Category Archives: Space
By BROCK VERGAKIS
Skywatchers along the East Coast may be able to see a NASA experiment that will launch a series of rockets to learn more about the little-understood jet stream winds that circle the Earth at the edge of space.
On a clear night between March 14 and April 4, NASA plans to launch five rockets in five minutes from its Wallops Island facility in coastal Virginia.
Each rocket will release a chemical leaving a long, milky-white cloud to track the winds that scientists will monitor from cameras on the coasts of North Carolina, Virginia and New Jersey.
The clouds should be visible to the human eye for about 20 minutes from roughly Myrtle Beach, S.C. to southern New Hampshire, and as far west as Morgantown, W.Va.
“People will be able to see it. They can also photograph it pretty easily,” said Miguel Larsen, a Clemson University professor who is the mission’s principal investigator.
The possible viewing area covers major cities like Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston, although it depends on ground lighting, cloud cover and the rockets’ trajectories. Those in a smaller area from New York City to the Outer Banks in North Carolina might be able to see the rockets’ glowing exhaust trails. NASA plans to post pictures and video taken by bystanders on its social media sites.
read more at www.washingtontimes.com
- NASA to launch 5 rockets quickly to track winds (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- NASA jet stream study will light up the night sky (eurekalert.org)
- NASA Rocket Barrage to Study Winds at Edge of Space (space.com)
Armageddon 2040: Nasa identifies new asteroid threat which ‘could hit Earth’ in 30 years’ time – and UN teams are working out how to divert it
By ROB WAUGH
It is 460ft wide and soaring through space – on a possible collision course with Earth.
Nasa has identified a new asteroid threat to our planet
and calculated that it could potentially impact on February 5th 2040.
The 2011 AG5 has already attracted the concern of the UN Action Team on near-Earth objects, which has begun discussing ways to divert it.
They have put the odds of it hitting us at one in
Were the rock to land on a city it could cause millions of deaths, although mankind would live through it. 625, though that could change nearer the time.
The asteroid which wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago was nine miles wide, compared to 460ft for the 2011 AG5.
Scientists have not yet been able to work out much more about it than its size as they have only been able to observe it for half its orbit.
But between 2013 and 2016 they will be able to monitor from the ground and will make a more detailed assessment.
In 2023 the rock will make a ‘keyhole pass’ of Earth, which is an area it passes through on the orbit before it would hit Earth.
According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, this will will be within a mere 0.02 astronomical units of our planet, or 1.86 million miles.
Researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics said they have identified an entirely new kind of planet, dominated not by rock, gas or other common materials, but water.
The planet is “a waterworld enshrouded by a thick, steamy atmosphere,” they said in a statement, after scrutinizing the planet with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.
“GJ1214b is like no planet we know of,” astronomer Zachary Berta said. “A huge fraction of its mass is made up of water.”
GJ1214b was discovered in 2009 by the ground-based MEarth Project. Described as a “super-Earth,” it is about 2.7 times Earth’s diameter and weighs almost 7 times as much.
read more at www.geo.tv
- Astronomers discover a brand-new class of exoplanet – the “Waterworld” [Space] (io9.com)
- Distant ‘waterworld’ is confirmed (physicsforme.wordpress.com)
- Hubble reveals a new type of planet (eurekalert.org)
- New Type of Alien Planet Is a Steamy ‘Waterworld’ (space.com)