SpaceX has been garnering all the headlines when it comes to satellite constellations. Their Starlink system will eventually have thousands of tiny satellites working together to provide internet access, though only 242 of them have been deployed so far. But now another company is getting on the action: OneWeb.Continue reading “Here Comes the Next Satellite Constellation. OneWeb Launches 34 Satellites on Thursday”
It is a foregone conclusion that if humanity intends to survive the so-called “Anthropocene” we need to make the transition away from fossil fuels and other methods that are unsustainable and amplify our impact on the planet. In this respect, a great deal of research and development is being directed towards “renewable energy.” Of the many methods that are being developed, the biggest contender is and always has been solar power.
Unfortunately, solar power suffers from a number of drawbacks, like the fact that it is only available during the day and favorable weather conditions. However, a new study by researchers from the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics (IREAP) shows how a special kind of photovoltaic cell could generate power at night. These “anti-solar” cells could revolutionize renewable energy and make it far more proficient.Continue reading “Anti-Solar Cells Could Generate Electricity at Night”
Don’t worry. The oceans aren’t going to dry up. At least not any time soon, so no need to add it to the list of things to worry about.
But, what would our planet look like if they did? Dr. James O’Donoghue from JAXA decided to find out.Continue reading “This is What the World Would Look Like if the Oceans Dried Up”
Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity predicted that black holes would form and eventually collide. It also predicted the creation of gravitational waves from the collision. But how often does this happen, and can we calculate how many stars this will happen to?
A new study from a physicist at Vanderbilt University sought to answer these questions.Continue reading “14% of all the Massive Stars in the Universe are Destined to Collide as Black Holes”
Although neutrinos are mysterious particles, they are remarkably common. Billions of neutrinos pass through your body every second. But neutrinos rarely interact with regular matter, so detecting them is a big engineering challenge. Even when we do detect them, the results don’t always make sense. For example, we’ve recently detected neutrinos that have so much energy we have no idea how they are created.Continue reading “Neutrinos Have Been Detected With Such High Energy That The Standard Model Can’t Explain Them”
NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has reached the end of its life. Its mission was to study objects in the infrared, and it excelled at that since it was launched in 2003. But every mission has an end, and on January 30th 2020, Spitzer shut down.Continue reading “Good-bye Spitzer. We’ll Miss You But We Won’t Forget You.”
Chris Carr (@therealCCarr
Tonight we welcome Dr. Michael Werner and Dr. Peter Eisenhardt, authors of the new book More Things in the Heavens which looks at how infrared astronomy is aiding the search for exoplanets and extraterrestrial life, and is transforming our understanding of the history and evolution of our universe. Included in their book are many spectacular images that have been captured by the Spitzer space telescope over its lifetime.Continue reading “Weekly Space Hangout: February 5, 2020 – “More Things in the Heavens” with Dr. Michael Werner and Dr. Peter Eisenhardt”
It has been suggested that if humanity wants to truly embark on a renewed era of space exploration, one of the key ingredients is the ability to manufacture structures in space. By assembling everything from satellites to spacecraft in orbit, we would eliminate the most costly aspect of going to space. This, simply put, is the sheer expense of escaping Earth’s gravity well, which requires heavy launch vehicles and LOTS of fuel!
This is the idea behind the Space Infrastructure Dexterous Robot (SPIDER), a technology-demonstrator that will be going to space as part of NASA’s Restore-L spacecraft, which is designed to service and refuel a satellite in low-Earth orbit. Once deployed, the SPIDER will assemble a communications antenna and composite beam to demonstrate that space-based construction is possible.Read more
If there’s an award for “Selfie of the Year” NASA astronaut Jessica Meir just won it.Continue reading “NASA Astronaut Jessica Meir Took a Space Selfie, Capturing her Reflection in the Space Station”