Large asteroid (285263) 1998 QE2 approaches earth, with the media having fun with the number of cruise ship lengths it is in diameter. Astroswanny captured it from iTelescope.net’s Siding Spring observatory.
Nextbigfuture – Autonomous spacecraft navigating with pulsars is feasible when using either phased-array radio antennas of at least 150 square meter antenna area or compact light-weighted X-ray telescopes (25kg or less) and detectors, which are currently being developed for the next generation of X-ray observatories. Using the X-ray signals from millisecond pulsars we estimated that navigation would be possible with an accuracy of ±5 km in the solar system and beyond. The error is dominated by the inaccuracy of the pulse profiles templates that were used for the pulse peak fittings and pulse-TOA measurements. As pulse profiles templates are known with much higher accuracy in the radio band, it is possible to increase the accuracy of pulsar navigation down to the meter scale by using radio signals from pulsars for navigation.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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