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Cool Space shit

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www.gizmodo.co.uk/2012...

Interesting to think that in the future when space flight has become the norm that history will look back on this little capsule as the moment space opened up to the rest of the world instead of a select few governments

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Europe backs lunar drilling technology

The European Space Agency has signed a contract to build a prototype drill and chemistry lab that will be flown on a Russian mission to the Moon in 2021. Known as Prospect, the instrument package will be a key contribution to Moscow's Luna-Resurs venture. The equipment will pull up sub-surface material and analyse it for the presence of water and other substances.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/sci...

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Superclusters – regions of space that are densely packed with galaxies – are the biggest structures in the Universe. But scientists have struggled to define exactly where one supercluster ends and another begins. Now, a team based in Hawaii has come up with a new technique that maps the Universe according to the flow of galaxies across space. Redrawing the boundaries of the cosmic map, they redefine our home supercluster and name it Laniakea, which means ‘immeasurable heaven’ in Hawaiian.

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New paper claims that the EM Drive doesn't defy Newton's 3rd law after all

According to the researchers, the exhaust being blasted out is actually light, or more specifically, photons that have become paired up with another out-of-phase photon in order to shoot out of the metal cavity and produce thrust.

So if that's the case, why hasn't anyone detected it before?

The researchers predict that's because photons need to become paired up in order to escape the fuel cavity, so that the two photons in those pairs are out of phase, which means they completely cancel each other out and have no net electromagnetic field. If you think of it like waves of water, if the crest of one wave occurs at the exact same time as the trough of another, they'll cancel each other out and produce a flat patch of water - despite the fact that two waves are still passing through it.

www.sciencealert.com/n...

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'Land' on Pluto's Icy Plains in This Amazing New NASA Video

www.space.com/33432-pl...

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Bonkers

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"EPIC takes a new picture every two hours, revealing how the planet would look to human eyes, capturing the ever-changing motion of clouds and weather systems and the fixed features of Earth such as deserts, forests and the distinct blues of different seas. EPIC will allow scientists to monitor ozone and aerosol levels in Earth’s atmosphere, cloud height, vegetation properties and the ultraviolet reflectivity of Earth."

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Hubble Makes First Measurements of Earth-Sized Exoplanet Atmospheres

On May 4th, 2016, the Hubble Space Telescope made the first spectroscopic measurements of two of the three known Earth-sized exoplanets in the TRAPPIST-1 system just 40 light-years away.

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A Unique View Of The Moon

More info - lroc.sese.asu.edu/post...

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7,500 years ago, a massive star exploded.

It had lived a short life, comparatively, running through its nuclear fuel of hydrogen, helium, carbon, neon, oxygen, silicon; each element fusing faster in turn in a sprint to the finish.

Silicon fuses to iron. When that began, everything for the star ended. Iron built up in the core, and several processes conspired to cause the core’s demise. It was already incredibly dense, but fierce and inexorable quantum mechanical laws took hold, squeezing it further. It collapsed down further, becoming a ball of tightly squeezed neutrons just a few kilometers across.

When it did, it released a flash of energy so colossal it defies our puny human brains. To wit: When the core collapsed, the outer layers of the star started to fall in as well. Moving at high speed, this material was a tsunami with a mass of several octillion tons crashing down… yet the flash of energy from the core was so huge it was able to halt the infall, turn it around, and have enough power left over to fling that same material — several times the mass of our own Sun — outward at a significant fraction of the speed of light.

That is the immensity of a supernova. The star had finished, but a new phase had begun.

www.slate.com/blogs/ba...

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Crazy!

The Terrifying Reason This Star Flickers Every Two Minutes

gizmodo.com/the-terrif...

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that is mad to think about... ffs why cant we see this shit happening in realtime, i want to see these mindbogglingly immense events not read about em... damn being born in a non warp drive time period!! anyways check this out from the comments.. i.kinja-img.com/gawker... holy shit were building some serious telescopes..

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I know what you mean, RJ. But you gotta put it in perspective. It's amazing what's going on at the minute. There's nearly constant planetary missions going on, crazy telescope developments, the whole new area of gravitational wave observations... lots of cool things yet to be discovered.

For example, I was listening to a podcast yesterday and it's been a year since New Horizons flew by Pluto, and the woman talking about it said something which kinda blew my mind. Go back 18 months and the best pictures and info we had on Pluto was this:

www.jpl.nasa.gov/space...

