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#5481
Jessica

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Another Successful SpaceX Launch
Brian Wang | July 20, 2020
Screen-Shot-2020-07-20-at-2.43.31-PM-730

SpaceX successfully launched the ANASIS-II mission on Monday, July 20 using a Falcon 9’s. The primary launch window opens at 5:00 p.m. EDT, or 21:00 UTC. The ANASIS-II is a South Korean military communications satellite.

Falcon 9’s first stage previously launched Crew Dragon to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on board. SpaceX landed the Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Just Read the Instructions” droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. The ANASIS-II spacecraft will deploy about 32 minutes after liftoff.

 

https://www.nextbigf...cex-launch.html



#5482
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Monster Black Hole Found in the Early Universe – 1.5 Billion Times More Massive Than Our Sun

July 20, 2020

 

After more than a decade of searching for the first quasars, a team of astronomers used the NOIRLab’s Gemini Observatory and CTIO to discover the most massive quasar known in the early Universe — detected from a time only 700 million years after the Big Bang[1]. Quasars are the most energetic objects in the Universe, powered by their supermassive black holes, and since their discovery astronomers have been keen to determine when they first appeared in our cosmic history.

Systematic searches for these objects have led to the discovery of the most distant quasar (J1342+0928) in 2018 and now the second most distant, J1007+2115[2]. The A Hua He Inoa program named J1007+2115 Pōniuāʻena, meaning “unseen spinning source of creation, surrounded with brilliance” in the Hawaiian language[3]. The supermassive black hole powering Pōniuāʻena is 1.5 billion times more massive than our Sun.

 

https://scitechdaily...e-than-our-sun/


“One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don't throw it away.”

 

Stephen Hawking


#5483
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Lunar Craters Show Massive Asteroid Shower Hit Earth 800 Million Years Ago

 

https://www.courthou...lion-years-ago/

 

Introduction:

 

(Courthouse News) — A massive asteroid shower collided with the Earth and the moon 800 million years ago, resulting in at least eight of the craters we can see on the moon today, according to a trio of Japanese planetary scientists who examined lunar craters to learn about the impact.

 

Led by Osaka University’s Kentaro Terada, a self-described “cosmo-chemist,” the researchers examined data obtained by the Japanese lunar orbiter KAGUYA, which took images of the lunar terrain used to measure the size of large moon craters and the density of much smaller impacts surrounding the larger ones.

 

Meteor impacts on the Earth are slowly disguised by continental drift, erosion, volcanism and other resurfacing processes over hundreds of millions of years; ancient impacts have been erased over time.

 

Our lunar neighbor, it turns out, is a much better record.

 

“We used the moon as ‘a witness to the history of the solar system,’ because the moon surface has no erosion and well preserves the impact history of the Earth-moon system,” Terada said in an interview with Courthouse News.

 

Other points made in the article are how this corresponds to findings made regarding "a disruption to the minor planet Eulalia"  as well as to "the Cryogenian period, during which the Earth’s two greatest ice ages occurred," that "would have followed soon after" the meteor shower."


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#5484
Jessica

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China Launches First Independent Probe Bound For Mars In Major Milestone For Beijing's Space Program | Zero Hedge
 

Quote:

China Launches First Independent Probe Bound For Mars In Major Milestone For Beijing's Space Program
07/23/2020

 

As its geopolitical tussle with the US intensifies, and the novel coronavirus continues to ravage the world (though Beijing is working diligently on a vaccine to fix all that), China on Thursday succeeded in launching its first independent probe bound for Mars at 1241 local time on Thursday.

It's a major step in Beijing's aspirations to build a space program to rival the US's.

According to Chinese media, the probe, named Tianwen-1, was launched via a Long March-5 rocket.

China’s Mars probe consists of an orbiter, a lander and a rover. When the time comes, the lander and rover will make a soft landing on the surface. Afterwards, the rover will take samples of, and analyze, bits of Mars' surface, atmosphere, ionosphere and magnetic field.

The probe's name "Tianwen" means “questions to heaven” in Mandarin, and was inspired by an ancient poem written by legendary Chinese poet Qu Yuan. According to the government line, the mission represents the will of the Chinese people to explore further in space............

