Surprisingly, the results contradicted some expectations that scientists had regarding how solar winds behave. According to the results, there are flips in the Sun’s magnetic field direction called “switchbacks”, which can sometimes even point the winds back at the Sun. At the moment, the cause of these “switchbacks” is still unknown to scientists, but through the understanding of them, we could learn a deeper understanding of how stars are born. Scientists were again shocked at the discovery of solar winds traveling at speeds that are “nearly ten times larger than predicted by the standard models”, said Justin Kasper, principal investigator at the University of Michigan. Scientists also discovered that the Sun’s radiation vaporizes dust particles at about 3.5 million miles around itself. The Parker Probe is at the moment suffering in terribly hot conditions, but scientists say the information that it is providing them is revolutionary.
Knowing how these so-called Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) behave could one day save our planet from a devastating impact. But a peculiar cosmic phenomenon known as the Yarkovsky effect renders some of NASA’s asteroid tracking efforts futile. Thanks to the Yarkovsky effect, NASA scientist Steve Chesley said there are thousands of asteroids that could potentially change their orbit.
Humanity first left the solar system in 2012 when the Voyager 1 probe passed into interstellar space decades after leaving the planets behind. Now, there’s a second spacecraft beyond the limits of our solar system: Voyager 2. Luckily, Voyager 2’s instruments are in somewhat better shape than Voyager 1’s, so scientists were able to observe the transition from the heliosphere, which is dominated by the sun, to the interstellar medium (ISM).
Both Voyager probes launched in 1977, with Voyager 2 heading into space a few weeks before Voyager 1. The two probes are physically identical, but they took different paths through the solar system. They took advantage of the “Grand Tour,” an alignment of the planets that occurs only once every 175 years. Voyager 1 visited and got gravity assists from Jupiter and Saturn before heading off toward the edge of the solar system. Voyager 2 swung past Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus. It made its last planetary observation of Uranus in 1989, almost a decade after Voyager 1 had started its long march toward the edge of the solar system.
When Voyager 1 reached the edge of our solar system, known as the heliopause, it no longer had a functional plasma spectrometer. As a result, there was some debate about when, exactly, the probe left our solar system. So, we missed the expected transition from warm solar plasma to the denser cold plasma of the ISM. Eventually, measurements of local electrons and magnetic field shifts confirmed it was in interstellar space.
The Voyager 2 mission has released its first scientific measurements of interstellar space, according to newly published research.
Interstellar space exploration has long been the stuff of science fiction, a technological challenge that many engineers believe humans just aren’t up to yet. But an ongoing study by a group of NASA-affiliated researchers is challenging this assumption. The researchers have a vision for a mission that could be built with existing technology. Indeed, the group says that if their mission is selected by NASA it could fly as soon as 2030.
“This is humanity’s first explicit step into interstellar space,” says Pontus Brandt, a physicist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory who is working on the interstellar probe study.
The lab kicked off its Interstellar Probe study last summer at the behest of NASA’s Heliophysics division. A year in, they are now hashing out the nitty-gritty engineering details of such a mission. At the end of 2021, Brandt and his colleagues will submit it for inclusion in the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Heliophysics decadal survey, which determines sun-related mission priorities for the next 10 years.The basic idea for the interstellar mission is to launch a spacecraft weighing less than 1,700 pounds on NASA’s massive Space Launch System rocket, which is expected to be ready by 2021. That will get it traveling across our solar system like any other probe. To give it another boost, it will then use a gravity assist to sling the craft to speeds well over 100,000 miles per hour. The team at the Applied Physics Lab is currently considering two types of gravity assists—a “plain vanilla” assist that swings the probe around Jupiter and another that swings it around the sun.
The Full Hunter’s Moon may appear larger and more orange than a normal full moon due to the so-called moon illusion.
Full moons occur roughly every once a month when the Earth is positioned directly between the sun and the moon. In these instances, it is fully illuminated, appearing like a perfect circle.
The October full moon will reach its peak on Sunday, October 13, at 5:08 p.m. EDT, although it will appear full to the naked eye for about a day on either side of this date, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
The moon will only be really visible after sunset, however, and it will set close to sunrise the next day. (On that date, sunset in New York, for example, occurs at around 6:20 p.m.) In fact, the night of October 13 and 14 is the only one of the month in which the moon will remain in the sky from sunrise to sunset.
