Most of us see the moon almost every night, but few people have seen a decent high-res picture of the moon, let alone a high-res picture of the dark side of the moon. To be able to see the moon - every side of it - in detail would really require being in space and flying around it. And 99.9% of us Earthlings don't have that opportunity (yet). So once again, NASA has come to the rescue, this time providing us with an amazing 3D map of the whole moon for computer graphics artists to use to their heart's content. For the first time, we can explore the moon (digitally). And it's incredible. If you want to see some more amazing photos from NASA, check out these new photos of Mars.
Although driverless cars are still a long way off from being mainstream, it's a different story for driverless mining trucks in the outback of Australia. And this technology could be a key component for NASA's 2024 moon mission.
With space technology increasing rapidly, we're learning more than ever about the planets in our galaxies. In the latest news, radar evidence shows that one of Saturn's moons is snowing. Yep, snow isn't only an Earth thing. And the weirder part? It's snow is falling onto the other moons of Saturn too. I had no idea that could even happen.
In the past few decades, technology has allowed us to live a reality that seemed like magic not so long ago. Talking to people on the other side of the planet? Easy. Flying in the air? Done. Man on the moon? Pfft. We did that in the sixties. Since science is getting more confident, and maybe a little egotistical, scientists have thought up a new scheme that sounds quite fantastical to us (although I guess that's what people thought before the internet existed). Scientists want to build an elevator that goes to the moon. Who knows, at the rate of technological advancement today, maybe it isn't so crazy. Lets wait a few years and see what happens.
Jupiter is the fifth closest planet to the Sun, and the largest in our solar system. Striking in its look, the surface looks like rings of sedimentary rock. Mankind has slowly learned more about the planet and its moons since a number of missions in the last several decades have taken a close look at both the planet, and its satellites. But recently, scientists were able to capture photos from the Juno mission to Jupiter that are absolutely astounding. As we slowly uncover more and more about the planet and its past, hopefully one day we might figure out exactly what that Great Red Spot is.
Amazing what a mere collection of water and ice and a few rocks can turn into. Saturn's rings are one of the most incredible sights in the night sky, and in space overall. Though their make up is unremarkable, since the 1970s when the Pioneer and Voyager spacecraft visited the system and gave us our first close-up look.
What's more amazing is that unlike many other celestial bodies in our universe, that we need to physically reach in order to get a clear picture of, Saturn is close enough that we can get images like those below.
Colonization of the moon isn't too far off: plans for permanent lunar bases are already in motion, and the equipment for cheaply transporting people to the moon is in it's first stages of conception. But once we get there, humans will have to live inside buildings (or whatever the moon-equivalent will be called). So, in consideration of this, astronomers on the ISS mixed cement to see what zero-gravity cement would turn out like.
That is not a typo. NASA has been hard at work developing the technology for the next mission to Mars. Part of that are the modules that will be part of the rover. An autonomous helicopter would be able to take pictures never seen before, and reach areas that the rover on the ground, would take far longer to reach, and might not even be accessible.
Though downgraded to dwarf planet status, Pluto has been on the comeback trail of late. Many issues arose with the reclassification in 2006, including that only 424 of the 9000 members of the international organization in charge of making such decisions voted. In addition, immediately after the resolution, hundreds of planetary scientists petitioned against the changed classification. The problem began when the body changed the definition of what constitutes a planet, and due to Pluto lacking several of these features, it was demoted.
A recent mission to Pluto by NASA called New Horizons, recently gave us our closest and clearest look of Pluto and the surrounding planetary bodies in its area and orbit.
NASA has a special treat for us this Halloween: Narrowly escaping the destruction of the planet!
Well, sort of. Through the use of their new computer program called Scout, NASA has determined that a potentially-dangerous asteroid will be breezing past Earth by a mere 310,000 miles. Rejoice! We’re going to be ok!
Scout is part of a new detection system that alerts us when a giant piece of space rock is on its way, hurdling towards Earth at thousands of miles per hour. Think of it like Domino's Pizza Tracker, but for things that could potentially destroy our entire planet and not just your body.
