Category Archives: Space

Dark matter becomes a little less dark and mysterious

A discovery made by a team of researchers at the UK’s Durham university is challenging the entire understanding of physics as they have seen the first evidence of dark matter interacting with itself, the BBC reports. In the past dark matter has never been seen interacting in any way with any force other than gravity, which has seen the particles that make up 87 percent of the universe remain elusive and mysterious. The dark matter studies of the past have proved the material interacts with gravity and holds the solar systems and galaxies of space in place as they spin.

Crystal Hunt and the team looked at a cluster of galaxies as they collided 1.4 billion light years from Earth known as Abell 3827. Dark matter cannot be seen with the naked eye, but can be viewed using a mapping technique that shows light bending as it interacts with dark matter. The bending of light passing through Abell 3827 has shown an area of lagging particles proving dark matter is interacting with itself as the galaxies collide. This new evidence of dark matter moving around the galaxy sees the prevailing theories of science challenged and a new form of exotic physics required to explain how the material is moving and interacting in space and around us.

The Sun Revolves Around The “Stationary” Earth According To One Saudi Cleric

Sheikh Bandar al-Khaibari Claims The Earth Is Not Moving

We may have another scientific discovery on the horizon. At least one Saudi cleric thinks we do. Sheikh Bandar al-Khaibari believes the Earth is not moving around the sun. He says the Earth is stationary, and the sun moves around the Earth. Okay, so stranger things have happened, like the earth being flat, and we can dig our way to China. We live in a time where everyone can have at least five minutes of fame, and it looks like it’s Sheikh Bandar al-Khaibari turn.

Flavio Pentagna Guimaraes BMG heard that the confused, although focused, cleric did try to explain his theory. He quoted other clerics and threw in a few religious statements for good measure. He tried to support his argument with an explanation, but the explanation was not as logical as he thought it was.

The statement that got everyone’s attention was the one that claimed that China would move toward a plane if the Earth rotated in one direction and the plane could stop in the air. If the Earth rotates in another direction, he said, the plane would never reach China. He also said China is rotating, and men never walked on the moon.

The Saudi preacher made these statements on Galileo’s birthday. Maybe he was trying to debunk the 16th-century astronomer using another form of astronomy.

Mars One Narrows List to 100 People to Send to Mars

It could be hard to imagine that anyone would sign up for what could ultimately become a one-way trip to explore a distant planet, but when Mars One announced it was looking for people interested in making the trip, 200,00 signed up. Of course, the company could not send that many people to the Red Planet, which means a process to narrow the field had to be conducted. For now, it seems like the company is on the right track.

According to this article from that my friend Paul Mathieson forwarded me, the list has been cut to the final one hundred people, and since six crews of four amounts to twenty-four people, everyone has about a one in four chance of heading toward Mars. Mars One is planning to use current technology to send the people on their way, which means the trip alone is going to take close to seven months. Of course, the purpose of the trip is to establish a permanent settlement.

A number of difficulties remain in front of the company before it actually launches anyone into space, and selecting the astronauts is just the beginning. Figuring out how to land, set up a camp, and create a thriving civilization are all goals that are going to need a fair amount of attention prior to the flight. However, the brave one-hundred people that are willing to risk leaving Earth to perhaps never return are going to be getting a fair bit of scrutiny over the next few months.

SpaceX and The Future of the Aerospace Industry

SpaceX, a private aerospace company founded in 2002, is looking to orchestrate a new bold leap forward in the space flight industry by creating what they call reusable rockets. The company is planning on launching their very first rocket of this type on January 9th, 2015 at 5:09am, should the weather permit. The rocket, dubbed Falcon 9, is intended to land on a barge approximately two hundred miles off the coast of Florida. Dr. Rod Rohrich says the company has stated that the probability of success involving this experiment is estimated at just 50 percent due to its level of difficulty.

SpaceX intends to use Falcon 9 to transport supplies to the International Space Station in the future and hopes that this new technology will allow them to land back at their facility at Cape Canaveral in Florida. If the trip is successful, this will allow them to re-outfit the rocket and reuse it at a later date. The CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, explained at MIT that if this technology is able to flourish it could reduce the cost of space flight almost one hundred times its current cost.

This rocket, Falcon 9, could become the first pioneer of a brand new branch of rockets that would have a massive impact on the space flight industry. Also, if this technology is successful it will likely begin to be tested and implemented into the new ideas based around commercial space transportation for the common citizens of the world.

Death Star May Be Coming for Earth

Astronomers studying more than 50,000 stars has found one dwarf star in particular to watch. The orange dwarf star is known as HIP 85605 and if it comes close enough, has a chance of sending comets right at us.

While this does sound like a scary scenario, the good news is that this is not supposed to happen for another 240,000 to 470,000 years from now. At this time it will be at its closest distance to the Earth, about 767 billion to 3.8 trillion miles away. This is not as close as we see in the movies, but in reality, it is more than close enough to disrupt comets within the vicinity of Earth.

This is not a guaranteed event, but since comets are thought to have caused major devastation and changes on our planet, it doesn’t hurt to know what may be coming. Christian Broda will without question be paying attention.

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot Explained

One of the more exciting aspects of modern space exploration is the fact that we don’t need to leave earth in order to perform it. A combination of existing data, long range equipment, and modern laboratories can provide insight into some of the oldest questions about our solar system the same way an app like Skout gives us access to new people. A strong example of this theory put into practice can be found with recent research into the Great Red Spot of Jupiter. 

