Posts Tagged ‘space’

Home Sweet Supercluster

October 30, 2017

Superclusters, the biggest structures in the Universe, are regions of space densely packed with galaxies.  A team based in Hawaii redrew the boundaries of the cosmic map and redefined Earth’s home supercluster. They named it Laniakea, Hawaiian for “immeasurable heaven.”

More:

“Earth’s new address: ‘Solar System, Milky Way, Laniakea,'” Elizabeth Gibney, Nature

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Lunar

September 20, 2017

“Lunar,” A short film by Christian Stangl using archival photos and audio from NASA. Soundtrack by Wolfgang Stangl.
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Voyager Space Probe Survives From the Age of Disco

September 14, 2017

Voyager Space Probe Survives From the Age of Disco

The NASA Voyager space probes were launched in 1977, the Age of Disco. They’ve been staying alive for 40 years, and are now 13 billion miles from Earth, traveling through deep interstellar space. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is celebrating the anniversary with free commemorative posters.

See the  Voyager film, The Farthest, on PBS.

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China Launches ‘Space Truck’

April 25, 2017

China Launches 'Space Truck'

Last Thursday a Long March-7 Y2 rocket took off from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Centre on Hainan carrying an unmanned Tianzhou-1 cargo resupply spacecraft, which will dock with the “Heavenly Palace 2” Tiangong 2 space laboratory. Billionaires Jeff  Bezos and Elon Musk were not involved, so you heard nothing about it.

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New Earth-Like Planets Discovered

February 23, 2017

Seven new Earth-sized planets have been discovered orbiting a (relatively) nearby star. The star, called Trappist-1, is much smaller than our sun, and is classified as an ultra-cool dwarf.

To this stunning announcement we only add this observation:  Ultra-Cool Dwarf would be a great name for a rock band.

The newly discovered exoplanets very likely have liquid water, meaning they may host alien life forms not yet in the Trump Administration.

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Radio in Space @ Distance

February 13, 2017

Radio in Space @ Distance

If extraterrestrials out in space are listening to Earth’s radio broadcasts right now, what are they hearing? Hip Hop? The Beatles? Walter Winchell? Al Jolson? Enrico Caruso? That depends on how far away they are. That’s the premise behind simulation website Lightyear.fm.

More:

“Lightyear.fm shows the ‘contemporary’ music extraterrestrials are rocking out to,” Christopher Curley, A.V. Club

“Stunning Sim Shows How Far Hit Songs Have Traveled in Space,” Tim Moynihan, Wired

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Did Comets Prepare Earth for Life?

February 9, 2017

Did Comets Prepare Earth for Life?

One of the big Space stories last year involved the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission to the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.  Data from the mission found that the 2.5 mile long “dirty snowball” orbiting the sun every 6.44 years contains not just frozen water and water vapor but the mineral phosphorus and the amino acid glycine, two more of the building blocks of life.

More:

“Rosetta’s comet has the right ingredients for life,” Rachel Feltman, Washington Post

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Space Aliens Communicate With Earth. Maybe.

January 3, 2017

Space Aliens Communicate With Earth. Maybe.

“Two Canadian astronomers published a study that claims an anomaly in the pulsing of a group of stars is possibly evidence of an alien civilization. ….

The scientists Ermanno Borra and Éric Trottier from the Université Laval in Quebec analyzed modulations in 2.5 million stars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey project and concluded that 234 of them exhibited strange behavior. In fact, the stars seemed to be signaling, with the conceivable explanation that it’s aliens trying to make contact.”

— “Astronomers Detect Strange Star Signals That Are ‘Probably’ Aliens Making Contact,” Paul Ratner, Big Think

More:

“Either stars are strange, or there are 234 aliens trying to contact us,” Evan Gough, Universe Today via Phys.org

Download the paper here.

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Space Elevators

June 12, 2016

Space elevators explained, by Kurzgesagt (German for “in a nutshell”).

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Here Comes a Comet. Duck!

March 22, 2016

Here Comes a Comet. Duck!

Comet P/2016 BA14 is passing close to Earth today, whizzing by a mere 2.2 million miles above our planet. You may have felt the breeze from its twin yesterday. Comet 252P/LINEAR came within 3.3 million miles of us.

More:

“A ‘Tail’ of Two Comets,” Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA

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