On October 19th, 2017 , the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System -1 (Pan-STARRS-1) telescope in Hawaii announced the first-ever detection of an interstellar asteroid – I/2017 U1 (aka. ‘Oumuamua).
The Weekly Space Hangout will be on hiatus July and August. Join us when we return in September! Announcements: Astronomy Cast , the show Fraser cohosts with Dr. Pamela Gay, will be celebrating their 500th episode the weekend of Sept 15-16, 2018.
The Hubble Space Telescope is the oldest space telescope in operation, having spent the past twenty-eight years in orbit. Nevertheless, this mission is still hard at work revealing things about our Solar System, neighboring exoplanets, and some of the farthest reaches of the Universe. And every so often, it also captures an image that happens to turn up something interesting and unexpected
The Cassini orbiter revealed many fascinating things about the Saturn system before its mission ended in September of 2017 . In addition to revealing much about Saturn’s rings and the surface and atmosphere of Titan (Saturn’s largest moon), it was also responsible for the discovery of water plumes coming from Enceladus ‘ southern polar region. The discovery of these plumes triggered a widespread debate about the possible existence of life in the moon’s interior
A Satellite With a Harpoon, Net and Drag Sail to Capture Space Junk is in Orbit and Will be Tested Soon
After almost seventy years of spaceflight, space debris has become a rather serious problem. This junk, which floats around in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), consists of the spent first rocket stages and non-functioning satellites and poses a major threat to long-term missions like the International Space Station and future space launches. And according to numbers released by the Space Debris Office at the European Space Operations Center (ESOC), the problem is only getting worse.
Even though the Cassini orbiter ended its mission on of September 15th, 2017, the data it gathered on Saturn and its largest moon, Titan , continues to astound and amaze. During the thirteen years that it spent orbiting Saturn and conducting flybys of its moons, the probe gathered a wealth of data on Titan’s atmosphere, surface, methane lakes, and rich organic environment that scientists continue to pore over. For instance, there is the matter of the mysterious “sand dunes” on Titan, which appear to be organic in nature and whose structure and origins remain have remained a mystery.
Hosts: Fraser Cain ( universetoday.com / @fcain ) Dr.
When looking to study the most distant objects in the Universe, astronomers often rely on a technique known as Gravitational Lensing .
In the 1960s, astronomers began to notice that the Universe appeared to be missing some mass. Between ongoing observations of the cosmos and the the Theory of General Relativity , they determined that a great deal of the mass in the Universe had to be invisible. But even after the inclusion of this “dark matter”, astronomers could still only account for about two-thirds of all the visible (aka
Venus and the waxing crescent Moon above the Grand Palais in Paris, France from May 17th.
Martian dust storms, which occur during the summer season in the planet’s southern hemisphere, can get pretty intense. Over the course of the past few weeks, a global dust storm has engulfed Mars and forced the Opportunity rover to suspend operations . Given that this storm is much like the one that took place back in 2007 , which caused the Spirit rover to be lost, there have been concerns over how this storm could affect rover operations
Welcome to the 566-567th Carnival of Space! The Carnival is a community of space science and astronomy writers and bloggers, who submit their best work each week for your benefit. We have a fantastic double-feature roundup today, so now, on to these two week’s worth of stories! Chandra: Chandra Scouts Nearest Star System for Possible Hazards Star Shredded by Rare Breed of Black Hole Red Nuggets’ are Galactic Gold for Astronomers NextBigFuture: Two new Star Trek TV shows and two limited series are in development Will future war be about ultra-massive drones swarms and super-weapons somewhat like Ender’s Game? SpaceX BFR can be used for massive space development, orbital, lunar and Mars colonization Planetaria: Life at Alpha Centauri
Since the 1990s, astrophysicists have known that for the past few billion years, the Universe has been experiencing an accelerated rate of expansion. This gave rise to the theory that the Universe is permeated by a mysterious invisible energy known as “dark energy”, which acts against gravity and is pushing the cosmos apart.
Scientists first observed the Medusae Fossae Formation (MFF) in the 1960s, thanks to the efforts of the Mariner spacecraft . This massive deposit of soft, sedimentary rock extends for roughly 1,000 km (621 mi) along the equator and consists of undulating hills, abrupt mesas, and curious ridges (aka. yardangs) that appear to be the result of wind erosion
The Fermi Paradox remains a stumbling block when it comes to the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI). Named in honor of the famed physicist Enrico Fermi who first proposed it, this paradox addresses the apparent disparity between the expected probability that intelligent life is plentiful in the Universe, and the apparent lack of evidence of extra-terrestrial intelligence (ETI). In the decades since Enrico Fermi first posed the question that encapsulates this paradox (“Where is everybody?”), scientists have attempted to explain this disparity one way or another.
During the 1930s, astronomers came to realize that the Universe was in a state of expansion. By the 1990s, it became learned that the rate of expansion was accelerating, giving rise to the theory of “Dark Energy”. Because of this, in the next 100 billion years, all stars within the Local Group – the part of the Universe that includes a total of 54 galaxies, including the Milky Way – will expand beyond the cosmic horizon
Hosts: Fraser Cain ( universetoday.com / @fcain ) Dr. Paul M
Billions of years ago, Earth’s atmosphere was much different than it is today. Whereas our current atmosphere is a delicate balance of nitrogen gas, oxygen and trace gases, the primordial atmosphere was the result of volcanic outgassing – composed primarily of carbon dioxide, methane, ammonia, and other harsh chemicals
In March of 2015, NASA’s Dawn mission became the first spacecraft to visit the protoplanet Ceres, the largest body in the Main Asteroid Belt. It was also the first spacecraft to visit a dwarf planet, having arrived a few months before the New Horizons mission made its historic flyby of Pluto.
In 2006, NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) established orbit around the Red Planet. Using an advanced suite of scientific instruments – which include cameras, spectrometers, and radar – this spacecraft has been analyzing landforms, geology, minerals and ice on Mars for years and assisting with other missions. While the mission was only meant to last two years, the orbiter has remained in operation for the past twelve.