Tuesday, September 21

Astronomy

More than Just Dust in the Wind
Astronomy, NASA, Science

More than Just Dust in the Wind

More than Just Dust in the Wind In the 50 years since the first Earth Day, the view from space has revolutionized our understanding of Earth’s interconnected atmosphere, oceans, freshwater, ice, land, ecosystems and climate that have helped find solutions to environmental challenges. If NASA’s Earth science has changed this much in 50 years, what will it look like in 50 more years? We asked some researchers what they thought. Here are their answers, in their own words. Mahta Moghaddam is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Southern California. She’s building a system that helps sensors sync their measurements. I am interested in creating new ways to observe the Earth. In particular, my team and I are building and expanding a system that will allow sc...
A brand new magnetar found, it’s only 240 years old
Astronomy, Science

A brand new magnetar found, it’s only 240 years old

A brand new magnetar found, it’s only 240 years old Magnetars are some of the most ridiculous objects in the universe. Composed of the densest material possible spinning faster than your kitchen blender, they generate the absolute most powerful magnetic fields the cosmos has ever seen – and astronomers have recently spotted a newborn. Neutron stars are made of the leftover cores of massive stars. In the final moments before the cataclysmic death of the parent star, billions upon billions of tons of plasma crush into the center at a healthy fraction of the speed of light. That intense crushing squeezes down the core to unimaginably high densities. Those densities – and the temperatures that go with them – are enough to shove electrons into protons, turning the core into a giant ball of ...
Have You Ever Seen An Eclipse From Space? Check It Out
Astronomy, Science

Have You Ever Seen An Eclipse From Space? Check It Out

Have You Ever Seen An Eclipse From Space? Check It Out Simulating alien worlds, designing spacecraft with origami and using tiny fossils to understand the lives of ancient organisms are all in a day’s work for interns at NASA. Here’s how interns are taking our missions and science farther. 1. Connecting Satellites in Space Becca Foust looks as if she’s literally in space – or, at least, on a sci-fi movie set. She’s surrounded by black, except for the brilliant white comet model suspended behind her. Beneath the socks she donned just for this purpose, the black floor reflects the scene like perfectly still water across a lake as she describes what happens here: “We have five spacecraft simulators that ‘fly’ in a specially designed flat-floor facility,” she says. “The spacecraft simulator...
A Simulation of Sunsets on Other Worlds: From Venus to Titan
Astronomy, NASA

A Simulation of Sunsets on Other Worlds: From Venus to Titan

A Simulation of Sunsets on Other Worlds: From Venus to Titan When we think of exploring other planets and celestial bodies, we tend to focus on the big questions. How would astronauts live there when they’re not working? What kind of strategies and technology would be needed for people to be there long term? How might the gravity, environment, and radiation effect humans who choose to make places like the Moon, Mars, and other bodies place their home? We tend to overlook the simple stuff… For example, what will it be like to look up at the sky? How will Earth, the stars, and any moon in orbit appear? And how will it look to watch the sun go down? These are things we take for granted here on Earth and don’t really ponder much. But thanks to NASA, we now have a tool that simulates what sun...
Asteroids, Asteroids, Asteroids!
Astronomy

Asteroids, Asteroids, Asteroids!

Asteroids, Asteroids, Asteroids! The Planetary Society • June 25, 2020 The Downlink: Weekly resources to fuel your love of space Space Snapshot NASA June 2020 Solar Eclipse from International Space Station NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, who was aboard the International Space Station at the time, photographed the shadow created by a solar eclipse on 21 June 2020. NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy photographed the shadow created by last weekend’s solar eclipse from his vantage point aboard the International Space Station. The eclipse’s path crossed central Africa, Saudi Arabia, northern India, and southern China. Learn more about solar eclipses here. You love space, now take action This weekly newsletter is your toolkit to learn more about space, share...