Artist concept of the Arkyd telescope in space. Credit: Planetary Resources Inc.
With more than $1 million in crowdfunded money secured for a public asteroid-hunting space telescope, the ultimate question arises: what about the promised planet chase?
Planetary Resources’ Arkyd-100 telescope reached its $1 million goal yesterday (June 20). But the self-proclaimed asteroid-hunting company has an ambitious aim to add extrasolar planet searching to the list if it can double that goal to $2 million.
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This artist’s impression shows the surroundings of the supermassive black hole at the heart of the active galaxy NGC 3783 in the southern constellation of Centaurus (The Centaur). New observations using the Very Large Telescope Interferometer at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile have revealed not only the torus of hot dust around the black hole but also a wind of cool material in the polar regions. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser
Over the years, researchers have taken myriad observations of black holes and their environs, but now ESO’s Very Large Telescope Interferometer is giving us the most detailed look of the dust around a black hole at the center of an active galaxy ever obtained. Originally expected to be contained within the ring-shaped torus around the black hole, the observation held a surprise as astronomers discovered that a significant amount of the dust was located both above and below the torus. What can this mean? According to the latest findings and contrary to popular theory, it is possible the dust is being evacuated from the region as a cool wind. [click to continue…]
This is a cropped, reduced version of panorama from NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity with 1.3 billion pixels in the full-resolution version. See full panorama below. It shows Curiosity at the “Rocknest” site where the rover scooped up samples of windblown dust and sand. Curiosity used three cameras to take the component images on several different days between Oct. 5 and Nov. 16, 2012. Viewers can explore this image with pan and zoom controls at http://mars.nasa.gov/bp1/. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
NASA’s newly produced and absolutely spectacular panorama from the Curiosity mega rover offers armchair explorers back on Earth a mammoth 1.3 billion pixels worth of Mars in all its colorful glory.
And everyone can move back and forth around the interactive panorama and zoom in – with special embedded tools- to your hearts delight in exquisite detail at the ‘Rocknest’ site where the rover spent her first extended science stay in late 2012.
This extra special Rocknest panorama is the first NASA- produced view comprising more than a billion pixels from the surface of the Red Planet. [click to continue…]
A test of the 3-D printer in a microgravity-like environment simulated on an airplane that flies parabolas. Credit: Made in Space
The joke about home renovation projects is it takes at least three trips to the hardware store to finish the work. In space, of course, spare parts are a lot harder to come by, meaning astronauts might have to wait for a spacecraft shipment, if, say, the toilet breaks. (Yes, this yucky situation has happened before.)
Some spare parts could be manufactured in space as early as next year, though, providing a 3-D printer passes all the preliminary steps. It recently got a big boost in that direction after passing its microgravity tests successfully, but there are still environmental tests to come, said the company that was behind the work.
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Three-image panorama of the Milky Way arching of the Badlands of South Dakota. Credit and copyright: Randy Halverson/Dakotalapse
We’ve oohed and ahhed many times over the handiwork of Randy Halverson and his Dakotalapse timelapse videos and imagery of the night sky. He may have outdone himself with his latest timelapse, called “Horizons.” Randy shot the footage from April – October 2012, mostly in South Dakota, but also some at Devils Tower in Wyoming.
“Growing up in South Dakota the landscape itself can be beautiful at times,” Randy says, “but that doesn’t compare to what the sky can do, especially at night.” Not only is the imagery absolutely breathtaking, but the accompanying music is an original called “I Forever” by Bear McCreary (The Walking Dead, Defiance, Battlestar Galactica, etc) his brother Brendan McCreary and his band Young Beautiful in a Hurry.
There’s a four-minute version below, but also available on Vimeo On Demand is a full 30-minute feature . Enjoy!!
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