A great celebratory eruption accompanied the successful launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket in early February. That launch was a big moment for people who are thoughtful about the long arc of humanity’s future.
Hosts: Fraser Cain ( universetoday.com / @fcain ) Dr. Paul M. Sutter ( pmsutter.com / @PaulMattSutter ) Dr
Amazing High Resolution Image of the Core of the Milky Way, a Region with Surprisingly Low Star Formation Compared to Other Galaxies
Compared to some other galaxies in our Universe, the Milky Way is a rather subtle character. In fact, there are galaxies that are a thousands times as luminous as the Milky Way, owing to the presence of warm gas in the galaxy’s Central Molecular Zone (CMZ). This gas is heated by massive bursts of star formation that surround the Supermassive Black Hole (SMBH) at the nucleus of the galaxy
Proxima Centauri Just Released a Deadly Flare, so it’s Probably not a Great Place for Habitable Planets
Since it’s discovery was announced in August of 2016 , Proxima b has been an endless source of wonder and the target of many scientific studies. As the closest extra-solar planet to our Solar System – and a terrestrial planet that orbits within Proxima Centauri’s circumstellar habitable zone (aka. “Goldilocks Zone”) – scientists have naturally wondered whether or not this planet could be habitable
This week’s Carnival of Space is hosted by Gadi Eidelheit at his The Venus Transit blog. Click here to read Carnival of Space #550. And if you’re interested in looking back, here’s an archive to all the past Carnivals of Space
Precise New Measurements From Hubble Confirm the Accelerating Expansion of the Universe. Still no Idea Why it’s Happening
In the 1920s, Edwin Hubble made the groundbreaking revelation that the Universe was in a state of expansion. Originally predicted as a consequence of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity , this confirmation led to what came to be known as Hubble’s Constant
The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) is celebrating 22 years of observing the Sun, marking one complete solar magnetic cycle in the life of our star. SOHO is a joint project between NASA and the ESA and its mission is to study the internal structure of the sun, its extensive outer atmosphere, and the origin of the solar wind. The activity cycle in the life of the Sun is based on the increase and decrease of sunspots.
Venus returns – The changing phases of Venus, from the 2013 apparition.
The microgravity in space causes a number of problems for astronauts, including bone density loss and muscle atrophy . But there’s another problem: weightlessness allows astronauts’ spines to expand, making them taller. The height gain is permanent while they’re in space, and causes back pain.
On September 15th, 2017 , after nearly 20 years in service, the Cassini spacecraft ended its mission by plunging into the atmosphere of Saturn. During the 13 years it spent in the Saturn system, this probe revealed a great deal about the gas giant, its rings, and its systems of moons. As such, it was a bittersweet moment for the mission team when the probe concluded its Grand Finale and began descending into Saturn’s atmosphere
NASA’s Earth Observatory is a vital part of the space agency’s mission to advance our understanding of Earth, its climate, and the ways in which it is similar and different from the other Solar Planets. For decades, the EO has been monitoring Earth from space in order to map it’s surface, track it’s weather patterns, measure changes in our environment, and monitor major geological events. For instance, Mount Sinabung – a stratovolcano located on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia – became sporadically active in 2010 after centuries of being dormant
After sixty years of space agencies sending rockets, satellites and other missions into orbit, space debris has become something of a growing concern.
For decades, astrophysicists have puzzled over the relationship between Supermassive Black Holes (SMBHs) and their respective galaxies.
SpaceX Launches the First of Thousands of Space Internet Satellites, but Didn’t Quite Catch the Fairing
After multiple delays, SpaceX’s PAZ mission launched from from Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenburg Air Force Base on the morning of Thursday, February 22nd. Shortly after it reached orbit, the rocket deployed its payload (the PAZ Earth Observing satellite) as well as and two Starlink demonstrations satellites that will test SpaceX’s ability to provide broadband internet service from orbit. In addition, this launch was the first time that SpaceX would be attempting to “catch” the payload fairings from a Falcon 9 rocket using a retrieval ship.
When visionary entrepreneur Elon Musk founded SpaceX in 2002, he did so with the intention of rekindling human space exploration and sending humans to Mars. Intrinsic to this vision was the reduction of costs associated with individual launches, which has so far been focused on the development of reusable first-stage rockets. However, the company recently announced that they are looking to make their rocket’s payload fairings reusable as well
Astronomers have discovered the most distant supernova yet, at a distance of 10.5 billion light years from Earth. The supernova, named DES16C2nm, is a cataclysmic explosion that signaled the end of a massive star some 10.5 billion years ago.
Hosts: Fraser Cain ( universetoday.com / @fcain ) Dr. Paul M. Sutter ( pmsutter.com / @PaulMattSutter ) Dr.
One of the most visible signs of Climate Change are the ways in which glaciers and ice sheets have been disappearing all over the world. This trend is not reserved to the Arctic ice cap or the Antarctic Basin, of course. On every part of the planet, scientists have been monitoring glaciers that have been shrinking in the past few decades to determine their rate of loss.
On September 8th. 2016, NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) launched from Earth to rendezvous with the asteroid 101955 Bennu. This mission will be the first American robotic spacecraft to rendezvous with an asteroid, which it will reach by December of 2018, and return samples to Earth for analysis (by September 24th, 2023)
The discovery of alien life is one of those things that everyone thinks about at some point. Hollywood has made their version of first contact very clear: huge alien vessels appear over Earth’s cities, panic ensues, and Will Smith saves the day with a Windows 3.1 virus