Archive for the ‘NASA’ Tag
New evidence from NASA indicates that the most likely places to find life beyond Earth are Jupiter’s moon Europa or Saturn’s moon Enceladus. They, like Earth, are both ocean worlds and in both therein are some of the key ingredients for life.
A wealth of hydrogen molecules in water plumes soaring from the ruptures in Enceladus’s icy surface, have been detected by the Cassini spacecraft. The vital chemical methane, could also be establishing itself in the ocean beneath the ice.
The elusive presence of a water plume erupting on the warmest part of Europa’s icy surface, which has a salty liquid ocean beneath it was shown by the Hubble Space Telescope. The ocean itself contains double the amount of water found in the oceans of Earth.
Europa could be the pick of the bunch for life-bearing within our own solar system outside of our homeworld. will launch In the 2020’s the Europa Clipper will be launched, and should arrive at Europa a few years later. It will be the first to explore an alien ocean and will also fly through the plume to collect data.
It will definitely be a first to discover Intergalactic Liver Cake – staple diet of Icewolves, and indeed most domestic canines Earth! The structure of the Liver Cake may differ slightly from much-loved Earthly treat, but the Europan version is just as mouthwatering and tasty to both lupine and canine alike 🙂 And what better time than Easter, the time of ressurection and new life, to discover tantsalising new life hopes on worlds not so very far from home?
Icewolf of course, did not go hunting any down without telling Clowie, the Pyrenean Mountain Dog…she would never dream of such indiscretion 😉 …. Never!
Image: Europa’s Icewolf 2017_ Europa’s Icewolf: Jupiter, seen from Europa.
Christmas Full Moon 2015
The rare Christmas Day Full Moon was the first lunar event of its kind to occur in 38 years and the last Full Moon of 2015. Known as the Cold Full Moon due to its early winter occurrence the last Christmas Full Moon to rise in the skies of Earth was in 1977 and according to NASA’s Goddard Centre we will not see another such event until 2034.
For those who completely missed the whole event due to bad weather it looked like this!
Christmas Full Moon, 2015.
Credits: Google Images_Public Domain
‘As you gaze up at the Christmas moon, take note that Nasa has a spacecraft currently orbiting Earth’s moon.’
– Nasa’s Nancy Neal Jones, from the Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland
‘As we look at the moon on such an occasion, it’s worth remembering that the moon is more than just a celestial neighbour.
– NASA’s John Keller
Well it would be if anyone had actually been able to see it! And as to the NASA spacecraft… not much hope of spotting that if no-one could see a great big shiny globe like the Moon in the oh so painfully cloudy-couldn’t-see-a-nuclear bomb-if-it-was-on-a-collision-course-with-Earth skies! But if you could have seen a tiny little speck of spacecraft toddling past us this is what it would have looked like….
Credits: Wikipedia Public Domain Image
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which has been studying the moon’s mountains and craters since 2009, giving us some truly priceless input into our knowledge of the moon.
(LRO is managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.)
It has to be admitted however, albeit rather grudgingly since most of us were afflicted with too much cloud cover to see anything at all, 2015 has been a pretty unbelievable year as regards events of the lunar variety… okay most of us won’t be able to name any since we never actually got to see any but we probably all heard the odd news flash about the last one – the extra rare one back in September when we treated to the awesome – not, if like the rest of us you saw absolutely nothing but grey, cloudy skies – Supermoon Lunar Eclipse. Very pretty…if you could actually see the thing!!
The Mansionoid meteorite Showers(3)
Cindy, the intrepid traveller and highly skilled, photographer was hitching a ride aboard NASA’s New Horizons probe, busy capturing extraordinary images of Pluto and beyond for NASA although she didn’t actually realise that this was the case, and was instead happily engrossed with preparing a series of exotic intergalactic blog posts for her WordPress blog!
She couldn’t help but notice that The Holler appeared to be accompanying her… a strange phenomenon she noted absently, smiling as she added a caption to her latest photo, but presumably nothing to be overly concerned about – after all NASA knew what they were doing…didn’t they?
She was a little surprised the next time she pointed the camera lens into the depths of intergalactic space to be confronted with the extraordinary sight of the Cameraoid meteorite shower and a very large black hole swirling towards her…great photography! She thought unfazed by the situation.
With the natural expertise of a born-photographer she aligned the complex photographic apparel of the New Horizon’s probe with the fast-approaching vortex and took a closer look at the tiny speck of starlight twinkling away cheerfully in the distant heart of it… Tom’s Mansion!! Cindy was delighted to find such a photographic gem availing her vision and further magnification proved the “starlight” to be the lights from the the Cameraoid meteorite shower glinting and sparkling off the bright new windows the Mansion had recently fitted for itself without Tom’s knowledge… and it was snowing! How wonderful! Cindy beamed to herself, admiring the architectural enhancements highlighted by glittering snow flakes against the backdrop of galactic space…it all looked rather warped however, she noted frowning slightly…must be something to do with the effects of the temporal shift occurring within the vortex New Horizons reported after completing a tentative probe into the subject. She should probably check out his blog page…he’d probably got a post up about that by now!
