Tag Archives | Space

Scientists discover ‘permanent’ dust cloud around Moon

An artist's conception of the thin dust cloud surrounding the Moon and the LADEE mission orbit. (Credit: Daniel Morgan and Jamey Szalay, University of Colorado)

An artist’s conception of the thin dust cloud surrounding the Moon and the LADEE mission orbit. (Credit: Daniel Morgan and Jamey Szalay, University of Colorado)

A curious dust cloud surrounding the moon has been discovered.

via Russia Today:

There is a permanent, but asymmetric dust cloud surrounding the Moon, created by tiny dust grains lifted up from the lunar surface, scientists have found. Its density may increase during annual meteor showers such as, for example, Geminid.

According to scientists from, the cloud is comprised of dust grains swept up by other high-speed, interplanetary particles passing by, often in the wake of comets.

Many of the dust particles are traveling at thousands of miles per hour in the opposite orbital direction of the solar system’s planets, causing high-speed, near head-on collisions with the moon’s leading surface, said Professor Mihali Horanyi.

According to Horanyi, even a single dust particle from a comet striking the moon can excite thousands of smaller particles on the surface.

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Porn in the Final Frontier: Sexploration

Screen shot 2015-06-11 at 2.05.04 PM
Who: Pornhub.

The Goal: Make a sextape in space.

Pornhub has launched an Indiegogo campaign to crowdfund the first ever porno in space. Understandably, they need a hefty sum of $3,400,000 to send DP 2015 Winner, Eva Lovia, and the well-hung Johnny Sins to space where they will get-it-on for all of us voyeurs.

The campaign has perks ranging from $1 for a certificate to $150,000 for one of the two spacesuits complete with underwear. Meow.

These are high aspirations and the folks at Pornhub know it. Their campaign overview starts with a grandiose opener:

Without great explorers and adventurers, the world as we know it would be a completely different place. Be it by the discovery of new lands or even by way of industrial and cultural innovation, great minds and brave souls have forever changed the way that we see and experience the world. Columbus, Gallileo, Da Vinci, Edison and Ford, among others, have all physically and culturally helped shape the planet that we currently call home.

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Surfing the Liminal Aether with Bruce Damer Ph.D

bruce-terence

Bruce Damer with Terence McKenna in 1999.

Via Midwest Real

Dr. Bruce Damer is a multi-disciplinary scientist and a (proud) woo-drenched renaissance man. He researches evolutionary biology, especially focusing on the murky questions surrounding the origin of life. Damer also designs asteroid-wrangling spacecrafts and is an expert in computer science who has spent decades researching emergent, lifelike virtual systems.

ITUNES  STITCHER DOWNLOAD

Why is it that we’re always searching for someone to tell us answers? We have an obsession with experts, scientists, teachers — gurus of all sorts. As long as I can remember, I’ve been under the impression that learning and knowledge come from some sort of external source, but what if that’s entirely backward? 

What if all of the answers are right there inside of you, somewhere within your own deepest murk just waiting to be discovered? Perhaps great men are simply skilled facilitators of knowledge and learning, while the actual evolving and growth is wholly incumbent upon the individual.Read the rest

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Hubble Space Telescope: 25 Years Exploring the Cosmos

Hubble captured this mountain of dust and gas rising in the Carina Nebula. The top of a three-light-year tall pillar of cool hydrogen is being worn away by the radiation of nearby stars, while stars within the pillar unleash jets of gas that stream from the peaks. Photo by NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

Hubble captured this mountain of dust and gas rising in the Carina Nebula. The top of a three-light-year tall pillar of cool hydrogen is being worn away by the radiation of nearby stars, while stars within the pillar unleash jets of gas that stream from the peaks. Photo by NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

Jasmine Wright and Margaret Myers Via PBS.org:

Hubble’s contributions to space exploration are countless. Its images, explains Hubble Space Telescope Senior Project Scientist Jennifer Wiseman, have shown the first definitive detection of supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies. They also have provided measurement of the expansion rate of the universe, and detection (along with ground-based telescopes) of acceleration in that expansion, caused by mysterious “dark energy” that appears to be pushing the universe apart.

