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With the gravity so light on Phobos and Deimos, the astronauts in the illustration might accidentally jump and drift off into space — unless their muscles had atrophied during the long trip to Mars.

I really like this. I’d like to work with the good people behind this.

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Sirens of Titan? Wonder what the Sirens look like? Probably should either crank up the music like Orpheus or put beeswax in one’s ears like the sailors or tie one on like Odysseus. Mythic.

Karela Fry

In the Shadow of Saturn's Rings Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/J. Major

Apod explains:

Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, appears above as a featureless tan as it is continually shrouded in thick clouds. The rings of Saturn are seen as a thin line because they are so flat and imaged nearly edge on. Details of Saturn’s rings are therefore best visible in the dark ring shadows seen across the giant planet’s cloud tops. Since the ring particles orbit in the same plane as Titan, they appear to skewer the foreground moon.

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nice color

Lights in the Dark

The pumpkin-orange colors of Titan’s thick clouds appear in stark contrast in front of the limb of Saturn, which appears quite blue along its sunlit limb due to Rayleigh scattering, the same process that makes the sky look blue here on Earth.

The image here is a color composite made from three separate raw images acquired by Cassini on July 1, 2012. Captured in red, green and blue visible light wavelengths, when combined the result is a more-or-less true color image as our eyes might see it. The final image was rotated to make the angle of sunlight come in from the left horizontally, and I teased out some detail in Saturn’s atmosphere.

Cassini was over 1.7 million miles from Titan when the images were captured.

Credit: NASA/JPL/SSI. Edited by J. Major.

On a related note, today another Saturn/Titan color composite I assembled in May was chosen for the…

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Private industry and nonprofits and NGO’s should settle other worlds such as planets, moons and large asteroids.

Colonizing stars is a stupid idea because stars are hot and any craft that attempted to land would burn up. Colonization on Earth by imperialist nations has always led to wars, colonialism and genocide. Government should not be in space at all. Government Space Programmes (GSP’s) should not even exist. Free Space !!!

We need freedom in space, free enterprise in space , and free space. Let the governments send all their missions to the sun where they will burn up and therefore leave people alone to live in peace without imperialism, without colonialism, and without genocide.

Government is bad and only delivers death and taxes. The whole reason people want to go into space is to get away from government and its death & taxes. People want immortality and freedom and space.

Perspective Check

Two very interesting points were brought up by commenters on the previous post. One point is legal–what is the role of government in space exploration and interplanetary colonization? Up to this point virtually all space exploration has been conducted by governments who saw space as being in their people’s best interest, simply because these were the only agencies who had the resources to do it.

But as technology advances, private companies have begun to announce their intent to get in on the game. In April, a group of private billionaires has formed a company with the goal of mining asteroids for profit. A month later, SpaceX became the first commercial entity to dock a spacecraft at the International Space Station. Shortly thereafter, a Dutch company announced plans to establish a permanent colony on Mars by 2023–which it would fund partially by making life on the red planet’s surface…

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I’m gonna hurl . . .

This might kill more than a city. Maybe a whole state or province or prefecture.

Astronaut Tom Jones: Flight Notes

July 3, 2012

The B612 Foundation announced last week that it will raise funds to launch and operate a space-based telescope to search for dangerous near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). The hazard from these bodies is real. The Tunguska impact in Siberia, in 1908, was caused by Earth’s collision with a small asteroid, about 40 meters across, which exploded with the force of 3 to 5 Megatons of TNT, enough to level a major city. There are about a million near-Earth asteroids big enough to penetrate Earth’s atmosphere and cause city-wide or regional destruction; Tunguska-sized impacts occur every few centuries. Each year, about thirty explosions as powerful as the Hiroshima A-bomb occur in the high atmosphere from small asteroid impacts.

Today, we know of less than 10,000 of these objects. The number of detections is growing rapidly, thanks to NASA’s search program. The agency spends $20M per year on asteroid detection…

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Not really an oddity because lots of nebulae look like this.

I need writers like this.

Informative Report

Close to 18 billion kilometres away, a human-made object is about to leave our solar systemfor the first time in the history of the universe.

PRA and PWS: one of two ten-metre Planetary Ra...

Voyager 1 set off on the longest journey ever taken, on May 5, 1977. In the 34 years, nine months and 24 days it has been travelling, it has shot by Jupiter and Saturn, photographing the giant planets and their moons; it has passed the Kuiper belt, the vast cloud of asteroids that lies past the orbit of Neptune; it took the first ”family portrait” of the planets, showing Earth as one more bright point in the black – a pale blue dot among the others.

Now, hurtling silently on at more than 16 kilometres a second, it is reaching the edge of the heliosheath – the final layer of the heliosphere, the bubble of charged particles surrounding our sun…

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I need guest blogs that resemble this.

Informative Report

Scientists have revealed that they have the strongest evidence to date that Saturn’s giant moon may have a salty ocean beneath its chilly surface.

Saturn's largest moon, Titan.If confirmed, it would catapult Titan into an elite class of solar system moons harbouring water, an essential ingredient for life.

Titan boasts methane-filled seas at the poles and a possible lake near the equator. And it has long been speculated that Titan contains a hidden liquid layer, based on mathematical modelling and electric field measurements made by the Huygens spacecraft that landed on the surface in 2005.

The latest evidence is still indirect, but some scientists said it probably was the best that could be obtained short of sending a spacecraft to drill into the surface. The research looked convincing, said Gabriel Tobie of France’s University of Nantes. ”If the analysis is correct, this is a very important finding.”

The finding by international researchers…

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