor took pictures of what appeared to be water bursting through a gully wall and flowing around boulders and other rocky debris. In 2011, the high-resolution camera on Nasa’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured what looked like little streams flowing down crater walls from late spring to early autumn. Not wanting to assume too much, mission scientists named the flows “recurring slope lineae” or RSL.
Researchers have now turned to another instrument on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to analyse the chemistry of the mysterious RSL flows. Lujendra Ojha, of Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, and his colleagues used a spectrometer on the MRO to look at infrared light reflected off steep rocky walls when the dark streaks had just begun to appear, and when they had grown to full length at the end of the Martian summer. Read the rest of this entry »
Tonight’s the night — a rare blood moon total lunar eclipse.
And you can watch it all live, as the supermoon turns blood red tonight during a total lunar eclipse September 2015.
Others will be live streaming it as well (see the end of this post for links to your favorite blood moon (supermoon) lunar eclipse live streams and feeds.
The supermoon will rise at about 6:30 p.m. CDT across Alabama. (Get moonrise times for other locations throughout the United States here.) The lunar eclipse will begin at 8:07 p.m. CDT (or 9:07 p.m. EDT and 6:07 p.m. PDT).
The total eclipse will last over a hour and begin at 9:11 p.m. CDT (or 10:11 p.m. EDT or 7:11 p.m. PDT)
Not only will there be an eclipse, but the moon will also be about 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than usual — a supermoon.
Supermoons are not not rare. In fact this is the fifth one in 2015 alone. But Sunday’s moon will be the closest to Earth in all of 2015, coming within 221,753 miles of our planet.
Tonight’s supermoon is rare because of its timing with the total lunar eclipse. The last time it happened was in 1982, and the next time it will happen will be in 2033.
This eclipse will also bring about the fourth and final blood moon of a lunar tetrad that began in 2014. (A lunar tetrad is used to describe four total lunar eclipses in a row, separated by six lunar months or six full moons).
So it will be a skywatcher’s extravaganza. But what if the weather doesn’t cooperate?
There are many opportunities to view the eclipse online tonight.
The Marshall Space Flight Center plans to offer views of the eclipse from the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, the Fernbank Observatory in Atlanta and other locations across the United States.
Here are other places to view the eclipse as well: Read the rest of this entry »
NASA will detail a major science finding from the agency’s ongoing exploration of Mars during a news briefing at 11:30 a.m. EDT on Monday, Sept. 28 at the James Webb Auditorium at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The event will be broadcast live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
News conference participants will be:
· Jim Green, director of planetary science at NASA Headquarters
· Michael Meyer, lead scientist for the Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters
· Lujendra Ojha of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta
A brief question-and-answer session will take place during the event with reporters on site and by phone. Members of the public also can ask questions during the briefing using #AskNASA.
To participate in the briefing by phone, reporters must email their name, media affiliation and telephone number to Steve Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org by 9 a.m. EDT on Monday. Read the rest of this entry »
Человек и Вселенная (Man and the Universe) by Alexei Leonov and Andrei Sokolov, 1976.
Drew Olanoff writes: Sending things to space isn’t cheap, which is exactly why Elon Musk got into the business with SpaceX. In a press release today about some newly signed contracts for use of its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles, the company updated just how much money it has booked.
Seven Billion Dollars under contract for the 60 missions on manifest. To put all of this into perspective, Uber has raised $8.2 Billion to date.
Space exploration is a capital intensive business. To date, SpaceX has raised $1.2 billion. Given the massive discrepancy between the startup’s past raise total, and its recent raise quantity, it seems quite reasonable to presume that the firm isn’t cash poor looking ahead in the short, or moderate term. Read the rest of this entry »
British Airways Flight Catches Fire on Las Vegas Runway
At least two people were injured after an engine on a London-bound British Airways jet caught fire on a Las Vegas airport runway Tuesday.
McCarren Airport said the incident involved British Airways flight 2276, which was headed to London’s Gatwick Airport.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says the plane’s left engine caught fire Tuesday afternoon while it was preparing for take off. A plume of black smoke could be seen billowing into the sky but firefighters quickly doused the aircraft with fire retardant. Read the rest of this entry »
Ben Kuroki, the only Japanese American to fly over Japan during WW II, has died. He was 98.
Buzz Aldrin Joins Florida Institute of Technology, Forming ‘Master Plan’ for Colonizing Mars within 25 YearsPosted: August 29, 2015
“The Pilgrims on the Mayflower came here to live and stay. They didn’t wait around Plymouth Rock for the return trip, and neither will people building up a population and a settlement.”
— Buzz Aldrin
The second man to walk on the moon took part in a signing ceremony Thursday at the university, less than an hour’s drive from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The Buzz Aldrin Space Institute is set to open this fall.
The 85-year-old Aldrin, who followed Neil Armstrong onto the moon’s surface on July 20, 1969, will serve as a research professor of aeronautics as well as a senior faculty adviser for the institute. Read the rest of this entry »
This is how fast the space probe is.
“The six astronauts won’t be sneaking a sip. It’s all for science.”
A Japanese company known for its whiskey and other alcoholic beverages included five types of distilled spirits in a space station cargo ship. The station’s big robotic arm — operated by Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui — grabbed onto the supply craft launched Wednesday by his homeland. Flight controllers helped anchor it down.
The supply ship contains nearly 10,000 pounds of cargo, including the six liquor samples. Suntory Global Innovation Center in Tokyo wants to see if alcoholic beverages mellow the same in space as they do on Earth.
[Also see – うん！Suntory Plans Space-Aged Whiskey]
The samples will be used for experiments and will spend at least a year in orbit before being returned to Earth. An identical set of samples will be stored on the ground in Japan. Read the rest of this entry »