“Hubble will go down in history as having changed the textbooks by totally revolutionizing humanity’s view of the universe, and our place in it,” Wiseman says.

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Hubble Space Telescope’s chief scientist on what it took to get the project off the ground

Hubble in orbit. NASA

Hubble in orbit. NASA

C Robert O’Dell, Vanderbilt University

Iconic images of astronomical pillars of gas and dust, views of galaxies soon after they were formed, an accelerating universe driven by Dark Energy… “give us more!” say the public and the taxpayers. The Hubble Space Telescope is undoubtedly one of the most popular science projects today. It was not always thus.

Laying the groundwork

With its origins dating back to a time when almost all astronomers used photographic plates to record images at ground-based telescopes, the idea of an ambitious and expensive observatory in space was not a popular one.

Palomar Observatory, firmly rooted to the ground. Tylerfinvold

The most influential astronomers of the 1960s thought it better to spend the money on 15 copies of the 200-inch giant on Palomar Mountain, rather than gamble all on a single telescope in space that was not as large.

Nevertheless, NASA held out the Hubble as a long-term goal.… Read the rest

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Do stars have a sound? A new study says they might.

NGC 3603 is a prominent star-forming region in the Carina spiral arm of the Milky Way, about 20,000 light-years away. (NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage/STScI/AURA/ESA-Hubble Collaboration)

NGC 3603 is a prominent star-forming region in the Carina spiral arm of the Milky Way, about 20,000 light-years away. (NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage/STScI/AURA/ESA-Hubble Collaboration)

Rachel Feltman at The Washington Post:

Do stars make noise? More importantly, if a star makes a sound too high for mammals to hear and is also in the vacuum of space where no sound can travel . . . does it even count?

Thank God nothing is resting on humanity answering that, because what even.

In a new study published in Physical Review Letters, researchers present evidence that stars might make a sound (sort of).

[Breathtaking new image captures birth of countless stars]

They were studying plasma, which is the state of matter that makes up most things in the universe (though only visible in a few things, like lightning strikes and the gas inside neon signs, on Earth). Plasma is basically a gas that’s been charged with enough energy to loose electrons from the atoms holding them.

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Beer Brewed With Space Yeast

Ground Control (Ninkasi Brewing Company)

Ground Control
(Ninkasi Brewing Company)

Ninkasi Brewing Company in Oregon is releasing a new beer, Ground Control, brewed with yeast that travelled to space last year.

Mary Beth Griggs writes at Popular Science:

On April 13, at a few select places around the country, you’ll be able to take a swig of space. Ninkasi Brewing Company in Oregon is releasing Ground Control, an imperial stout brewed with yeast that travelled (very briefly) to space last year.

The first batch of yeast the company sent into space last July ended up lost in the desert after it returned to Earth, but in October, six vials successfully travelled into space and back.

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Unbound Star Breaks Galactic Speed Record

Type Ia supernova via Wikipedia.

Type Ia supernova via Wikipedia.

Astronomers at Queen’s University Belfast have discovered an unbound star, US708, that is traveling at 1,200 kilometres per second. This is the fastest speed ever recorded in our galaxy.

The star is not bound by gravity and will eventually leave our galaxy. It is assumed that US708 was originally part of a “double-star” system, which included a massive white dwarf star. Presumably, the white dwarf exploded into a “thermonuclear supernovae,” or “type Ia supernova,” which kicked US708 out of orbit. A Type Ia Supernova occurs when two stars orbit each other “in which one of the stars is a white dwarf while the other can vary from a giant star to an even smaller white dwarf.”

Despite breaking a galactic record, the discovery of “US708 sheds light on the mysterious double-star systems that give rise to thermonuclear explosions. Thermonuclear, or ‘type Ia’, supernovae have long been used to calculate the distances to faraway galaxies – a measurement which helps to determine how the universe is changing and expanding.”

European Southern Observatory fellow, Stephan Geier, who led the study, said: “Several types of stars have been suspected of causing the explosion of a white dwarf as supernova of type Ia.… Read the rest

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