Tom most definitely had not posted anything on his blog page! In fact he wasn’t even thinking about it at that point, for a change. Instead he was busy fielding a particularly large and dangerous key that was burning it’s way towards the Mansion which itself seemed to be indulging in some serious shake rattle and roll techniques. He eyed up his reflection in the Mansion’s rather impressive new windows, impressed by the level of wildness his hair had reached whilst he dived and rolled in tune with the Mansion’s shake rattle and roll dance moves…possibly the perfect time for a selfie…well…possibly not right now…
A bone rattling shudder rumbled through the Mansion as it’s pace through the vortex – or at least Tom hoped it was travelling through…this would imply there was a way out…hopefully….eventually…. – increased rapidly surpassing the speed of light…the effects of which were…different!
Tom gurgled and somewhere in the part of his brain that was still vaguely rational and not, unlike the rest of him suddenly flattened and distorted like a lump of play-dough accidently trodden on and flattened into…. Curious shapes….warp speed he presumed giving up temporarily on the hope of recapturing normality again anytime soon. Oddly, and presumably as a consequence of having passed light speed and careered cheerfully onto into warp speed Tom’s eyeballs sprouted extraordinarily long stems and popped out of his currently flattened skull to wave around enthusiastically like two magnificent water lilies…there was no shortage of “interesting” things to feast the popped out of the head eyeballs on…..Tom just wasn’t sure whether his brain cells were at this moment working well enough to register what he was seeing….Quite possibly not he decided, taking note of what his inner physicist was working over time to explain to him.
In a concerted effort to prove his inner Physicist wrong the popping eyeballs sprouted a sudden growth burst – distorted reality his inner physicist whispered in his head reassuringly…not, and the view down the telescope that was a prime feature in the Mansion’s official Observatory presented itself to the flattened Tom in dramatic scenes of ….
TO BE CONTINUED!
Read more about Tom and his awesome Multi-Dimensional Mansion Here! (Beyond the Sphere) https://wellheregoes.wordpress.com/
Read more about Tom’s fantastic new blog Here! (Splodge and Splatter) https://tlmerriman.wordpress.com
Read more about Cindy the extraordinary photographer Here! (cindyknoke.com) http://cindyknoke.com
It’s Rocket Science! From Space Exploration to 3-D Printing
London Science Museum 2014 (South Kensington)
(All photos: Copyright: Europa’s Icewolf 2014)
Exotic Blue-Marble Planet Raining Glass…Sideways!
Exo-Planet HD 189733b
We all know exotic alien planets can be very strange and bizarre, and turbulent blue marble exo-planet HD 189733b in the constellation of Vulpecula (The Fox) is no exception. In fact this alien world is a shining example of wild and exotic alienness. Scoring a first for humanity (and Europan Ice Wolves if you happen to be lucky enough to be part of the Pack) those clever NASA and ESA astronomer types with a smidgling of help from the Hubble Space Telescope have figured out the real planetary colours of an alien world circumnavigating another sun; something it does this in 2.2 Earth days tucking in very close and cosy with its parent star (sun).
Although at first glance, and this would have to be a very close up glance, this deep azure blue world, a giant gas planet known as a “hot Jupiter” bears a remarkable similarity to the heart-warming blue colour of Earth as seen when floating just above it in a cosmic deck chair whilst sipping an intrepid tequila in intergalactic space and admiring the view.
However, before you all go rushing off to dust off those aeon old telescopes lying forgotten in the attics and lofts of the home world, don’t! Not a good idea at all. Leave them right where they are…gathering very un-alien like Earth dust! HD 189733b is one of the closest exo-planet’s to Earth but it still lies 63 light years (630 trillion kilometres) from Earth and despite the fact that it shares pretty much the same size and mass stat’s as the Europa’s Ice wolves mother world, Jupiter, and still shines with that beautiful star-blue glow, and even has awesome sunsets, you won’t be able to see it!! No… not even a little blue dot so just take a nice deep breath of Earth air and calm down!
