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   PastimesSpace and Space Exploration

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From: TimF6/2/2019 9:39:39 PM
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NASA UHD Video: Stunning Aurora Borealis from Space in Ultra-High Definition (4K)

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From: TimF6/2/2019 9:41:06 PM
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Looking own on Earth

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From: FUBHO6/3/2019 12:16:30 PM
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Mysterious flashes of light observed on the moon's surface
Jasper HamillFriday 31 May 2019 5:41 pm

Scientists have launched a bid to observe and understand mysterious flashes of light on the surface of the moon.

The ‘transient luminous lunar phenomena’ occur several times a week and illuminate parts of the moon’s landscape for a brief period of time before disappearing.

Sometimes, a reverse effect which causes the lunar surface to darken has also been observed.

Although there are several theories about the lunar mystery lights’ origins, they have not yet been fully explained.

Now astronomers from Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (JMU) in Bavaria, Germany have set up a telescope which will use artificial intelligence to automatically detect the flashes.

When a burst of light is spotted, the telescope will then collect video or photographs of the phenomena which will be studied to help scientists understand the flashes.

Jeff Bezos unveils moon lander mockup

‘The so-called transient lunar phenomena have been known since the 1950s, but they have not been sufficiently systematically and long-term observed,’ said Hakan Kayal, professor of space technology.

Kayal has a hypothesis about what’s causing the longer-lasting flashes and hopes to prove this theory.

‘Seismic activities were also observed on the moon,’ the professor added.

‘When the surface moves, gases that reflect sunlight could escape from the interior of the moon. This would explain the luminous phenomena, some of which last for hours.’

However, there is currently no explanation for the briefer flashes.

‘Science does not know exactly how these phenomena occur on the moon. But it has attempted to explain them: the impact of a meteor, for example, should cause a brief glow,’ the university said in a statement.

‘Such flashes could also occur when electrically charged particles of the solar wind react with moon dust.’

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From: FUBHO6/5/2019 4:08:44 PM
1 Recommendation   of 2358'Orphan' Alien Planet Found Nearby Without Parent Star
By Mike Wall November 14, 2012 Science & Astronomy Shares
5-6 minutes

This artist’s impression shows the free-floating planet CFBDSIR2149, at 100 light-years away the closest such "rogue" world to our own solar system. It does not orbit a star and hence does not shine by reflected light; the faint glow it emits can only be detected in infrared light.

(Image: © ESO/L. Calçada/P. Delorme/Nick Risinger ( Saito/VVV Consortium)

Astronomers have discovered a potential "rogue" alien planet wandering alone just 100 light-years from Earth, suggesting that such starless worlds may be extremely common across the galaxy.

The free-floating object, called CFBDSIR2149, is likely a gas giant planet four to seven times more massive than Jupiter, scientists say in a new study unveiled today (Nov. 14). The planet cruises unbound through space relatively close to Earth (in astronomical terms; the Milky Way galaxy is 100,000 light-years wide), perhaps after being booted from its own solar system.

"If this little object is a planet that has been ejected from its native system, it conjures up the striking image of orphaned worlds, drifting in the emptiness of space," study leader Philippe Delorme, of the Institute of Planetology and Astrophysics of Grenoble in France, said in a statement.

Rogue Planet Has No Parent Star | Video

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Orphan planet, or something else?

Delorme and his team detected CFBDSIR2149's infrared signature using the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, then examined the body's properties with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile. [ Video: Rogue Planet Has No Parent Star]

The newfound object appears to be among a stream of young stars called the AB Doradus moving group, the closest such stream to our own solar system.

Scientists think the AB Doradus stars all formed together between 50 million and 120 million years ago. If CFBDSIR2149 is indeed associated with the group — and researchers cite a nearly 90 percent probability — then the object is similarly young.

And if the discovery team is right about CFBDSIR2149's age, the body is likely a planet, with an average temperature of 806 degrees Fahrenheit (430 degrees Celsius), researchers said.

There's still a slight chance that CFBDSIR2149 is a brown dwarf — a strange object that's larger than a planet but too small to trigger the internal nuclear fusion reactions required to become a full-fledged star. Additional observations should help decide the matter.

"We need new observations to confirm that this object belongs to the AB Doradus moving group," Delorme told via email. "With a good distance measurement and a more accurate proper motion, we will be able to increase (or decrease) the probability that it is indeed a planet."

The new study was published today in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Billions of starless planets?

The discovery of a starless alien planet would not be shocking, at least not anymore. In the last year or so, astronomers have spotted a number of such orphan worlds — so many, in fact, that some scientists think parentless planets are the rule rather than the exception.

One 2011 study, for example, estimated that rogue worlds outnumber "normal" planets with obvious host stars by at least 50 percent throughout the Milky Way. If that's the case, the galaxy that includes Earth probably also hosts billions of orphan planets.

And gas giants may be in the minority among these solitary wanderers, researchers say.

"We now know that such massive planets are rare and that Neptunes or Earth-mass planets are much more common," Delorme said. "We also know that massive objects are more difficult to eject [from solar systems] than light ones. If you follow the rationale, you deduce that ejected exo-Neptunes and ejected exo-Earths should be much more common than objects like CFBDSIR2149."

