Oh, what a view.
Dramatic in-flight video from Virgin Galactic shows the dazzling view Earth from above from the private spaceflight company's SpaceShipTwo vehicle, the VSS Unity, during its historic first flight to space Thursday (Dec. 13) over California's Mojave Desert.
Sunday, Dec 16th 2018 (12:00am)
As global warming and doomsday threats continue to expose our vulnerabilities here on Earth, scientists are looking to Mars as a potential refuge for humanity. Mars: Making the New Earth outlines the mission to convert this inhospitable planet into our future home.
This conversion process is known as terraforming, a collection of processes by which a planet is reconditioned to resemble Earth. Currently, Mars is a frozen wasteland incapable of sustaining human life. How do you populate endless planes of red dust and rock into fertile soil and teeming forestation? How can you warm the planet's temperature from its current climate of eighty below zero? Would it be possible to transform its radioactive atmosphere into an oxygen-rich environment where humans can thrive?
These are just a few of the challenges that face planetary scientists here on Earth. NASA scientist Chris McKay is one of the believers. The film follows McKay as he attempts to replicate the conditions on Mars, and determine how much warmer the climate needs to be before trees, grass and other vegetation can begin to grow. He conducts these tests alongside a volcano in Mexico, which stands at a towering height of 18,000 feet. This is the closest approximation we have of the temperature and arid conditions found on the red planet.
It will likely take many generations to produce the ideal conditions by which humanity can exist on Mars, but McKay and others are convinced it can be done. But as eager as they are to populate the planet, their mission does come with a caveat. Even if we can achieve this monumental feat, we must stop to consider whether we should.
The film outlines a potential ethical conflict. What if we discover the presence of life on Mars, even of the microbial variety? Should we invade the functioning bio system of an existing life form, or leave it untarnished by human manipulation? The filmmakers include the opinions of experts from both sides of this debate.
Mars: Making the New Earth dazzles with impressive animations from acclaimed visual artist Dan Mass. These images, and the insights that accompany them, give life to complicated science.
Monday, Dec 3rd 2018 (12:37am)
In a remarkable bit of science and technology, some of the driest areas of the world can now pull moisture out of thin air. Fog-harvesting system developed by MIT and Chilean researchers could provide potable water.
The system is passive (requires only fog and wind) and remarkably effective.
Wednesday, Nov 21st 2018 (12:53am)
We’ve taken giant leaps and left our mark in the heavens. Now we’re building the next chapter, returning to the Moon to stay, and preparing to go beyond. We are NASA – and after 60 years, we’re just getting started. Special thanks to Mike Rowe for the voiceover work.
Also found here.
Hubble’s Law no more. It turns out that Edwin Hubble's work expanded upon calculations made by another astronomer, Belgian physicist (and priest) George Lemaitre, published two years earlier.
Friday, Nov 2nd 2018 (12:01am)
On board each of the two Voyager spacecraft that explored the gas giants of our solar system and are now still sending data back to Earth, were the golden records. What was on the cover? What was on the record? How was it made?
Go digging into the site and find the images, music, sounds, and greetings in 55 different languages.
Tuesday, Oct 16th 2018 (12:00am)
Humans like to brag about how we invented agriculture around 12,000 years ago, perhaps somewhere in the fertile crescent of Southwest Asia. We also like to boast about how we pioneered antibiotics some 80 years ago. However, like most things, nature beat us to the punch millions of years ago.
Friday, Oct 12th 2018 (12:00am)
So I just got back from a little vacation that briefly put me in the Great White North for the first time, and I took the opportunity to visit the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory in Victoria BC where the visitor's center has dubbed itself the Centre of the Universe. It's a nifty little observatory of significant historical and scientific interest that is sadly now in a state of disrepair, woefully underfunded by the Canadian government and looking to restore itself to the point where it can at least contribute to the astrological community again and open itself back up to schools and the general public.
Monday, Sep 24th 2018 (12:00am)
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The European Space Agency's Gaia satellite has created a catalogue of 1.7 billion stars, 600 million more than previously recorded. It's the most detailed star map of the Milky Way galaxy ever made. The star map offers astronomers and astrophysicists a breathtaking and revolutionary view of our home galaxy.
Friday, Sep 7th 2018 (12:01am)
"Our minds aren't passive observers, simply perceiving reality as it is. Our minds actually change reality," said Alia Crum, PhD, who directs the Stanford Mind and Body Lab in a recent Stanford News feature.
Wednesday, Sep 5th 2018 (12:00am)
Think about this. Colonizing Mars makes perfect sense. It's the planet most like Earth but it also represents some serious challenges. Transporting food rather than growing it on the surface of the red planet would be exponentially more expensive.
How best to develop crops that will grow an additional 49 million miles from the Sun and in a practically nonexistent atmosphere?
Wednesday, Aug 1st 2018 (12:00am)
Congress passed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, on July 16 and President Eisenhower signed it into law on July 29, 1958. NASA opened for business on Oct. 1, 1958, with T. Keith Glennan as our first administrator. Our history tells a story of exploration, innovation and discoveries. The next 60 years, that story continues. Learn more.
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This summer, NASA's Parker Solar Probe will launch to travel closer to the Sun, deeper into the solar atmosphere, than any mission before it. If Earth was at one end of a yard-stick and the Sun on the other, Parker Solar Probe will make it to within four inches of the solar surface.
Inside that part of the solar atmosphere, a region known as the corona, Parker Solar Probe will provide unprecedented observations of what drives the wide range of particles, energy and heat that course through the region—flinging particles outward into the solar system and far past Neptune.
Inside the corona, it's also, of course, unimaginably hot. The spacecraft will travel through material with temperatures greater than a million degrees Fahrenheit while being bombarded with intense sun light.
So, why won't it melt?
Monday, Jul 23rd 2018 (12:01am)
An asteroid discovered orbiting the Sun in December last year has revealed a fun surprise: it's not one asteroid, but two, locked in their own binary orbit around a mutual center of gravity.
Monday, Jul 16th 2018 (12:00am)
The discovery of a high-energy neutrino on Sept. 22, 2017, sent astronomers on a chase to locate its source... a supermassive black hole in a distant galaxy. Watch to learn more.
Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
Music: Hidden Tides from Killer Tracks
Sunday, Jul 15th 2018 (12:00am)
(2017 WEBBY PEOPLE'S VOICE WINNER for Best Science & Education Video)
Learn step-by-step how the little female bugs go about getting a meal for her eggs and transmit disease as a by-product in this fascinating video clip.
Saturday, Jul 14th 2018 (12:00am)
The European Space Agency had its own special way of marking a memorial service for astrophysicist Professor Stephen Hawking. At the same time his ashes were interred at Westminster Abbey in London, the ESA beamed music featuring Hawking's famously synthesized voice towards the closest-known black hole.
Greatest Showman, The (2017)
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