Gold hunters in southern Russia might have been disappointed to learn that the speckled, yellow rock they uncovered was not a sizeable pebble of valuable metal. Instead, it was a rare piece of space-borne rubble containing a new mineral that had never before been seen on Earth.
The researchers found that more than 98 percent of the meteorite consists of kamacite, an alloy of iron and 5 to 10 percent nickel, that’s formed in space and is found only in meteorites, which are rocks that fall from space to Earth’s surface. The remaining 1 to 2 percent of the meteorite consists of just over a dozen minerals that, for the most part, are exclusively formed in space. On top of that, the composition of the extraordinary space rock suggests that it must have formed under brutally hot temperatures, well over 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit (1,000 degrees Celsius), the researchers said. [Fallen Stars: A Gallery of Famous Meteorites]
For those up late tonight, the webcast should begin 15-20 minutes before launch.
Original post: Having worked through its fleet of used Block 4 rockets, SpaceX will now transition into flying its more advanced Block 5 variant of the Falcon 9 rocket full time. As early as 1:50am ET (05:50 UTC) Sunday, SpaceX will attempt to launch the Telstar 19V satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The mission has a four-hour launch window.
This will be the second launch of the new version of SpaceX’s Block 5 rocket. The first one had a flawless debuton May 11, and the first stage made a safe return to a drone ship, as expected. Since then, SpaceX engineers have been assessing how that Block 5 core, optimized for reusability, actually performed during that flight.
“We are going to be very rigorous in taking this rocket apart and confirming our design assumptions to be confident that it is indeed able to be reused without taking apart,” SpaceX honcho Elon Musk said in May, at the time of the first Block 5 flight. “Ironically, we need to take it apart to confirm it does not need to be taken apart.”
The “moon landing hoax” was among the first conspiracy theories to gain traction with the American public. In the years since, the theories have multiplied like jack rabbits, swarming all corners of the cultural landscape. After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, some fringe activists insisted the U.S. government, rather than al-Qaeda, had planned the attacks. Conspiracies about President Trump’s ties to Russia compete with all the real news on the topic. “Pizzagate” conspiracists claimed Hillary Clinton was operating a pedophile ring in a D.C. pizza parlor, leading one true believer to fire a gun in the restaurant.
It’s tempting to dismiss conspiracy theorists as wearers of tinfoil hats. But the theories should be taken seriously for their effects on political and social discourse — and research suggests that, under the right circumstances, many people are susceptible to their allure.
SOMETIMES A SEARCH for one thing presents the chance to look for something else. If you’re like me, that something else is usually something small: Rummaging in the couch cushions for the TV remote might prompt you to dig for spare change. Two birds, one stone, etc. But if you’re astronomer Scott Sheppard, the second bird occasionally turns out to be a doozy.
Or several doozies. Like, say, a dozen previously unknown moons orbiting Jupiter, the discovery of which was announced Tuesday by the International Astronomical Union.
The longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century will turn the moon blood red in the night sky later this month.
The July 27 eclipse will be visible for 1 hour and 43 minutes when the moon is fully engulfed in Earth’s shadow — a period known as totality. This celestial show will not be visible from North America, but skywatchers in parts of South America, eastern Africa, the Middle East and central Asia will be in for an impressive event.
“This is a really cool eclipse,” said Noah Petro, a planetary geologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, adding that the event will be extra special because, “[t]his is going to be the longest eclipse of this century.”
The first Israeli spacecraft planned to land on the Moon will be launched in December, the SpaceIL initiative behind the craft announced on Tuesday. The plan is for the spacecraft to land on the Moon on February 13, 2019, after a two-month trip.
More than 200 reports about a fireball visible across the central United States were submitted to the American Meteor Society. Most of those who have reported seeing the fireball were people located in Iowa and Illinois.
- Lost Apollo mission tapes were recovered to solve a lunar mystery
- Astronauts effectively helped heat up the moon at experiment sites