Now we have footage like this, and tonnes of scientific data:

(zoom in on the detail of this awesomeness)
upload.wikimedia.org/w...

and this

upload.wikimedia.org/w...

upload.wikimedia.org/w...

and this

That's all in a period of around 12 months. Such a huge leap in such a small time period. Then we've got the huge new radio telescopes coming online, the JWST... some of the things we'll see in the next 10-15 years is going to be amazing.

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All good stuff indeed chap and whilst the science is great and our understanding of the universe and our local system increases where’s the missions to Enceladus, Titan & Europa? Why aren’t we looking at putting satellites in orbit round these moons and building landers to land on them? I get Mars and why we’re flinging everything at it but seriously do we need another fucking rover to put on it and a cost of untold billions when we should be spending every resource we have going after those 3 moons which imo have the possibility to have actual life on them and not millions of years old extinct shit

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I guess Mars is just the best value for money at the minute. I'm sure the scientists/engineers/experts at NASA, ESA, etc all really want to get to those places too, but if they're not doing it, I'm sure they have their reasons. The Moons of Saturn and Jupiter must be extremely difficult to get to, land and perform experiments on. All the gravitational effects of the huge planets, the extreme surface conditions, the distance to get there... the risks and issues they'd face must just be just too big.

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probably down to radiation, especially coming from Jupiter, we simply don't have the technology or shielding yet to withstand the huge amounts coming from it, sure the recent juno probe to Jupiter the core electronics are behind a ton of shielding

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Juno's flying far closer to Jupiter than where it's moon's orbit though. The radiation on the moon's isn't anywhere near as strong as what Juno has to deal with. Juno's passing only a few thousands of miles from Jupiter's cloud tops. Europa's nearly half a million miles from Jupiter (our moon is roughly half that distance from us, as comparison). Wouldn't be much point in looking there for life if it was doused in high levels of radiation either.

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Juno's electronics are behind 1cm thick titanium shielding and even that won't last for too long.

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SpaceX Fires Up a Second-Hand Booster

On May 5, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a communication satellite into space. A few minutes later, the automated first stage booster guided itself back to Earth, landing on a drone ship in the Atlantic.

That booster was cleaned up, checked out, refitted, and on July 28, SpaceX performed a full-duration test firing of it at its McGregor, Texas, test facility.

This test is a very big deal. The entire purpose of bringing the first stage booster back is to reuse it, saving money. Instead of building a new one at a cost of $60 million, it might only cost a few million to reuse one previously flown.

www.slate.com/blogs/ba...

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Watched a horizon doc on iplayer about Mars. There was a clip of Patrick Moore in the 60s talking about an initial photo coming back from Mariner 6 of Mars, on it approach and he talks about dark and light spots being Oceans and Vegetation. In the 60s, scientists genuinely thought that life on Mars was highly likely.

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Tracing the Canals of Mars: An Astronomer's Obsession

www.space.com/13197-ma...

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damn there are some big stars in the our galaxy..

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Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Aug. 11 and 12 with a Possible Strong Outburst

The annual Perseid meteor shower peaks this year on Aug. 11 and 12, with the best viewing after local midnight. The shower is one of the very best of the year, with 60 or more shooting stars visible every hour.

I have a viewing guide below, but first there’s some unusual news: The shower may have a rare outburst, a big uptick in activity, this year!

www.slate.com/blogs/ba...

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"Sophisticated computer simulations indicate that this year, the Earth should be plowing through a denser than usual part of the stream, creating as many as 200 shooting stars per hour!"

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The So-Called Alien Megastructure Just Got Even More Mysterious

For the first 1000 days of Kepler’s campaign, Tabby’s Star decreased in luminosity by approximately 0.34 percent per year. For the next 200 days, the star dimmed more rapidly, its total stellar flux dropping by 2 percent before leveling off. Overall, Tabby’s Star faded roughly 3 percent during the four years that Kepler stared at it—an absolutely enormous, inexplicable amount. The astronomers looked at 500 other stars in the vicinity, and saw nothing else like it.

gizmodo.com/the-so-cal...

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Please be a dyson sphere please be a dyson sphere...

