Category: space & earth

Humanity’s first spacewalk seems even crazier 52 years later.

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Juvenile leopard frog in water by Michael Durham

The ancient creatures who first crawled onto land may have been lured by the informational benefit that comes from seeing through air. Continue reading

How the spaceships of Mass Effect: Andromeda were designed with physics and processing power in mind.

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We examine the possibility that Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) originate from the activity of extragalactic civilizations. Our analysis shows that beams used for powering large light sails could yield parameters that are consistent with FRBs. The characteristic diameter of the beam emitter is estimated through a combination of energetic and engineering constraints,

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You wouldn’t expect main belt asteroids to develop tails like comets — their orbits are circular enough that they don’t undergo the kind of temperature swings many comets experience in their plunge toward perihelion — but we do have some twenty cases of asteroids that do exactly that.  Continue reading


Meet the Manned Orbiting Laboratory

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On 5 March 1979, Voyager 1 made its closest approach to Jupiter, passing at a distance of about 349,000 kilometres (217,000 miles) from the planet’s centre. Continue reading

Figure: A localized vortex near the cloud base as imaged with IR2. Although similar vortices are seen in the earth atmosphere, this is seen for the first time in Venus' atmosphere.

JAXA decides that two of five cameras on-board Akatsuki (1-µm and 2-µm cameras) pause scientific observations. Other cameras (longwave-infrared camera, ultraviolet imager, and lightening and airglow camera) continue normal operation. Continue reading

NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft in orbit around Mars maneuvered out of the path of Phobos earlier this week after navigators predicted the spacecraft could run into the Martian moon in the near future, highlighting the challenge of tracking an international fleet of Mars probes set to double in size by 2021. Continue reading