Here, have some beautiful high-res time lapse photography by Bjørnar Eilertsen in Kristiansund, Norway, on January 24th, following the recent coronal mass ejection event. That’s “solar flare” to non-geeks.
There’s even more pretty pictures and videos at The Atlantic.
That’s right, Newt Gingrich wants a permanent American-controlled moon base by the end of his second term in office. Don’t worry Republicans, he’s not suggesting, you know, actual funding by the government or anything — just that private enterprise will, somehow, for some inexplicable reason, become motivated to find ways to do it.
Speaking in Florida, hit hard by the loss of a large number of space-affiliated jobs, Mr. Gingrich said Wednesday that if elected, “By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon and it will be American.”
He said he believed such a project was possible with commercial and private efforts. According to USA Today, Mr. Gingrich said he had “a romantic belief it is really part of our destiny,” adding that the current state of the space program was a “tragedy.”
Continue reading “Newt’s new windmill: a moon base by 2020”
NASA reports that the Kepler mission has discovered the first Earth-sized exoplanets ever discovered. What’s even wilder: they found the pair of them in the same damned system.
Continue reading “First Earth-sized exoplanets found!”
I want you to watch this video with the sound off, ignore the title on top, watch it a bunch of times, and figure out what you think is going on. Hold that thought. Then play it again, stop brain-filtering the title (if you can manage this trick, tell me how!), then compare notes.
Continue reading “A cloaked ship the size of Mercury? That’s the BEST explanation?”
A milestone find by the Kepler mission: a planet a little over twice the size of Earth, situated in the Goldilocks zone of its star where liquid water can exist at the surface. Which by extension means that, if this planet is terrestrial and has water, there’s the possibility of life as we know it.
Continue reading “Kepler confirms: Super-earth found in star’s habitable zone!”
Via Universe Today, some news regarding the long-held belief that a stable axial tilt requires a large enough moon to provide stabilization — a study suggests it’s less necessary than previously believed.
Ever since a study conducted back in 1993, it has been proposed that in order for a planet to support more complex life, it would be most advantageous for that planet to have a large moon orbiting it, much like the Earth’s moon. Our moon helps to stabilize the Earth’s rotational axis against perturbations caused by the gravitational influence of Jupiter. Without that stabilizing force, there would be huge climate fluctuations caused by the tilt of Earth’s axis swinging between about 0 and 85 degrees.
But now that belief is being called into question thanks to newer research, which may mean that the number of planets capable of supporting complex life could be even higher than previously thought.
Anything that widens the scope of potential planets where life might have arisen is welcome news. We’re finding new exoplanets every damn day nowadays, so the search for extraterrestrial life-harboring planets is simply a matter of time, I’m willing to wager.
Via Universe Today, an explanation from NASA of the auroras that probably bombard exoplanet gas giant CoRoT-2B and how the planet’s location and speed is very likely causing much of the x-ray bombardment it experiences from its sun.
Via Astronomy Picture of the Day, my premier space porn site, comes this amazing time-lapse video shot from the International Space Station.
Earth | Time Lapse View from Space, Fly Over | NASA, ISS from Michael König on Vimeo.
Some random other links below the fold.
Continue reading “RCimT: some space porn!”
Today’s the Rapture Mk. III. What do you need your money for, if you’re going to be bodily swept away to heaven? Leave it to a good cause! For instance, the various causes I’ve added to my Donors Choose challenge. And today and tomorrow only, the good people in charge of the Science Blogs Challenge are matching all donations. That’s right — until Saturday at midnight EST, your dollars will have double impact.
It seems other bloggers have offered real things as incentive, rather than intangibles like the title of “Honorary Canadian”. I don’t have much I could offer you kind folks, though. I mean, I’ve got a dead computer power supply with bad capacitors… some old grocery receipts and other various scraps of paper. Oh, I DO have a can of Campbell’s harvest minestrone with real parmesan(!!), with reduced sodium. I suppose if people really really want the can of soup, I could skip lunch today, if it means some kids in significantly underprivileged areas have a chance to learn how amazing our world is. Would you offer your donations in exchange for a can of soup?
Continue reading “Donors Choose – Matching Dollars, Today and Tomorrow Only!”
Welcome to the first Random Crap in my Tabs posted to Freethought Blogs! Every once in a while, my browser’s tabs get far too full of “stuff that must be blogged”, stuff that I figured was too interesting to just read and close, and in order to free up resources so I can do other things, once in a while I aggregate a bunch of similarly themed items into a post with links and short commentary. It’s something like a blog carnival, but usually to non-bloggy stuff.
This one’s about some sciencey bits and bobs, and it’s all over the map. Allons-y!
Continue reading “RCimT: a quick science news roundup”