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Astronomy (General/Chat)

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  • NASA spots piping hot batch of new sunspots

    06/03/2020 10:01:41 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 12 replies
    NY Post ^ | June 2, 2020 | | Mike Wehner
    Just a couple of days ago, NASA helped spot a new batch of sunspots and the flares arcing above them. In a new blog post, NASA explains that the flares weren’t particularly powerful and didn’t register with NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, but NASA’s own hardware was able to detect them. The space agency suggests that the sunspots and flares could be an indication that the star is becoming more active yet again. The Sun typically runs on cycles that last around 11 years on average. During times of high activity, called the solar maximum, sunspots and flares are frequent....
  • NASA’s Dragon riders capture the flag, nine years after it was left on the space station

    06/01/2020 5:35:29 PM PDT · by Libloather · 35 replies
    Geekwire ^ | 6/01/20 | Alan Boyle
    A day after arriving at the International Space Station on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken laid claim to a U.S. flag that symbolizes America’s capability to send people to orbit from U.S. soil. The handkerchief-sized flag, sealed in a plastic envelope, has been kept aboard the space station since 2011, when NASA’s final space shuttle crew left it behind before making their departure aboard Atlantis. It was displayed above the Harmony module’s hatch - and, for a time, stored in an equipment bag, nearly forgotten - with instructions that it was to be taken...
  • Sun unleashes biggest flare since 2017. Is our star waking up?

    05/31/2020 6:40:04 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 23 replies
    Space.com ^ | 31 May 2020 | Mike Wall -
    Today's flare was an M-class eruption, so it was no monster. (And it wasn't aimed at Earth, so there's no chance of supercharged auroras from a potential associated coronal mass ejection of solar plasma.) But the outburst could still be a sign that the sun is ramping up to a more active phase of its 11-year activity cycle, NASA officials said. If that's the case, the most recent such cycle, known as Solar Cycle 24, may already have come to an end. Scientists peg the start of new cycles at "solar minimum," the time when the sun sports the fewest...
  • Trekking The Roman Road To Scotland

    05/31/2020 12:27:12 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 25 replies
    Timeline ^ | May 31, 2020 | host Tony Robinson
  • [WACKO ALERT] Explosive research claims the moon could be man-made by humans from the future

    01/30/2016 2:33:59 PM PST · by rickmichaels · 86 replies
    Daily Star ^ | January 30, 2016 | Rory McKeown
    For billions of years, the moon has been the Earth's visible companion - and source of intrigue. It is considered to be our planet's only natural satellite and widely accepted to have been created by "The Big Whack" - from debris left over after a huge impact between Earth and an asteroid. But what if the moon is not as natural as we believe and is actually man made? Researchers Christopher Knight and Alan Butler have spent years writing and compiling scientific theories that the moon may have been created by us or even aliens. They claim there are a...
  • Party like it's nineteen sixty nine

    05/30/2020 2:33:40 PM PDT · by cll · 33 replies
    Free Republic | 5/30/2020 | cll
    Strange feeling. An endless war on the other side of the world, communism ravaging the world like/with a virus, race riots in U.S. cities, and a spectacular spacefaring feat developing before our eyes. It's party like it's 1969 all over again!
  • Tunguska event may be caused due to an asteroid

    05/28/2020 3:47:45 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 74 replies
    Tech Explorist ^ | May 21, 2020 | Amit Malewar
    On the morning of 30 June 1908, a large explosion occurred near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in Yeniseysk Governorate (now Krasnoyarsk Krai), Russia. That event is known as the Tunguska event that leveled trees across more than 2,000 square kilometers. It is classified as an impact event, even though no impact crater has been found. Due to the remoteness of the site and the limited instrumentation available at the time of the event, modern scientific interpretations of its cause and magnitude have relied chiefly on damage assessments, and geological studies conducted many years after the fact. The most likely cause...
  • Reflecting the International Space Station (Astronomy Picture of the Day)

    05/28/2020 7:07:12 AM PDT · by MtnClimber · 8 replies
    APOD NASA ^ | 28 May, 2020 | Helmut Schnieder/NASA
    Explanation: Still bathed in sunlight, the International Space Station arced through the evening sky over lake Wulfsahl-Gusborn in northern Germany, just after sunset on March 25. The familiar constellation of Orion can be seen left of the trail of the orbital station's bright passage. On the right, Venus is the brilliant evening star above the western horizon. With the camera fixed to a tripod, this scene was captured in a series of five exposures. How can you tell? The short time delay between the end of one exposure and the beginning of the next leaves small gaps in the ISS...
  • Earth and Moon through Saturn's Rings (NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day)

