Nearly 50 lightning strikes happened during a record setting heat-wave in the Arctic in July. This was in addition to over 1000 of them hitting over a wider area during a massive storm. This was one of the furthest examples of lightning strikes anywhere in the world in weather forecasters memories, with the closest being in Fairbanks, Alaska. While lightning strikes do occur in the Arctic, they are much rarer in such frequency, because the air is usually to cold and dry for such a major storm to be able to form.
Life hack: If your oven’s on the fritz, try sending a pie to space. Wait, what?
A crew of space fanatics called SentIntoSpace, who refuse to clean their oven or something, attached a camera and GPS to a meat and potato pie and sent this baby to space. Eat your heart out, Easy Bake Oven.
According to Mashable, SentIntoSpace claims that they wanted to see if the flight into space altered the molecular structure of the pie, making it easy to bake.
Just another pie in the sky story on Twitter: a meat & potato pie was sent into space from Wigan yesterday for 'scientific research'... pic.twitter.com/OjfdS9hnfk— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) December 16, 2016
“It was hoped that the pie would freeze as it soared from the earth's crust and would be cooked as it speeded up on re-entry.”
But we all know that it was just because their oven was broken or worse, they don’t know how to use that thing. You know, sometimes it’s just better to ask how to use it. Call your dad or something. Google it. I don’t know.
Let’s just put this out there: Gravity is the worst.
You know why gravity’s the worst? Because it prevents us from really reaching our ping pong potential. Sure, we can bask in the glory that is Forrest Gump playing table tennis against a wall, but are we really doing something meaningful?
Chinese astronaut Chen Dong thinks we can do better. So when he was on a local TV show in China, he showed off just how far humanity could reach without dumb gravity holding us down. What do you think of that, Sir Isaac Newton?
Check out these gifs from Mashable and say that gravity's worth it:
Or check out the whole video from CCTV on China Daily.
Chen plays it by himself, but he still has some catching up to do with NASA’s Scott Kelly, who plays “water ping pong.” Still, they are both strikes against gravity, which stinks.
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.
“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.”
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."
The Russians secretly detected sounds out of deep space on May 15, 2015 at the Russian Academy of Science-operated RATAN-600 radio telescope in Zelenchukskaya, Russia and ONLY NOW told the world about it.
The sounds--signal spikes--emitted from a 6.3-billion-year-old star in the constellation Hercules that is 95 light years away from Earth.
The Constellation Hercules
According to all the scientists, what's most notable about the sounds were how they fit the profile for being a PURPOSEFUL event sent by an extraterrestrial life in a civilization far more advanced than our own; like someone was specifically trying to reach out and talk to us.
The signal is so provocative that the Russian and at least two international teams of scientists at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) are calling for permanent monitoring to be put on this target. The SETI Institute is using the Allen Telescope Array in northern California, while METI International is looking to the Boquete Optical SETI Observatory in Panama.
Space people, nerd out here.
The signal could also be radio interference or a gravitational event, but we're gonna be watching and hoping it's these little guys...
...and not THESE guys:
According to NASA's article on the test, this is a big step toward sending a manned mission to Mars:
NASA successfully tested the first deep space RS-25 rocket engine for 500 seconds March 10, clearing a major milestone toward the next great era of space exploration. The next time rocket engine No. 2059 fires for that length of time, it will be carrying humans on their first deep-space mission in more than 45 years.
This is all part of a plan to send humans to Mars by 2030, which NASA has laid out in this beautifully illustrated image:
NASA released images of the recent solar eclipse. When seen from the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) it's just the shadow of the moon traveling across Earth.
This is a first, according to Adam Szabo, NASA’s project scientist for DSCOVR:
What is unique for us is that being near the Sun-Earth line, we follow the complete passage of the lunar shadow from one edge of the Earth to the other. A geosynchronous satellite would have to be lucky to have the middle of an eclipse at noon local time for it. I am not aware of anybody ever capturing the full eclipse in one set of images or video.
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."
The galaxy in question looks a little fuzzy, but that's probably because it's so far away. A lot of the things we see from space are actually past versions of themselves because the light from the object took several years to get here. According to the video description, the light from this galaxy, blurry as it may be, took a very, very long time to get to the Hubble space telescope:
This animation shows the location of galaxy GN-z11, which is the farthest galaxy ever seen. The video begins by locating the Big Dipper, then showing the constellation Ursa Major. It then zooms into the GOODS North field of galaxies, and ends with a Hubble image of the young galaxy. GN-z11 is shown as it existed 13.4 billion years in the past, just 400 million years after the big bang, when the universe was only three percent of its present age.
This new development is record breaking and astronomers don't expect to beat it anytime soon until the launch of a new, larger observatory, the James Webb Space Telescope.
Astronaut Scott Kelly was brought safely home last night after spending nearly a year in space. He was primarily in space to study himself to learn about how human bodies change in space. He even has an identical twin who stayed back on Earth to compare results. But what else was he doing for so long up on the International Space Station? He actually kept a pretty good record on Twitter.
The Hubble Space Telescope took this image of a star that looks like it's inside a blue bubble. NASA says the blue bubble is actually a nebula formed around 20,000 years ago. This is how it's described on the Hubble's website:
The distinctive blue bubble appearing to encircle WR 31a is a Wolf–Rayet nebula — an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other gases. Created when speedy stellar winds interact with the outer layers of hydrogen ejected by Wolf–Rayet stars, these nebulae are frequently ring-shaped or spherical.
According to NASA, these type of stars don't last very long (in terms of bodies in space at least). It'll only be around for a "few hundred thousand years".
This beautiful video is a look at a map of the Milky Way that was just released. The video description explains in detail about how the image was made:
This video takes a close look at a new image of the Milky Way released to mark the completion of the APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy (ATLASGAL). The APEX telescope in Chile has mapped the full area of the Galactic Plane visible from the southern hemisphere for the first time at submillimetre wavelengths — between infrared light and radio waves — and in finer detail than recent space-based surveys.
The APEX data, at a wavelength of 0.87 millimetres, shows up in red and the background blue image was imaged at shorter infrared wavelengths by the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope as part of the GLIMPSE survey. The fainter extended red structures come from complementary observations made by ESA's Planck satellite.