 



#5485
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01jsdZt.gif

 

https://twitter.com/...386255811489795


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#5486
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New approach refines the Hubble's constant and age of universe

July 27, 2020

 

Using known distances of 50 galaxies from Earth to refine calculations in Hubble's constant, a research team led by a University of Oregon astronomer estimates the age of the universe at 12.6 billion years.

 

Approaches to date the Big Bang, which gave birth to the universe, rely on mathematics and computational modeling, using distance estimates of the oldest stars, the behavior of galaxies and the rate of the universe's expansion. The idea is to compute how long it would take all objects to return to the beginning.

 

A key calculation for dating is the Hubble's constant, named after Edwin Hubble who first calculated the universe's expansion rate in 1929. Another recent technique uses observations of leftover radiation from the Big Bang. It maps bumps and wiggles in spacetime -- the cosmic microwave background, or CMB -- and reflects conditions in the early universe as set by Hubble's constant.

 

However, the methods reach different conclusions, said James Schombert, a professor of physics at the UO. In a paper published July 17 in the Astronomical Journal, he and colleagues unveil a new approach that recalibrates a distance-measuring tool known as the baryonic Tully-Fisher relation independently of Hubble's constant.

 

https://www.scienced...00727114724.htm


“One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don't throw it away.”

 

Stephen Hawking


#5487
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An asteroid the size of a car just zipped by Earth in close flyby

19 hours ago

 

A car-sized asteroid discovered over the weekend made a close flyby of Earth today (July 28), passing our planet at a range that rivals the orbits of some high-flying satellites.

The asteroid 2020 OY4, which was first detected on Sunday (July 26), made its closest approach today at 1:31 a.m. EDT (0531 GMT) when it zipped by Earth at a speed of about 27,700 mph (44,600 km/h), according to the European Space Agency. The asteroid is just under 10 feet (3 meters) wide and posed no impact risk to Earth, but did approach the flight paths of geosynchronous satellites. 

 

"A tiny, 3 meter asteroid called 2020 OY4 skimmed past Earth just a few hours ago, passing within the orbit of satellites in the geostationary ring," ESA officials wrote in a Twitter update.

 

https://www.space.co...arth-flyby.html


“One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don't throw it away.”

 

Stephen Hawking


#5488
Jessica

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Musk: SpaceX Starship Prototype Could Fly ‘Soon’
sn5-test-640x353.jpg

SpaceX has a good thing going with the Falcon 9. It has almost perfected landings, allowing it to reuse the boosters, and NASA has certified the Falcon 9 to carry its most important cargo and even astronauts. The company is already looking toward its next launch platform, though. After blowing up a few Starship prototypes, the latest SN5 test vehicle just completed a full-duration static fire. CEO Elon Musk says that sets the stage for a “hop” in the near future. 

The Starship, previously known as the BFR, is SpaceX’s upcoming all-purpose rocket. With the Super Heavy launch platform, Starship will be a heavy-lift system capable of sending large payloads into the outer solar system. Musk has also floated the Starship to colonize Mars in the next few years. Of course, Musk does tend to over-promise — he thought the Starship would be flying by spring. Instead, SpaceX is just now starting to plan the vessel’s maiden flight.

 

https://www.extremet...-could-fly-soon



#5489
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NASA’s Latest Rover Is Now Headed for Mars
mars_2020_launch_0-640x360.jpg

NASA announced a successful liftoff for its latest Mars rover, Perseverance (also known as the Mars 2020 Rover) on Thursday. If all goes well, the vehicle will reach the Red Planet in February.

At first glance, Perseverance looks like a repeat of Curiosity. The two spacecraft are built on a similar platform, but Perseverance has larger, more robust wheels with a larger diameter. These are intended to avoid the damage Curiosity has sustained during its time on Mars. Perseverance also carries MOXIE (Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment), which will attempt to produce a small amount of oxygen using the existing atmosphere on Mars.