    05/27/2020 5:28:59 AM PDT · by MtnClimber · 15 replies
    APOD/NASA ^ | 27 May, 2020 | Cassini Imaging Team
    Explanation: What are those dots between Saturn's rings? Our Earth and Moon. Just over three years ago, because the Sun was temporarily blocked by the body of Saturn, the robotic Cassini spacecraft was able to look toward the inner Solar System. There, it spotted our Earth and Moon -- just pin-pricks of light lying about 1.4 billion kilometers distant. Toward the right of the featured image is Saturn's A ring, with the broad Encke Gap on the far right and the narrower Keeler Gap toward the center. On the far left is Saturn's continually changing F Ring. From this perspective,...
  • Researchers observe protons 'playing hopscotch' in a high-pressure form of ice

    05/26/2020 3:15:41 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 16 replies
    Phys.org ^ | 05/25/2020
    An international team of researchers from University College Dublin (UCD) and University of Saskatchewan, Canada, have observed 'proton-hopping' movement in a high-pressure form of ice (Ice VII lattices). Ordinary water ice is known as Ice I, while Ice VII is a cubic crystalline form of ice which can be formed from liquid water above 3 GPa (30,000 atmospheres) by lowering its temperature to room temperature, or by decompressing heavy water (D2O) Ice VI below 95 K. Ice VII has a simple structure of two inter-penetrating, and effectively independent, cubic-ice sub-lattices, and is stable across a wide-ranging region above 2 GPa....
  • UFO Subreddit Was Subject to Systemic Censorship

    05/26/2020 9:18:58 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 3 replies
    vicebrazil ^ | May 21 2020, | Matthew Gault
    Reddit’s premier gathering place for all things UFO—was automatically blocking posts that used the words “Navy” or “Pentagon,” and was also deleting posts about a recent incident in Brazil. This censorship has led to infighting on the subreddit. /r/UFO moderator axolotl_peyotl cried foul when he noticed other moderators culling posts with the word “Brazil” days after people filmed a UFO above Magé When axolotl_peyotl checked the automod, he found that ‘Brazil’ had recently been added to the list of restricted words. “I could also see the history of the edits on the spam filter. And not only that, one of...
  • Tiny Cardboard Aircraft Could Fly in the Skies of Mars

    05/26/2020 2:41:54 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 10 replies
    Universe Today ^ | 5/26/20 | Nancy Atkinson
    Tiny Cardboard Aircraft Could Fly in the Skies of Mars What would be the best method for exploring planetary atmospheres, such as at Mars, Venus or even Earth? One group of researchers are developing tiny, levitating “nanocardboard” aircraft that could hover in alien skies. They would fly like dust floating in beams of sunlight – but intelligently, and with a purpose.“It’s exciting because it’s essentially a new mechanism of flight,” said Igor Bargatin from the University of Pennsylvania. “We’re talking about a structure half an inch in size that can fly around without any moving parts.”For several years, Bargatin has...
  • Asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago crashed into Earth at 'the deadliest possible angle' of 60 degrees which maximized production of greenhouse gases

    05/26/2020 11:45:21 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 72 replies
    Daily Mail (UK) ^ | 11:45 EDT, 26 May 2020 | Ian Randall
    The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs around 66 million years ago crashed into Earth at “the deadliest possible angle”, researchers have concluded. The giant impacter struck what is today Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula at around 60 degrees — maximizing the production of climate-altering greenhouse gases. The global disaster caused by the space rock — which was bigger than Mount Everest — was far worse than once thought, Imperial College London experts said. Previous studies had suggested the asteroid came in at an angle of around 30 degrees, while others concluded that it crashed almost straight down. However, the team’s computer...
  • Francis Bacon’s 400-year-old list of scientific foibles holds lessons for modern scientists

    05/24/2020 8:51:35 PM PDT · by Borges · 16 replies
    ScienceMag ^ | 3/17/2020 | Kevin P. Weinfurt
    In the early 17th century, the English philosopher and statesman Francis Bacon envisioned a bold, multiphase program to accumulate knowledge of the natural world. A critical part of this plan was Novum Organum, which celebrates its 400th anniversary this year. In this work, Bacon attempted to undo the centuries-old dominance of Aristotelian forms of inquiry, encouraging readers to instead apply inductive reasoning to carefully curated observations of the natural world. “Book One” of Novum Organum addressed why so little progress had thus far been made in understanding nature. Here, Bacon cautioned against “idols and false notions” that can interfere with...
  • Mystic Mountain Monster being Destroyed (Astronomy Picture of the Day)