This Full Hunter’s Moon is particularly intriguing because it may appear larger and more orange than a normal full moon due to the fact that it rises around sunset.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac said: “Some folks believe that this Full Moon was called the Full Hunter’s Moon because it signalled the time to go hunting in preparation for winter.
“Since the harvesters had recently reaped the fields under the Harvest Moon, hunters could easily see the fattened deer and other animals that had come out to glean – and the foxes and wolves that had come out to prey on them.
What just happened? On Saturday at the Boca Chica Beach, Texas, Elon Musk showed off the first shiny steel prototype of SpaceX’s deep-space bound ‘Starship’ rocket, just a few moments after the company’s employees had finished assembling it. Musk gave a presentation on “the most powerful rocket in history” and discussed Starship’s stainless steel design as it stood next to the Falcon 1, the company’s first rocket that made it to orbit eleven years ago.
Earlier this month, SpaceX confirmed plans to begin testing its orbital-class ‘Starship’ rocket whose first prototype was completed over the weekend. A 200-ton, 165 ft-tall stainless steel rocket that will use three of SpaceX’s next-gen Raptor engines to test out its flight capabilities through a series of propulsive landing tests.
You can start watching the asteroid online in the hour before it gets closest to Earth on Saturday at 7 p.m. EDT (2300 GMT)
An asteroid known as 2000 QW7 is expected to pass by Earth closely, but safely, at 3.3 million miles (5.3 million kilometers) from Earth, or about 14 times the average distance between Earth and the moon. (NASA sent out a statement reassuring people that this happens all the time, and there’s no need to panic.) The asteroid’s closest approach will be at 7:54 p.m. EDT (2354 GMT) on Saturday (Sept. 14).
President Trump is holding a Rose Garden event to commemorate the establishment of the U.S. Space Command, as the president pushes for the creation of his sixth branch of the military, the Space Force.Since the Space Force the president wants to create requires congressional authorization, the administration is establishing a U.S. Space Command that will draw from other parts of the armed forces. One “Space Command” already exists. The Air Force Space Command reports to STRATCOM, which reports to the Pentagon, just as the Pacific Command and the European Command do.
AIR FORCE SPACE COMMAND FACTS
Air Force Space Command, activated Sept. 1, 1982, is a major command with headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. AFSPC provides military focused space capabilities with a global perspective to the joint warfighting team.
1. Build Combat Readiness
2. Innovate and Accelerate to Win
3. Develop Joint Warfighters
4. Organize for Sustained Success
More than 26,000 space professionals worldwide.
Spacecraft powered by such engines could conceivably reach Mars in just three to four months — about half the time of the fastest possible trip in a vehicle with traditional chemical propulsion, said Rex Geveden, the president and CEO of BWX Technologies Inc.
Asteroid 2006 QQ23 is scheduled to zoom by Earth on August 10 and, at an estimated diameter of up to 1,870 feet, it’s easy to see why people are worried.But Lindley Johnson and Kelly Fast of NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office say there’s nothing to fear. Both Johnson and Fast help track what they label as “near Earth objects,” such as asteroids and comets that orbit our sun along with the other planets.
SpaceX won’t be the only company reusing its rockets for payload deliveries. Rocket Lab has unveiled plans to recover the first stage of its Electron vehicle. The strategy’s first phase will have Rocket Lab recovering the stage from the ocean and refurbishing it for later. A second phase will be more… audacious. The company intends to have the stage “captured mid-air” by a helicopter, with the aircraft hooking on to the rocket’s parachute array during the descent. It won’t be as elegant as SpaceX’s rocket landings, but it will be efficient if it works as planned.
July 31, will mark a rare occurrence for Earth’s natural satellite — a phenomenon known as a Black Moon. The rare celestial event will occur tomorrow in North America, marking the first occurrence since 2016. The rest of the planet will see the black Moon on August 30.
Although there is no one single definition of a black Moon, according to Time and Date, it is most commonly used to represent the second new Moon of a month. This rarely happens outside of leap years, as lunar cycles largely take 29 days to complete. But every 32 months or so, there are two full Moons in a month, with the first being known as a blue Moon.
KECKSBURG, Pa. —
Kecksburg is celebrating 54 years of alien encounters with its UFO festival this weekend, July 26 through July 28.
On Dec. 9, 1965, Kecksburg residents reported a fireball streaked through the sky and then an object showed up in nearby woods.Was it aliens, a meteor or something else entirely? There are still conspiracy theories as to what happened that day in 1965.
