Normally, when people say they’re working on “the coolest thing ever”, we raise our eyebrows in skepticism; but when SpaceX says that… we give them the benefit of a doubt. I mean, they’re doing some pretty monumental things as it is, and when they are excited about something, we are excited about something.
Our planet’s magnetic field is the first and ultimate shield that guards life from the elements of space, particularly radiation. It’s enough to look at Mars, which also had a magnetic field but only for 500 million years, to see what could happen were it absent: what was once a “blue planet”, filled with vasts oceans of liquid water, maybe even vegetation and other life forms, is now a barred red rock. This invisible, protective shield likely existed shortly after the planet formed 4.5 billion years ago, when it was still a big blob of molten rock. It was only after the super hot iron liquid core lost enough heat to freeze (more properly said, it solidified) did the field become strong enough to allow life to foster. Previous studies estimated this happened sometime between 500 million and 2 billion years ago. A more refined analysis by University of Liverpool places the timeline between 1 billion and 1.5 billion years ago.
A few days ago, we were telling you about some spectacular features on Ceres, the dwarf planet / largest object in the asteroid belt. NASA’s astronomers were puzzled by some white patches on Ceres’ surface, which they initially presumed to be ice. Now, they believe those patches are actually salt.
A novel mathematical model can weigh the mass of a pulsar – a rapidly rotating magnetized neutran star – using principles of nuclear physics, rather than gravity. Up until now, the mass of a star could only be determined in relation with other bodies, based on the gravitational pull these exerted. Now, using the new model scientists will be able to study pulsars in isolation, allowing for more precise measurements than ever before.
NASA’s New Horizons shuttle wasn’t only taking mind blowing photos of Pluto, it was also peeking at Pluto’s moons, especially Charon – the largest one. The latest set of images analyzed by NASA researchers revealed quite a busy past, filled with violence and geologic activity.
Hurricane Joaquin is an active tropical cyclone that severely impacted large parts of the Bahamas and is currently threatening Bermuda, although its extremities will also pass through other areas in the Atlantic, including Britain. Now, according to NASA data, the hurricane will be experiencing a phenomenon called eyewall replacement.
It’s a great day to be a space fan: NASA has just released all the photos taken by Apollo astronauts on lunar missions; digitized and grouped by the roll of film they were shot on, that’s over 8,400 images, featuring the blurry moon, the missed shots, and above all, the great features from a great mission! The Apollo program, also
What purpose would a water tank have in the proximity of a space shuttle launch?
Well, believe it or not, it is used to suppress the acoustical energy (sound and rocket exhaust reflected from the flame trench and Mobile Launcher Platform ) during launch
At the European Planetary Science Conference in Nantes, France, NASA presented some spectacular maps and observations about Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt, and the largest of the minor planets within the orbit of Neptune. Astronomers analyzed data coming from the Dawn spacecraft, which entered orbit around Ceres on 6 March 2015.
Two days ago, NASA made a spectacular announcement: they found liquid water on Mars, confirming suspicions and clues from years ago. But while they make a compelling case for the water, it would still be better to examine it on the spot, except there’s a slight problem with that: NASA can’t immediately investigate the water on-site, using the Curiosity rover or anything else, because it’s bound by international treaties.