Sunday, 30 June 2013

PayPal: Outer Space Is Its Next Frontier

Tourists may someday follow in astronaut Eugene Cernan's footsteps on the moon from 1972.
Tourists may someday follow in astronaut Eugene Cernan's footsteps on the moon from 1972. / NASA/Harrison H. Schmitt

 Space architect John Spencer has a grand vision for the future of space travel -- one with luxury space yachts and hotels, and dune buggy racing on the moon. 

"The more people who go, the more diversity, the more things you can do -- the more they need to buy goods and services," he said. "It's limited to what they can do now because of the cost and limited time on board the space system, but that's going to grow as we have more facilities and more people."  

PayPal CEO David Marcus said there has yet to be a discussion about how people will make payments from space. Currently, NASA provides a team of people to help astronauts pay for bills and make purchases while they are traveling in space, according to Marcus.

"There's about a thousand people on Earth, literally a thousand people, who look after the astronaut on the ground," he said.

Though the satellites that help us make those payments electronically are located in space, it's not as simple as people may think and there are a lot of questions, Marcus said. Companies still need to develop a process and governments need to decide on regulations and what unit of currency space travelers will use.

More - Link >>> http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57591387/paypal-says-outer-space-is-its-next-frontier/

Source: CBS News.

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Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Editor/Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
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Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Voyager 1 Approaches Interstellar Space

File:Voyager.jpg

Voyager 1 (Image Source: NASA)

June 27, 2013:  Three new papers published in today's issue of Science suggest that Voyager 1, now more than 18 billion kilometers from the sun, is closer to becoming the first human-made object to reach interstellar space.

"This strange, last region before interstellar space is coming into focus, thanks to Voyager 1, humankind's most distant scout," said Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Voyager 1 is the near the edge of the heliosphere, a vast bubble made of the sun's own magnetic field.  When Voyager punches through the bubble, it will exit the solar system and enter interstellar space--the realm of the stars.

Scientists do not know exactly how far Voyager 1 has to go to reach interstellar space. They estimate it could take several more months, or even years, to get there. The arrival could come at any time, so stay tuned.

More - Link >>> http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/27jun_voyager/

Source: NASA Science News.

More on Voyager 1: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_1

Related Blog Posts ---

Has Voyager 1 Left Solar System? (2013 March 21):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/03/has-voyager-1-left-solar-system.html

 

NASA Voyager 1 Enters Far Region of Solar System  (2012 Dec. 3):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2012/12/nasa-voyager-1-enters-far-region-of.html

 

Voyager 1 Really Leaving Solar System?  (2012 Sept. 7):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2012/09/voyager-1-really-leaving-solar-system.html

 

Voyager 1 Reaches Edge of Solar System  (2012 Aug. 5):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2012/08/voyager-1-reaches-edge-of-solar-system.html


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Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Editor/Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
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Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Friday, 28 June 2013

Send Your Own Pocket Spacecraft to the Moon !



Have you ever dreamt of exploring the solar system with your own spacecraft?
Well finally you can!

We’ve developed a very low cost, open source, open access, mass space exploration system that anyone can use, and we need your help to send your very own Pocket Spacecraft, and thousands of others, on a first of its kind expedition to the moon.

We're a global team of scientists, engineers and designers that have worked on this concept at some of the world's leading universities and come together to kick start the personal interplanetary space age and give you the opportunity to become a hands on citizen space explorer. Explorers who back the project can personalise their own spacecraft by adding a picture and customising the message it transmits using just their web browser. More technical explorers can even customise software and hardware.

Smaller than a CD and as thin as a piece of paper, you'll be able to watch online as your Pocket Spacecraft is built in the lab and loaded into an Interplanetary CubeSat Mothership. Having hitched a ride into space on a commercial rocket, some Pocket Spacecraft will be released into space to flutter to the ground to demonstrate landing on a planet with an atmosphere (the Earth). The mothership will set off to the moon where, when it arrives many months later, the rest of the Pocket Spacecraft will be released, photographed and then land on the moon to complete the mission.

