Tag Archives: NASA

Futuristic, nuclear ‘tunnelbot’ aims to solve solar system mystery

by Colm Gorey, siliconrepublic

The search for extraterrestrial life will continue not just on the surfaces of planets, but deep within their icy cores.

For decades, rovers and landers on planets such as Mars have either examined or roamed the surface to find evidence for flourishing microbial life, or at least the ancient remnants of it. However, this could be all about to change with the development of a new robot that can burrow deep within a planet’s surface.

Continue reading Futuristic, nuclear ‘tunnelbot’ aims to solve solar system mystery

Saturn is losing its rings at ‘worst-case-scenario’ rate

by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, ScienceDaily

New NASA research confirms that Saturn is losing its iconic rings at the maximum rate estimated from Voyager 1 & 2 observations made decades ago. The rings are being pulled into Saturn by gravity as a dusty rain of ice particles under the influence of Saturn’s magnetic field.

Continue reading Saturn is losing its rings at ‘worst-case-scenario’ rate

Millions of Degrees and Plasma Dreams: NASA’s Parker Solar Probe Basks in the Sun

by Doris Elin Salazar, Space.com

The Parker Solar Probe is doing well after its first flyby of the sun, and it will soon begin returning groundbreaking data about how our star behaves.

Yesterday (Dec. 12), four researchers gathered at this year’s fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in Washington, D.C., to share the early success of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe.

Continue reading Millions of Degrees and Plasma Dreams: NASA’s Parker Solar Probe Basks in the Sun

NASA thinks the first alien life we discover is going to look nothing like what most people expect

by Keegan Larwin and Jessica Orwig, Business Insider

When we think of our first contact with alien life, many people imagine a small green humanoid in a flying saucer. The reality will be much different. NASA’s Chief Scientist, Ellen Stofan, explains what we should expect when we do discover extraterrestrial life.

Watch the video here…

The Milky Way is 392 decillion times more massive than the heaviest thing we’ve ever weighed

by Derrick Rossignol, Nerdist

The universe is so unfathomably huge that our tiny human brains can barely imagine just how big it really is out there. Case in point, a paper recently published in the Astrophysics Journal estimates that the mass of the Milky Way galaxy is 9.5 x 10^41 kilograms — 4.8 x 10^11 times the mass of the sun. That sounds wild, but can those impossibly gigantic numbers mean anything to us? Continue reading The Milky Way is 392 decillion times more massive than the heaviest thing we’ve ever weighed

How to go Supersonic without a Boom

by Ryan F. Mandelbaum, Popular Science

Breaking down the AS2 Business Jet

Until its retirement 13 years ago, the supersonic Concorde was plagued by two major problems: inefficiency and noise (the sonic booms it produced got it banned from over-land cruising). Now, heavyweights like Virgin and Airbus are planning to tackle supersonic speeds, and NASA began designing a “low boom” supersonic jet this year. But no one is as close as aircraft manufacturer Aerion Corporation, which is developing the AS2.

Quiet Cruise

When air molecules slam into a supersonic jet, they create a high-pressure wake that reaches the ground as a startling “ba-boom.” By slowing down its cruise speed to Mach 1.2 (the Concorde’s was Mach 2), the AS2’s wake will dissipate before it reaches civilization. Continue reading How to go Supersonic without a Boom

For third-straight time, Earth sets hottest year record

by Seth Borenstein, AP Top News

Earth sizzled to a third-straight record hot year in 2016, government scientists said Wednesday. They mostly blame man-made global warming with help from a natural El Nino, which has since disappeared.

Measuring global temperatures in slightly different ways, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that last year passed 2015 as the hottest year on record. Continue reading For third-straight time, Earth sets hottest year record

Russia, US Mulling Joint Mission to Venus

by Mike Wall, Space.com

Russia’s space program and NASA are working together on a mission to Venus that would investigate some of the scorching-hot planet’s biggest mysteries, including, perhaps, whether it harbors life.

An international team of scientists tasked with fleshing out the main goals of the mission, which is known as Venera-D, is wrapping up its work and will deliver its final report to NASA and the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Space Research Institute by the end of the month, said David Senske, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Continue reading Russia, US Mulling Joint Mission to Venus