Universe Today – NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) literally ‘saw the light’ just days before crashing into the lunar farside last Thursday April 17. Skimming just a few kilometers above the moon’s surface, mission controllers took advantage of this unique low angle to gaze out over the moon’s horizon in complete darkness much like the Apollo astronauts did from lunar orbit more than 40 years ago.
Universe Today – Space enthusiast and software engineer Ciro Villa has brought some of these references closer to home with these fun graphics that provide accurate size ratios and proportions of objects in space compared to places on Earth.
This graphic imagines asteroid 243 Ida as it would fantastically hover over the city of St. Louis, Missouri. Credit and copyright: Ciro Villa.
Elon Musk, CEO and founder of the upstart commercial launch venture SpaceX, announced at a press conference today, Friday, April 25, that SpaceX is filing suit against the Federal Government to protest and break the US Air Force’s awarding of lucrative launch contracts for high priority national security satellites to a sole rocket provider – United Launch Alliance (ULA) – on a non competitive basis.
Nextbigfuture – A U.S. Court of Federal Claims judge issued an injunction late Wednesday prohibiting a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing from proceeding with plans to buy Russian-made rocket engines. SpaceX sued the federal government Monday, protesting the Air Force’s award of a lucrative space contract, saying it should have been competitively bid.
Nextbigfuture – Dr. James F. Woodward explains how to build faster-than-light warp drives and even stargates, based on Mach’s principle which would allow spacetime distortions compatible with general relativity. In his research lab at California State University, Fullerton, he tries to demonstrate Mach effects in various experiments to validate the theory.
Nextbigfuture – In a startling challenge to the widely-popular Big Bang theory, new evidence, to be published this week in the International Journal of Modern Physics, D, indicates that the universe is not expanding after all. The evidence, based on detailed measurements of the size and brightness of hundreds of galaxies, adds to a growing list of observations that contradict the predictions of the increasingly complex Big Bang model.
Nextbigfuture – There could be a whole category of nearby, cool stellar objects which could be referred to as ‘Luhman objects’ A Brown Dwarf object that is thought to be between -48 to -13 degrees Celsius, colder than previous record holders, which were found to be close to room temperature. WISE imagery from 2010 was confirmed by two additional images taken by Spitzer in 2013 and 2014, with further observations at the Gemini South telescope on Cerro Pachon in Chile. The WISE and Spitzer data were used to measure the distance to the object via parallax. It turns out to be 7.2 light years away, fitting nicely into the chart below, which shows the Sun’s immediate neighborhood.