The MOXIE unit aboard Perseverance is a 1 percent scale model of a full-sized production plant. If the experiment is successful, it may mean astronauts traveling to the planet could use Mars’ atmosphere to create both breathable air and their own supply of propellant for the return trip. This would represent a substantial weight savings — most of the weight of a spacecraft is fuel, and any journey to another planet has to either carry the fuel for the return trip or make it at the destination. If MOXIE works, NASA could land an automated facility to begin creating oxygen before astronauts even arrive on Mars, ensuring a ready supply of available air from the moment they touchdown.

 

https://www.extremet...headed-for-mars



#5490
caltrek

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I'm surprised nobody took note of this event (see below).  Perhaps because overall posting activity seems to be down a bit lately.  I did notice a video crop up in my Facebook Future Timeline feed.  This was also covered live on the Science channel.

 

"Thank You for Flying Space X"

 

https://www.nature.c...586-020-02303-7

 

Introduction:

(Nature) The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule safely splashed into the Gulf of Mexico near Florida yesterday, bringing its landmark mission to a successful close. This was the first time that a private company has put a human in orbit. Landing in the United States for the first time in almost a decade presented new challenges: some boaters disregarded Coast Guard warnings to stay clear of the landing site. “That capsule was in the water for a good period of time, and the boats just made a bee-line for it,” said NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine. “We need to do a better job next time for sure.” If all goes well, ‘next time’ will be soon: NASA has another crewed SpaceX launch planned for September.

d41586-020-02303-7_18242684.jpg

The SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft lands with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley onboard in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, on 2 August.

NASA/Bill Ingalls


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#5491
Jessica

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SpaceX Starship Prototype SN5 completes 150 Meter Hop



#5492
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Our Unexpectedly Smooth Universe May Point to a New Physics

 

https://skyandtelesc...to-new-physics/

 

Introduction:

 

(Sky & Telescope) The latest data release from a survey of 31 million galaxies reveals that our universe is even smoother than we thought it was.

 

The latest data release from the Kilo-Degree Survey (KIDS) confirms earlier indications that the current distribution of gravitating matter is less clumpy than predicted by the standard model scientists use for cosmology.

 

Using the 268-megapixel OmegaCAM on the 2.6-meter Very Large Telescope’s Survey Telescope at Cerro Paranal in Chile, the European KIDS collaboration has studied 31 million remote galaxies in two large swaths of sky totaling 1,006 square degrees.

 

Conclusion:

 

Starting three or so years from now, the European Space Agency’s Euclid mission and the Vera C. Rubin Observatory will greatly improve on current surveys, both in sensitivity and in sky coverage. Eventually, it will become clear whether or not we’ll have to discard our cherished theoretical model of the universe.

 

“The history of physics teaches us modesty,” says Loeb. “Sometimes nature is much more imaginative than we are.”

KIDS-zoom-500px.jpg

 

A zoom-in on a part of the KIDS map, showing a patch of universe approximately 1.5 billion x 1 billion light-years across. In this false-color image, high-density regions are shown in yellow and low-density regions are in pink.
B.Giblin / K.Kuijken / KIDS team


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#5493
caltrek

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NASA's Mars Rover is Carrying a Device That Turns CO2 Into Oxygen, Like a Tree.

 

https://www.business...o-oxygen-2020-7

 

Introduction:

(Business Insider)  NASA's Perseverance Mars rover launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on 30 July, carrying a host of cutting-edge technology including high-definition video equipment and the first interplanetary helicopter.

 

Many of the tools are designed as experimental steps toward human exploration of the red planet. Crucially, Perseverance is equipped with a device called the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment, or MOXIE: an attempt to produce oxygen on a planet where it makes up less than 0.2 percent of the atmosphere.

 

Oxygen is a cumbersome payload on space missions. It takes up a lot of room, and it's very unlikely that astronauts could bring enough of it to Mars for humans to breathe there, let alone to fuel spaceships for the long journey home.

 

That's the problem MOXIE is looking to solve. The car-battery-sized robot is a roughly 1 percent scale model of the device scientists hope to one day send to Mars, perhaps in the 2030s.

 

Like a tree, MOXIE works by taking in carbon dioxide, though it's designed specifically for the thin Martian atmosphere. It then electrochemically splits the molecules into oxygen and carbon monoxide, and combines the oxygen molecules into O2.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#5494
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Dwarf planet Ceres is an ocean world with salty water under the surface, NASA mission finds
By Ashley Strickland, CNN
Updated 2:31 PM EDT, Tue August 11, 2020
 
 

(CNN) Ceres is a dwarf planet and the largest known object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. And now we know it may be an ocean world with intriguing geologic activity taking place on and just below its surface, according to new research.

