Tag Archives | NASA

NASA’s WISE Survey Finds Thousands of New Stars, But No ‘Planet X’

Nibiru ,Planet X ,Annunaki

Nibiru ,Planet X ,Annunaki (Photo credit: tortuga767) (CC)

Sad to say, but there will be no vacation from this three ring circus sideshow of Freaks. Nor a Kirsten Dunst flavored Melancholia stylized Nibiru cataclysm. Yet you still may want to learn to swim. There’s still comets  to fret about and whatever other fear of the week our imaginations can dredge up.

via NASA

After searching hundreds of millions of objects across our sky, NASA’s Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has turned up no evidence of the hypothesized celestial body in our solar system commonly dubbed “Planet X.”

Researchers previously had theorized about the existence of this large, but unseen celestial body, suspected to lie somewhere beyond the orbit of Pluto. In addition to “Planet X,” the body had garnered other nicknames, including “Nemesis” and “Tyche.”

This recent study, which involved an examination of WISE data covering the entire sky in infrared light, found no object the size of Saturn or larger exists out to a distance of 10,000 astronomical units (au), and no object larger than Jupiter exists out to 26,000 au.

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NASA Plans Mission to Europa

PIC: NASA (PD)

PIC: NASA (PD)

NASA plans on sending an unmanned vehicle to search for life in the oceans of Europa, Jupiter’s sixth-closest moon. The exciting news was practically buried in a press release regarding agency funding. The communique also mentions the agency’s intention to develop technologies for an “asteroid redirect program” that will lead to a manned mission to Mars.

Clearly NASA doesn’t remember the Monolith’s warning from 2001: A Space Odyssey:  “All these worlds are yours, except Europa. Attempt no landing there.

Via NASA:

“This budget ensures that the United States will remain the world’s leader in space exploration and scientific discovery for years to come. The budget supports the administration’s commitment that NASA be a catalyst for the growth of a vibrant American commercial space industry, and keeps us on target to launch American astronauts from right here in the USA by 2017, ending our reliance on others to get into space and freeing us up to carry out even more ambitious missions beyond low-Earth orbit.

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NASA Astronaut Leroy Chiao Describes His 2005 UFO Encounter In Space

leroy chaioVia the Guardian Liberty Voice, did Chiao see a UFO while at the International Space Station?

From October 2004 until April 2005, astronaut Leroy Chiao was flying high as commander of the International Space Station. While he and Russian cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov were taking a stroll outside of the ISS something caught Chiao’s attention. The two were putting together navigational antennas 230 miles above the ground and flying at 17,000 miles an hour when something went by them, traveling even faster.

Chiao says that he saw some lights that he thought were in a line. When the lights flew by him, Chiao thought it was “…awfully strange.” Sharipov was looking the other way. Chiao’s experience is one of several stories that will be told on an upcoming program on the Science Channel.

As an astronaut, Chiao doesn’t believe an intelligently controlled craft from another planet has ever visited Earth [but says] “I have an open mind and I do believe there’s other life in the universe.”

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USA Heading Back To The Moon

320px-Apollo15LunarRoverAssuming you believe that the United States actually put men and machines on the moon before (yes, there are still plenty of naysaying conspiracy theorists who think it was a grand hoax), then this is a case of going back to the moon. If not, then it could be the first time. Exciting! From the Telegraph:

America is preparing to land a robot on the moon for the first time in four decades.

Nasa is looking for private partners to participate in the project that will see a new generation of rovers wandering across the moon’s surface.

The American space agency has set up a programme called Catalyst to exploit commercial opportunities offered by the moon.

It believes that eventually there will be a market for commercial cargo trips to the lunar surface.
“As Nasa pursues an ambitious plan for humans to explore an asteroid and Mars, US industry will create opportunities for Nasa to advance new technologies on the moon,” said Greg Williams, Nasa’s deputy associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.

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Mysterious Rock Suddenly Appears In Front Of NASA Rover On Mars

There may be a perfectly reasonable explanation, but I certainly would not want to be left alone on Mars after dark. Via the Daily Mail:

A mysterious Martian rock that appeared in front of the Opportunity rover within days has left scientists scratching their heads. The rover, which landed on Mars in 2004, hasn’t moved in over a month as it waits for better weather on the red planet.

