astronomy

Turns Out it’s not a Falcon Stage

Corrected identification of object about to hit the moon: Short version : back in 2015, I (mis)identified this object as 2015-007B, the second stage of the DSCOVR spacecraft. We now have good evidence that it is actually 2014-065B, the booster for the Chang’e 5-T1 lunar mission. (It will, however, still hit the moon within a …

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On Aliens

Aliens exist, there’s no two ways about it. There are so many billions of stars out there in the universe that there must be all sorts of different forms of life. Will they be like you and me, made up of carbon and nitrogen? Maybe not. It’s possible they’re here right now and we simply …

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urgency trumps understanding

There’s some sort of metaphor in the story of these two photos of the Earth from the moon’s surface; one low-resolution and one high-resolution, one broadcast at the moment and the other only decoded by volunteers some forty years after the fact. It’s hard to see and transmit what’s happening right now clearly, no matter …

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NASA receives response from Voyager 1

Build things that last… “The Voyager flight team dug up decades-old data and examined the software that was coded in an outdated assembler language, to make sure we could safely test the thrusters,” said Jones, chief engineer at JPL. Source: NASA receives response from Voyager 1 spacecraft 13 billion miles away after 37 years of inactivity …

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“Still discovering new things”

On board each Voyager is a golden record — and record player — that is built to last one billion years or more and contains key information about humanity and life on planet Earth, in case of an alien encounter. The sounds include the calls of humpback whales, the Chuck Berry song “Johnny B. Goode,” …

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Stephen Hawking is backing a project to send tiny spacecraft to another star system within a generation

The concept is to reduce the size of the spacecraft to about the size of a chip used in electronic devices. The idea is to launch a thousand of these mini-spacecraft into the Earth’s orbit. Each would have a solar sail. This is like a sail on a boat – but it is pushed along …

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Realizing Our Place in the Universe

“This image, captured with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, is the largest and sharpest image ever taken of the Andromeda galaxy — otherwise known as M31.This is a cropped version of the full image and has 1.5 billion pixels. You would need more than 600 HD television screens to display the whole image.” via Sharpest …

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