While this global ocean beneath the planet's surface likely froze over time, remnants of it may still be present beneath a large impact crater on Ceres. The presence of salts may have preserved the liquid as a brine, despite cold temperatures.

The suite of seven studies published Monday in the journals Nature Astronomy, Nature Geoscience and Nature Communications.

Between 2011 and 2018, NASA's Dawn mission embarked on a 4.3 billion-mile journey to two of the largest objects in our solar system's main asteroid belt. Ceres is about 592 miles across, 14 times smaller than Pluto. Dawn visited Vesta and Ceres, becoming the first spacecraft to orbit two deep-space destinations.

 False color was used to highlight the recently exposed brine, or salty liquids, that were pushed up from a deep reservoir under Ceres' crust in the Occator Crater.

This new research is based on observations made during Dawn's orbit of Ceres between 2015 and 2018, including close passes it made of the dwarf planet just 22 miles above the surface toward the end of the mission.

During that time, Dawn was focused on the 57-mile-wide Occator Crater, a 22-million-year-old feature that appeared to showcase bright spots. These eye-catching characteristics were discovered to be sodium carbonate, or a compound including oxygen, carbon and sodium.

But it was unclear how those bright spots came to be in the crater.

 

https://amp.cnn.com/...trnd/index.html



#5495
caltrek

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First Launch Planned for Later This Year for India’s Satellite Startup

 

https://techcrunch.c...ater-this-year/

 

Entire Article:

(TechCrunch) Bengaluru-based Pixxel is getting ready to launch its first Earth imaging satellite later this year, with a scheduled mission aboard a Soyuz rocket. The roughly one-and-a-half-year old company is moving quickly, and today it’s announcing a $5 million seed funding round to help it accelerate even more. The funding is led by Blume Ventures, Lightspeed India Partners, and growX ventures, while a number of angel investors participated.

 

This isn’t Pixxel’s first outside funding: It raised $700,000 in pre-seed money from Techstars  and others last year. But this is significantly more capital to invest in the business, and the startup plans to use it to grow its team, and to continue to fund the development of its Earth observation constellation.

 

The goal is to fully deploy said constellation, which will be made up of 30 satellites, by 2022. Once all of the company’s small satellites are on-orbit, the the Pixxel network will be able to provide globe-spanning imaging capabilities on a daily basis. The startup claims that its technology will be able to provide data that’s much higher quality when compared to today’s existing Earth imaging satellites, along with analysis driven by PIxxel’s own deep learning models, which are designed to help identify and even potentially predict large problems and phenomena that can have impact on a global scale.

 

Pixxel’s technology also relies on very small satellites (basically the size of a beer fridge) that nonetheless provide a very high quality image at a cadence that even large imaging satellite networks that already exist would have trouble delivering. The startup’s founders, Awais Ahmed and Kshitij Khandelwal, created the company while still in the process of finishing up the last year of their undergraduate studies. The founding team took part in Techstars’ Starubst Space Accelerator last year in LA.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#5496
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Space Station Study Finds Bacteria Can Survive Years in Outer Space

 

https://www.courthou...in-outer-space/

 

Introduction:

(Courthouse News) — Already named the toughest bacteria on Earth by the Guinness Book of World Records, Deinoccal radiodurans has shattered a new galactic record: longest known survival in open space.

 

A team of Japanese researchers interested in panspermia — the theory that life can transfer or has transferred from one planet to another — found the UV-resistant bacteria survived at three years on the side of the International Space Station, and could possibly live long enough in space to make the trip to Mars.

 

“The results suggest that radioresistant Deinococcus could survive during the travel from Earth to Mars and vice versa, which is several months or years in the shortest orbit,” said Dr. Akihiko Yamagishi, a professor at Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences and principal investigator of the space mission Tanpopo.

 

Rocky panspermia, or lithopanspermia, describes the organisms that might survive inside a protective barrier like in an asteroid. Research published in the journal Frontiers on Wednesday, however, is the first to investigate the viability of microbes in open space, without any protective shell.

