Elon Musk’s aerospace company, SpaceX, just successfully launched its first two people into orbit, ushering in a new age of human spaceflight in the United States. SpaceX is now the first company to send passengers to orbit on a privately made vehicle, and the flight marked the first time astronauts have launched into orbit from American soil in nearly a decade.
You can name the new moons discovered around Saturn. Carnegie's Scott Sheppard has just announced the discovery of 20 new moons orbiting Saturn, bringing its total to 82 and moving it ahead of Jupiter, which has 79. All hail the new king of moons!
, Tuesday, October 08, 2019
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has orbited the moon recording topographical data for 10 years. Nasa has interpreted and combined the LRO's raw data and images to construct an accurate 3D rendering of the moon. Now they are offering it for free.
, Monday, October 07, 2019
Nasa has simulated a visualization of a black hole. This new visualization of a black hole illustrates how its gravity distorts our view, warping its surroundings as if seen in a carnival mirror. The visualization simulates the appearance of a black hole where in falling matter has collected into a thin, hot structure called an accretion disk. The black hole’s extreme gravity skews light emitted by different regions of the disk, producing the misshapen appearance.
Bright knots constantly form and dissipate in the disk as magnetic fields wind and twist through the churning gas. Nearest the black hole, the gas orbits at close to the speed of light, while the outer portions spin a bit more slowly. This difference stretches and shears the bright knots, producing light and dark lanes in the disk.
Viewed from the side, the disk looks brighter on the left than it does on the right. Glowing gas on the left side of the disk moves toward us so fast that the effects of Einstein’s relativity give it a boost in brightness; the opposite happens on the right side, where gas moving away us becomes slightly dimmer. This asymmetry disappears when we see the disk exactly face on because, from that perspective, none of the material is moving along our line of sight.
Closest to the black hole, the gravitational light-bending becomes so excessive that we can see the underside of the disk as a bright ring of light seemingly outlining the black hole. This so-called “photon ring” is composed of multiple rings, which grow progressively fainter and thinner, from light that has circled the black hole two, three, or even more times before escaping to reach our eyes. Because the black hole modeled in this visualization is spherical, the photon ring looks nearly circular and identical from any viewing angle. Inside the photon ring is the black hole’s shadow, an area roughly twice the size of the event horizon — its point of no return.
"Simulations and movies like these really help us visualize what Einstein meant when he said that gravity warps the fabric of space and time,” explains Jeremy Schnittman, who generated these gorgeous images using custom software at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “Until very recently, these visualizations were limited to our imagination and computer programs. I never thought that it would be possible to see a real black hole." Yet on April 10, the Event Horizon Telescope team released the first-ever image of a black hole’s shadow using radio observations of the heart of the galaxy M87.
Astronomers Capture First Image of a Black Hole
An international collaboration presents paradigm-shifting observations of the gargantuan black hole at the heart of distant galaxy Messier 87
The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) — a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration — was designed to capture images of a black hole. Today, in coordinated press conferences across the globe, EHT researchers reveal that they have succeeded, unveiling the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole and its shadow.
, Monday, September 30, 2019
NASA is developing the Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit, or xEMU, as a spacesuit for astronauts on the moon as part of the Artemis program.
After years of design and testing it is finally ready for space. Nasa recently announced that the xEMU prototype passed it's preliminary design review and will be tested in 2023.
, Friday, September 27, 2019
It only makes sense to create a space exploration robot that can tackle any type of terrain such as water, air or ground. That's exactly what we did when we designed G.R.I.F.O.N. 1 (Geological Research Instrument for Foraging and Observation in Nature) for the Quantum Enigma Comic Book and short film. Ours has two additional robots attached to it that can separate and float on water like an amphibious vehicle and it's also equipped with an aerial flying drone for reconnaissance. Ours is roughly a functional remote controlled prop, but Nasa is going all in.
The revolutionary concept called Shapeshifter is part drone, part boat, part all-terrain vehicle, and part submarine.
NASA 360 takes a look at the NASA Innovative Advanced Concept (NIAC) known as Shapeshifter. Researched by a team of engineers at NASA JPL the Shapeshifter concept is a flying amphibious robot that could one day be used to explore the treacherous terrains of distant worlds.
Check out the video below.
, Thursday, September 26, 2019
Yes, you read that correctly. Because of all of the other crazy news around the world this week, this headline didn't really get much coverage. Here's an excerpt from the article by Andrew Jones from Live Science.
"China's Chang'e-4 lunar rover has discovered an unusually colored, 'gel-like' substance during its exploration activities on the far side of the moon."
You can read the entire article here:
What I find most interesting about this, is that their theory for the substance is melted glass from a meteorite strike. Now you tell me, does glass look like a gel like substance? Maybe when it's hot, but this surely is not. Sounds like an X-Files episode.
, Thursday, September 05, 2019