Posted on October 31, 2021Categories News   Leave a comment on Artemis 1 is Launching in February

Artemis 1 is Launching in February

It’s been a long time coming, but NASA’s next moon rocket is just months from liftoff on its first uncrewed test flight. The Space Launch System (SLS) is a super heavy-lift vehicle capable of delivering 95 tons to Low Earth Orbit, but its primary purpose will be to deliver humans to lunar orbit and, eventually, to the lunar surface. SLS has been in development since 2011, and it’s faced a series of delays, but launch day is finally within sight. … Continue reading “Artemis 1 is Launching in February”

Posted on October 31, 2021Categories News   Leave a comment on Blue Origin Announces the “Orbital Reef,” the Space Station they Plan to Build in Orbit

Blue Origin Announces the “Orbital Reef,” the Space Station they Plan to Build in Orbit

Blue Origin has certainly stepped up its game of late! After stepping down as the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos has made it his personal mission to take the company he founded in 2000 and turn it into a powerhouse of the commercial space sector. Between some high-profile missions involving the New Shepard – which included passengers like Wally Funk, William Shatner, and even himself and his brother – Bezos has also been outspoken about his long-term vision. Bezos describes … Continue reading “Blue Origin Announces the “Orbital Reef,” the Space Station they Plan to Build in Orbit”

Posted on October 30, 2021Categories News   Leave a comment on Quick Action Let Hubble Watch the Earliest Stages of an Unfolding Supernova Detonation

Quick Action Let Hubble Watch the Earliest Stages of an Unfolding Supernova Detonation

If it weren’t for supernova remnants we wouldn’t have much knowledge of supernovae themselves. If a supernova explosion is the end of a star’s life, then we can also thank forensic astrophysics for much of our knowledge. The massive exploding stars leave behind brilliant and mesmerizing evidence of their catastrophic ends, and much of what we know about supernovae comes from studying the remnants rather than the explosions themselves. Supernova remnants like the Crab Nebula and SN 1604 (Kepler’s Supernova) … Continue reading “Quick Action Let Hubble Watch the Earliest Stages of an Unfolding Supernova Detonation”

Posted on October 30, 2021Categories News   Leave a comment on New Idea: Use the Starship HLS to Create a Lunar Base!

New Idea: Use the Starship HLS to Create a Lunar Base!

Between the multiple space agencies planning to conduct crewed missions to the lunar surface, the many commercial entities who’ve contracted them to assist them, and proposals for lunar bases, the message of the modern space age is clear: We’re going back to the Moon. And this time, we intend to stay! Just like the efforts of the Apollo Era, this entails several challenges, ones that require “the best of our energies and skills.” These challenges are leading to all sorts … Continue reading “New Idea: Use the Starship HLS to Create a Lunar Base!”

Posted on October 29, 2021Categories News   Leave a comment on Lightweight, Flexible Lens Could be the Future of Space Telescopes

Lightweight, Flexible Lens Could be the Future of Space Telescopes

Holograms are useful for more than interesting-looking baubles in gift shops.  Materials scientists have used them for applications from stress/strain gauges to data storage systems.  It turns out they would also be useful in making extraordinarily lightweight, flexible mirrors for space telescopes.  A new study led by researchers at the Rensselear Polytechnic Institue shows how that might happen. The study, published in Nature Scientific Reports, details a technique to create a rollable lens using a holographic coating.  Rollable lenses on … Continue reading “Lightweight, Flexible Lens Could be the Future of Space Telescopes”

Posted on October 29, 2021Categories News   Leave a comment on The Sun Blasted Out a Huge Flare and CME; We Could See Auroras on Halloween

The Sun Blasted Out a Huge Flare and CME; We Could See Auroras on Halloween

Auroral fireworks for Halloween? It just might happen, depending on where you live. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this movie of a solar flare — as seen in the bright flash at the Sun’s lower center — on Oct. 28, 2021. Credit: NASA/SDO On October 28, 2021 the Sun blasted a “significant” X1 solar flare – the most intense class of flares. While the flare itself hit Earth eight and a half minutes later, an accompanying Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) … Continue reading “The Sun Blasted Out a Huge Flare and CME; We Could See Auroras on Halloween”

Posted on October 28, 2021Categories News   Leave a comment on The Radio Signal From Proxima Centauri Came From Earth After All

The Radio Signal From Proxima Centauri Came From Earth After All

Turns out we were hearing ourselves! Earth can be a noisy place when listening to stars. Late last year, a story was leaked indicating that the Murriyang radio telescope in Australia had detected a “signal-of-interest”. Dubbed “blc1” (Breakthrough Listen Candidate 1), the signal appeared to originate from the direction of Proxima Centauri, the closest neighbouring star to the Sun. The signal had yet to be fully analyzed when the story was leaked. Now that the analysis is complete, research shows … Continue reading “The Radio Signal From Proxima Centauri Came From Earth After All”

Posted on October 28, 2021Categories News   Leave a comment on Researchers Use Ancient Literature to Track 3,000 Years of Auroras

Researchers Use Ancient Literature to Track 3,000 Years of Auroras

Auroral activity on Earth varies over time. As the magnetic poles drift, auroras can appear at different latitudes around the globe. Solar activity also affects them, with powerful solar storms pushing the auroras further into mid-latitudes. In an effort to better understand how auroras move around, how they’ll move in the future, and when powerful solar storms might pose a threat, a team of researchers have tracked auroral activity for the last 3,000 years. A pair of researchers associated with … Continue reading “Researchers Use Ancient Literature to Track 3,000 Years of Auroras”

Posted on October 28, 2021Categories News   Leave a comment on Early Earth was Pummeled 10x More Than Previously Estimated

Early Earth was Pummeled 10x More Than Previously Estimated

It’s no secret that Earth was bombarded with plenty of meteors for billions of years during the solar system’s early formation.  Estimates vary on how much material impacted the planet, but it had a considerable effect on the planet’s atmosphere and the evolution of life. Now, a new study from a team led by researchers at the Southwest Research Institute puts the number at almost ten times the number of previously estimated impacts.  That much of a difference could dramatically … Continue reading “Early Earth was Pummeled 10x More Than Previously Estimated”

Posted on October 28, 2021Categories News   Leave a comment on A Mars Colony Could be a Hydrogen Factory, Providing Propellant for the Inner Solar System

A Mars Colony Could be a Hydrogen Factory, Providing Propellant for the Inner Solar System

There are lots of potential uses for a Mars colony.  It could be a research outpost, mining colony, or even a possible second home if something happens to go drastically wrong on our first one.  But it could also be a potential source of what is sure to be one of the most valuable elements in the space economy – hydrogen.   A new paper from Dr. Mikhail Shubov at the University of Massachusetts Lowell discussing just such an eventuality.  Hydrogen … Continue reading “A Mars Colony Could be a Hydrogen Factory, Providing Propellant for the Inner Solar System”