Official Web Site: Link >>> http://pocketspacecraft.com/

KickStarter Web Site: Link >>> http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1677943140/send-your-own-pocket-spacecraft-on-a-mission-to-th

More Citizen Science Projects: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/FAQ/citizenscience.html

Related Blog Post ---

Planet Labs to Build Fleet of CubeSats  (2013 June 27):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/06/planet-labs-to-build-fleet-of-cubesats.html


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Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Editor/Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
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Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Planet Labs to Build Fleet of CubeSats

File:CubeSats launched by ISS Expedition 33.jpg

CubeSats launched from the International Space Station on 2012 October 4.
(Image Source: Wikipedia.org )

By Ashlee Vance

The only thing cooler than a tiny, cheap satellite is a fleet of tiny, cheap satellites. Or so figure three former NASA scientists who have just unveiled their new company called Planet Labs.

Chris Boshuizen (Australian), William Marshall (British) and Robbie Schingler (U.S.A.) all met at the NASA Ames facility in Mountain View, Calif., and bonded over the wonders of CubeSats. These devices, for the ungalactic among you, tend to range in size from a softball to an oversize shoebox and come with all kinds of wondrous computing innards. Like their larger satellite brethren, CubeSats can take pictures, perform science experiments, and communicate with Earth. They just do so way cheaper than traditional gear by playing off increasingly powerful consumer electronics and free software, such as the Linux operating system.

To date, NASA and a handful of researchers have tossed up a CubeSat here and there to see how they perform in space and to run a few experiments. No one, though, has tried to create a business on the scale of Planet Labs. It’s building what’s believed to be the largest satellite fleet ever assembled by sending up 28 CubeSats early next year. And rather than using the hardware for temporary experiments, Planet Labs will leave its satellites in orbit for years at a time as part of a proper business.

More - Link >>> http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-06-26/an-army-of-little-satellites-for-watching-earth-on-the-cheap?campaign_id=yhoo

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek.

More about CubeSats: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cubesat

Related Blog Posts ---

Japan Satellite LEDs to "Twinkle" as Morse Code Beacon  (2012 July 25):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2012/07/japan-satellite-leds-to-twinkle-as.html

 

Europe's Newest Rocket to Launch on Maiden Voyage Monday (2012 Feb. 11):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2012/02/europes-newest-rocket-to-launch-on.html

 

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Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Editor/Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
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Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Former Buhl Planetarium Curator Jim Mullaney To Be On National Radio



Former Buhl Planetarium Curator of Exhibits and Astronomy James J. Mullaney.

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

Astronomy author and lecturer James J. Mullaney, who served as Curator of Exhibits and Astronomy at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science in the late 1960s and early 1970s, will be the guest on the national radio show, Coast-to-Coast AM, late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning.

Radio program host George Noory will interview James Mullaney, on  the nation's most popular overnight radio show, on June 27 from 2:00 to 5:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (June 26, 11:00 p.m. to June 27, 2:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Saving Time).

On the radio program, James Mullaney will talk about his new book, "Celebrating the Universe!", and the life of Edgar Cayce, a topic which Mr. Mullaney has researched for many years. Coast-to-Coast AM can be heard on more than 560 radio stations throughout North America, in addition to SiriusXM Satellite Radio (Talk Radio channel 246). The program can also be heard world-wide, through Internet audio streaming from many of these radio stations.

This will be James Mullaney's second interview on Coast-to-Coast AM. His first guest appearance on the program occurred 2008 January 16-17.

While working at Buhl Planetarium, James Mullaney was also a staff astronomer at the Allegheny Observatory. Mr. Mullaney went on to be Director of the Dupont Planetarium at the University of South Carolina, Aiken. He has worked as an Assistant Editor of Sky and Telescope Magazine and a Contributing Editor of Astronomy Magazine. He has authored several books, including the classic, The Finest Deep-Sky Objects, with co-author Wally McCall.

