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Official Space Exploration Coolness Thread
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Moogs
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2015-03-21, 18:48

For those of you who are algorithmically inclined, some interesting looks at how our terrestrial space heroes are simulating everything from protoplanetary discs to the entire milky way... on GPUs. Most of the presentations are from last year but this year's conference just ended so some of those should be coming online soon maybe. No idea. Just found this site.


http://www.gputechconf.com/highlights/overview

...into the light of a dark black night.
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Moogs
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2015-03-26, 23:11

MOAR

http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/...r-dark-matter/
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Moogs
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2015-08-18, 22:33

bump

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-envi...6821354699 46
  quote
709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2015-08-19, 07:43

Am I weird, or was that really touching?

As a kid I always imagined the far side being perpetually dark, pummeled by space rocks every second and in general being a very unpleasant place to hang out for the aliens that have bases there to keep an eye on us and abduct the occasional cow. Still, even if adult me knows more and of course the far side gets some sun, I have to say it's kind've a relief to see it lit up for reals.

So it goes.
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curiousuburb
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2015-09-05, 04:13

Keen for a quick overview of current missions throughout the Solar System?

The excellent Emily Lakdawalla at the Planetary Society has details in her blog

If you're more of a visual person and/or just want a quick overview, Olaf Frohn's diagram is comprehensive yet comprehensible.

The page also contains links to past versions through 2010

All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.
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Moogs
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2015-09-18, 19:23

Oh, hello der!

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-33657528

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curiousuburb
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2015-10-18, 20:45

Star spotted with mysterious fluctuations in Kepler's light curve data*... so mysterious that some are speculating on whether the most likely explanation is some type of artificial constructs... namely a Dyson Sphere

Of course the more cautious links above are from the journalists at the Atlantic...

* The actual paper at Arxiv.org is more academically sound, and while it does sketch out various hypotheses, it seems to suggest a family of disturbed exocomets may fit the data best.


KIC 8462852, located 1480 light-years away, and has produced a series of bizarre light fluctuations researchers have not been able to conclusively explain.


Over the duration of the Kepler mission, KIC 8462852 was observed to undergo irregularly shaped, aperiodic dips in flux down to below the 20% level...


while the Daily Mail version of the story is a bit more breathless ...
Have researchers discovered an alien MEGASTRUCTURE? 'Bizarre' star could be surrounded by a Dyson sphere built by extraterrestrials, researchers claim

All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.
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kscherer
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2015-12-22, 01:04

Good for them. Private industry at its finest.
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curiousuburb
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2015-12-22, 13:10

Props to SpaceX for sure.

Easier than landing on a floating platform.

Too bad they can't give the pad a funky name though.
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709
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2015-12-22, 13:28

Not just a rocket test either, they deployed nearly a dozen satellites as their payload while attempting to get stage 1 back on the ground safely. The payload is the 'easy' part, sure, but still. It's a testament to SpaceX that they were getting client work done and fulfilling contracts at the same time they were trying to make history.

Truly a turning point. While Musk may not go down in history as an Einstein or even a Jobs, he will go down as one of the most forward-thinking people on the planet during these iffy times.

So it goes.
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kscherer
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2015-12-22, 14:18

Even more amazing was their ability to get client contracts during an experimental flight.

That takes balls!
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Dr. Bobsky
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2015-12-22, 15:04

They had a track record of (mostly) successful orbital insertions, the experimental side of this was the post-insertion mechanics as Grey points out...

What this speaks to is a highly step wise engineering process that Musk or his people recognized would allow them to continue to profit while exploring novel aspects of their space delivery system. Not everyone can think like this (Jobs couldn't or wouldn't, for instance, famously insisting for the delivery of the wholly consistent consumer product in each iteration. And he wasn't wrong in his industry.).

I still believe there is a need and value in non-commercial space exploration and development, and I think that it is great that private corporations are taking on the light weight tasks that would otherwise consume NASA, ESA, JAXA, etc. time and resources...
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curiousuburb
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2015-12-22, 16:50

But for your Seasonal Astronomical pleasure... a sort of a Christmas Star

Behold Comet Catalina



Phil Plait has a nice explanation of the two tails seen in the pic above (hint: dust and ions), as well as links to Sky and Telescope page with viewing details and maps as seen below.

Basically, it's sharing the early morning sky with Venus now as it enters Bootes.
At current magnitude 5 or 6 it's near the limit of naked eye visibility unless you're in a dark sky site.
Binoculars may be required for some locations.



Jan 1 it passes within a Full Moon's width of orange coloured Arcturus. Welcome to 2016



Highlights
  • November 24 — Approximate date of first visibility in the dawn sky
  • December 7 — Catalina gets company! The comet pairs up with the planet Venus and the waning crescent Moon this morning. From the central United States, Venus shines 4° southwest and the Moon 5° southwest of the comet.
  • December 23–24 — Comet crosses into Boötes
  • January 1, 2016 — Close pass (0.5°) of Arcturus on the first day of 2016
  • January 9 — Comet crosses into Canes Venatici
  • January 12 — Closest to Earth at 66.9 million miles
  • January 14 — Comet crosses into Ursa Major
  • January 14–15 — Passes just 1° north of Alkaid, the star at the end of the Big Dipper's handle
  • January 16 — Passes 2° southwest of the 8th-magnitude galaxy, M101
  • January 17 — Passes 3.4° northeast of the double star Mizar in the bend of the Big Dipper's handle
  • January 21 — Comet crosses into Draco
  • January 25 — Comet crosses into Camelopardalis

Clear skies and Happy Holidays.

