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Archive for the ‘space’ category: Page 3

Nov 18, 2020

First fast radio burst discovered in the Milky Way is now repeating

Posted by in categories: energy, space

The first radio burst discovered in the Milky Way is now repeating as it travels from a magnetar – a neutron star with a strong magnetic field – 32,616 light-years away.

The initial flash of energy was first detected in April and scientist have identified two more, confirming fast radio bursts ‘are emitted by magnetars at cosmological distances.’

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Nov 18, 2020

‘Weird’ Molecule Detected on Titan Has Never Been Found in Any Atmosphere

Posted by in categories: chemistry, space

Titan, the already pretty weird moon of Saturn, just got a little bit weirder. Astronomers have detected cyclopropenylidene (C3H2) in its atmosphere — an extremely rare carbon-based molecule that’s so reactive, it can only exist on Earth in laboratory conditions.

In fact, it’s so rare that it has never before been detected in an atmosphere, in the Solar System or elsewhere. The only other place it can remain stable is the cold void of interstellar space. But it may be a building block for more complex organic molecules that could one day lead to life.

“We think of Titan as a real-life laboratory where we can see similar chemistry to that of ancient Earth when life was taking hold here,” said astrobiologist Melissa Trainer of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, one of the chief scientists set to investigate the moon in the upcoming Dragonfly mission launching in 2027.

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Nov 17, 2020

Orbits of ancient stars prompt rethink on Milky Way evolution

Posted by in categories: evolution, physics, space

Theories on how the Milky Way formed are set to be rewritten following discoveries about the behavior of some of its oldest stars.

An investigation into the orbits of the Galaxy’s metal-poor stars—assumed to be among the most ancient in existence—has found that some of them travel in previously unpredicted patterns.

“Metal-poor stars—containing less than one-thousandth the amount of iron found in the Sun—are some of the rarest objects in the galaxy,” said Professor Gary Da Costa from Australia’s ARC Center of Excellence in All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D) and the Australian National University.

Nov 17, 2020

Scientists find more bright blasts of energy coming from space

Posted by in categories: energy, space

Scientists have detected two bright radio bursts from a magnetar in our galaxy, as they get closer to discovering the source of the blasts.

Earlier this month, scientists discovered that fast radio bursts were coming from the object, in a major breakthrough in the search for the source of those mysterious blasts of energy. It was the first time an FRB had been detected coming from inside our Milky Way, and also the first time such a blast had been traced back to a particular source.

Now scientists say they have found new bursts coming from that same magnetar. That should help further indicate whether it is really a source of FRBs – and whether the same process could be powering those bursts we have discovered coming from elsewhere in the universe.

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Nov 17, 2020

Ancient zircon minerals from Mars reveal the elusive internal structure of the red planet

Posted by in category: space

Analysis of an ancient meteorite from Mars suggests that the mineral zircon may be abundant on the surface of the red planet.

By determining the age and hafnium isotope composition of zircon, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have shown that a population of these crystals were sourced from the deep interior of Mars. If the researchers are correct, it means that the young zircons contain information about the deep, inaccessible interior of Mars, providing insights into the internal structure of the planet.

The uranium-bearing is an abundant constituent of Earth’s , providing information about the age and origin of the continents and large geological features such as mountain chains and giant volcanoes. But unlike Earth, Mars’s crust is not evolved and is compositionally similar to the crust found under the Earth’s oceans, where is rare. Therefore, zircon is not expected to be a common mineral on Mars.

Nov 17, 2020

Solar system formed in less than 200,000 years

Posted by in category: space

A long time ago — roughly 4.5 billion years — our sun and solar system formed over the short time span of 200,000 years. That is the conclusion of a group of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists after looking at isotopes of the element molybdenum found on meteorites.

Nov 15, 2020

UAE ramps up space ambitions with Arab world’s first Moon mission

Posted by in category: space

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced plans to send a compact rover named Rashid to study the Moon in 2024, marking an intensification in the small nation’s spacefaring ambitions. If Rashid is successful, the UAE could become only the fourth country to operate a craft on the Moon’s surface, and the first in the Arab world.


With its orbiter Hope on its way to Mars, the United Arab Emirates has now set its sights on the Moon.

Nov 15, 2020

Facebook Watch

Posted by in category: space

Click on photo to start video.

LIVE: NASA is launching a crew of four astronauts to the International Space Station. This is the first crew rotation flight of a U.S. commercial spacecraft with astronauts to the International Space Station. The Crew Dragon ‘Resilience’ will carry astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker of NASA and Soichi Noguchi of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

Nov 15, 2020

Why NASA wants to put a nuclear power plant on the moon

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, space

NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy will seek proposals from industry to build a nuclear power plant on the moon and Mars to support its long-term exploration plans. The proposal is for a fission surface power system, and the goal is to have a flight system, lander and reactor in place by 2026.

Anthony Calomino, NASA’s nuclear technology portfolio lead within the Space Technology Mission Directorate, said that the plan is to develop a 10-kilowatt class fission surface power system for demonstration on the moon by the late 2020s. The facility will be fully manufactured and assembled on Earth, then tested for safety and to make sure it operates correctly.

Afterwards, it will be integrated with a lunar lander, and a launch vehicle will transport it to an orbit around the moon. A lander will lower it to the surface, and once it arrives, it will be ready for operation with no additional assembly or construction required. The demonstration is expected to last for one year, and could ultimately lead to extended missions on the moon, Mars, and beyond.

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Nov 15, 2020

NASA is Asking Students to Come up With a Lunar Dust Buster

Posted by in category: space

“This competition gives students an unparalleled opportunity as members of the Artemis generation to help overcome the historically challenging technical obstacles of mitigating lunar dust,” Niki Werkheiser, NASA’s Game Changing Development program executive, said in a statement.

Since the Apollo missions, we’ve known that lunar dust is extremely clingy. Early NASA astronauts ended their spacewalks on the Moon covered in the stuff, likely caused by electrical charges built up by the moving around the lunar surface.

“The more time you spend there, the more you get covered from helmet to boots with lunar dust,” Buzz Aldrin was quoted in early NASA reports after completing the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. Aldrin also called lunar dust “one of our greatest inhibitors to a nominal operation on the Moon.”

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