The new program seems to be working great. According to NPR,astronomer Paul Chodas said, “The NASA surveys are finding something like at least five Asteroids a night.”
“Objects can come close to the Earth shortly after discovery,” he continued. “The main goal of Scout is to speed up the confirmation process... Our goal right now is to find 90 percent of the 140-meter asteroids and larger.”
Now, what would we do if an asteroid were to hit Earth? Well, scientists are still working on that. In the meantime, here’s a clip from the Ben Affleck’s commentary track for the Criterion Collection DVD of Armageddon, in which mercilessly makes fun of the movie and its director, Michael Bay. More reason to not put “landing a spaceship on an asteroid, drilling a hole in it, and blowing it up” on the list of “Possible Solutions for Asteroid Hitting Earth.”
It's pretty safe to say this new addition is kind of a troll by NASA on believers in astrology. That doesn't mean this is a FAKE prank. NASA doesn't believe in astrology, they just pointed out a correction.
The European Space Agency (ESA) just released their satellite Gaia's "First Sky Map" showing our entire Milky Way Galaxy in one single image, the first of it's kind, from long-awaited space science technology.
According to Digg, "when Gaia completes its mission, humanity will have the most accurate and complete catalog of celestial bodies in the Milky Way."
Early in the morning of Sept. 1, 2016, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, caught both Earth and the moon crossing in front of the sun. SDO keeps a constant eye on the sun, but during SDO’s semiannual eclipse seasons, Earth briefly blocks SDO’s line of sight each day – a consequence of SDO’s geosynchronous orbit. On Sept. 1, Earth completely eclipsed the sun from SDO’s perspective just as the moon began its journey across the face of the sun. The end of the Earth eclipse happened just in time for SDO to catch the final stages of the lunar transit. In the SDO data, you can tell Earth and the moon’s shadows apart by their edges: Earth’s is fuzzy, while the moon’s is sharp and distinct. This is because Earth’s atmosphere absorbs some of the sun’s light, creating an ill-defined edge. On the other hand, the moon has no atmosphere, producing a crisp horizon. This particular geometry of Earth, the moon and the sun had effects on viewing down on the ground as well: It resulted in a simultaneous eclipse visible from southern Africa. The eclipse was what's known as a ring of fire, or annular, eclipse, which is similar to a total solar eclipse, except it happens when the moon is at a point in its orbit farther from Earth than average. The increased distance causes the moon’s apparent size to be smaller, so it doesn't block the entire face of the sun. This leaves a bright, narrow ring of the solar surface visible, looking much like a ring of fire. http://go.nasa.gov/2clNBFs
NASA engineer and physicist Harold White is working on using the theory of relativity to travel at warp speed. The ship will be called IXS Enterprise, while he's still working on the math to prove it can be done, the concept art has already been completed by designer Mark Rademaker. In an interview with The Washington Post Rademaker explained the purpose behind the designs:
"We wanted to have a decent image of a theory conforming Warp ship to motivate young people to pursue a STEM career," Rademaker said in an e-mail interview. "It does have some Sci-Fi features that might never transfer to a possible final design, unless we really want to."
What are these glorious golden space swirls? According to NASA, who captured this video with the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), this happened when a dark solar filament erupted and caused a chain reaction.They call these cascading magnetic arches because what you see here is a lot of particles spinning around the sun's magnetic field lines.
Here's a video where you can see what a dark solar filament looks like. The darker area, almost in the shape of a circle is it. Filaments are plasma held above the sun's surface by magnetic forces.
What you're seeing is a bloom of phytoplankton in the North Atlantic Ocean. These microscopic organisms are very important to the environment and might even influence clouds and the climate.
This image was taken by the Suomi NPP satellite. Data from chlorophyll in the phytoplankton was combined with red, green and blue bands from the satellite's imaging system to make this picture. The mission of the satellite is to keep track of climate change and weather.
It's also pretty good at taking amazing pictures of Earth.
Some images taken from the satellite look a lot more like weather forecasts than gorgeous water colors but the phytoplankton blooms are actually a pretty normal occurrence.