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Archive for the ‘astronomy’ category

Jun 8, 2020

Asteroid the size of Empire State Building nears earth this weekend

Posted by in categories: astronomy, existential risks

The asteroid is estimated to be 1,100 ft. in diameter, while the Empire State Building stands at approximately 1,400 ft. tall.

May 18, 2020

ADAM’S DREAM

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, astronomy, information science, science, space, transportation

The reality of COVID19 raises a critical question in the mind of Adam Ethan Loeb a young Belgium boy regarding the extinction of the human person. This questions birthed “Adam’s Dream” which for him will help in “Saving Humanity From Extinction”, by “Availing a Multiplanetary Education for the present and Future Generations
This 12year old boy highly influenced by Elon Musk and Peter H. Diamandis believes that a multiplanetary existence could have prevented the spread of coronavirus.
This young Space Enthusiast believes that since they are the future of tomorrow, well structure Young Space Education System should be availed because the Future is Faster than we think.

In explaining his vision Adam explained, “Adam’s Dream is my vision about the future with regard to preserving our kind and other living things. This idea struck my mind during this novel coronavirus outbreak. As the spread increases day in and day out, I was scared and asked my mum the question, “mum, do you know that living in space could have saved or preserved humanity better”? My reason is, if we become multiplanetary, it will solve the problem of overpopulation and make the human person more creative and resilient.

Thus, in this project, I will be preparing my generation and the ones to come to become multiplanetary Species. We have many Space Advocates; there is no proper attention giving to the younger generation. The future is obscure for my generation, and I want to lead them to light through the help of those who know better in compliance with “Adam’s Dream” rooted in Saving Humanity from Extinction by Availing a Multiplanetary Education for the present and Future Generations. In this, we can have a Sustainable “Kosmic” Environment for Prosperous Living.

Reading the works of Elon Musk gave me the conviction that as a Multiplanetary Activist, I can do this. Elon started thinking about Space at 14 years; I began at 10years. He is no doubt my number one role model followed by Peter H. Diamandis with my effort in understanding the teachings of Sara Seager – Planetary Scientist, K. Radhakrishnan, Carolyn Porco, Jill Tarter, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Liu Yang, Steve Squyres, Louis Allamandola, and David Spergel. I will have a better approach to harnessing the reality of Multiplanetary for my generation on those to come. The reality of Space is faster than you think.”

May 9, 2020

NASA, partners launch virtual hackathon to develop COVID-19 solutions

Posted by in categories: astronomy, computing, cosmology, engineering, events, hacking, health, information science, innovation, open source, satellites, science, software, space

The U.S. space agency National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA), European Space Agency (ESA), and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are inviting coders, entrepreneurs, scientists, designers, storytellers, makers, builders, artists, and technologists to participate in a virtual hackathon May 30–31 dedicated to putting open data to work in developing solutions to issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the global Space Apps COVID-19 Challenge, participants from around the world will create virtual teams that – during a 48-hour period – will use Earth observation data to propose solutions to COVID-19-related challenges ranging from studying the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and its spread to the impact the disease is having on the Earth system. Registration for this challenge opens in mid-May.

“There’s a tremendous need for our collective ingenuity right now,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “I can’t imagine a more worthy focus than COVID-19 on which to direct the energy and enthusiasm from around the world with the Space Apps Challenge that always generates such amazing solutions.”

The unique capabilities of NASA and its partner space agencies in the areas of science and technology enable them to lend a hand during this global crisis. Since the start of the global outbreak, Earth science specialists from each agency have been exploring ways to use unique Earth observation data to aid understanding of the interplay of the Earth system – on global to local scales – with aspects of the COVID-19 outbreak, including, potentially, our ability to combat it. The hackathon will also examine the human and economic response to the virus.

Continue reading “NASA, partners launch virtual hackathon to develop COVID-19 solutions” »

Apr 29, 2020

Elon Musk setting new records with Starlink.

Posted by in categories: astronomy, big data, disruptive technology, Elon Musk, space

Love it or hate it, Starlink might be the biggest space undertaking ever once completed. The combined mass of the Starlink satellite constellation exceeds any prior space endeavor. The SpaceX network provides global satellite Internet access will weigh in more than any other prior space program. The constellation consisting of thousands of mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit adds up quickly. Each Falcon 9 launch gets packed full of sixty Starlink satellites. The satellites neatly fit in both size and mass limitations of the Falcon 9.

