Today is a Saturday and I have decided to give my readers some science and what-not….today it will be all about space (simply because that dude in the Ivory Tower (president) has decided that we need a space force)
First post is about a fly-by we had to planet earth last year …….
Last year’s visitor from another star system—a cigar-shaped object briefly tumbling through our cosmic neck of the woods—has now been identified as a comet. A European-led team makes the case in Wednesday’s edition of the journal Nature, the AP reports. Telescopes first spotted the mysterious red-tinged object last October as it zipped through the inner solar system. Since then, astronomers have flip-flopped between comet and asteroid for our first confirmed interstellar guest. Neither a coma nor tail was spotted, hallmarks of an icy comet. But Italian astronomer Marco Micheli and his team reported that the object’s path and acceleration are best explained not just by gravity, but also gases shedding from a comet.
The release of what’s believed to be gaseous carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and water applied only a tiny force on the object known as Oumuamua—about 1,000 times smaller than the effect of the sun’s gravity—and barely altered its path, the researchers said. But the team’s measurements “were so precise that we could actually see the change in position caused by the outgassing,” said co-author Paul Chodas, manager of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Discovered by a telescope in Hawaii, Oumuamua is Hawaiian for messenger from afar arriving first, or scout. It’s long gone, as are the chances of knowing conclusively what it was.
As long as we are talking about space…how about a phenom known as “space grease”?
President Trump’s “Space Force” might need to carry some heavy-duty cleaning products. A team of astronomers has determined that the universe is a much greasier and dirtier place than once thought, with grease-like molecules known as aliphatic carbon thinly spread throughout interstellar space, the Guardian reports. As part of a project to calculate the amount of carbon—essential for the formation of planets and life—that exists between the stars, the astronomers recreated the interstellar dust generated by carbon stars and discovered that the Milky Way alone holds around 10 billion trillion trillion tons of “space grease.” Solar wind keeps much of it out of our solar system, but any spacecraft travelling between the stars is likely to arrive with a sticky, dirty coating of carbon.
“This space grease is not the kind of thing you’d want to spread on a slice of toast,” says study co-author Tim Schmidt of the University of New South Wales. “It’s dirty, likely toxic and only forms in the environment of interstellar space—and our laboratory.” Schmidt tells CNN that the substance is like greasy soot. “It’s not a pure substance, it’s not biological,” he says. “It would make things dirty like soot would.” About half the carbon in space is thought to be elemental carbon. The team, whose research is published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, now plans to calculate how much of the third form of interstellar carbon, aromatic “mothball” carbon, exists in our galaxy.
This is the type of intel that a space force will be needing if it is to be a success.
Uncle Sam Needs YOU! Join the Space Marines!