In Pittsburgh, this radio program can be heard on WPGB-FM 104.7, as well as on the Youngstown radio station, WKBN-AM 570 and the Wheeling radio station, WWVA-AM 1170. The program will also air on several 50,000 watt AM radio stations, which at night can be heard several hundred miles away from their transmitter:

* WOR-AM 710, New York City
* WTIC-AM 1080, Hartford
* WRKO-AM 680, Boston
* WPHT-AM 1210, Philadelphia
* WGY-AM 810, Schenectady/Albany
* WHAM-AM 1180, Rochester
* CKLW-AM 800, Windsor/Detroit
* WTAM-AM, 1100, Cleveland
* WWVA-AM 1170, Wheeling
* WHAS-AM 840, Louisville
* WLAC-AM 1510, Nashville
* WRVA-AM 1140, Richmond
* WBT-AM 1110, Charlotte
* WHO-AM 1040, Des Moines
* KFAB-AM 1110, Omaha
* KFAQ-AM 1170, Tulsa
* KTRH-AM 740, Houston
* WOAI-AM 1200, San Antonio
* KOA-AM 850, Denver
* KFI-AM 640, Los Angeles
* KFBK-AM 1530, Sacramento
* KEX-AM 1190, Portland.

More on James Mullaney: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#mullaney

Radio interview information from the Coast-to-Coast AM web site:
Link >>> http://www.coasttocoastam.com/show/2013/06/26

Source: Glenn A. Walsh, Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.

Related Blog Posts ---


New Mullaney Book: "Celebrating the Universe!"  (2013 May 18):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/05/new-mullaney-book-celebrating-universe.html

 

Mullaney Blog: Forgotten Observing Classic (2012 March 18):
Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2012/03/mullaney-blog-forgotten-observing.html

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Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Editor/Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
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Twitter: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower>
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Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Monday, 24 June 2013

NASA: Satellite to Study Space Weather from Sun Launches Wednesday

IRIS will take a closer look at the lower parts of the sun's atmosphere, which is producing the spectacular flare shown in this image. Credit: NASA&JAXA/Hinode
IRIS will take a closer look at the lower parts of the sun’s atmosphere, which is producing the spectacular flare shown in this image. Credit: NASA&JAXA/Hinode

UPDATE: NASA Launches Satellite to Study How Sun's Atmosphere Is Energized:
Link >>> http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130628144808.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fspace_time+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Space+%26+Time+News%29  

UPDATE: Launch of NASA's New Solar Mission Rescheduled to June 27 
Link >>> http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2013/jun/HQ_M13-102_IRIS_Launch_Rescheduled.html

by Elizabeth Howell on June 24, 2013

NASA’s next solar mission will launch Wednesday, June 26 (if all goes to plan). It’s called the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS), and it will zero in on a spot in the sun’s lower atmosphere known as the “interface region.”

“IRIS will extend our observations of the sun to a region that has historically been difficult to study,” stated Joe Davila, IRIS project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. 

Figuring out more about the interface region, NASA stated, will teach us a lot more about the “space weather” that affects Earth.

Some of the energy in the interface region leaks out and powers the solar wind, which is a sort of rain of particles that leave the star. Some of them hit the Earth’s magnetic field and can produce auroras. Most of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation also flows from the interface region.

More - :Link >>> http://www.universetoday.com/103098/this-energy-boosting-region-in-the-sun-will-have-a-new-nasa-satellite-watching-it/

Sources: NASA, UniverseToday.com .

More on the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS):
Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interface_Region_Imaging_Spectrograph

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gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Editor/Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
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Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Sunday, 23 June 2013

New Book: "Stonehenge—A New Understanding"

Revelers at a Celtic summer solstice celebration at Stonehenge.
Each year revelers like these travel to Stonehenge to celebrate the summer solstice.
Photograph by Jim Richardson, National Geographic

Rachel Hartigan Shea
Published June 21, 2013

Druids—and sometimes aliens—have been suspected of planting the 4,500-year-old stones. Is Stonehenge an astronomical calendar or a place of healing or a marker for magical energy lines in the ground? For a long time, no one really knew, though some theories were more grounded in reality than others.

