A planet with about the same mass as Earth
has been discovered in orbit around Alpha Centauri B, a star in the Alpha Centauri triple star system - the solar system's closest neighbor, a mere 4.3 light years away. Alpha Centauri B is very similar to the Sun, and this marks the first planet with a mass similar to Earth ever found around a Sun-like star. However, the planet is orbiting at a distance of about six million kilometers, much closer than Mercury is to the Sun in the Solar System, so temperatures above 400 degrees Celsius may make vacationing there unpalatable even for the most dedicated beach-goer. However, lead paper author Xavier Dumusque called it "a major step towards the detection of a twin Earth in the immediate vicinity of the Sun."
posted by kyrademon
on Oct 16, 2012 -
In 2005, the Discovery Channel aired Alien Worlds
, a fictional documentary based on Wayne Douglas Barlowe's graphic novel, Expedition: Being an Account in Words and Artwork of the 2358 A.D. Voyage to Darwin IV
." Depicting mankind's first robotic mission to an extrasolar planet that could support life, the show drew from NASA's Origins Program
, the NASA/JPL PlanetQuest Mission
, and ESA's Darwin Project
. It was primarily presented through CGI, but included interviews from a variety of NASA scientists and other experts, including Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku, John Craig Venter and Jack Horner. Oh, and George Lucas, too. Official site
. Previously on MeFi. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Sep 21, 2012 -
aims to illustrate the scale and the grandeur of our solar system, as well as illustrate through the use of infographics
our work in the exploration of our solar system with various spacecraft. [more inside]
posted by zamboni
on Apr 3, 2012 -
Croatian software developer and amateur image processor Gordan Ugarković
takes images from NASA's unmanned space probes released to the Planetary Data System
, splices them together and tweaks the colors, sometimes combining higher resolution black and white images with color images, sometimes recreating what the object would look like in natural color (ie, in visible wavelengths, from images taken in multiple wavelengths), sometimes heightening the contrast to bring out detail. (via
) [more inside]
posted by nangar
on May 20, 2011 -
BBC Human Planet: The Douche
For a few weeks, the BBC film crew had the opportunity to follow a unique specimen, they were able to observe and record its mannerisms, rituals and way of life. The result of this is BBC Human Planet: The Douche.
posted by Fizz
on Apr 14, 2011 -
of Americans say global warming is real and poses a threat to humanity. Which is good because if the global temperature raises by 4 degrees
we're all dead. However only 44 percent would be willing to face any financial hardship in the name of a solution.
posted by Artw
on Aug 10, 2008 -
Recycle your computer junk.
A large US office supply retailer just became the first to offer everyday, in-store recycling for computers & other office technology, and will recycle them using EPA guidelines. Only $10 an item (smaller stuff like mice and keyboards are free).
posted by Dave Faris
on May 31, 2007 -
Scientists have discovered a planet composed of scorching hot ice
. Originally thought to be a gas giant due to its mass, its actually only four times the size of Earth and most likely composed of exotic forms of ice, such as Ice VII and Ice X
with s surface temperature of 300° C.
posted by Artw
on May 16, 2007 -
My very elegant mother just sat upon ninjas
... the textbooks, mnemonic devices and more will have to be changed today. Pluto has been demoted from its status as planet to a dwarf planet
. We now have 8 in our solar system. The debate is not at all new
, and its apparent resolution may not matter to our everyday lives, but it's just a little weird to think of all of the things that will have to be retroactively edited or amended as a result.
posted by twiggy
on Aug 24, 2006 -
"Damn, Natalie, you a crazy chick!" (video)
Natalie Portman, rapper and riot grrl? Maybe Lazy Sunday (video
) wasn't a freak occurence after all. Personally, I had expected the Lonely Planet guys
to end up a one-hit wonder, but in my book they've (at least) moved up a notch to talented one-trick pony. Another very well-done digital short that should be seen by a lot more people than SNL's dismal ratings will allow.
posted by Sinner
on Mar 5, 2006 -
A new planet has been found.
The new planet, named 2003 UB313
is the farthest known object in the solar system, larger than pluto and a lousy tourist destination. Slacker Astronomy has an interview
with co-discoverer Dr. Chad Trujillo.
posted by mosch
on Jul 30, 2005 -
answers an ancient question," said team leader Geoffrey Marcy, professor of astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley. "Over 2,000 years ago, the Greek philosophers Aristotle and Epicurus argued about whether there were other Earth-like planets. Now, for the first time, we have evidence
for a rocky planet around a normal star."
The star, Gliese 876
, visible in the night sky, lies only 15 light-years away.
posted by vacapinta
on Jun 14, 2005 -
"The drama takes place on Darwin IV, a fictional planet 6.5 light-years from Earth, with two suns and 60 percent gravity. Having identified Darwin as a world that could support life, Earth sends a pilot mission consisting of the mothership and three probes." Discovery channel feature, Flash heavy site, via Pharyngula
posted by dhruva
on May 9, 2005 -
A Doomed planet
orbiting a distant star has been located. No, not Krypton
. The planet is going to be consumed by the star soon
, but astronomers are not going to wait up for it.
posted by kaemaril
on Jan 28, 2003 -
World on Fire
is brought to us by the fun kids at NASA, showing satellite images of active fires around the planet on July 11, 2002. "Across the world, the widespread fires that burn each year in the savannas of Africa, Australia, and Brazil dwarf even the most significant fire season in the western United States as far as total acreage and number of fires."
has its own set of images from 2000 as well.
posted by keli
on Sep 3, 2002 -
Solar System Akin to Earth's Is Discovered
Any minute now, I imagine somebody at a listening station on a smaller, bluer planet a few in from this one making a minute adjustment to their equipment and promptly spraying warm stimulant-laced beverage over their console...
posted by hob
on Jun 14, 2002 -
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"
posted by crasspastor
on Sep 11, 2001 -