Puzzling X-rays from Jupiter "We weren't surprised to find x-rays coming from Jupiter." Other observatories had done that years ago. The surprise is what Chandra has revealed for the very first time: the location of the beacon -- surprisingly close the planet's pole -- and the regular way it pulses. (Via Fark.)
Huge ice field found on Mars The Mars Odyssey orbiter has found a vast field of water ice stretching from the Martian south pole to 60 degrees south.
Public Survey for Input to the Planetary Decadal Survey. The Planetary Society is seeking input from the public for NASA's planetary research priorities for the next 10 years. The deadline for taking the survey is January 31st.
Interesting hypothesis that Europa's seas are swimming with bacteria. Preliminary results show that all three species, the ordinary gut bacteria Escherichia coli, and extremophiles Deinococcus radiodurans and Sulfolobus shibatae, are just as good at explaining Europa's IR spectrum as the [magnesium sulphate] salts.
Bloink! Leonids touchdown in northwest Indiana.
On Nov. 18, 2001, sky watchers somewhere will see a dazzling storm of Leonid meteors. And Leonid Observing Tips. It's the rainy season where I live so I'm pessimistic about my chances but maybe some of you have a shot at seeing them. Posted here as a PSA.
First French woman in space set to go up again. Can Jerry Lewis be far behind?
Cassini's just outside the orbit of Jupiter. Where is the space program in all of this? Have mundane zealots hobbled humanity's greatest feats to come? Should we be plotting ourselves to the stars now?
Reflections on a Mote of Dust "We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam." Carl Sagan "Pale Blue Dot"
First Evidence of life coming from space. One third a ton a day raining down, according to these researchers.
Did the Viking landers find life on Mars 25 years ago? Some scientists think so. I have too much faith in planetary scientists and the newly minted field of exobiology, to believe this is a just a ploy to rekindle waning public interest in space exploration. I think this is genuine 20/20 hindsight coupled with better scientific understandings of life existing in the extreme hinterlands of possibility. . .
I know someone has posted an Amazon Purchase Circle before for Microsoft, but the one for NASA is hilarious. Introduction to Space Physics?
NEAR shoemaker lands and survives. The NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft touched down on a barren space rock called Eros on Monday, in history’s first attempt to land an object on an asteroid. Scientists said the probe still appeared to be sending signals back to Earth after making contact, hinting that the car-sized probe survived the descent. The speed at impact was between 1.5-1.8 m/s. This marks the first time that a US spacecraft was the first to land on another body of the solar system. And, if the server is back up, it's worth checking out the project's website.
Space U-Haul Atlantis on its way. Atlantis is climbing orbit to reach Alpha carrying with it the Destiny module for Space Station Freedom. The module only has 2 inches of clearance from the shuttle itself and will take one hell of a can opener to get it out.
Lucifer's Hammer... misses. Well, ok, maybe it was only his tack-hammer, but the people in London would have hated it... [scroll down to second story]
please lord, make it stop--- just a little quote from red meat. i was looking up the times for the last eclipse of the millenium and thot i'd share. view at your own risk (%*)
Get a piece of the Rock. Moon that is. I say boy, you got to think of the future. Just remember all these worlds are yours except Europa.
NASA to announce 2005 mission to Mars. Forget the mapping missions. Send over some monkeys already!
A striking photo of The Sigma Orionis star cluster where the astronomers have found 18 "planets" which are not orbiting around any central star. On the same note, you may want to visit the new planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. My mother was not impressed by the New Hayden Planetarium when she visited NY this summer. I thought the Rose Center was a real life version of the Hawking book, The Illustrated A Brief History of Time. The book was a much better experience.
Grrrrr! Space.com is a relatively high-profile site that usually promotes science. That is until today when they started listing horoscopes. I guess after securing $50 million in second round funding, they will do anything for hits.
This reminded me of one of the stupidest things I've ever seen. Once on vacation in Eastern Oregon, there was a total eclipse of the moon, just like this one. And some people nearby were taking photographs of it. Flash photographs. The round-trip time to the moon at the speed of light is 3 seconds and I wouldn't even want to calculate the attenuation caused by 320,000 miles of range. Sometimes it seems as if some people are completely and totally clueless about what they're doing.
It's nice to know that people can still have big dreams. This is not hallucination; these guys are very serious and very practical and their credentials suggest that they know exactly what they're doing. It's the same team which is just finishing the Very Large Telescope project, which when complete will be the biggest scope in the world, and will be more sensitive and get better pictures than the Hubble. Scopes #1 and #2 are now online, #3 is in engineering shakeout, and first light for #4 is coming shortly. All four scopes will work together to generate images using interferometry.
Satellite Tracking - NASA keeps adding great resources online. The JTrack 3d applet lets you track every satellite in orbit (as a 3d model). ...and we've all seen the Astronomy Picture of the Day. Just goes to show that faster, cheaper, better isn't the only thing they are working on.
Adding to the list of weird shaped rock formations found on Mars is the heart shaped plateau, just in time for Valentine's Day.
The Mars Polar Lander was located - briefly on eBay anyway... For a starting bid of a cool ten million, you could have owned a piece of American space ephemera. As of tonight, it still appears in the search results. You gotta love how eBay is fast becoming the place for current event-based consumerism. Vintage virus containers anyone?
A Mars Lander is set to touch down on Mars sometime between December 1st and December 20th of this year. Keep your eyes peeled on this mars site, it will be the primary location of new information about the mission. I doubt if they find water on Mars though...
We are not alone.... a new planet outside of our solar system was found today. It's only a matter of time before the little green men come down to greet us.
The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia gives detailed information on all the planets scientists have found outside the solar system. Nerd chic.