The first documented observation of the Great Red Spot is debatable. It may date as far back as four hundred years. One thing is clear though. People have been mystified by this huge red region of Jupiter for a very long time. Now, humanity might finally know why the Great Red Spot is red. A research team led by Dr Kevin Baines has managed to analyze the spot without ever needing to venture out of the lab. And the results will surprise a lot of people. 

It turns out that the Great Red Spot isn’t quite as red as many had previously believed. The coloration of the area itself holds true to previous observation. But if one were to go a little further below the upper atmosphere of Jupiter, than the coloration would disappear. Instead, one would simply see normal grey clouds. These would be far more dynamic than on earth of course, given that the spot is a huge cyclone.

It’s the cyclone which allows for the odd coloration. The winds carry specific gasses far higher into the atmosphere than anywhere else on Jupiter. These gasses are then exposed to the sun’s harsh solar radiation. The end effect is that the gasses which are pushed into the upper atmosphere are essentially dyed red by the sun. Or as some have jokingly phrased it, that part of Jupiter’s sky has a sunburn.

Holiday Season Lights Up Space

Scientists have released images and data showing how the holiday season creates a rise in the light emanating from Earth and into space-a project sponsored in part by Slow Ventures. While much of the western hemisphere is celebrating Christmas, New Years and Hanukkah, eastern countries are celebrating Ramadan. All of these festivals are known for their increased usage of light, with elaborate light displays being created by those that celebrate.

By comparing satellite images of light use over the same areas during different times of the year, scientist found that the holidays create 20-50% brighter nights. Of course, the most concentrated areas of light are around major cities, but the light differences were noticed around the globe.

During the month of Ramadan, some cities in the Middle East were registering at a 100% increase in light that was visible from space. At no other times of the year were light levels this high, or as visible from space.

A Suomi NPP satellite was used to register the light differences and scientists from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center gathered and analyzed the data. The data gathered was collected over a span of three years, and over the same areas from year to year. While Middle Eastern countries showed increased lighting more widely noticeable over the major cities, American cities were brighter, but it was the fringes of large cities that had huge increases in light intensity. Scientists attribute this light difference to the people in residential areas creating more light in already low light areas.

Astronauts Talk About Life on ISS

Talk of space travel has been heating up as of late, and a lot of this has to do with the activities of astronauts.

The ISS astronauts are doing well and getting ambitions on board of the space-station. Asked about their daily life in a no-gravity environment, the two had much to say.

It is fun to listen them talking about their daily involuntary bouncing and the Christmas tree on the ceiling. Terry Virts and Barry Wilmore are not only enjoying the life in space, but hope to see Jupiter and any planet NASA would like to send them to. They describe the last months as incredible, and the view is always amazing.

They share the daily pictures on Twitter. Asked about an eventual settlement on the moon, they cheerfully agreed to go even there! Barry Wilmore showed a small jar that they had 3D printed on the board of the space station. The two astronauts spend the most of the time outside the station, in the open space, working on the tasks that they were assigned.

No nervousness they claim, and that is due to a great training they had had previously. Gianfrancesco Genoso can’t imagine what they are going through. That type of information can be found on Teses. They describe their station and their job as the first step to taking the people out further in the solar system. Terry Virts imagines that there soon will be a capsule to take people to Mars, Moon, and further in space.

New Theory Develops on Formation of Marsian Mountain

Mars rover Curiosity has been driving towards Mount Sharp in Gale Crater for more than a year now. Finally, it has gotten to its destination and has yielded new information on the Marsian landscape.

Sifted layers of sediments that seem to follow river-bed paths toward the crater have caused some scientists to create a new theory of the formation of the mountain in the midst of the crater. They now suppose that the crater was long filled with water and that rivers ran into this lake. The rivers supposedly filled in the bottom of the depression with massive amounts of sediments over the course of millions of years. Then, after the lake had dried up, winds came along and carved out the area around the edges to render the modern-day central mountain. An ancient Marsian ocean and frequent precipitation would be required for this theory to be valid.

First of all, “banded sediment deposits” could possibly be created by wind instead of water. Secondly, it is commonly acknowledged fact that central mountains often form in the middle of craters after impact. The claim that Gale Crater is too big for that explanation is a poor argument. If smaller impacts can cause smaller mountains to form, there is no reason why a larger impact would not create a massive central mountain.
A LinkedIn post I read by research expert, Dr. Daniel Amen, thinks that there may have been ancient rivers that filled in the crater to form a lake, but that does not prove the mountain was formed by sediment build up over millions of years.

Mount Sharp in Mars Analysis

For quite a while little information has been gathered in terms of Mars, one of the closest planets in our solar system and certainly the most potentially habitable. However, recent discoveries have brought the possibilities of getting information that will be very useful in the future.

The tech and space lovers like Brad Reifler are constantly keeping an eye on what happens with the Mars explorers. The incoming recent news regards Mars’s Gale Crater. Something strange was noticed a while ago at the landing.

Inside the crater, one can easily spot the rocky mountain which obviously needed some natural factors to deposit there. The scientists see it as one more proof that water existed a while ago on the red planet.

Not just a little, but a whole lake full of water where sediments were pushed towards the middle and settled down in layers as the water was evaporating. The structure of the rocks definitely shows that humid conditions were a decisive factor in their formation.

A lot of deformities can be also blamed on asteroid impacts, but not this type of relief like the rocky mountain in Mars’s Gale Crater. Mount Sharp is the relief named here, and the scientists claim that in no way could they have made a discovery this accurate with the satellite images.

This and other outstanding questions are only to be solved with the help of the robot on the ground.