A dovetail joint of news, art, science, politics, philosophy & global affairs

Grasping the currency true to our time

"Πάντα ῥεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει"










April 5th
3:49 PM
Via
breakingnews:

Scientists work on fusion rocket for Mars
NBC News: Researchers at the University of Washington say they’ve built all the pieces for a fusion-powered rocket system that could get a crew to Mars in 30 days. 

“If we can pull off a fusion demonstration in a year, with hundreds of thousands of dollars … there might be a better, cheaper, faster path to using fusion in other applications,” John Slough, a research assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics, told NBC News. …
Timetables for the advent of fusion energy applications have repeatedly shifted to the right, reviving the old joke that the dawn of the fusion age will always be 30 years away.

Photo: An artist’s conception shows a spacecraft powered by a fusion-driven rocket. (UW / MSNW)

Did they say built? Did they say 30 days? Check it out, something about ringlets, deuterium and channeling a plasma spray. How long to the Jovian system?  Let the bots toil away in Mars’ gravity well while we go to Europa ;p

breakingnews:

Scientists work on fusion rocket for Mars

NBC News: Researchers at the University of Washington say they’ve built all the pieces for a fusion-powered rocket system that could get a crew to Mars in 30 days. 

“If we can pull off a fusion demonstration in a year, with hundreds of thousands of dollars … there might be a better, cheaper, faster path to using fusion in other applications,” John Slough, a research assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics, told NBC News. …

Timetables for the advent of fusion energy applications have repeatedly shifted to the right, reviving the old joke that the dawn of the fusion age will always be 30 years away.

Photo: An artist’s conception shows a spacecraft powered by a fusion-driven rocket. (UW / MSNW)

Did they say built? Did they say 30 days? Check it out, something about ringlets, deuterium and channeling a plasma spray. How long to the Jovian system?  Let the bots toil away in Mars’ gravity well while we go to Europa ;p

March 5th
4:55 PM
Via
astrodidact:

New comet and potential Mars collision
A newfound comet is apparently on course to have an exceedingly close call with the planet Mars in October 2014, and there is a chance — albeit small — that the comet may even collide with the Red Planet.
…When it was discovered, Comet Siding Spring was 669 million miles (1.07 billion kilometers) from the sun.  Based on its orbital eccentricity, it is apparently a new or “virgin” comet, traveling in a parabolic orbit and making its very first visit to the vicinity of the sun. It is expected to pass closest to the sun (called perihelion) on Oct. 25, 2014 at a distance of 130 million miles (209 million km).
But, less than a week earlier, on Oct. 19, 2014, the comet — whose nucleus is estimated to be anywhere from 5 to 30 miles (8 to 50 km) in diameter — is projected to cross the orbit of Mars and pass very close to that planet. Preliminary calculations suggest that nominally at closest approach, Comet Siding Spring will come to within 63,000 miles (101,000 km) of Mars. 
However, because the comet is currently very far out in space and has been under scrutiny for less than three months, … its orbit will likely need to be refined in the coming weeks and months.  As such, the comet’s approach to Mars might ultimately end up being farther or closer than what current predictions suggest.  In fact, last Wednesday observations made by Leonid Elenin, …suggested that the comet could pass even closer — just 25,700 miles (41,300 km) from the center of Mars.
 According to Elenin: “On the 19th October 2014, the comet might reach apparent magnitude of -8 to -8.5, as seen from Mars!”  (This would make the comet 15 to 25 times brighter than Venus).  “Perhaps it will be possible to acquire high-resolution images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO),” he added.
Then there is also the small possibility that the comet could collide with Mars. 
Moving at 35 miles (56 km) per second, such a collision could create an impact crater on Mars up to 10 times the diameter of the comet’s nucleus and up to 1.25 miles (2 km) deep… >continue<
 

astrodidact:

New comet and potential Mars collision

A newfound comet is apparently on course to have an exceedingly close call with the planet Mars in October 2014, and there is a chance — albeit small — that the comet may even collide with the Red Planet.

…When it was discovered, Comet Siding Spring was 669 million miles (1.07 billion kilometers) from the sun.  Based on its orbital eccentricity, it is apparently a new or “virgin” comet, traveling in a parabolic orbit and making its very first visit to the vicinity of the sun. It is expected to pass closest to the sun (called perihelion) on Oct. 25, 2014 at a distance of 130 million miles (209 million km).

