Now that we have a president-elect I will return to my usual FYI postings on the weekends….you may thank me later…..
Let’s start with space stuff!
The new interest in space especially by some of those wealthy dudes that see space as the next frontier they can exploit has more and more news …..and as an opinionated SOB good fodder for IST posts.
The planet that cannot exist!
As Earth telescopes scan the stars for planets that may support life, they also find plenty of things that leave astronomers scratching their heads. Researchers say a planet they call a “hot Neptune” falls right into the head-scratching category. Not only does this scolding hot world travel around its sun in less than a day, it has an atmosphere that “shouldn’t exist.”
University of Kansas astronomer Ian Crossfield says new data from NASA’s TESS and Spitzer space telescopes is providing the first look at an exoplanet’s atmosphere the satellites captured. Planet LTT 9779b, which sits about 260 light-years from Earth and is so close to its home star it doesn’t have ground for a probe to land on.
Not to worry for water has been found on the Moon….
The moon is littered with patches of hidden water, NASA researchers have discovered.
That’s great news for the agency’s plans to send astronauts back to the moon, set up a permanent base there, and eventually use it as a stopping point on the way to Mars.
Those ambitions hinge on the ability to mine water ice on the moon and break it down into oxygen and hydrogen to make rocket fuel. Since it’s extremely expensive and difficult to launch enough fuel off Earth to get astronauts to Mars, water on the moon is likely to play a critical role in kick-starting a new era of human deep-space exploration.
Is someone or thing watching us?
New research suggests if life exists in space, then aliens on 1004 neighbouring stars could be watching us from afar.“If observers were out there searching, they would be able to see signs of a biosphere in the atmosphere of our Pale Blue Dot,” Lisa Kaltenegger, a Cornell University astronomer and lead author of the paper, said in a statement.Over the last decade, astronomers have discovered 4292 exoplanets orbiting 3185 stars by maintaining a close eye on a host star and waiting for it to dim.The dimming suggests a planet has passed through the space between the telescope and the star.By analysing the way the light dims, the chemical contents of the planet’s atmosphere can be deciphered and life may be detected based on those chemicals reactions
A NASA spacecraft is stuffed with so much asteroid rubble from this week’s grab that it’s jammed open and precious particles are drifting away in space, scientists said Friday. Scientists announced the news three days after the spacecraft named Osiris-Rex briefly touched asteroid Bennu, NASA’s first attempt at such a mission, the AP reports. The mission’s lead scientist, Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona, said Tuesday’s operation 200 million miles away collected far more material than expected for return to Earth—in the hundreds of grams. The sample container on the end of the robot arm penetrated so deeply into the asteroid and with such force, however, that rocks got sucked in and became wedged around the rim of the lid.Scientists estimate the sampler pressed as much as 19 inches into the rough, crumbly, black terrain. “We’re almost a victim of our own success here,” Lauretta said at a hastily arranged news conference. Lauretta said there is nothing flight controllers can do to clear the obstructions and prevent more bits of Bennu from escaping, other than to get the samples into their return capsule as soon as possible. So, the flight team was scrambling to put the sample container into the capsule as early as Tuesday—much sooner than originally planned—for the long trip home. “Time is of the essence,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, chief of NASA’s science missions. The samples won’t make it back until 2023, seven years after the spacecraft rocketed away from Cape Canaveral.
NASA announced that it’s formally partnered with the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop the Gateway, the space station it plans to launch into orbit around the Moon.
Moving forward, the Gateway station — which is meant to allow long-term lunar exploration by serving as a middle ground between space and the lunar surface — will be an international venture, according to a NASA press release. And after helping establish a human presence on and around the Moon, tantalizingly, the joint project could help both NASA and the ESA eventually reach Mars.
Did you ever wonder why there are so many determined to go to space (corporations that is)?
One meteor could be worth $10,000 quadrillion….you read that right that right…..quadrillion.
Somewhere between Mars and Jupiter is a potato-shaped space rock possibly worth way more than the entire economy of Earth. Italian astronomer Annibale de Gasparis discovered the Massachusetts-sized asteroid known as 16 Psyche lurking in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter in 1852, per Fox News. New observations courtesy of the Hubble Space Telescope suggest that unlike most other asteroids, which are made of rock or ice, this 140-mile-wide asteroid is made almost entirely of metal—specifically, iron and nickel—and worth an estimated $10,000 quadrillion. You need 19 zeros to write that number out in full. More important to scientists, however, are the possible clues to the origin of the universe that may lay hidden in its folds, some 230 million miles from Earth.
It’s thought that the asteroid is a protoplanet, or an incomplete planet, that could reveal the “building blocks” of the solar system, says Tracy Becker of the Southwest Research Institute, lead author of a study published in the Planetary Science Journal. It’s possible that an early planet as large as Mars “was struck by another object in our solar system and lost its mantle and crust,” leaving only the metal core behind, she adds. “Once we get to Psyche, we’re really going to understand if that’s the case.” NASA plans to launch a spacecraft to the asteroid in August 2022, with arrival scheduled for January 2026. The orbiter, dubbed Psyche, will spend two years investigating the asteroid, per CBS News. A project scientist previously told the outlet that there are no plans to use its material for industry. Indeed, USA Today reports NASA “lacks the technology to mine it.”