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Gas and dust stream from Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in this mosaic from the Rosetta spacecraft taken Nov. 20, 2014. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0

Gas and dust stream from Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in this mosaic from the Rosetta spacecraft taken Nov. 20, 2014. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0

Get a load of those streaks! Rosetta’s comet is picking up in activity as it moves ever closer to the Sun, sending out a steady stream of gas and dust captured in this image released today (Nov. 26). It’s also possible that there might be an “atmosphere” developing around the comet, although the images aren’t clear on if that’s an artifact of Rosetta itself.

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NASA Airship Could Watch The Stars Without The Need Of a Rocket

Artist's concept of a NASA airship that would fly at a suborbital altitudes for hours at a time. Credit: Mike Hughes (Eagre Interactive)/Keck Institute for Space Studies

Artist’s concept of a NASA airship that would fly at a suborbital altitudes for hours at a time. Credit: Mike Hughes (Eagre Interactive)/Keck Institute for Space Studies

Dreams of space are often tied to jet engines or solar sails or taking a ride on a rocketship. But it’s often quite efficient to do research from Earth, especially from the high reaches of the atmosphere where there are few molecules to get in the way of observations.

NASA wants to do more of this kind of astronomy with an airship — but at an extreme height of 65,000 feet (20 kilometers) for 20 hours. No powered-airship mission has managed to last past eight hours at this height because of the winds in that zone, but NASA is hoping that potential creators would be up to the challenge.

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Kip Thorne’s concept for a black hole in 'Interstellar.' Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

Kip Thorne’s concept for a black hole in ‘Interstellar.’ Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

The highly anticipated film “Interstellar” is based on science and theory; from wormholes, to the push-pull of gravity on a planet, to the way a black hole might re-adjust your concept of time. But just how much of the movie is really true to what we know about the Universe? There has also been some discussion whether the physics used for the visual effects in the movie actually was good enough to produce some science. But how much of it is just creative license?

Today, (Wed. November 26) at 19:00 UTC (3 pm EDT, 12:00 pm PDT), the Kavli foundation hosts a live discussion with three astrophysicists who will answer viewers’ questions about black holes, relativity and gravity, to separate the movie’s science facts from its science fiction.
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How are Energy and Matter the Same?

As Einstein showed us, light and matter and just aspects of the same thing. Matter is just frozen light. And light is matter on the move. How does one become the other?
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NASA astronaut Butch Wilmore (Expedition 42 commander on the International Space Station) holds the first 3-D printed part made in space, which was created on Nov. 25, 2014. Credit: NASA

NASA astronaut Butch Wilmore (Expedition 42 commander on the International Space Station) holds the first 3-D printed part made in space, which was created on Nov. 25, 2014. Credit: NASA

Here’s the 22nd-century version of breaking the surly bonds of Earth: NASA and private company Made In Space have just collaborated on the first 3-D printed part in space, ever.

The milestone yesterday (Nov. 25) is a baby step towards off-Earth manufacturing, but the implications are huge. If these testbeds prove effective enough, eventually we can think of creating these parts in other destinations such as the Moon, or an asteroid, or even Mars.

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