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NASA's new camera for getting footage of the rocket booster test. Looks crazy.

on.io9.com/XDJ8aDm

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Martians Might Be Real. That Makes Mars Exploration Way More Complicated

THESE ARE EXCITING times for anyone who loves the thought of going to Mars. In just the next five years, the world’s space agencies aim to send five missions to the Red Planet, which will more than double the number of active robots and landers on its surface. In late April, SpaceX announced that it will send an unmanned Red Dragon capsule—the vehicle it eventually plans to use for a human round trip—to the planet as early as 2018. Between the star power of Elon Musk and the success of last year’s movie adaption of Andy Weir’s The Martian, American pop culture has space on its mind again. The notion of colonizing the Red Planet has become respectable, as if it were no more far-fetched (and maybe less) than favoring Marxism.

There’s just one problem: It’s looking more and more likely that Mars might already be inhabited—by Martians. Very tiny ones. Which concerns Cassie Conley.

www.wired.com/2016/08/...

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Want to Find Aliens? Look for Planets That Have Become Stars

gizmodo.com/want-to-fi...

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Asteroid mining company Deep Space Industries announces first commercial mission to near-Earth asteroid; planned launch by the end of the decade.

deepspaceindustries.co...

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Bit of a write up on Tabby's Star - www.slate.com/blogs/ba...

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WHAT ARE MAGNETARS?

But when neutron stars form, about one in ten does something really really strange, becoming one of the most mysterious and terrifying objects in the Universe. They become magnetars. You’ve probably heard the name, but what are they?

www.universetoday.com/...

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WHAT ARE QUARK STARS?

White dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes. These were all theorized by physicists, and have all been discovered by observational astronomers. We know they’re out there.

Is that it? Is that all the exotic forms that stars can take? That we know of, yes, however, there are a few even more exotic objects which are still just theoretical. These are the quark stars. But what are they?

www.universetoday.com/...

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Frozen water-ice just under the surface of Mars, which later sublimated (transitioned directly from solid to gas) in the sunlight.

blogs-images.forbes.co...

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Could You Travel In A Straight Line In Space And Return To Earth?

Back when people thought the Earth was flat, it was almost heretical to suggest that traveling in a straight line for a long enough distance would eventually bring you back to your starting point. But it’s true: travel about 40,000 kilometers (or 25,000 miles) in any one direction — over the mountains, oceans and any other terrain you ran across — and return you would to where you began. It makes you wonder if space could be the same way. If you got in a rocket ship and traveled fast enough for long enough, and didn’t ruin things by colliding with a distant star or galaxy, could you eventually return to where you started?

www.forbes.com/sites/s...

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ISS with the lights off

i.imgur.com/RkeezA0.jpg

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NASA prepares to launch first U.S. asteroid sample return mission

NASA is preparing to launch its first mission to return a sample of an asteroid to Earth. The mission will help scientists investigate how planets formed and how life began, as well as improve our understanding of asteroids that could impact Earth.

The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft will travel to the near-Earth asteroid Bennu and bring a sample back to Earth for intensive study. Launch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EDT Thursday, Sept. 8 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The 4,650-pound (2,110-kilogram) fully-fueled spacecraft will launch aboard an Atlas V 411 rocket during a 34-day launch period that begins Sept. 8, and reach its asteroid target in 2018. After a careful survey of Bennu to characterize the asteroid and locate the most promising sample sites, OSIRIS-REx will collect between 2 and 70 ounces (about 60 to 2,000 grams) of surface material with its robotic arm and return the sample to Earth via a detachable capsule in 2023.

Read more at: ys.org/news/2016-08-na...

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Alien megastructures are back in the headlines after some new research published last week. Astronomer David Kipping explains what we know (and don't know) about this mysterious star and what astronomers mean by "alien megastructures".

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Prof Jason Wright from Penn State explains why Tabby's Star has become known as the most mysterious star in the galaxy and how you can help him and Tabby Boyajian solve this mystery.

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More on the NASA mission to sample an asteroid...

NASA's New Asteroid Sampler Will Illuminate Solar System's History

In 7 years, scientists hope to directly analyze materials from the asteroid Bennu, an object that may reveal what conditions were like in the solar system 4.5 billion years ago.

Why an Asteroid?
Why Bennu?
The Gentle High Five

eos.org/articles/nasas...

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good to see the eos getting a bit of use

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Oh aye lad, have it in my RSS reader after your recommendation.

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All NASA funded research in one free to use repository

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/p...