All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.
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Capella
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2015-12-22, 21:32

Holy shit! On the spacex news. This is a big damn deal. Wish I'd been in FL to see it but the flights didn't work that way.
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curiousuburb
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2016-01-21, 19:05

... aaaand we're potentially back to Nine Planets again . BBC story here

Tracking the wacky orbits of the Dwarf planets has led scientists to theorise a new "Planet Nine" that is predicted to be 10 times Earth mass (not quite Neptune sized) in a highly elliptical orbit that might extend out to a maximum between 500 and 1200 AU. (Waaay past Neptune... and Pluto... and Sedna... etc.)

Phil Plait Bad Astronomy explanation here

Slate video here which helps to explain the diagram below where Sedna's orbit is shown in Magenta and Neptune (while also captioned as Magenta) has an orbit too small to see in this still frame.


The 'ninth planet' - where to look?
The six most distant known objects in the Solar System with orbits exclusively beyond Neptune (magenta) all line up in a single direction. Why? Drs Brown and Batygin argue that this is because a massive planet (orange) is anti-aligned with these objects. Can telescopes now find this planet? Could the evidence already be in observational data but no-one has yet recognised it? The hunt is on. <Image courtesy of Brown and Batygin>

Technical paper here

All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.

Last edited by curiousuburb : 2016-01-21 at 20:21.
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curiousuburb
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2016-02-11, 20:03

Advanced LIGO spots Gravitational Waves.
PBS Digital explains on YouTube in @pprox 7 min {with links to more detailed vids/links}

Basically, Einstein proved right, again.
Last major prediction of General Relativity... confirmed!

Guardian Article here (with videos, diagrams, etc)
The announcement is the climax of a century of speculation, 50 years of trial and error, and 25 years perfecting a set of instruments so sensitive they could identify a distortion in spacetime a thousandth the diameter of one atomic nucleus across a 4km strip of laserbeam and mirror.

The phenomenon detected was the collision of two black holes. Using the world’s most sophisticated detector, the scientists listened for 20 thousandths of a second as the two giant black holes, one 35 times the mass of the sun, the other slightly smaller, circled around each other.

At the beginning of the signal, their calculations told them how stars perish: the two objects had begun by circling each other 30 times a second. By the end of the 20 millisecond snatch of data, the two had accelerated to 250 times a second before the final collision and a dark, violent merger.

The observation signals the opening of a new window on to the universe.

“This is transformational,” said Prof Alberto Vecchio, of the University of Birmingham, and one of the researchers at Ligo. “We have observed the universe through light so far. But we can only see part of what happens in the universe. Gravitational waves carry completely different information about phenomena in the universe. So we have opened a new way of listening to a broadcasting channel which will allow us to discover phenomena we have never seen before,” he said.

“This observation is truly incredible science and marks three milestones for physics: the direct detection of gravitational waves, the first detection of a binary black hole, and the most convincing evidence to date that nature’s black holes are the objects predicted by Einstein’s theory.”

The scientists detected their cataclysmic event using an instrument so sensitive it could detect a change in the distance between the solar system and the nearest star four light years away to the thickness of a human hair.

And they did so within weeks of turning on their new, upgraded instrument: it took just 20 milliseconds to catch the merger of two black holes, at a distance of 1.3 billion light years, somewhere beyond the Large Magellanic Cloud in the southern hemisphere sky, but it then took months of meticulous checking of the signal against all the complex computer simulations of black hole collision to make sure the evidence matched the theoretical template.

... continues ...
Bring on the Nobels... And the surfboards. 🏄🏼

All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.
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Dr. Bobsky
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2016-02-12, 15:26

Maybe Nobel worthy... maybe... Especially if it is a slow year. The problem here is that there are a not small (>3) number of people responsible for the LIGO experiments, and the Nobel committees are rarely (these days) making decisions that can seem arbitrary when faced with selecting which 3 (at most) deserve the prize. So it might take a while for this 1) to be confirmed by independent groups (essential to the Nobel) and 2) the number of PIs to whittle down until there are 3 or less still alive...
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Brad
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2016-04-20, 10:52

It's certainly not new space exploration coolness, but here's a nice annotated gallery about the Buran and Energia rockets with some pics and videos I'd not seen before:

https://imgur.com/a/GaDej

Quote:
The Buran was, quite simply put, the USSR's answer to the U.S.'s new-fangled reusable Space Shuttle. Also known as the VKK (Air Space Ship) Orbiter, it was the largest and most expensive project in the history of Soviet space exploration - and yet, there was only one unmanned flight in 1988. To an untrained eye, it looks near identical to a Shuttle, but under the skin you find the two craft are very different beasts.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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kieran
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2016-04-20, 12:14

I love Soviet history. So many crazy things they came up with but we never saw the full potential of them.
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Luca
ಠ_ರೃ
 
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2016-04-20, 16:36

Brad, you should check out this gallery if you haven't already:

http://imgur.com/gallery/b70VK

There's an abandoned building with two Buran orbiters - one is the unfinished orbiter and the other is a mockup.
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Brad
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Join Date: May 2004
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2016-04-20, 19:24

I've seen that gallery or another set of very similar photos. So sad to see them in this abandoned state; so much sadder knowing that neglect led to their destruction.