But, less than a week earlier, on Oct. 19, 2014, the comet — whose nucleus is estimated to be anywhere from 5 to 30 miles (8 to 50 km) in diameter — is projected to cross the orbit of Mars and pass very close to that planet. Preliminary calculations suggest that nominally at closest approach, Comet Siding Spring will come to within 63,000 miles (101,000 km) of Mars. 

However, because the comet is currently very far out in space and has been under scrutiny for less than three months, … its orbit will likely need to be refined in the coming weeks and months.  As such, the comet’s approach to Mars might ultimately end up being farther or closer than what current predictions suggest.  In fact, last Wednesday observations made by Leonid Elenin, …suggested that the comet could pass even closer — just 25,700 miles (41,300 km) from the center of Mars.

 According to Elenin: “On the 19th October 2014, the comet might reach apparent magnitude of -8 to -8.5, as seen from Mars!”  (This would make the comet 15 to 25 times brighter than Venus).  “Perhaps it will be possible to acquire high-resolution images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO),” he added.

Then there is also the small possibility that the comet could collide with Mars. 

Moving at 35 miles (56 km) per second, such a collision could create an impact crater on Mars up to 10 times the diameter of the comet’s nucleus and up to 1.25 miles (2 km) deep… >continue<

 

image

February 15th
10:35 AM
Via

spaceplasma:

Huge Meteor Blazes Across Sky Over Russia; Sonic Boom Shatters Windows

A huge fireball shattered the morning skies over Russia’s Urals region generating a series of powerful sonic booms, blowing out windows and causing widespread panic. The event has been captured by a series of Youtube videos uploaded from eyewitness cameras and CCTV footage.

“Atmospheric phenomena have been registered in the cities of Chelyabinsk, Yekaterinburg and Tyumen,” reports the Russian news agency RT. “In Chelyabinsk, witnesses said the explosion was so loud that it resembled an earthquake and thunder at the same time, and that there were huge trails of smoke across the sky. Others reported seeing burning objects fall to earth.” The region is approximately 900 miles east of Moscow.

Details are currently sketchy, but as this video shows, it was certainly a major event. In another video, an eyewitness trains their camera on billowing smoke overhead just as a series of loud explosions cause windows to shatter and car alarms to be triggered. It’s not thought the loud bangs were caused by surface impacts of meteorites, it’s most likely shock waves (sonic booms) originating from the hypervelocity object.   >video collection<

Watch upper left of screen. Vehicle turns right just in time to keep the explosive event in view.

January 22nd
7:25 AM
Via
December 14th
11:26 AM
Via

f-l-e-u-r-d-e-l-y-s:

A photograph of the Saturn and its rings, taken by the Cassini spacecraft from inside the planet’s shadow.  Earth is visible in the upper right as a small dot between rings.

December 3rd
7:33 AM
Via

"What is the most astounding fact… a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam"

October 28th
4:00 PM
Via
pappubahry:

Earth, photographed by MESSENGER after its flyby.
This gif uses only the photos taken through the blue(-ish) filter; the folks at NASA/Johns Hopkins/Carnegie Institution of Washington have properly colourised the movie here.

pappubahry:

Earth, photographed by MESSENGER after its flyby.

This gif uses only the photos taken through the blue(-ish) filter; the folks at NASA/Johns Hopkins/Carnegie Institution of Washington have properly colourised the movie here.

September 3rd
11:52 PM
Via
ikenbot:

Ancient Orbs
This sparkling picture taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the centre of globular cluster M 4. The power of Hubble has resolved the cluster into a multitude of glowing orbs, each a colossal nuclear furnace.
M 4 is relatively close to us, lying 7200 light-years distant, making it a prime object for study. It contains several tens of thousand stars and is noteworthy in being home to many white dwarfs — the cores of ancient, dying stars whose outer layers have drifted away into space.

ikenbot:

Ancient Orbs

This sparkling picture taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the centre of globular cluster M 4. The power of Hubble has resolved the cluster into a multitude of glowing orbs, each a colossal nuclear furnace.

M 4 is relatively close to us, lying 7200 light-years distant, making it a prime object for study. It contains several tens of thousand stars and is noteworthy in being home to many white dwarfs — the cores of ancient, dying stars whose outer layers have drifted away into space.

