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Tag Archive: nasa

Nov 17 2012

Sun vomits forth giant prominence

Think about the scale of this particular flare, which was captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory yesterday. I know it’s hard to imagine, with it zoomed in like this, but this is absolutely immense. Eyeballing it against a “size of stars” image I have up on the wall, I’d say both ends of this flare …

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Aug 16 2012

Curiosity, from the eyes of one of its creators

I cannot imagine having had a single project for seven years that culminates in a seven minute Schrodinger’s Cat where your work either failed or succeeded. I cannot imagine the magnitude of relief or heartache or joy or sorrow that might have come from either result. This gives me the same sort of minute glimpse …

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Aug 08 2012

NASA press conference: first color photos from Curiosity

Awwwww yeah, science baby. You need to check out this Youtube video to see — in high-def, if you choose to view it in that resolution — the entirety of Curiosity’s first day on Mars. Fabulous. And the technology that we managed to safely deposit on another planet is simply the best way to actually …

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Aug 06 2012

Curiosity successfully touched down on Mars

curiosity-1st256x256

The terror is over. Our first 256×256 snapshot of the surface of Mars after the utterly terrifying touchdown sequence. Eight years to plan and build this rover that’s bigger than your car and taller than you. 36 weeks of travel across 562 million kilometres of space travel. And it missed its mark by a mere …

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Jul 07 2012

Robots with rock-vaporizing lasers on Mars!

Ohhhh, this is just too damn cool. I had no idea Curiosity was so kitted out! On its way to the Gale Crater, right now, is NASA’s Curiosity rover, the most sophisticated robot in the history of space science: a dune buggy equipped with a set of tools and instruments to shame Inspector Gadget. Curiosity …

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Jun 28 2012

NASA’s Dynamic Earth shows how the sun’s trying to kill us

… And what’s stopping it from doing so: mostly, the magnetosphere. According to Frazer Cain of Universe Today, this is part of a larger video playing at the Smithsonian called Dynamic Earth: Exploring Earth’s Climate Engine. I’d love to see the full video, if this snippet is any indication.

Jan 29 2012

Blue Marble Redux

Thumbnail for a super-high-resolution satellite image of Earth

Via Wired Science, here’s what could be the single most powerful image of the year, though we’re not even through January yet. The full image is 8000×8000 pixels. It is extremely high resolution — if you zoom in, you can see signs of civilization in some spots on the North American continent. This was taken …

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Dec 20 2011

First Earth-sized exoplanets found!

Kepler 20f, Venus, Earth, and Kepler 20e arranged in size order from smallest to biggest

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.

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Dec 10 2011

NASA: Vesta may have had flowing lava and volcanoes

A video from NASA’s ScienceCast explaining what the Dawn mission probe has discovered while orbiting the distant asteroid — it may be the smallest terrestrial “planet” discovered, given that it might well have had flowing lava and volcanoes. For a mundane hunk of rock very far away, it sure had a surprisingly interesting past. I …

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Nov 30 2011

Exoplanet auroras – deadly shows daily

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.