 

“The origin of life on Earth is the biggest mystery of human beings,” Yamagishi said in a statement. “Scientists can have totally different points of view on the matter. Some think that life is very rare and happened only once in the universe, while others think that life can happen on every suitable planet. If panspermia is possible, life must exist much more often than we previously thought.”

Deinoccal-radiodurans.jpg?resize=1024%2C

A set of four Deinoccal radiodurans cells.

(Photo by Liza Gross)


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#5497
caltrek

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New Evidence Finally Confirms The Theory of How Stars Get Shredded by Black Holes

 

https://www.sciencea...by-a-black-hole

 

(Science Alert) When a star ventures a little too close to a black hole, we know - broadly - what happens. The intense tidal forces tear the star apart in what is called a tidal disruption event, unleashing a final burst of light before the star's debris passes beyond the event horizon.

 

The precise details of this devouring have been a little harder to pin down. Theoretically, the debris should coalesce into a disc as it circles and falls onto the black hole - but most of the tidal disruption events (TDEs) we've managed to observe show no evidence of the X-ray emission that can establish the presence of this accretion disc.

 

"In classical theory, the TDE flare is powered by an accretion disc, producing X-rays from the inner region where hot gas spirals into the black hole," said astronomer Tiara Hung of the University of California Santa Cruz.

 

"But for most TDEs, we don't see X-rays - they mostly shine in the ultraviolet and optical wavelengths - so it was suggested that, instead of a disc, we're seeing emissions from the collision of stellar debris streams."

 

That has led some astronomers to speculate that a stellar tidal disruption event is too brief for an accretion disc to form. But new research has shown otherwise. Using optical and ultraviolet observations of a tidal disruption event, astronomers have found clear evidence of the shifting light expected for a rotating accretion disc.

 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#5498
Jessica

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In a Lab on Earth, Scientists Just Replicated Pressures Found on White Dwarf Stars
21 AUGUST 2020

For the first time, pressure over 100 times that found in Earth's core has been generated in a lab, setting a new record.

Using the highest-energy laser system in the world, physicists briefly subjected solid hydrocarbon samples to pressures up to 450 megabars, meaning 450 million times Earth's atmospheric pressure at sea level.

 

https://www.sciencea...ite-dwarf-stars



#5499
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#5500
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China celebrates safe landing of secretive spacecraft as ‘important breakthrough’

 

https://www.theverge...e-landing-x-37b

 

Entire Article (less photos):

(The Verge) Chinese state media says the country has safely landed a reusable spacecraft which it claims will provide a “convenient and inexpensive” method of getting to and from space. The craft launched on September 4th and landed on September 6th after spending two days in orbit, according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

 

Very little is known about the spacecraft, including even its basic design. There are no picture or renders of the craft, but there have been rumors it is a spaceplane similar to the Air Force’s X-37B. A Chinese military source told the South China Morning Post they could not provide details on the mission but that “maybe you can take a look at the US X-37B.”

 

The X-37B is a spaceplane roughly a quarter the size of America’s Space Shuttle orbiters, a series of spaceplanes that were launched into orbit from rockets between 1981 and 2011, and were able to glide back to Earth and land on runways to be repaired and reused. The X37-B follows the same basic operation but is always uncrewed. The US Air Force describes the X37-B as an “experimental test program” that is being used to demonstrate reusable space technologies.

 

The relatively abrupt test of the mysterious Chinese craft may surprise some, but it tracks with the country’s ambitions to create reusable spaceplanes, says Andrew Jones, a freelance journalist who follows China’s space program. Jones told The Verge last week: “There’s lots of interest in China in spaceplanes.” He added: “They’ve said that they’re going to do this, and they seem to be doing it kind of somewhat on schedule.”

 

Whatever the nature of the craft, China is keen to celebrate its return as a scientific milestone. Xinhua described the news as an “important breakthrough,” while a Chinese military source told the South China Morning Post that there were “many firsts in this launch,” which they said explained the secrecy. “The spacecraft is new, the launch method is also different. That’s why we needed to make sure there is extra security,” said the source.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls






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