But now, we may be a little bit closer to understanding the monumental Neolithic site. Archaeologist Mike Parker Pearson and his colleagues at the Stonehenge Riverside Project, whose research was funded in part by the National Geographic Society, spent seven years excavating Stonehenge and its surroundings. This month, Parker Pearson published the project's findings in a new book, Stonehenge--A New Understanding: Solving the Mysteries of the Greatest Stone Age Monument.

The important thing was not to dig just at Stonehenge but to actually investigate the wider landscape around it and to begin by looking at this area of the timber circles close by. It was there that we found that the place of wood had indeed to do with the living.

When we came back to Stonehenge and dug there, we recovered some 60 cremation burials inside Stonehenge. What we now know is that Stonehenge was the largest cemetery of its day.

More - Link >>> http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/13/130621-stonehenge-summer-solstice-archaeology-science/

Source: National Geographic Society.

The Experiment Publishing Company: New Book Stonehenge--A New Understanding: Solving the Mysteries of the Greatest Stone Age Monument:
Link >>> http://theexperimentpublishing.com/ourbooks/science-nature/stonehenge/

Related Blog Posts ---

Stonehenge: Burial Site for Stone Age Elite ?  (2013 March 9):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/03/stonehenge-burial-site-for-stone-age.html


Stonehenge: Massive Stones Preceded Smaller Stones  (2012 Dec. 2):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2012/12/stonehenge-massive-stones-preceded.html


A Swedish Stonehenge?  (2012 Oct. 22):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2012/10/a-swedish-stonehenge.html


Stonehenge Laser Scan Shows Importance of Solstices  (2012 Oct. 10):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2012/10/stonehenge-laser-scan-shows-importances.html


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gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Editor/Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
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Twitter: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower>
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Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Mars Had Oxygen-Rich Atmosphere 4,000 Million Years Ago

June 19, 2013 — Differences between Martian meteorites and rocks examined by a NASA rover can be explained if Mars had an oxygen-rich atmosphere 4000 million years ago -- well before the rise of atmospheric oxygen on Earth 2500m years ago.


Mars. Differences between Martian meteorites and rocks examined by a NASA rover can be explained if Mars had an oxygen-rich atmosphere 4000 million years ago -- well before the rise of atmospheric oxygen on Earth 2500 million years ago. (Credit: NASA (Image Processing by Jody Swann/Tammy Becker/Alfred McEwen, using image processing system developed by the U.S. Geological Survey)
 
Scientists from Oxford University investigated the compositions of Martian meteorites found on Earth and data from NASA's 'Spirit' rover that examined surface rocks in the Gusev crater on Mars. The fact that the surface rocks are five times richer in nickel than the meteorites was puzzling and had cast doubt on whether the meteorites are typical volcanic products of the red planet.

'What we have shown is that both meteorites and surface volcanic rocks are consistent with similar origins in the deep interior of Mars but that the surface rocks come from a more oxygen-rich environment, probably caused by recycling of oxygen-rich materials into the interior,' said Professor Bernard Wood, of Oxford University's Department of Earth Sciences, who led the research reported in this week's Nature.

More - Link >>> http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130619132446.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fspace_time+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Space+%26+Time+News%29

Sources: University of Oxford, American Assocaition for the Advancement of Science, ScienceDaily.com .

Related Blog Posts ---

Mars Meteorite Hints at Life Building-Block (2013 June 12):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/06/mars-meteorite-hints-at-life-building.html


Unique Martian Meteorite Found in Sahara Desert (2013 Jan. 3):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/01/unique-martian-meteorite-found-in.html


Rare Mars Meteorite Up For Auction Oct. 14 (2012 Oct. 14):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2012/10/rare-mars-meteorite-up-for-auction-oct.html


Want to receive SpaceWatchtower blog posts daily in your inbox ?
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gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Editor/Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower>
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Metamorphosis of Moon's Water Ice Explained

File:FullMoon2010.jpg

Full Moon photograph taken 10-22-2010 from Madison, Alabama, USA. Photographed with a Celestron 9.25 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. (Image Source: Wikipedia.org )