Colour is where the similarity between this exotic exo-planet and Earth end, swallowed hungrily by its dramatically unstable and exotic, atmosphere where it rains glass sideways (drops of molten magnesium silicate particles) in a furious frenzy of hurricane-force winds hitting a ferocious, hyperactive 7000 kilometres-per-hour (4,350 mile per hour). With a searing atmospheric temperature of 1000+ degrees Celsius (1,832 degrees Fahrenheit/1000 degrees C day side, 1,200 degrees F/650 degrees C night side – tidally locked so one side always faces its sun) atmospheric water exists in the form of steam, intermingled with vapour mists and fierce, blazing flares. 1,000 tons of its atmosphere is blown away with each passing second by its sun’s (star’s) intermittent solar surges.
And why is HD 189733b a deep and shiny azure blue colour? I hear you ask…albeit very quietly in a “don’t tell Wolfie we asked or we’ll be here all night” kind of tone. The sideways-raining glass (magnesium silicates) in its hyperactive atmosphere, scatter blue light very effectively to create this effect. Earth shines bold and blue due to the blue colours in the sunlight scattering in the atmosphere. Yes, the sun is still there to achieve this very important end even if you can’t mostly see it through all that lovely grey cloud cover. Cold, distant Neptune is also a blue planet, but for the entirely different reason that its air has copious levels of methane gracing it. This decidedly non-breathable Neptunian methane does a pretty good job of absorbing red light blotting it out altogether to human eyesight so that Earth dwellers beady little eyes will only see the blue light reflecting back to them and therefore Neptune is blue. This is a very therapeutic and relaxing colour for the average Earth dweller to cast their beady little eyeballs on according to the therapists.
Exo-planet temperature map data revealed by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope In 2007 allowed scientists the opportunity to chart the bizarre weather environment of the exotic, alien world of exo-planet HD 189733b. It was concluded that there are roughly 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius), differences between the daytime side and night-time side temperatures, and these are also responsible creating the wild, gale force winds buffeting this beautiful marble blue world amongst the stars.
NASA and ESA
Image Credit:MSSS, JPL, NASA
NASA to Mars 2030
"Interest in sending humans to Mars I think has never been higher. We now stand on the precipice of a second opportunity to press forward to what I think is man’s destiny — to step onto another planet." NASA chief Charles Bolden at the Humans 2 Mars Summit at George Washington University. (May 6-8 2013)
Yet the road to Mars is long and challenging, and the difficulties are scientific, technological, political and economic,”
“Sending astronauts to the Red Planet” (as President Barack Obama has directed NASA to do and to land humans on Mars by the 2030s) “will likely require at least three missions: one to launch the crew and the vehicle that will take them to Mars, one to launch the habitat humans will live on at the planet’s surface, and one to launch the vehicle that will lift off from Mars to take the crew home,“ said Doug Cooke, a former NASA associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate who now heads a space consulting firm.
"To me this is one of the biggest challenges," Mike Raftery, director of space station utilization and exploration at Boeing, the primary contractor for NASA’s heavy-lift rocket being developed to go to Mars. "We have to essentially land a launch pad on the surface that’s then ready to launch the crew back to Earth.”
This will be no small challenge as to date, NASA has been unable to land more than 1 metric ton at a time on the surface of Mars — the Curiosity Rover. With a total 200 to 400 metric tons of equipment requiring delivery to the surface of Mars after being launched from Earth at the rate of 40 metric tons per trip, clearly this could prove problematic.
Engineers will have to develop a means to shield the Mars crews from dangerous radiation both en-route and on the surface of the Red Planet where the atmosphere is too thin to shield them as it does on Earth. They will also have to bring their own life-support systems, medicine, food, communications systems and navigation equipment.
"It’s very likely that we’ll send some kind of lander or rover to the site we want to send people to first, to drill a couple meters down to tell us if we have fresh water," said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s science mission directorate. Such a spacecraft could also serve as a beacon to guide the crewed lander down to the chosen spot on Mars.
"We’re going to have to rely on being able to live off the land," said James Reuther of NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist. "Those will require significant technology investments in order to actually bring that about."
Despite the challenges involved, many NASA and industry experts expressed confidence it can be done. In the words of Artemis Westenberg, president of Explore Mars Inc., the non-profit space advocacy group that organized the conference:
"In the coming days we have the opportunity to write history, to determine the future of humankind. We of Explore Mars give you this platform of this three-day summit. Now all you have to do is tell each other and the world the ‘how’ of getting to Mars.” (via Space.com)
Mars One 2016
The organisers of the Mars One project (a Dutch group, led by Bas Lansdorp, a researcher from the Netherlands with a Masters in Science from Delft University of Technology) think they have the answers to this quandary. They have seemingly jumped ahead of NASA, announcing ambitious plans to, “execute the first fully commercial campaign of human exploration and development of Mars,” and have high hope of establishing the first settlers of a Mars colony by 2023.