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What do aliens look like? The clue is in evolution

Speculating about what aliens look like has kept children, film producers and scientists amused for decades. If they exist, will extra terrestrials turn out to look similar to us, or might they take a form beyond our wildest imaginings? The answer to this question really depends on how we think evolution works at the deepest level.

Read more at: ys.org/news/2016-08-al...

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ESO ANNOUNCEMENT TO ADDRESS REPORTS OF PROXIMA CENTAURI EXOPLANET

For years, exoplanet hunters have been busy searching for planets that are similar to Earth. And when earlier this month, an unnamed source indicated that the European Southern Observatory (ESO) had done just that – i.e. spotted a terrestrial planet orbiting within the star’s habitable zone – the response was predictably intense.

The unnamed source also indicated that the ESO would be confirming this news by the end of August. At the time, the ESO offered no comment. But this morning, the ESO broke its silence and announced that it will be holding a press conference on Wednesday, August 24th.

No mention was made as to the subject of the press conference or who would be in attendance. However, it is safe to assume at this point that it’s main purpose will be to address the burning question that’s on everyone’s mind: is there an Earth-analog planet orbiting the nearest star to our own?

www.universetoday.com/...

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Keep an eye out if you're anywhere pretty dark and the skies are clear over the next few nights...

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Dear AuroraWatch UK subscriber,

Red alert: aurora likely.

It is likely that aurora will be visible by eye and camera from anywhere
in the UK. Viewing aurora requires clear, dark skies away from light
pollution.

To monitor current activity see aurorawatch.lancs.ac.uk.

Issued 2016-08-23 13:25 UTC (14:25 BST) by AuroraWatch UK using SAMNET
LAN2 data from Lancaster, UK.

You received this email because you have previously agreed to receive
AuroraWatch UK alerts. If you no longer wish to receive alerts please
unsubcribe by visiting
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lol

Red alert cancelled

Update: we believe the interference was caused by University staff mowing the grass on a sit-on mower. We’ll work with the facilities team to try and avoid an incident such as this occurring in the future!

wp.lancs.ac.uk/auroraw...

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Astronomers have found an Earth-like planet orbiting the closest star to our Solar System, Proxima Centauri. This next-door planet is warm enough for liquid water, is almost certainly rocky and terrestrial, and could even have an atmosphere. It's named Proxima B.

www.popularmechanics.c...

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SES company first to use 'second-hand' SpaceX rocket

Luxembourg-based SES says it is going to be the first commercial satellite operator to launch a spacecraft on a "second-hand" rocket. The company is booked to fly its SES-10 platform on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that was previously used to send cargo to the space station in April.

It will be a historic moment in commercial rocketry. The traditional booster is expendable; all parts of it are discarded in the climb to orbit. But now that California-based SpaceX has developed a means to recover flown stages intact, the rocket business looks set to enter a new era.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/sci...

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Alien Hunters Spot Freaky Radio Signal Coming From Nearby Star

It’s still too early to tell if the signal is coming from an extraterrestrial civilization, but the researchers say it’s serious enough that scientists should now permanently monitor this new target. HD164595 is practically the same size and age as our own sun, it shares a similar chemistry, and it’s less than 100 light-years away. What’s more, it hosts at least one known planet, a warm Neptune in a circular orbit. It’s very possible that other planets reside within this system.

gizmodo.com/alien-hunt...

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Scrap that. It seems there's been an update to the story since I first saw it a few days ago...

Update: Turns out not everyone is impressed with this anomalous signal. Here’s what Daren Lynch from SETI@home has to say about it:

I was one of the many people who received the the email with the subject “Candidate SETI SIGNAL DETECTED by Russians from star HD 164595 by virtue of RATAN-600 radio telescope.” Since the email did come from known SETI researchers, I looked over the presentation. I was unimpressed. In one out of 39 scans that passed over star showed a signal at about 4.5 times the mean noise power with a profile somewhat like the beam profile. Of course SETI@home has seen millions of potential signals with similar characteristics, but it takes more than that to make a good candidate. Multiple detections are a minimum criterion.

Because the receivers used were making broad band measurements, there’s really nothing about this “signal” that would distinguish it from a natural radio transient (stellar flare, active galactic nucleus, microlensing of a background source, etc.) There’s also nothing that could distinguish it from a satellite passing through the telescope field of view. All in all, it’s relatively uninteresting from a SETI standpoint.

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