    05/25/2020 1:52:20 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 23 replies
    NASA APOD ^ | Hubble/NASA
    Explanation: Inside the head of this interstellar monster is a star that is slowly destroying it. The huge monster, actually an inanimate series of pillars of gas and dust, measures light years in length. The in-head star is not itself visible through the opaque interstellar dust but is bursting out partly by ejecting opposing beams of energetic particles called Herbig-Haro jets. Located about 7,500 light years away in the Carina Nebula and known informally as Mystic Mountain, the appearance of these pillars is dominated by dark dust even though they are composed mostly of clear hydrogen gas. The featured image...
  • The Antikythera mechanism is a 2,000-year-old computer

    05/24/2020 6:22:58 PM PDT · by bitt · 69 replies
    vox.com ^ | 5/17/2017 | brian resnick
    115 years ago, divers found a hunk of bronze off a Greek island. It changed our understanding of human history. One hundred fifteen years ago, an archeologist was sifting through objects found in the wreck of a 2,000-year-old vessel off the Greek island Antikythera. Among the wreck’s treasures — beautiful vases and pots, jewelry, a bronze statue of an ancient philosopher — was the most peculiar thing: a series of brass gears and dials mounted in a case the size of a mantel clock. Archeologists dubbed the instrument the Antikythera mechanism. The genius — and mystery — of this piece...
  • Wandering stars pass through our solar system surprisingly often

    05/22/2020 6:50:08 AM PDT · by MtnClimber · 48 replies
    Astronomy ^ | 21 May, 2020 | Eric Betz
    Our sun has had close encounters with other stars in the past, and it’s due for a dangerously close one in the not-so-distant future. Every 50,000 years or so, a nomadic star passes near our solar system. Most brush by without incident. But, every once in a while, one comes so close that it gains a prominent place in Earth’s night sky, as well as knocks distant comets loose from their orbits. The most famous of these stellar interlopers is called Scholz’s Star. This small binary star system was discovered in 2013. Its orbital path indicated that, about 70,000 years...
  • Days before landmark launch, NASA’s head of human spaceflight quits due to ‘mistake’

    05/19/2020 8:37:19 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 19 replies
    Yahoo ^ | May 19, 2020 | Alan Boyle
    NASA’s top executive concentrating on human spaceflight, Doug Loverro, has resigned just a week before the scheduled start of a milestone space mission. Loverro became NASA’s associate administrator for human exploration and operations last December, and was playing a leading role in NASA’s Artemis moon program as well as preparations for next week’s launch of a SpaceX Crew Dragon mission to the International Space Station. That mission, set for liftoff on May 27 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is due to send NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the station for a stay that could last...
  • Colonizing Mars may require humanity to tweak its DNA

    05/20/2020 8:49:42 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 40 replies
    space.com ^ | 19 May 2020 | Mike Wall
    Genetic enhancement may not be restricted to the pages of sci-fi novels for much longer. For example, scientists have already inserted genes from tardigrades — tiny, adorable and famously tough animals that can survive the vacuum of space — into human cells in the laboratory. The engineered cells exhibited a greater resistance to radiation than their normal counterparts... Tardigrades and "extremophile" microbes, such as the radiation-resistant bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans, "are a great, basically natural reservoir of amazing traits and talents in biology," added Mason... "Maybe we use some of them." Harnessing these traits might also someday allow astronauts to journey...
  • NASA scientists detect evidence of parallel universe where time runs backward

    05/19/2020 2:51:12 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 73 replies
    N Y Post ^ | May 19, 2020 | Yaron Steinbuch
    NASA scientists working on an experiment in Antarctica have detected evidence of a parallel universe — where the rules of physics are the opposite of our own, according to a report. The concept of a parallel universe has been around since the early 1960s, mostly in the minds of fans of sci-fi TV shows and comics, but now a cosmic ray detection experiment has found particles that could be from a parallel realm that also was born in the Big Bang, the Daily Star reported. The experts used a giant balloon to carry NASA’s Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna, or ANITA,...