But a photo taken on Sol 3540 (January 8th, or the 3,540th Martian solar day since the Opportunity rover landed) shows a rock that wasn’t visible in previous photos taken on Sol 3536.

The discovery was revealed by Mars Exploration Rover lead scientist Steve Squyres in a keynote at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory last night.

rock

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NASA Plans To Grow Plants On The Moon

plants

The new balanced diet includes space fruits. The Independent reports:

NASA has announced plans to grow plants on the moon by 2015 in a project designed to further humanity’s chances of successfully colonising space. If successful, the Lunar Plant Growth Habitat team will make history by seeding life from Earth on another celestial body for the first time, paving the way for humans to set up more permanent habitation.

NASA plans to deliver the payload via the Moon Express lander, a commercial spacecraft enrolled in the Google Lunar X Prize. Seeds will include Arabidopsis, basil, and turnips,” said NASA officials in a press release.

Partial gravity and lunar radiation will need to be accounted for, although the plants will travel with their own water reservoir and enough air for five days of growth. Cameras and sensors will monitor the plants and send data back to Earth.

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Meteor impact trapped ancient swamp plants in glass

themoment

The Moment (Panspermia) by Ryan Rosenberg

Kieren Torres Howard of the Meteorite Working Group, and colleagues have discovered organic material in glass created from a meteor impact.

via New Scientist

Remnants of an ancient swamp have been found preserved inside glass created during a meteorite strike. The discovery marks the first time that traces of life have been found to survive the heat and pressure of an impact, adding weight to arguments that microbes travelling on space rocks could have seeded the solar system.

Astrobiologists have long suggested that simple life forms could have hitched a ride to Earth inside meteors, or that impacts on early Earth could have sent terrestrial microbes to other worlds on ejected pieces of our planet. We know that rocks kicked up by impacts can travel vast distances. Martian meteorites with soil trapped inside have landed on Earth, and theoretical calculations suggest that meteor strikes on Earth could have had enough energy to send rocks as far away as the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.

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New NASA Map Shows Where You Are Most Likely to Die From Air Pollution

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 1.38.14 PMVia PlanetSave:

Each year millions of premature deaths world-wide result from various forms of air pollution. According to a new atmospheric pollution model designed by earth scientist Jason West of the University of North Carolina (data from which informs the NASA map shown above), some 2.1 million deaths per year result from just one particular form of atmospheric pollution: fine particulate matter, or PM2.5, which is emitted in car exhaust and smokestack effluent (and other industrial, domestic and natural  sources).

In general, these polluting particles in the atmosphere are referred to as aerosols (a mixture of particulate matter and air). Aerosols can take the form of suspended particulate matter (SPM), respirable suspended particles (RSP), which are particles with a diameter of 10 micrometers (microns) or less, and, the aforementioned fine PM2.5…the ’2.5′ refers to particles of 2.5 microns or less and may include ultrafine particles, and some forms of soot (such as black carbon soot from cooking stoves and biomass burning).

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Space Farming: The Final Frontier

VEGGIE1

Vegetable Production System (NASA)

What do you do next when you’ve successfully screwed up the Earth? Screw up Space too! Agricultural science is approaching its next frontier reports Modern Farmer:

Last year, an astronaut named Don Pettit began an unusual writing project on NASA’s website. Called “Diary of a Space Zucchini,” the blog took the perspective of an actual zucchini plant on the International Space Station (ISS). Entries were insightful and strange, poignant and poetic.

“I sprouted, thrust into this world without anyone consulting me,” wrote Pettit in the now-defunct blog. “I am utilitarian, hearty vegetative matter that can thrive under harsh conditions. I am zucchini — and I am in space.”

An unorthodox use of our tax dollars, but before you snicker, consider this: That little plant could be the key to our future. If — as some doomsday scientists predict — we will eventually exhaust the Earth’s livability, space farming will prove vital to the survival of our species.

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