Published: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 17:04 in Astronomy & Space
 
Using data gathered by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission, scientists believe they have solved a mystery from one of the solar system's coldest regions -- a permanently shadowed crater on the moon. They have explained how energetic particles penetrating lunar soil can create molecular hydrogen from water ice. The finding provides insight into how radiation can change the chemistry of water ice throughout the solar system. Space scientists from the University of New Hampshire and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center have published their results online in the Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR): Planets. Lead author of the paper is research scientist Andrew Jordan of the University of New Hampshire's Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS).

Discovering molecular hydrogen on the moon was a surprise result from NASA's Lunar Crater Observation Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission, which crash-landed the LCROSS satellite's spent Centaur rocket at 5,600 miles per hour into the Cabeus crater in the permanently shadowed region of the moon. These regions have never been exposed to sunlight and have remained at temperatures near absolute zero for billions of years, thus preserving the pristine nature of the lunar soil, or regolith.

Instruments on board LCROSS trained on the resulting immense debris plume detected water vapor and water ice, the mission's hoped-for quarry, while LRO, already in orbit around the moon, saw molecular hydrogen -- a surprise.

"LRO's Lyman Alpha Mapping Project, or LAMP, detected the signature of molecular hydrogen, which was unexpected and unexplained," says Jordan.

More - Link >>> http://esciencenews.com/articles/2013/06/19/metamorphosis.moons.water.ice.explained

Sources: University of New Hampshire, e! Science News.

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Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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Thursday, 20 June 2013

Laser Pulses Create More Accurate Atomic Clocks

Date: 14 June 2013 Time: 02:21 PM ET

Time Illusion Stock Images - Is Time Real?
Keeping extremely precise time is key to many modern technologies, from GPS to mobile phone networks and broadcasters' transmitters. That's where optical atomic clocks, which are about 100 times more precise than microwave-based atomic clocks, come in.
CREDIT: Shutterstock/Kim D. French
Updated on Saturday, June 15, at 3:38 p.m. ET.

The ultimate accessory in exact timekeeping — the atomic clock — is set to become even more precise, after ultrashort laser pulses were successfully transmitted across open air to help synchronize the "ticking" of new optical atomic clocks.

Keeping extremely precise time is not just a question of scientific achievement. It is a key to many modern technologies, from Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to mobile phone networks and broadcasters' transmitters. For GPS systems, an error of just one nanosecond, or a billionth of a second, would mean the location is about 12 inches (30 centimeters) off.

To ensure maximum precision, the U.S. national time standard is determined by atomic clocks. Current ones use extremely cold cesium atoms, laser-cooled to temperatures close to absolute zero. The cesium atoms are then blasted with microwaves until the atoms vibrate at a certain frequency. That frequency is equal to the energy that gets absorbed when the microwave radiation causes the cesium atom's outermost electron to jump to a higher orbit, or 9,192,631,770 Hz. What we call "the second" is then derived from the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of this frequency.

Now physicists are developing new optical atomic clocks which could be about 100 times more precise than microwave-based ones. They operate in a similar manner, but use laser light instead of microwaves. Laser light has a much higher frequency and hence gives much better timing resolution and much faster transmission of data.

In the future, optical atomic clocks could be used for satellite-based experiments to prove Einstein's theory of general relativity and create more precise GPS satellite navigation systems, which "could be improved in the sense that you could put better optical clocks in satellites and crosslink them optically," Newbury said.

More - Link >>> http://www.livescience.com/37452-physicists-test-optical-atomic-clock-method.html

Source: LiveScience.com .

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Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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Summer Begins Friday 1:04 a.m.; Largest Moon of 2013 Sunday

File:North season.jpg

The Earth at the start of the 4 (astronomical) seasons as seen from the north and ignoring the atmosphere (no clouds, no twilight). Front left: Summer Solstice for the Northern Hemisphere. Rear right: Summer Solstice for the Southern Hemisphere. (Image Source: Wikipedia.org )

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

The moment of the Summer Solstice, heralded as the beginning of the season of Summer in Earth's Northern Hemisphere (and the season of Winter in the Southern Hemisphere), will be early Friday morning, 2013 June 21, at 1:04 a.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) or 5:04 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Two days later mark the largest visible Full Moon of 2013.

