space blog Archive

astronomyTabby Star dimming is likely in solar system dust or exocomets

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Tabby’s star exhibits two unique and very difficult to understand behaviors: the short-term”dips” in brightness (of up to 22%) and long-term brightness variations on years-to-centuries timescales. Since the Kepler mission stopped observing it, it seems to have continued its slow …

astronomyPlasma Magnet Sails to get manned missions to Mars in 1 week

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The plasma magnet sail engine is little more than 2 pairs of charged rotating coils and is therefore extremely simple and inexpensive. A fully powered plasma magnet sail using a small nuclear power source could accelerate at 0.5G and reach …

astronomyNASA JPL trying to develop 2069 mission to Alpha Centauri

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NASA JPL is targeting an interstellar mission to launch by 2069 to Alpha Centauri. A 2016 funding bill called upon NASA to investigate methods of interstellar travel that could reach at least 10 percent of the speed of light by …

astronomyJupiter’s Red Dot is 100 times deeper than Earth’s Oceans

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Data collected by NASA’s Juno spacecraft during its first pass over Jupiter’s Great Red Spot in July 2017 indicate that this iconic feature penetrates well below the clouds. Other revelations from the mission include that Jupiter has two previously uncharted …

astronomySpacex has successful ISS mission with reused rocket and Dragon capsule

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Loaded with some three tons of experiments and supplies, the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft arrived at the International Space Station Dec. 17, where Expedition 53 crew members Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba of NASA captured it by using the …

astronomyArtificial Intelligence helps NASA find 8th exoplanet in another solar system

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Our solar system now is tied for most number of planets around a single star, with the recent discovery of an eighth planet circling Kepler-90, a Sun-like star 2,545 light-years from Earth. The planet was discovered in data from NASA’s …

astronomyAstronomy transformed in the 2020s to rapid event response with real time observations

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The world currently has three gravitational wave detectors (two LIGO detectors and the Virgo detector. These were used last month to detect and spot the location of a neutron star collision 300 million light years away. This was the first …

astronomyWe can send missions to the interstellar objects like 1I/’Oumuamua

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The first definitely interstellar object 1I/’Oumuamua (previously A/2017 U1) observed in our solar system provides the opportunity to directly study material from other star systems. Can such objects be intercepted? The challenge of reaching the object within a reasonable timeframe …

astronomyDark Matter space probe detects cosmic ray gap which might be evidence of dark matter

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A China-led space science mission provide a tantalizing hint—but not firm evidence—for dark matter. Initial analysis of 1.5 million cosmic rays detections has shown a gap in the spectrum. Something is interfering with these cosmic ray energy signals and it …

astronomyNASA Jet Propulsion Lab Video on the first Interstellar Object

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Scientists were surprised and delighted to detect –for the first time– an interstellar asteroid passing through our solar system. Additional observations brought more surprises: the object is cigar-shaped with a somewhat reddish hue. The asteroid, named ‘Oumuamua by its discoverers, …