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Old 02-26-2015, 10:10 AM   #1
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NASA/Space thread

Tried to find a thread but couldn't find anything recent. So many cool things happening right now in astronomy.

Dawn is approaching Ceres. On the way in, they've noticed bright spots on the surface. My guess is a recent comet/meteorite hit, but either way, it's going to give scientists a great look at what's beneath the surface.

'Bright Spot' on Ceres Has Dimmer Companion | NASA

New Horizons is getting a good look at the Pluto system. A few months from now will be the fly-by where we should get an incredible look at Pluto.

85 Years after Pluto’s Discovery, NASA’s New Horizons Spots Small Moons Orbiting Pluto | NASA

Finally, Curiosity and the Mars Science Lab continue to do great work from the surface of Mars. Amazing to see things in HD.

Latest Selfie from NASA Mars Rover Shows Wide Context | NASA

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Old 09-26-2015, 09:53 AM   #2
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what could it be?

Nasa's Mars announcement: Scientists to reveal 'major finding' on Monday | Science | News | Daily Express
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Old 09-26-2015, 10:48 AM   #3
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I bet it is that this guy has a cousin:

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Old 09-26-2015, 12:30 PM   #4
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It has to do with our world coming to an end on Monday. Something along the lines of "As earth ends we are going to Mars. C'ya suckers!"
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Old 09-26-2015, 12:53 PM   #5
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So you guys are saying you have no clue huh?
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Old 09-26-2015, 12:57 PM   #6
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What they define as a "major finding" and what the public define it as, are two different things.

But I have no clue.
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Old 09-26-2015, 01:53 PM   #7
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Prothean ruins, duh.
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Old 09-26-2015, 05:25 PM   #8
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My guess? Evidence of running water.
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Old 09-26-2015, 05:48 PM   #9
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My guess? Evidence of running water.

Then we need to stay as far away from Mars as possible...
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Old 09-26-2015, 06:21 PM   #10
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What they define as a "major finding" and what the public define it as, are two different things.

But I have no clue.

Hoping for little green (wo)men or some proof of life. But probably something about water.
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Old 09-26-2015, 06:31 PM   #11
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Amazing photo from Hubble.

HubbleSite - NewsCenter - Hubble Zooms in on Shrapnel from an Exploded Star (09/24/2015) - Introduction
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Old 09-28-2015, 01:15 PM   #12
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and its .... flowing water. I guess its a big story but seems anticlimatic since we knew about frozen ice at the poles.
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Old 09-28-2015, 01:56 PM   #13
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yeah not very exciting, but still an important discovery I guess.
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Old 09-28-2015, 11:44 PM   #14
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(stolen from reddit)
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Old 01-20-2016, 01:25 PM   #15
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Move over Pluto, it's Planet Nine:

'Planet Nine' Explained: Facts About the Mysterious Solar System World (Infographic)
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Old 01-20-2016, 01:27 PM   #16
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Good stuff.
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Old 01-20-2016, 01:28 PM   #17
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No doubt that this is the doing of Starkiller Base.
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Old 01-20-2016, 01:56 PM   #18
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Oh man, the race to put out the first film where a crew is sent to explore planet nine...
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Old 01-20-2016, 10:45 PM   #19
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So first Brown kills Pluto, and now he replaces it.
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Old 01-20-2016, 11:09 PM   #20
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It's going to be hilarious when we discover aliens on that ninth planet who have been hiding out of sight this whole time
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Old 01-21-2016, 03:07 AM   #21
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Planet 9 from Outer Space?
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Old 01-21-2016, 08:59 AM   #22
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Wow...so its almost as big as Uranus?
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Old 01-21-2016, 09:05 AM   #23
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It amazes me that there can be something that big within our solar system that we physically cannot see.

