Posts about space (old posts, page 2)

JUICE will head to Jupiter

The European Space Agency is preparing a mission to explore Jupiter and its moons. JUICE will launch in 2022 in search of liquid water that could contain life. Europe is to mount a 1 billion-euro mission to Jupiter and its icy moons, moving ahead with an ambitious plan deemed too expensive by the United States. After more than eight years of review, the European Space Agency (ESA) has given the green light to a space program to explore the giant gas plant and several of its moons - in search of liquid oceans that may harbor life.

Asteroid mining

This is as much about a human future in space as it is about scraping some gold out of an asteroid. The fuel and resource depots developed for the mining project could serve as a jumping-off point for both robotic and manned missions to the outer Solar System. Planetary Resources is run by people that love science and technology, and want to see humans continue advancing.Planetary Resources Chief Engineer Chris Lewicki has been making the rounds online talking about the technical side of the initiative, and he indicates that there is still another advantage to the mining project. When we're not scooping out their insides, asteroids sometimes make suicide runs at Earth. Numerous mass extinctions have been caused by large impact events.

Why Can't We See Evidence Of Alien Life

Given the vast number of planets in the universe, many much older than Earth, why haven't we yet seen obvious signs of alien life, or singularity fields? The potential answers to this question are numerous and intriguing, alarming and hopeful. This brilliant TEDEducation animated exploration of the famous Fermi Paradox is narrated by Chris Anderson. This animation is part of TED's new series, "Questions no one knows the answer to".

Milky Way image reveals detail of a billion stars

More than one billion stars in the Milky Way can be seen together in detail for the first time in an image captured by an international team of astronomers. Scientists created the colour picture by combining infra-red light images from telescopes in the northern and southern hemispheres. Large structures of the Milky Way galaxy, such as gas and dust clouds where stars have formed and died, can be seen in the image.

Milky Way image reveals detail of a billion stars

Geologic map of Jupiters moon Io

The highly detailed, colorful map reveals a number of volcanic features, including: paterae (caldera-like depressions), lava flow fields, tholi (volcanic domes), and plume deposits, in various shapes, sizes and colors, as well as high mountains and large expanses of sulfur- and sulfur dioxide-rich plains. The mapping identified 425 paterae, or individual volcanic centers. One feature you will not see on the geologic map is impact craters. "Io has no impact craters; it is the only object in the Solar System where we have not seen any impact craters, testifying to Io's very active volcanic resurfacing," says Williams.

Geologic map of Jupiters moon Io

NASA Unveils Solar System Atlas

NASA has released a new atlas of more than 560 million stars, galaxies and asteroids, many never seen before.The more than 18,000 images were taken by the Wide-field Survey Explorer (WISE), NASA's infrared space telescope.With WISE, scientists discovered Y Dwarf stars, the dimmest stars of the brown dwarf family. By solar standards, they're exceptionally cold: One discovered in 2011 had a temperature of only 80 degrees Fahrenheit. By comparison, our sun has a scalding surface temperature of about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cutting Edge Tech for Next Mars Rover

NASA is pushing the boundaries of technology as it readies its next mission to Mars, loading up its 4th Mars Rover with nearly a dozen instruments and deploying an innovative but risky landing procedure. Scientists and engineers were piecing together some of the final components to the new rover, dubbed Curiosity, on Saturday as it ramps up for a high-stakes launch in November. The $2.5 billion dollar rover is more advanced than the Pathfinder, Spirit and Opportunity that roamed the red-planet in past years.