Sunday, August 19News That Matters

Science

On second thought, the Moon's water may be widespread and immobile

On second thought, the Moon's water may be widespread and immobile

Science
Credit: NASA/JPL/USGS A new analysis of data from two lunar missions finds evidence that the Moon's water is widely distributed across the surface and is not confined to a particular region or type of terrain. The water appears to be present day and night, though it's not necessarily easily accessible. The findings could help researchers understand the origin of the Moon's water and how easy it would be to use as a resource. If the Moon has enough water, and if it's reasonably convenient to access, future explorers might be able to use it as drinking water or to convert it into hydrogen and oxygen for rocket fuel or oxygen to breathe."We find that it doesn't matter what time of day or which latitude we look at, the signal indicating water alw...
Scientists still can't agree how much water is on the Moon, or figure out how to access it

Scientists still can't agree how much water is on the Moon, or figure out how to access it

Science
Researchers studying far-off exoplanets do their best to determine the composition of those alien worlds based on the tiny bits of data they have available to them. By contrast, determining what Earth’s moon is made of shouldn’t be nearly as challenging. I mean, it’s right there, and we’ve even been there ourselves, so how hard could it be, right? Apparently that’s not the case, as a new study seeking to paint a clearer picture of the Moon’s water reserves appears to go against what scientists thought they knew about Earth’s friendly little satellite.Water on the Moon has been a hot topic for researchers and many in the space community for a number of reasons, not least of which is its potential to help sustain lunar stations that could be used ...
This Is the Spot Where the Cassini Spacecraft Plunged Into Saturn

This Is the Spot Where the Cassini Spacecraft Plunged Into Saturn

Science
The white oval marks the spot. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science InstituteOn September 15, 2017, the Cassini spacecraft ended its valiant 13-year mission by performing a kamikaze dive into Saturn’s upper atmosphere. A new image released by NASA shows the exact spot where the Cassini craft was lost to us forever. What’s particularly cool about this image is that Cassini took it just a few hours before it dove into the ringed planet (its entry point is indicated by the white oval). The spacecraft was about 394,000 miles (634,000 km) from Saturn at the time, and it shows the planet’s night side. The scene appears illuminated, because it was: Saturn’s extensive ring system reflects sunlight onto the planet’s night side. By the time Cassini plunged int...
Image: Bering Strait

Image: Bering Strait

Science
Credit: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2017–18), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO The Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission takes us over the Bering Strait, which connects the Pacific and Arctic Oceans between Russia and the US state of Alaska. The image was created by combining three radar scans of 11 December 2017, 23 December 2017 and 4 January 2018. Each image has been assigned a different colour: blue, red and green, respectively. This creates a colourful composite that highlights how the sea ice changed over the four weeks.Since the Bering Strait lies slightly south of the polar circle, days are short during the winter. Thanks to its radar, Sentinel-1 can 'see' through clouds and in the dark, making it especially valuable f...

See Jupiter's South Pole Change Over Time in Incredible Time-Lapse View

Science
Jupiter's south pole is seen in a series of time-lapse images taken by NASA's Juno spacecraft during its 11th close flyby of the giant planet on Feb. 7, 2018.Credit: Gerald Eichstadt/NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS You've never seen Jupiter's south pole quite like this. A new photo by NASA's Juno spacecraft show Jupiter's south pole as seen from above during a recent close encounter on Feb. 7. The photo is actually a series of images taken over time by Juno as the probe whipped around Jupiter during its 11th flyby of the giant planet.   "At first glance, the series might appear to be the same image repeated," NASA officials wrote in an image description. "But closer inspection reveals slight changes, which are most easily noticed by comparing the far left image with the far righ...

An amateur astronomer testing a new camera happened to catch a supernova as it's being born

Science
[unable to retrieve full-text content]An amateur astronomer testing a new camera happened to catch a supernova as it's being born  Pittsburgh Post-GazetteFirst ever photo of exploding star, UC Berkeley confirms  SFGateAmateur Astronomer Captures Birth of a Supernova  GeekAmateur Astronomer Tests New Camera, Catches Birth of a Supernova  NewsweekA Star Is Shorn: The Fine Art of Spotting Supernovae Is Ideal for Amateurs  Scientific AmericanFull coverage Source link
NASA captures Jupiter's south pole as you've never seen it before

NASA captures Jupiter's south pole as you've never seen it before

Science
Jupiter is the largest planet in our Solar System and, because of that, it’s been photographed many, many times. We’ve seen the planet’s swirling cloud tops and its iconic Great Red Spot more times than we can count, but the planet’s south pole doesn’t get nearly the same amount of attention. In a new series of images captured by the Juno spacecraft we get one of our best looks at the planet’s underbelly, and boy is it a treat.We often think of Jupiter as a milky mix of browns, reds, and off-whites, but as these gorgeous photos showcase, the planet has a much more colorful personality when viewed from other angles. The striking blue swirls twist in intricate patterns that look more like a painting than something we’d expect from an alien world, ...
SpaceX Falcon Heavy: Astronomers Capture Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster on Camera One Last Time

SpaceX Falcon Heavy: Astronomers Capture Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster on Camera One Last Time

Science
Astronomers have caught what could be their final image of Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster as it sinks deep into space.A tiny dot at the center of the image, the car is barely visible among many bright stars. Soon, it will be too far away from Earth for normal telescopes to capture. Look closely for red lines in the center of the image, which mark out SpaceX CEO Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster sports car. Gianluca Masi/Michael Schwartz/Virtual Telescope Project/Tenagra Observatories Ltd Keep up with this story and more by subscribing nowThe SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launched its CEO’s cherry red sports car into space on February 6. The most powerful operational rocket in the world, the Falcon Heavy can lift up to 141,000 pounds into orbit. Its 27 engines can gene...
First ever photo of exploding star, UC Berkeley confirms

First ever photo of exploding star, UC Berkeley confirms

Science
An amateur astronomer became the first person to photograph a star as it began to explode.Victor Buso from Argentina photographed the moment a brief flash of light was shot out by the supernova in September 2016.That early phase can take only a matter of minutes, with Business Insider putting the chances of capturing it on camera as one-in-billions.RELATED:How close would a supernova have to be to wipe out Earth?Speaking of chance, that's how Buso chose the spiral Galaxy NGC 613, which is where the star was located while testing out a new camera.He told Newsweek, "...among those in that region of the sky, it has a beautiful form with looping clouds—bright and dark."Buso noticed a single-pixel difference between his images and ones he'd seen online.He checked back the next night, s...

How to watch this weekend's Cape Canaveral's SpaceX launch

Science
Looks like it’s all systems go for Sunday morning’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The weather forecast appears to be cooperating for the 12:35 a.m. Sunday mission from Launch Complex 40 — it’s 80 percent ‘Go’ conditions, according to forecasters with the Air Force's 45th Weather Squadron, Florida Today reports. Teams have a two-hour window to launch the rocket, which will carry a 12,000-pound commercial communications satellite designed to provide television, broadband and other communications to the Americas and Europe.If you hope to catch the launch you have several options.Stand outside and look upSince clear skies are expected, people in South Florida can fix their gazes on the sky and look north and hope to ...