It is also amazing that we have the ability to infer its existence through gravitational effects, even as we cannot see it.
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Old 01-21-2016, 09:29 AM   #24
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Wow...so its almost as big as Uranus?

well not mine (sorry, someone had to do it)
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Old 01-21-2016, 09:32 AM   #25
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It amazes me that there can be something that big within our solar system that we physically cannot see.

It is also amazing that we have the ability to infer its existence through gravitational effects, even as we cannot see it.

yeah despite the stats, I think we need to see a picture. Until then, theories are nice, but a lot of theories turn out to be wrong. Still can't get over how long an orbit of Planet Nine might take. It seems like its barely moving.
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Old 01-21-2016, 12:09 PM   #26
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Pics or it didn't happen.
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Old 01-21-2016, 12:11 PM   #27
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nibiru is coming
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Old 01-21-2016, 03:37 PM   #28
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Pics or it didn't happen.

heh
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Old 01-21-2016, 03:58 PM   #29
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It's funny how this stuff gains popular traction. "Planet X" has been theorized for years (in different variations, with different definitions, but knowing how some of Einstein's theories were "disproven" by science only to later be found correct, maybe this was exactly what Percival Lowell was referring to in the 30's), but even when it was published in semi-mainstream publications like Nature it would be in an article like this. So I'll ask the astrophysicists I know when I see them next, but from my layman's take these CalTech guys didn't actually propose anything new, just had slightly deeper/better data, so I can't figure out why it's gaining so much traction right now. Regardless, it's still cool, and anything that inspires the public to support space (or deep sea) exploration is cool in my book.

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Old 01-21-2016, 05:41 PM   #30
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Pics or it didn't happen.

You know, oddly enough this is kind of along the lines of something I don't understand.

I realize we aren't snapping pics all over the sky at all times but why wouldn't someone, at some point, tried to calculate an approximate location and snapped a pic at some point of this potential planet.

Or is that how poorly funded we actually are?
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Old 01-21-2016, 06:02 PM   #31
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I realize we aren't snapping pics all over the sky at all times but why wouldn't someone, at some point, tried to calculate an approximate location and snapped a pic at some point of this potential planet.

I'm sure they're working on that right now, but they're not going to get an exact location, and it'll take time to hunt it down.
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:08 PM   #32
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Pluto is turning out to be much more than a dwarf planet wannabee:

http://gizmodo.com/pluto-may-have-ha...ium=socialflow
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Old 04-13-2016, 07:14 PM   #33
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welcome to the Fornax Cluster: (and bring on Stellaris )

Galaxy Cluster Gathers Inside a Cosmic 'Furnace' in New Video, Images
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Old 04-13-2016, 07:35 PM   #34
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Having a close friend work for NASA has been amazing. Every now and then when he gets to work early, he'll send over a picture taken on Mars and there's something cool about knowing I'm the 2nd person ever to see certain parts of the planet.
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Old 04-13-2016, 08:26 PM   #35
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cool
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Old 04-13-2016, 08:51 PM   #36
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A couple of weekends ago my Dad and I took a road trip to Socorro, NM. It was one of the two Saturdays each year that they open Trinity Site up to the public. So we went and toured the area, stood at ground zero, and went to the house where they put the plutonium core together for the test.

Afterwards, we headed out to the Very Large Array, which does a huge open house on the weekends when Trinity Site is open. That was really cool. They took us to the operations room, we got to talk to a bunch of the scientists, and got to stand at the base of one of the huge dishes as it was being pointed to a new section of the sky.

The things they can do with the Array are incredible. They said they listen for radio signals so faint, that if you were to use a normal remote control for a toy car on the moon, it would several magnitudes stronger than the signals they listen for. They can move the dishes anywhere from being in a cluster of about a kilometer, all the way out to over 20 kilometers.
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Old 04-13-2016, 09:35 PM   #37
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The pics were cool. A great bucket list trip for you. I'd love to have done that at the VLA.
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Old 04-14-2016, 10:45 AM   #38
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Just for an example, he sent me this shot earlier today.