I read that a German museum has the only remaining Buran orbiter, but it's not actually a space-worthy one, rather one built just for atmospheric testing.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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Frank777
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2016-05-06, 00:31

Space X just made an impressive landing.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
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2016-05-06, 00:38

I was thoroughly impressed with it. I wasn't expecting it to nail the landing so well either.
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curiousuburb
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2016-07-03, 06:13

Juno set to arrive at Jupiter July 4th, 2016

Jupiter Orbit Insertion Press Kit



This Fourth of July, NASA's solar-powered Juno spacecraft will arrive at Jupiter after an almost five-year journey. News briefings and live coverage will be held at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and air live on NASA Television and the agency's website.

On the evening of July 4, Juno will perform a suspenseful orbit insertion maneuver, a 35-minute burn of its main engine, to slow the spacecraft by about 1,212 mph (542 meters per second) so it can be captured into the gas giant's orbit. Once in Jupiter's orbit, the spacecraft will circle the Jovian world 37 times during 20 months, skimming to within 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometers) above the cloud tops. This is the first time a spacecraft will orbit the poles of Jupiter, providing new answers to ongoing mysteries about the planet's core, composition and magnetic fields.


NASA TV has events all day...

Monday, July 4 -- Orbit Insertion Day

9 a.m. PDT (Noon EDT) -- Pre-orbit insertion briefing at JPL

7:30 p.m. PDT (10:30 p.m. EDT) -- Orbit insertion and NASA TV commentary begin

10 p.m. PDT (1 a.m. EDT on July 5) -- Post-orbit insertion briefing at JPL
To watch all of these events online, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv
http://www.ustream.tv/nasa
http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2

Live coverage on orbit insertion day also will be available online via Facebook Live at:

http://www.facebook.com/nasa
http://www.facebook.com/nasajpl

Follow the mission on social media at:

http://www.facebook.com/NASAJuno
http://www.twitter.com/NASAJuno


Main NASA Juno page:
http://www.nasa.gov/juno

Go Juno!

All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
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2016-07-04, 22:56

For not getting to actually see the probe enter Jupiter's orbit it was really cool watching the feed and seeing the details emerge as it succeeded. Welcome to Jupiter Juno!

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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Capella
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2016-07-05, 20:19

Go Juno! Welcome to Jupiter
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709
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2016-07-05, 20:57

Pay no attention to the circling mistresses*... your husband has always been a bit of a whore.


*for now.
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curiousuburb
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2016-07-12, 19:17

Quote:
Originally Posted by 709 View Post
Pay no attention to the circling mistresses*... your husband has always been a bit of a whore.

*for now.
As for why he dresses up as animals to seduce some of them...
Don't ask Leda... she's still a bit touchy.

First 'full instrument pass' Aug 27th, IIRC.

All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.
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curiousuburb
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2016-09-19, 12:22

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek, Spitzer spots "Enterprise" Nebulae
🔭 🖖🏼

Just in time for the 50th anniversary of the TV series "Star Trek," which first aired September 8th,1966, a new infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope may remind fans of the historic show.

Since ancient times, people have imagined familiar objects when gazing at the heavens. There are many examples of this phenomenon, known as pareidolia, including the constellations and the well-known nebulae named Ant, Stingray and Hourglass.

On the right of the image, with a little scrutiny, you may see hints of the saucer and hull of the original USS Enterprise, captained by James T. Kirk, as if it were emerging from a dark nebula. To the left, its "Next Generation" successor, Jean-Luc Picard's Enterprise-D, flies off in the opposite direction.

Astronomically speaking, the region pictured in the image falls within the disk of our Milky Way galaxy and displays two regions of star formation hidden behind a haze of dust when viewed in visible light. Spitzer's ability to peer deeper into dust clouds has revealed a myriad of stellar birthplaces like these, which are officially known only by their catalog numbers, IRAS 19340+2016 and IRAS19343+2026.

Trekkies, however, may prefer using the more familiar designations NCC-1701 and NCC-1701-D. Fifty years after its inception, Star Trek still inspires fans and astronomers alike to boldly explore where no one has gone before.

This image was assembled using data from Spitzer's biggest surveys of the Milky Way, called GLIMPSE and MIPSGAL. Light with a wavelength of 3.5 microns is shown in blue, 8.0 microns in green, and 24 microns in red. The green colors highlight organic molecules in the dust clouds, illuminated by starlight. Red colors are related to thermal radiation emitted from the very hottest areas of dust.


Click image for link to images . . . Click here for link to Video zoom
Fascinating [/SpockVoice]🖖🏼

All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.
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