Category Archive: NASA

Jul 18 2014

Spacecraft closes in on strange binary comet


Thanks for all who have chipped in to support me in my activist poverty. I wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t dire. Please hit my Paypal account if you can using Darksydothemoon-at-aol-com and thanks! This week the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft closed in on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and resolved this unusual shape. Its spinning fairly quickly and …

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Apr 22 2014

The end is nigh … again

I’m in the wrong line of work and, sadly, have a conscience thanks to my lousy parents giving me an inherent shame in lying and hyping. I’m not sure if anyone takes Pat Robertson seriously, but my fear is a lot of people do. And he clearly operates with no such moral restrictions:

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Apr 18 2014

Hypothetical illustration of the surface of Kepler 186f: Lycoris


  We won’t know details of the surface of 186f for years, probably decades, at best. It could be a cool Venus, a warm Mars, or a water world with a thick, steamy atmosphere and no clear surface transition between vapor and liquid phases. It could have a highly reflective atmosphere or surface, locking it …

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Apr 17 2014

Kepler hits the exo-planetary jackpot


Ustream NASA press conference here (highly recommended). An artist friend may try to squeeze in a hypo illustration. But if someone wants to submit an image of what they think surface might look like, have at it. I’ll consider anything received by tomorrow at 5 PM Central for the science round up at Daily Kos linked …

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Feb 01 2014

Obscure NASA requirement in play as Trojan Horse for rightwing power grab


Some things are harder to kill than others. A simplistic myth abounds among the usual suspects, that the simple act of killing a government program ends it, cuts spending and thus the deficit. Like so many beliefs, this one is far from accurate. The government can terminate a contract for two reasons: the exceedingly rare …

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Jan 22 2014

Water found on dwarf planet Ceres


The headline to the link article below is a bit over the top. It reads “Is there life on Ceres?” The answer is, we have absolutely no way to know that because that pic above represents the best we’ve got. Ceres is tiny, distant, and dim. But our knowledge of this enigmatic world is about to change …

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Jan 03 2014

NASA waiting on Da House to act

Suppose every time a civilian or pure research plane lifted off there was an obscure law, originally passed with good intentions, that had to be regularly re-authed by Congress or no more flights. And let’s just say that Congress became hyper-polarized, a do nothing body, where even the simplest, once uncontroversial acts morphed into a …

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Dec 14 2013

Winged artiodactyls & Fireballs in the sky

Guys and gals I’m only $200 bucks short of salvation this month thanks to a number of generous readers. If you can kick in a few more shekels I will say a special prayer for you be able to continue working on issues near and dear to our hearts for at least another few weeks! My Paypal email …

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Dec 05 2013

Tricksy politicians vs NASA

Thanks for the holiday contribs guys (I’m sorry, Christmas contribs, since holidays is a bad word now). I had a little PC malfunction yesterday but it seems to be barely working, now, after messing with it endlessly. Man I’m so sick of being poor, but at least I go to the doc today for what …

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Nov 29 2013

ISON: something may have survived!


  By this time yesterday I was absolutely certain ISON was cooked, literally. It was tiny to start with, even by comet nucleus standards, and within a million miles of the sun for hours where insolation would heat any normal material to several thousand degrees by any scale, plenty hot enough to boil most metals. …

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