Yeah you can't really make up much from it but FOFC is now one of the first batch of humans to see this part of Mars.
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File Type: jpg mars.jpg (234.9 KB, 296 views)
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Old 04-14-2016, 11:25 AM   #39
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That IS cool.
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Old 04-18-2016, 01:28 PM   #40
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A Giant Galaxy Orbiting Our Own Just Appeared Out of Nowhere
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Old 07-05-2016, 10:23 AM   #41
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Gentleman (and Ladies), I give you Jupiter!:

Jupiter has new visitor – a solar-powered spacecraft

This is just amazing to me-can't believe the science and math that were involved to accomplish this-can't wait to see the pictures.
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:09 AM   #42
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Sorry if this has been mentioned in thread before, but just saw this for the first time-have we found another civilization?:

Kepler's 'Alien Megastructure' Star Just Got Weirder
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Old 08-15-2016, 09:00 AM   #43
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Mystery object lurking past Neptune is baffling astronomers - AOL
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Old 08-15-2016, 10:25 AM   #44
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Growing up watching Science Fiction where humans can zip across the galaxy in hours, it is still jarring to have something as "close" as Neptune that we can't just go out there and look at.
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Old 08-15-2016, 02:57 PM   #45
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Another interesting one.

Reports Of An Earth-like Planet Around Our Nearest Neighbor | IFLScience
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Old 08-24-2016, 12:03 PM   #46
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http://www.forbes.com/sites/kristint.../#271df8d348c1
Space train would get cargo and travelers to Mars i 37 hours.

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Old 08-25-2016, 08:33 PM   #47
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I honestly don't understand the fascination with Mars colonization. 50 years ago it made sense, maybe even 20 years ago, although that's pushing it. But everything I've found indicates the gravity is too low and will cause major long-term consequences. That's one thing for the ISS or for spaceships which can generate artificial gravity via centripetal force, where you have a regimen of eating/exercise to combat it for astronauts, continuing research, etc. It's quite another for a scenario in which you are considering a 'second home' for humanity. For any sizable colonization it's got to be user-friendly, and the gravity issue makes that a non-starter from everything I've been able to discern.
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Old 08-26-2016, 08:11 AM   #48
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I honestly don't understand the fascination with Mars colonization. 50 years ago it made sense, maybe even 20 years ago, although that's pushing it. But everything I've found indicates the gravity is too low and will cause major long-term consequences. That's one thing for the ISS or for spaceships which can generate artificial gravity via centripetal force, where you have a regimen of eating/exercise to combat it for astronauts, continuing research, etc. It's quite another for a scenario in which you are considering a 'second home' for humanity. For any sizable colonization it's got to be user-friendly, and the gravity issue makes that a non-starter from everything I've been able to discern.

Wait, isnt the ISS essentially zero-G (without alternative due to the way it is designed to orbit around the earth) ?

38% gravity on Mars seems kinda more doable in comparison from a layman perspective, especially since the main issue of gravity loss is returning to 100% gravity on earth (yes, yes, the "dream" would be to travel back and forth at will, but not really a necessity).
Not saying there arent issues in and off itself beyond a certain point of degradation, but then again who is to say there wont be a way to counter this by the time the first mission starts to some (better than now) degree ? Or at some point after the first "trailblazers" ? Colonization historically was never "user friendly" for the first couple generations i would argue
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Old 08-30-2016, 08:46 AM   #49
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Not a Drill: SETI Is Investigating a Possible Extraterrestrial Signal From Deep Space

SETI finallty paying off?
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Old 08-30-2016, 08:55 AM   #50
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An Interesting SETI Candidate in Hercules

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No one is claiming that this is the work of an extraterrestrial civilization, but it is certainly worth further study.

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The possibility of noise of one form or another cannot be ruled out, and researchers in Paris led by Jean Schneider are considering the possible microlensing of a background source by HD164595. But the signal is provocative enough that the RATAN-600 researchers are calling for permanent monitoring of this target.
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