This year will mark the 14th year of the UFO festival.
The family-friendly weekend will include a parade showcasing the town’s best UFO costumes and floats, a bed race and fireworks.
UFO, Bigfoot, & Paranormal Speakers:
For more information about the UFO festival, visit
INFORMATION TO COME!
Addressing military personnel a day before the Bastille Day parade, Macron said the new military doctrine setting up a space command would strengthen protection of French satellites. He said the investment involved had yet to determined.
How to watch the solar eclipse
The solar eclipse will be visible over a 125-mile (200km) wide path which spans from coast to coast across Chile and Argentina.
However, the maximum time of four minutes and 33 seconds may be visible only to observers on boats and aeroplanes, as it will be happening over the Pacific Ocean.
Countries nearby such as Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Ecuador will be able to witness a partial eclipse, as only part of the Sun will be blocked.
Totality will first make landfall over Oeno Island, a British territory in the South Pacific Ocean, at 10.24 am local time (7.24pm BST).
Psyche 16 is nestled between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter and is made of solid metal.
As well as gold, the mysterious object is loaded with heaps of platinum, iron and nickel.
In total, it’s estimated that Psyche’s various metals are worth a gargantuan $10,000 quadrillion.
The launch window was scheduled to open at 11:30 PM ET, but NASA and SpaceX are now targeting takeoff for 2:30 AM ET. The launch window extends until 3:30 AM, and a backup window will open tomorrow night between 11:30 PM ET and 2:30 AM ET.
This flight is also important because of its payload, which includes things like NASA’s Deep Space Atomic Clock and the Green Propellant Infusion Mission. After launch, we’re in for another triple landing attempt, with the two side boosters coming down at Cape Canaveral and SpaceX attempting another sea landing for the center core and, hopefully, bring it all the way home this time.
Each year Mars is bombarded by more than 200 asteroids and comets, and while some of theseleave similar dark smudges or other remarkable features, University of Arizona planetary scientist Veronica Bray told Space.com that this new crater is one of the most impressive she’s seen.
In the thirteen years that the MRO has been observing Mars, few events have compared. While the actual space rock fragment responsible looks to be about 1.5 metres wide (5 feet), the crater itself is much larger, roughly 15 to 16 metres wide (49 feet to 53 feet).
Less than nine minutes later, the rocket’s first stage booster fell from the sky and executed a pinpoint propulsive landing just offshore, setting the stage for another resupply mission for NASA using the same rocket this summer using the same vehicle.
The 213-foot-tall (65-meter) rocket lifted off with a flash from its nine Merlin 1D main engines at 2:48:58 a.m. EDT (0648:58 GMT), roughly the moment Cape Canaveral rotated under space station’s orbital plane.
The Falcon 9 tilted toward the northeast to align with the space station’s flight path, riding 1.7 million pounds of thrust as roared into a starry sky. Less than two-and-a-half minutes later, the rocket’s first stage booster shut down and separated to begin a descent back to Earth, targeting SpaceX’s drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You” parked around 14 miles (22 kilometers) east of Cape Canaveral in the Atlantic Ocean.
The first stage lit three of its engines to begin a boost-back burn to reverse course and head back toward Florida’s Space Coast, while the Falcon 9’s upper stage continued with the primary objective of Saturday’s mission — the delivery into orbit of a Dragon cargo craft packed with 5,472 pounds (2,482 kilograms) of supplies, provisions and experiments for the station and its six-person crew.
The interaction exhaust plumes from the Falcon 9’s first and second stage Merlin engines produced a spectacular lighting effect, giving the appearance of a cosmic nebula high above the Florida spaceport.
While life is a special kind of complex chemistry, the elements involved are nothing special: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and so on are among the most abundant elements in the universe. Complex organic chemistry is surprisingly common.
Amino acids, just like those that make up every protein in our bodies, have been found in the tails of comets. There are other organic compounds in Martian soil.
And 6,500 light years away a giant cloud of space alcohol floats among the stars.
Habitable planets seem to be common too. The first planet beyond our Solar System was discovered in 1995. Since then astronomers have catalogued thousands.
Based on this catalogue, astronomers from the University of California, Berkeley worked out there could be as many as 40 billion Earth-sized exoplanets in the so-called ‘habitable zone’ around their star, where temperatures are mild enough for liquid water to exist on the surface.