November 11 at 9:56 a.m. EST, 14:56 UTC, SpaceX launched 60 Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Credit SpaceX

In 2018, The Federal Communications Commission granted SpaceX approval to launch up to 4,425 low-Earth-orbit satellites at several different altitudes between 1,110km to 1,325km. The following year, the FCC approved a license modification to cut the orbital altitude in half for 1,584 of those satellites. The lower altitude for the Starlink satellites reduces the latency of the Starlink. Yeah initial Starlink will be nearly the mass of the ISS.

NameKgQtyTotal Kg
Starlink2601 260
Starlink launch26060 15,600
Initial Starlink2601,584 411,840
ISS419,7251 419,725
Partial Starlink2601,614 419,725
Starlink full thrust2604,425 1,150,500
Big freak’n Starlink26012,000 3,120,000
Some Back of the napkin calculations about Starlink… give or take a little.

Apr 22, 2020

Dengue case predictor mapping system wins the 2019 NASA global hackathon

Posted by in categories: astronomy, big data, computing, disruptive technology, environmental, events, hacking, information science, innovation, machine learning, mapping, open source, satellites, science, software, space
Upper row Associate American Corner librarian Donna Lyn G. Labangon, Space Apps global leader Dr. Paula S. Bontempi, former DICT Usec. Monchito B. Ibrahim, Animo Labs executive director Mr. Federico C. Gonzalez, DOST-PCIEERD deputy executive director Engr. Raul C. Sabularse, PLDT Enterprise Core Business Solutions vice president and head Joseph Ian G. Gendrano, lead organizer Michael Lance M. Domagas, and Animo Labs program manager Junnell E. Guia. Lower row Dominic Vincent D. Ligot, Frances Claire Tayco, Mark Toledo, and Jansen Dumaliang Lopez of Aedes project.

MANILA, Philippines — A dengue case forecasting system using space data made by Philippine developers won the 2019 National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s International Space Apps Challenge. Over 29,000 participating globally in 71 countries, this solution made it as one of the six winners in the best use of data, the solution that best makes space data accessible, or leverages it to a unique application.

Dengue fever is a viral, infectious tropical disease spread primarily by Aedes aegypti female mosquitoes. With 271,480 cases resulting in 1,107 deaths reported from January 1 to August 31, 2019 by the World Health Organization, Dominic Vincent D. Ligot, Mark Toledo, Frances Claire Tayco, and Jansen Dumaliang Lopez from CirroLytix developed a forecasting model of dengue cases using climate and digital data, and pinpointing possible hotspots from satellite data.

Sentinel-2 Copernicus and Landsat 8 satellite data used to reveal potential dengue hotspots.

Correlating information from Sentinel-2 Copernicus and Landsat 8 satellites, climate data from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PAGASA) and trends from Google search engines, potential dengue hotspots will be shown in a web interface.

Using satellite spectral bands like green, red, and near-infrared (NIR), indices like Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FAPAR) and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) are calculated in identifying areas with green vegetation while Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) identifies areas with water. Combining these indices reveal potential areas of stagnant water capable of being breeding grounds for mosquitoes, extracted as coordinates through a free and open-source cross-platform desktop geographic information system QGIS.

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Apr 16, 2020

Earth-sized, habitable planet found hidden in early NASA Kepler data

Posted by in categories: astronomy, space
An illustration of Kepler-1649c orbiting around its host red dwarf star. This newly discovered exoplanet is in its star’s habitable zone and is the closest to Earth in size and temperature found yet in Kepler’s data.
Credits: NASA/Ames Research Center/Daniel Rutter

A team of transatlantic scientists, using reanalyzed data from National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Kepler space telescope, has discovered an Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting in its star’s habitable zone, the area around a star where a rocky planet could support liquid water.

Scientists discovered this planet, called Kepler-1649c, when looking through old observations from Kepler, which the agency retired in 2018. While previous searches with a computer algorithm misidentified it, researchers reviewing Kepler data took a second look at the signature and recognized it as a planet. Out of all the exoplanets found by Kepler, this distant world – located 300 light-years from Earth – is most similar to Earth in size and estimated temperature.

A comparison of Earth and Kepler-1649c, an exoplanet only 1.06 times Earth’s radius
Credits: NASA/Ames Research Center/Daniel Rutter


This newly revealed world is only 1.06 times larger than our own planet. Also, the amount of starlight it receives from its host star is 75% of the amount of light Earth receives from our Sun – meaning the exoplanet’s temperature may be similar to our planet’s, as well. But unlike Earth, it orbits a red dwarf. Though none have been observed in this system, this type of star is known for stellar flare-ups that may make a planet’s environment challenging for any potential life.