In etymology, the word solstice comes from the Latin terms sol (Sun) and sistere (to stand still). In ancient times, astronomers/astrologers/priests recognized that on one day of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere, near the day we now call June 21), the Sun would appear to reach its highest point in the sky for the year. The motion of the Sun's apparent path in the sky (what is known astronomically, today, as the Sun's declination) would cease on this day, before reversing direction.

Today, we know that, while the Sun does have motions, it is actually the motion of the Earth, tilted on its axis 23.44 degrees while revolving around the Sun, that causes the Earth's seasons. Hence, as the Earth arrives at the point in its orbit around the Sun, when the north polar axis is most directly inclined toward the Sun, marks the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.

Alternately, the Winter Solstice, in the Northern Hemisphere, occurs when the Earth reaches the point in its orbit when the north polar axis is most directly inclined away the Sun. And, conversely, at this time Summer begins in the planet's Southern Hemisphere.


Although the Summer months in the Northern Hemisphere are known for the year's warmest weather, the Earth is actually at the point in its orbit farthest from the Sun (astronomically known as the point of
aphelion) around July 5; the Earth's closest approach to the Sun (perihelion) each year is around January 2. Solar radiation, and hence the heat from the Sun, depends on the length of daylight and the angle of the Sun above the horizon. The tilt of the planet's axis toward the Sun determines the additional and more direct solar radiation received by a planet's northern or southern hemisphere, and hence, the warmer season of the respective hemisphere.

The Vernal Equinox, when the season of Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere, occurs between the Winter and Summer Solstices when the Earth reaches the point in its orbit around the Sun when the Earth's axis is inclined neither toward nor away from the Sun. Likewise, when the Earth reaches the point in its orbit around the Sun when the Earth's axis is inclined neither toward nor away from the Sun, between the Summer and Winter Solstices, this is known as the Autumnal Equinox. And, half-way between the beginning points of each season are Cross-Quarter Days, related to the traditional holidays of Groundhog Day, May Day, Lammas Day (traditionally, first harvest festival of the year on August 1), and Halloween Day.

In ancient times, the Summer Solstice was known as Midsummer Day, in earlier calendars celebrated around June 24. Such early European celebrations were pre-Christian in origin. Many will associate this ancient holiday with the famous William Shakespeare play, A Midsummer Night's Dream. Some speculate that the play was written for the Queen of England, to celebrate the Feast Day of Saint John.

As with the Roman Catholic Church's decision to christianize the pagan Winter Solstice festivals with the introduction of Christmas Day on December 25, the Church began to associate the Midsummer festivals with the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist on June 24. In the Bible, the Gospel of Saint Luke implies that John was born six months before the birth of Jesus, although no specific birth dates are provided.

This year, just a couple days after the Summer Solstice, we will observe the largest Full Moon in 2013. Although some media are referring to this as a "Super Moon," it is not really that unusual and occurs every few years when conditions are favorable.

This year on June 23, the Moon will be at
perigee (closest approach to Earth for the month) at 7:00 a.m. EDT (11:00 UTC). For coastal areas, tides are expected to be higher than normal.

Just 32 minutes later, the Moon reaches the Full Moon phase. This Full Moon phase occurs when the Moon is closest to the Earth, and hence the Moon is seen to be larger in the sky than it normally appears. Although there is a lunar perigee every month, it does not always occur near the Full Moon phase.

The June Full Moon was known to many Native Americans as the Strawberry Moon, as the relatively short season of harvesting strawberries fell in the month of June. In ancient Europe, the June Full Moon was called the Rose Moon.

