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Archive for the ‘space’ category: Page 9

Oct 26, 2019

There are potentially millions of tons of water ice on the Moon!

Posted by in categories: space, sustainability

In 2022, we’ll send a rover to hunt for water at the lunar south pole. Learn more about our VIPER mission and how its findings will bring us closer to establishing a sustainable presence on the Moon: https://go.nasa.gov/2WcDtCQ

Oct 25, 2019

Mix master: Modeling magnetic reconnection in partially ionized plasma

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space

Many of the most dramatic events in the solar system—the spectacle of the Northern Lights, the explosiveness of solar flares, and the destructive impact of geomagnetic storms that can disrupt communication and electrical grids on Earth—are driven in part by a common phenomenon: fast magnetic reconnection. In this process the magnetic field lines in plasma—the gas-like state of matter consisting of free electrons and atomic nuclei, or ions—tear, come back together and release large amounts of energy (Figure 1).

Astrophysicists have long puzzled over whether this mechanism can occur in the cold, relatively dense regions of interstellar space outside the where stars are born. Such regions are filled with partially ionized plasma, a mix of free charged electrons and ions and the more familiar neutral, or whole, atoms of gas. If magnetic reconnection does occur in these regions it might dissipate magnetic fields and stimulate .

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have developed a model and simulation that show the potential for reconnection to occur in interstellar space.

Oct 25, 2019

NASA high definition images from Mars, epic background music … It seems to be there already

Posted by in categories: media & arts, space

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Oct 25, 2019

New-Found Comet Gateway Funnels Icy Bodies Into Inner Solar System

Posted by in category: space

Newly-discovered comet gateway links icy bodies from the outer solar system into near-Earth trajectories, says paper.

Oct 24, 2019

Can This Newfound Dark, Massive Galaxy Be Astronomy’s ‘Missing Link’ In The Universe?

Posted by in category: space

If this newfound galaxy is just the tip of the iceberg, the entire Universe may fall into place.

Oct 24, 2019

The Universe Is Made of Tiny Bubbles Containing Mini-Universes, Scientists Say

Posted by in category: space

‘Spacetime foam’ might just be the wildest thing in the known universe, and we’re just starting to understand it.

Oct 24, 2019

How Fast Is The Universe Expanding? Incompatible Answers Point To New Physics

Posted by in categories: physics, space

As more data comes in, the puzzle gets deeper and deeper.

Oct 24, 2019

NASA Innovator Experiments with Force Fields for Moving Matter

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space

On a metal workbench covered with tools, instruments, cords, and bottles of solution, Aaron Yevick is using laser light to create a force field with which to move particles of matter.

Yevick is an optical engineer who came to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, full-time earlier this year. Despite being in his current position with NASA less than a year, Yevick received funding from the Goddard Fellows Innovation Challenge (GFIC) — a research and development program focused on supporting riskier, less mature technologies — to advance his work.

His goal is to fly the technology aboard the International Space Station, where astronauts could experiment with it in microgravity. Eventually, he believes the technology could help researchers explore other planets, moons, and comets by helping them collect and study samples.

Oct 23, 2019

First identification of a heavy element born from neutron star collision

Posted by in categories: physics, space

For the first time, a freshly made heavy element, strontium, has been detected in space, in the aftermath of a merger of two neutron stars. This finding was observed by ESO’s X-shooter spectrograph on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and is published today in Nature. The detection confirms that the heavier elements in the Universe can form in neutron star mergers, providing a missing piece of the puzzle of chemical element formation.

In 2017, following the detection of gravitational waves passing the Earth, ESO pointed its telescopes in Chile, including the VLT, to the source: a star merger named GW170817. Astronomers suspected that, if did form in neutron star collisions, signatures of those elements could be detected in kilonovae, the explosive aftermaths of these mergers. This is what a team of European researchers has now done, using data from the X-shooter instrument on ESO’s VLT.

Following the GW170817 merger, ESO’s fleet of telescopes began monitoring the emerging kilonova explosion over a wide range of wavelengths. X-shooter in particular took a series of spectra from the ultraviolet to the near infrared. Initial analysis of these spectra suggested the presence of heavy elements in the kilonova, but astronomers could not pinpoint individual elements until now.

Oct 23, 2019

As We Search for a New Home, Robots Have Conquered Space

Posted by in categories: biological, habitats, robotics/AI, space

Space — also commonly known as the final frontier — has left us in a state of awe since we ever first laid eyes on it. Inspired by numerous works of science fiction, we’ve made it a mission of ours to not only explore space but to colonize its planets as we continue searching for a secondary home.

And while our efforts have been mildly successful thus far, a group of non-biological “creatures” have already achieved the difficult task of conquering space. They’re known as robots.

Whether on the International Space Station (ISS) or on another planet, these automated machines have extended our reach into the cosmos far better than any actual human hand has accomplished. It all started in 1969 when the Soviets made the first attempt to land a robotic rover, known as Lunokhod 0, onto the Lunar surface of our Moon. Unfortunately for the Soviets, the rover was unsuccessful in its landing; instead crashing down after a failed start.

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