August 25th
3:38 PM
zeitvox:

Neil Armstrong comments on the final landing sequence. View from the Eagle in 1969 on the left and a Google lunar map on the right - from a video recreation.
A glitch had put the Apollo 11 lunar module in a higher altitude than anticipated on approach. Dangerously low on fuel, Armstrong takes manual control in order to avoid massive boulders, and finds a good spot with less than 30 seconds of fuel remaining. Though reclusive and rarely interviewed, the right stuff gives a rare account to - well - Australian accountants.

Neil Armstrong, dead at 82

zeitvox:

Neil Armstrong comments on the final landing sequence. View from the Eagle in 1969 on the left and a Google lunar map on the right - from a video recreation.

A glitch had put the Apollo 11 lunar module in a higher altitude than anticipated on approach. Dangerously low on fuel, Armstrong takes manual control in order to avoid massive boulders, and finds a good spot with less than 30 seconds of fuel remaining. Though reclusive and rarely interviewed, the right stuff gives a rare account to - well - Australian accountants.

Neil Armstrong, dead at 82

August 6th
6:53 AM
Via

Curiosity Down Successfully at Gale Crater

typogodess:

The first 3 photos from Curiosity, the first one is it’s shadow on Mars

June 25th
2:42 PM

Mars: August 5th 2012,
Curiosity’s 7 Minutes of Hell

It’s the size of a car. Apparently this nixes the balloon bouncy approach used with Spirit and Opportunity. Good luck Curiosity; Mars is getting bigger every day now.

June 23rd
4:21 PM
Via

Earth, Jupiter and Venus from the skyline of Mars!

Earth, Jupiter and Venus from the skyline of Mars!

May 29th
8:25 AM
NASA asks future Moon visitors to respect its stuffAdam Mann - arstechnica&#160;&#187;

&#8230;China, India, and Japan, are looking to put unmanned probes on the lunar surface. But more unprecedented are the 26 teams currently racing to win the Google Lunar X Prize—a contest that will award $20 million to the first private company to land a robot on the lunar surface&#8230;
NASA is asking anyone that makes it to the lunar surface to keep their landing at least 1.2 miles away from any Apollo site and about 1,600 feet from the five Ranger impact sites. The distance should keep the old equipment safe from a terrible accident or collision. It will also would put the new equipment &#8220;over the lunar horizon&#8221; relative to the relics, and prevent any moon dust—known to be a highly abrasive material—from sandblasting NASA’s old machines.
The Apollo 11 and 17 sites—the first and last places visited by man—are singled out in particular for extra care and respect. Robots are prohibited from visiting both sites and are requested to remain outside a large radius (250 feet for Apollo 11 and 740 feet for Apollo 17) to prevent a stray rover from accidentally harming hardware or erasing any footprints.
"Only one misstep could forever damage this priceless human treasure" &#8230; &gt;continue&lt;

Not bad, at least when you don&#8217;t have a lunar presence to bolster your enforcement profile.

NASA asks future Moon visitors to respect its stuff
Adam Mann - arstechnica »

…China, India, and Japan, are looking to put unmanned probes on the lunar surface. But more unprecedented are the 26 teams currently racing to win the Google Lunar X Prize—a contest that will award $20 million to the first private company to land a robot on the lunar surface…

NASA is asking anyone that makes it to the lunar surface to keep their landing at least 1.2 miles away from any Apollo site and about 1,600 feet from the five Ranger impact sites. The distance should keep the old equipment safe from a terrible accident or collision. It will also would put the new equipment “over the lunar horizon” relative to the relics, and prevent any moon dust—known to be a highly abrasive material—from sandblasting NASA’s old machines.

The Apollo 11 and 17 sites—the first and last places visited by man—are singled out in particular for extra care and respect. Robots are prohibited from visiting both sites and are requested to remain outside a large radius (250 feet for Apollo 11 and 740 feet for Apollo 17) to prevent a stray rover from accidentally harming hardware or erasing any footprints.

"Only one misstep could forever damage this priceless human treasure" … >continue<

Not bad, at least when you don’t have a lunar presence to bolster your enforcement profile.

8:48 AM
Via
carlzimmer:

Compared to Jupiter’s moon Europa, our planet is practically a desert, as this NASA image shows. It’s a computer visualization showing Europa and a dried-out Earth, with the volume of all their water represented by blue spheres.
(Details at APOD: 2012 May 24 - All the Water on Europa)

carlzimmer:

Compared to Jupiter’s moon Europa, our planet is practically a desert, as this NASA image shows. It’s a computer visualization showing Europa and a dried-out Earth, with the volume of all their water represented by blue spheres.

(Details at APOD: 2012 May 24 - All the Water on Europa)