More on the Summer Solstice -
Link 1 >>> http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/astronomy/SummerSolstice.html
Link 2 >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summer_solstice

More on the Season of Summer: Link >>>
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summer

More on the history of Midsummer: Link >>>
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midsummer

Summer "Solstice Day" Annual Free-of-Charge Day, 1985 to 1991, at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center):

Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/Buhlexhibits.htm#solstice

Source: Glenn A. Walsh, Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.


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Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
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About the Editor/Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
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Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
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  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
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  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
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* Public Transit:
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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

NASA: Public 'Grand Challenge' to Find Asteroid Threats to Earth

June 18, 2013 — NASA announced Tuesday a Grand Challenge focused on finding all asteroid threats to human populations and knowing what to do about them.


First radar images of asteroid 1998 QE2 were obtained when the asteroid was about 3.75 million miles (6 million kilometers) from Earth. The small white dot at lower right is the moon, or satellite, orbiting asteroid 1998 QE2. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR)
The challenge, which was announced at an asteroid initiative industry and partner day at NASA Headquarters in Washington, is a large-scale effort that will use multi-disciplinary collaborations and a variety of partnerships with other government agencies, international partners, industry, academia, and citizen scientists. It complements NASA's recently announced mission to redirect an asteroid and send humans to study it.


Sources: NASA, ScienceDaily.com .

NASA News Release -
"NASA Announces Asteroid Grand Challenge"

NASA also released a request for information (RFI) that invites industry and potential partners to offer ideas on accomplishing NASA's goal to locate, redirect, and explore an asteroid, as well as find and plan for asteroid threats. The RFI is open for 30 days, and responses will be used to help develop public engagement opportunities and a September industry workshop. 


More - Link >>> http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2013/jun/HQ_13-188_Asteroid_Grand_Challenge.html 

Source: NASA.

More Citizen Science Projects: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/FAQ/citizenscience.html 
 

Space

NASA Seeks Private-Sector Posse to Hunt Asteroids


June 18, 2013
Forget sentient glasses and self-driving cars, “asteroid transportation” may be the hottest thing in engineering.

NASA summoned captains of industry to Washington this morning to pitch its plan to harness earth-bound asteroids with spacecraft. The briefing, along with a request for information from potential private-sector partners, is part of the government’s “enhanced focus on planetary defense.” In other words, the government needs help saving the world. NASA hopes to be able to snare a small asteroid by 2025. In addition to an Armageddon style rendezvous, the agency aims to double its capacity to spot potentially hazardous objects zipping through space, or in NASA terminology: “near-Earth objects.”

At any given time there are several dozen asteroids and comets for which “future earth impact cannot be ruled out,” according to the space agency. (To induce a light existential crisis, feel free to check the agency’s list of rogue space rocks.) “The average person is oblivious to the threat,” NASA Chief Charles Bolden told Bloomberg today. “Unlike other natural disasters, we can avert this. It allows us to avoid becoming like the dinosaurs.”

NASA already has its eyes on three potential asteroids—each about 10 meters wide—that are likely candidates for redirection.  Of NASA’s $18 billion proposed budget for 2014, it hopes to set aside $105 million for asteroid goaltending.

More - Link >>> http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-06-18/nasa-seeks-private-sector-posse-to-hunt-asteroids?campaign_id=yhoo

Source: Bloomberg BusinessWeek Magazine.

Related Blog Posts ---

Asteroid Moon Movie (2013 June 9):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/06/asteroid-moon-movie.html

 

Moon of Asteroid 1998 QE2 Found by NASA Radar (2013 May 31):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/05/moon-of-asteroid-1998-qe2-found-by-nasa.html

 

NASA Coverage: 1998 QE2 Asteroid Passes Earth Friday  (2013 May 30):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/05/nasa-coverage-1998-qe2-asteroid-passes.html

 

Congress Debates NASA Asteroid Mission--or Back to the Moon? (2013 May 23):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/05/congress-debates-nasa-asteroid-mission.html

 

NASA Wants $100 Million To Catch An Asteroid  (2013 March 30):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/03/nasa-wants-100-million-to-catch-asteroid.html 


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Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Editor/Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
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Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
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