By 2016 they intend to send a communications satellite to the Red Planet, following it up with additional time phased flights across succeeding years, before the actual landing of a foundation crew of permanent Mars colonists. The optimistic claim on their website states that:
“Mars One will establish the first human settlement on Mars in 2023. A habitable settlement will be waiting for the settlers when they land.”
Following the establishment of the foundation crew on the Red Planet, an additional group of new settlers will be sent to join them on a regular two-yearly basis, thereby expanding the colony.
Mars One has no shortage of industry support and their suppliers include, ILC Dover, MDA Corporation, Paragon Space Development, SpaceX, Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL), and Thales Alenia Space.
“SSTL believes that the commercialization of space exploration is vital in order to bring down the costs and schedules. Mars-One is an imaginative venture making use of existing technology and SSTL is highly motivated to support this initiative,” Sir Martin Sweeting, Founder and Executive Chairman of SSTL.
“I believe that the endeavour holds great promise and Paragon is prepared to manufacture and integrate the Mars One life support, thermal control, and space suit systems,” Jane Poynter, President and Chairwoman at Paragon Space Development Corporation
The cost of launching the initial crew of four Martian colonists and landing them on the Red Planet, in addition to the utilisation of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy launcher, will involve costs in the region of $6 billion, according to Mars One. Besides building their environment the colonists will also be tasked with answering questions regarding the on-going mystery of whether life in fact does exist on Mars and also the history of the neighbouring planet.
Astronaut selections (40 in total will be chosen) for the first manned Mars mission have already begun and applications have rolled in, in vast numbers. Potential applicants should however remember; this is a one-way trip! Mars One has no plans and no way of bringing you back! You will never set foot on Earth again…you will never breathe the air of Earth again…and you certainly won’t be able to Skype your friends and family!
Mars One Mission and Vision
Mars 2023: Inhabitants Wanted! Apply Now!
Meteoroid Explodes Over Russia ~ Blame The USA!!!*
A massive meteoroid flared through the skies over Russia’s sparsely inhabited region of Chelyabinsk, situated about 930 miles east of Moscow where it exploded early on Friday, triggering an atomic bomb-sized shock wave that injured more than a thousand people, blew out windows and caused some of the older Russian population to fear “the end of the world was nigh.”
Although there were no reported fatalities a report by Russia’s Interior Ministry showed medical care was requested after the shock wave by 1,100 people, approximately 50 of whom were hospitalised. The majority of injured people suffered glass cuts after windows shattered in the shock wave caused by the blast. Chelyabinsk schools reported that 200+ children were among the injured.
NASA said the flash momentarily shone brighter than the Sun. The vapour trail it left in its wake could be seen hundreds of miles around, extending to the neighbouring location of Kazakhstan.
1908 Tunguska Event
NASA said it was the largest reported fireball since the Tunguska event in 1908 — an asteroid explosion that impacted a remote region of the Siberian forest flattening millions of trees over 820 square miles in the process.
The 50-foot-wide (15-meter-wide), meteoroid – estimated to be about 10 tons – entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a speeds of a minimum of 54,000kph (33,000mph) exploding into fragments 12 to 15 miles (20 to 25 kilometres) approximately above ground level. The energy it released at this point was equal to 300 to 500 kilotons of TNT. ~ Russian Academy of Sciences. This amounted 10 times+ as much energy as the atom bombs that exploded over Japan at the end of World War II released. Even estimates released by NASA were based on readings from infrasound sensors to detect nuclear blasts, set up by the “Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization”.
Asteroid 2012 DA14
The fireball hit just hours before asteroid2012 DA14, 150-foot-wide and big enough to flatten London came within a 17,200 miles (28,000 km) flyby of Earth. NASA officials said the two events were purely incidental. "It’s simply a coincidence. It looks like they were moving in different directions and weren’t on the same orbit." ~ Paul Chodas, an asteroid researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
A photo provided by the Chelyabinsk regional police department released a photo displaying a hole in the iced-over lake near Chebarkul, 20-foot-wide (6-meter-wide) discovered whilst searching for surviving fragments of the explosion. Military officials reported that radiation levels around the site of impact had shown to be normal, according to “Interfax.”
Inevitably in these circumstances the conspiracy theories are doing the rounds… Vladimir, ultra-nationalist leader of the Russian Liberal Democrat party, has the idea that the massive meteoroid was in reality America’s new weapon.
Although not confirmed there are reports that sources from the military claim that the meteoroid was intercepted by Russian air defence forces, who it is suggested used a missile to obliterate it at heights of 20km.
"It’s not a meteorite falling – it’s a test of new American weapons. Neither the US nor Russia had the capability to bring down such objects.” ~ Zhirinovsky
So there you have it! It’s all America’s fault…Really America Stop being so naughty and put those toys down immediately and go sit on the naughty step lol