Space

A guide to the longest full eclipse of the moon this century, and more

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On July 27th, 2018 most of the world will be treated to an extraordinary evening of activity in the sky. Daniel Cunnama The Conversation First, there will be a total lunar eclipse and although uncommon, this one is special because it’s going to last a lot longer than usual – in fact the longest this century. But that’s not all. Mars will shine brighter than it has in 15 years. Caroline Southey asked Dr Daniel Cunnama to explain the… There’s ... Read More »

The world is about to witness the longest lunar eclipse of the century

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July has already been a real treat for stargazers, with five planets to see in the evening sky, Mars looking the best we’ve seen in 15 years, and now, in the early hours of Saturday morning July 28, there will be an extraordinary total lunar eclipse. Tanya Hill The Age * We are currently in the midst of a five-planet season due to Jupiter and Saturn being on the same side of the Sun. Look to the sky after sunset, ... Read More »

Is space tourism travelling faster than space law?

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Space tourism is fast becoming the new frontier in the transportation business. Driven by profit-making private venture capital, the push to offer customers some direct or indirect experience with space travel is no longer the stuff of comic books or science fiction. Gbenga Oduntan The Conversation The worry is that the legal architecture for this nascent industry has barely got its foundations in order. There seems to be a sound business case for the industry. Market studies indicate that there are ... Read More »

Gaia’s Map of 1.3 Billion Stars Makes for a Milky Way in a Bottle

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Call it a galaxy in a bottle. Last Wednesday, astronomers in Europe released a three-dimensional map of the Milky Way. Dennis Overbye The New York Times It is the most detailed survey ever produced of our home galaxy. It contains the vital statistics of some 1.3 billion stars — about one percent of the whole galaxy. Not to mention measurements of almost half a million quasars, asteroids and other flecks in the night. Analyzing all these motions and distances, astronomers ... Read More »

Crucial Ingredient of Life Might Not Exist Across Universe, Scientists Discover

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If you were going grocery shopping with plans to whip up life, you’d know to stock up on the equivalent of a chocolate chip cookie recipe’s eggs and chocolate chips: It’s easy to remember you need water and carbon. Meghan Bartels Newsweek But just as you may forget to check your supply of baking soda, the less obvious ingredients of life—like phosphorus—may slip your mind. Phosphorus is a crucial piece of DNA and the compounds that store energy. A cookie without baking soda doesn’t ... Read More »

Space war is coming — and the U.S. is not ready

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‘We are now approaching a point where “Star Wars” is not just a movie,’ one government adviser warns. By BRYAN BENDER and JACQUELINE KLIMAS Politico War is coming to outer space, and the Pentagon warns it is not yet ready, following years of underinvesting while the military focused on a host of threats on Earth. Russia and China are years ahead of the United States in developing the means to destroy or disable satellites that the U.S. military depends on for everything from ... Read More »

A New Space Race?

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After a long time, the issue of outer space affairs is assuming a central position in the discourse of both national and international security Martand Jha The National Interest On December 11, Donald Trump signed a new space policy directive which instructs NASA to focus on sending humans to the moon. The last time the United States sent its astronauts to the moon was way back in December 1972 during the Apollo 17 mission. After a gap of forty-five years, ... Read More »

Neutron star merger left behind a black hole, study says

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A collapse of two neutron stars, which made headlines this year as the first-ever observation of gravitational waves confirmed by other signals, left behind a black hole, further study has revealed. RT The GW170817 event reported by scientists of LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) earlier this year is considered one of this year’s most significant events in astronomy. The gravitational waves detected by LIGO stations coincided with electromagnetic radiation of a wide spectrum, which confirmed that the event causing the ... Read More »

Managing Mars: Who Has a Right To It’s Resources?

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Two scientists propose a method of divvying up Martian resources based on the concept of “Cooperative Sovereignty” Sciworthy Spandan Dash BMSIS Young Scientist Program Humans have long been fascinated by the huge Cosmos above us Perhaps this fascination has been best put to words by Carl Sagan in his influential book, Cosmos: “The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us — there is a tingling in the spine, ... Read More »

Message to the gods: the space poetry that transcends human rivalries

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Sputnik 1 started it all. The beachball-sized satellite was launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957 and, despite a relatively short mission of only 21 days in orbit around Earth, quickly became regarded as a device that changed the world. Phil Leonard The Conversation It represented the beginning of the Space Age – and immediately heightened tensions between the US and the USSR, prompting fears about the weaponising of space. But Sputnik, and the missions that were to ... Read More »

Cassini crashes into Saturn — but could still deliver big discoveries

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Data from spacecraft could help determine the age of Saturn’s rings and the persistence of its magnetic field Alexandra Witze Nature At 4:55 a.m. California time on 15 September, hundreds of scientists watched their life’s work go up in flames. The Cassini spacecraft disintegrated in Saturn’s atmosphere in a mission-ending move meant to keep the probe from contaminating the planet’s moons, including Titan and Enceladus, that could harbor signs of… Cassini’s final images, transmitted in the hours before its death, included ... Read More »

Is the Universe a Hologram?

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Scientists Answer the Most Provocative Questions Science today is more a process of collaboration than moments of individual “eurekas.” * By Adolfo Plasencia * Foreword by Tim O’Reilly * The MIT Press Overview This book recreates that kind of synergy by offering a series of interconnected dialogues with leading scientists who are asked to reflect on key questions and concepts about the physical world, technology, and the mind. These thinkers offer both… Is the Universe… Read More »

The discovery of alien life may be close. How will religion survive it?

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Encounters with new worlds and new life will present religions with the ultimate theological conundrum. But they will adapt, as they have done… Santhosh Mathew The Guardian About two decades ago, it was quite uncertain whether stars other than our own sun even hosted their own… However, according to Nasa, the latest count of confirmed exoplanets stands at around 3,500 – and… The discovery of… Read More »

Harvard Scientists Say Aliens May Be Using Giant Radio Beams To Travel The Cosmos

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Thousands of civilizations could be flying on interstellar sails. Lee Speigel The Huffington Post Two Harvard University scientists are suggesting that mysterious fast radio bursts, detected in faraway galaxies, may be evidence of aliens traveling through the… FRBs are extremely bright flashes of radio waves that last for only a thousandth of a… Harvard Scientists Say… Read More »

Why discovering new Earth-like planets matters

Earth - Al Jazeers

Seven years ago, no one – even an astronomer – could tell you whether any planets that might be like Earth existed. Lucianne Walkowicz Al Jazeera News From across the Galaxy, just shy of 40 light years away, seven long shadows sweep across our planet. These shadows belong… Why discovering new… Read More »

Flights of fancy or reality?

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Few people think of commercial development beyond earth, or the two Poles, but China is exploring the potential in space with its lunar program Peter J. Brown Asia Times When one thinks of development few would even consider anything beyond earth, or the extremes of the North and South Poles. But just like… Flights of fancy… Read More »