“This intriguing, distant world gives us even greater hope that a second Earth lies among the stars, waiting to be found,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “The data gathered by missions like Kepler and our Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will continue to yield amazing discoveries as the science community refines its abilities to look for promising planets year after year.”

Continue reading “Earth-sized, habitable planet found hidden in early NASA Kepler data” »

Apr 11, 2020

Chinese Launched Satellite Seen Crashing Back to Earth Over Guam, USA

Posted by in categories: astronomy, satellites, science, space, space travel

From the US territory Guam, sightings came in of a fireball falling from the sky. The strategic location of Guam and the U.S. military stationed there has drawn attention for years. Guam thrust into the limelight during heightened tensions with North Korea. In August 2017, North Korea launched missiles that flew over Japan and into the northern Pacific Ocean in an apparent attempt to threaten the US territory of Guam. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un did not follow up on his threats, but a fireball came crashing down from a different source.

Local officials quickly released an announcement indicating the Chinese Long March Launch as a likely source of the fireball. Indeed, an Indonesia satellite launched on a Chinese rocket came crashing back to Earth. The satellite failed to reach orbit. The failure of the new communications satellite for Indonesia to reach orbit marked the second failure for china’s space agency in less than a month, state media reported April 9.

It is unlike the Chinese Long March 3, workhorse of the Chinese launch industry, series rocket to fall. According to the Xinhua News Agency, the rocket lifted off at 7:46 p.m local time from China’s Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the Sichuan province. The rocket traveled according to plan during the first and second stages. The Rocket third stage experienced abnormal conditions.

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Apr 10, 2020

BepiColombo Slingshots Past Earth

Posted by in categories: astronomy, science, space, space travel
Mercury has only been visited by two spacecraft so far… Credit NASA

The ESA probe BepiColombo flew past Earth on the way to Mercury. The probe launched in 2018 and made the last visit of our home before continuing onward to the final destination. The spacecraft needs to shed velocity to arrive at Mercury in 2025 at a velocity to enter orbit. The spacecraft will make multiple additional planetary flybys of Venus and Mercury to slow down to enter orbit.

In space travel, mission planners need to balance mission resources. The amount of fuel required to either speed up or slow down a spacecraft greatly impacts the cost of the mission. Using a longer flight path can reduce the propellent requirements for a mission but the mission will take longer. Gravity assists can, therefore, allow a spacecraft to be launched on a cheaper, less powerful rocket.

Gravity assist flyby?

A Gravity assist flyby has other names including a gravitational slingshot, gravity assist maneuver, or swing-by. Gravity assistance maneuvers increase or decrease its speed or redirect the orbital path. The spacecraft slingshots around another object with a gravitational field and transfers some of the energy during that slingshot. In the case of BepiColombo, the spacecraft needs to slow down to be captured by Mercury…

Mar 28, 2020

SpaceX going to the Moon with NASA

Posted by in categories: astronomy, complex systems, disruptive technology, Elon Musk, satellites, space, space travel
Orion and Dragon XL near the Lunar Gateway Credit: NASA

By Bill D’Zio, Originally posted on www.westeastspace.com March 28, 2020

NASA may have sidelined the Lunar Gateway for a return mission to the Moon, but it is not stopping the momentum. NASA has awarded several contracts for the Lunar Gateway including the most recent one to SpaceX. This demonstrates the growing capabilities of New Space companies to capture contracts and complete missions.

This contract award is another critical piece of our plan to return to the Moon sustainably. The Gateway is the cornerstone of the long-term Artemis architecture and this deep space commercial cargo capability integrates yet another American industry partner into our plans for human exploration at the Moon in preparation for a future mission to Mars.NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a press release statement about the award to SpaceX.

NASA Awarded SpaceX the first Artemis Gateway Logistics Services (GLS) contract. The award for resupply services to the Gateway will require delivery of goods to a Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO). Not sure what a NRHO orbit is? A NRHO is a highly elliptical orbit that takes about 7 days for each orbit. Want some more details, just click here: Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO). There are a few options for NRHO orbits, but NASA is leaning towards the L2 9:2 lunar synodic resonant southerly Near-Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO) which would be the likely location of the lunar Gateway. A simplification of the orbit is shown below.

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Dec 10, 2019

AstroBiology and the Search for ExtraTerrestrial-Like Life!! — ideaXme — Dr. Penelope “Penny” Boston, PhD., Director of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: alien life, astronomy, bioengineering, chemistry, DNA, Elon Musk, evolution, futurism, government, Mark Zuckerberg
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