China’s Rover Rolls! Yutu Begins Moon Mission
Today at 3:35 p.m. EST (4:35 a.m. Sunday, Beijing time), the Chinese Chang’E 3 lander lowered its rover to the moon’s surface. A CCTV television broadcast depicted recorded footage of the rover, called “Yutu” (“Jade Rabbit”), rolling off the lander’s sleds, trundling into the lunar dust. Read more
(Awesome GIFs courtesy of VidOrbital!)
Scientists discover enormous alien planetNBC News: Scientists have discovered a massive alien planet in the most distant orbit ever seen.The planet, which is 11 times larger than Jupiter, is fascinating scientists that study theories of planet formation. The most commonly accepted theory suggests planets orbiting close to their parent star begin as small bodies. Because this planet orbits its star at approximately 650 times the distance between the earth and sun, the theory does not explain its formation.The planet was found using a thermal infrared camera on the Magellan telescope in Chile.Follow more space news: http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/space/Photo: An artist’s conception of a young planet in a distant orbit around its host star. The star still harbors a debris disk, remnant material from star and planet formation, interior to the planet’s orbit. (NASA / JPL-Caltech)
The discovery marks the first time scientists have measured and compared profiles of water in atmospheres in detail across multiple alien worlds.
"This is Gene Cernan calling. I’m the last person to have walked on the moon."
As the student-constructed satellite orbits Earth, students and amateur radio users on the ground will be able to exchange data with it.
Native History: Astronaut John B. Herrington, Chickasaw, Becomes First American Indian in Space
Liftoff on November 23, 2002, set in motion a lot more than space shuttle Endeavour for NASA astronaut John Herrington, Chickasaw. After retiring from NASA, he embarked on a bicycle ride called Rocket Trek across Turtle Island to get Native students engaged with science and math—and discovered two life passions.
Most neutrinos detected on Earth originate in Earth’s atmosphere or the sun making the discovery of an ‘alien’ neutrino very exciting.
An astronaut on the International Space Station shows us what she sees many times a day.
(Photo: AP Photo / NASA / Ames / JPL-Caltech)
Space is vast, but it may not be so lonely after all: A study finds the Milky Way is teeming with billions of planets that are about the size of Earth, orbit stars just like our sun, and exist in the Goldilocks zone — not too hot and not too cold for life.
India’s first Mars mission launches flawlessly
India flawlessly launched its first ever mission to Mars today (Nov. 5) to begin a history making ten month long interplanetary voyage to the Red Planet that’s aimed at studying the Martian atmosphere and searching for methane after achieving orbit.
The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) thundered to space atop the nations four stage Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) precisely on time at 14:38 hrs IST (9:08 UTC, 4:08 a.m. EST) from the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota, off India’s east coast.
“Our journey to Mars begins now!” announced an elated ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan at the ISRO spaceport during a live broadcast of MOM’s launch from the mission control center. “We achieved orbit and we can all be proud.”
Image credit: ISRO
Is it possible to be jealous of an inanimate object? If so, then I am jealous of an inanimate object. Specifically, of the Sochi 2014 Olympic flame. Which has spent the past month—and will spend another three months—taking an envy-inducingly epic tour of Earth.
Before it makes its way to the shores of southern Russia in early February, the Olympic torch, with its symbolic flame, will have traveled to the North Pole (on a high-speed, nuclear-powered icebreaker). It will have summited Mount Elbrus, Europe’s highest peak. It will have descended to the bottom of Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest lake. It will have been transported by plane, train, car, icebreaker, and, yes, reindeer sleigh to more than 130 cities and towns in Russia. It will have traveled nearly 40,000 miles—the longest route in Olympic history—carried by some 14,000 people. It will have gotten to witness some of the most amazing places on Earth.
And also! Some of the most amazing places outside of Earth. Because the Sochi 2014 torch, on top of everything else, is going on a spacewalk.
Astronomers may have identified one of the richest planetary systems yet.
The discovery of a seventh planet around the dwarf star KIC 11442793 could be a record, according to two separate teams of researchers.
The system bears some similarities to our own, but all seven planets orbit much closer to their host star, which lies some 2,500 light-years from Earth.
The crowded solar system is described in two papers published on the pre-print server Arxiv.org.
Laser communications technology could help NASA communicate with farflung spacecraft in the future, including the sending and receiving of data.
B.C. firm finds way to mass produce telescopes that see billions of light years
If the inventors of a so-called game-changing telescope have their way, there will be a lot more discoveries about our solar system, galaxy and the universe.
The British Columbia firm Dynamic Structures has developed a new generation of telescopes that makes them financially feasible to build.
Company CEO Guy Nelson said Friday that many universities dream of having an observatory, but traditional telescopes require heavy mirrors supported by large observatories.
But using robots and the company’s new optical technology, Dynamic said it can mass produce light-weight mirrors with the ability to see millions, and even billions of light years away.
Dynamic Structures founder David Halliday said they’ve developed the 30 Metre Telescope that is able to take atmosphere away with a flexible lens, focusing on nothing but what the viewer wants to see.
"And behind that flexible lens you’ve got a series of actuators — which are little pistons that can move very, very rapidly, these pistons can change the shape of the surface," he explained.
In order for the telescope to get a reference point, a laser is sent into the sodium layer, creating a star of reference, he said.
"So you measure that, it gives you a wave and then through a giant mathematical model you reverse that, and make it even. Now you’ve got a straight line and that information, you poke that back into the servers that control the flexible mirror and if you control it properly, you take the atmosphere away," he said.
The company has always made telescopes, but over the last 20 years has used that technology for amusement rides.
Nelson said it started when Halliday and an engineer with the U.S. government collaborated on a project. That engineer later became the head of “imagineering” at The Walt Disney Company.
He said Dynamic was called in when the engineer thought the firm could solve a problem on one of its rides at Epcot Centre.
Halliday said they’re simply transferring their manufacturing ability, sharing it with academia and converting it into real solutions.
"Many times what happens is it stops at the academic level and you’d not be able to cultivate that into a practical, applied solution. That’s what we’re doing," he said.
The firm, which employees about 130 people in Port Coquitlam, B.C., has a backlog of about $100 million worth of amusement park rides to be exported to the U.S. and China. [x]