It's exciting to have a starless planet so close to Earth, researchers say. Future telescopes should be able to learn a great deal about CFBDSIR2149, since they won't have to contend with the overwhelming glare of a nearby host star.

"This object is a really easy-to-study prototype of the 'normal' giant planets we hope to discover and study with the upcoming generation of direct-imaging instruments," Delorme said. "It will help to improve our forecast of these objects' luminosity and hence help us discover them ?and, once discovered, it will help us understand the physics of their atmospheres."

Follow senior writer Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall or @Spacedotcom. We're also on Facebook and Google+.

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From: FUBHO6/7/2019 5:17:14 PM
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Nasa is to allow tourists to visit the International Space Station from 2020, priced at $35,000 (£27,500) per night.

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From: FUBHO6/7/2019 8:59:07 PM
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AT FIRST glance, everything looks familiar. The clock ticks placidly on the wall, cars motor along outside your window, the story you are reading has the same eye-catching pictures. But something is wrong. The clocks are running backwards. Cars are driving on the wrong side of the road. The article you are reading is written back to front. Suddenly, it clicks. You are looking at your own reflection.

The uncanny world on the other side of the mirror may not seem real to you. But Leah Broussard thinks parallel universes where everything is flipped might be very real indeed. Along with her colleagues at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, she is on the hunt for a universe that is identical to our own, but flipped so that it contains mirror atoms, mirror molecules, mirror stars and planets, and even mirror life. If it exists, it would form a bubble of reality nestling within the fabric of space and time alongside our own familiar universe, with some particles capable of switching between the two.

After decades of tantalising hints about its existence, the first experiments aiming to go through the looking glass are about to get under way. Finding such a mirror universe would not only transform our view of reality, but could also answer questions about our own universe that have puzzled scientists for decades. “The implications would be astounding,” says Broussard.

Physicists have found new worlds before. In 1928, Paul Dirac realised that the equations of quantum mechanics allowed for the existence of particles …

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From: FUBHO6/8/2019 5:37:11 PM
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SpaceX’s Starlink satellites are clearly visible in the sky—and astronomers aren’t happy
Charlotte Jee

A video of the satellites in the night sky looked spectacular, but there are fears their visibility could interfere with science.

The news: On May 23, SpaceX launched the first 60 satellites of its internet constellation, Starlink. They will form the backbone of a global broadband internet network in low Earth orbit (LEO). Eventually, the firm wants to launch nearly 12,000 satellites.

Sci-fi scenes: On May 25, a video taken by satellite tracker Marco Langbroek showed the 60 satellites in a “train” as they passed through the night sky (although they will separate over time). Even though they will only be visible at dusk and dawn, rather than at night, they were far brighter than expected, probably thanks to large solar arrays that are reflecting sunlight back to Earth.

Fears: Many astronomers raised fears that they will interfere with visual observations and even radio astronomy. One, Alex Parker, suggested that there could eventually be more Starlink satellites visible to the naked eye than stars. “Imagine the outcry at similar desecration of a terrestrial environment,” said Robert Massey, deputy director of the Royal Astronomical Society. Ronald Drimmel from the Turin Astrophysical Observatory in Italy told Forbes: "Starlink, and other mega constellations, would ruin the sky for everyone on the planet."

Musk’s response: Musk was initially defensive and said the constellation would not affect observations at all, adding that “potentially helping billions of economically disadvantaged people is the greater good.” But he later tweeted that he had asked the Starlink team to look at ways of reducing the reflectivity of the satellites—and even suggested that he might be interested in putting a telescope into orbit.

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From: FUBHO6/10/2019 11:44:20 AM
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NASA chooses first astronauts to ride SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule exploded during a test last month. But the Elon Musk spacetech company and NASA are going ahead with choosing the lucky astronauts who will be the first to ride the spaceship into orbit at an unspecified date: Space Shuttle veterans Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be blasting off from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

“People to a degree think it’s pretty glamorous to be able to go into space, but it’s actually like a messy camping trip,” Hurley told Reuters in a recent interview.

The “Anomaly”

When exactly Hurley and his crew will blast off into space is still uncertain. SpaceX’s Demo-1 Crew Dragon spacecraft was ripped to shreds during an engine test earlier this year, pushing back the launch that was initially slated for July indefinitely.

NASA, however, is optimistic. Kathy Lueders, manager of the commercial crew program at NASA, saw the “anomaly” as a “gift,” since SpaceX learned “a lot” from the mishap.

Test Ride

And then there’s the fact that SpaceX already successfully completed an uncrewed test ride of the Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station in March.

Boeing is working on its own spacecraft that will carry American astronauts into space called the Starliner. An uncrewed test flight will likely take place after SpaceX’s first crewed mission, according to Reuters.

READ MORE: NASA’s first SpaceX astronauts ready for ‘messy camping trip’ to space [Reuters]

More on Crew Dragon: NASA Commercial Crew Manager Calls SpaceX Explosion a “Gift”

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To: FUBHO who wrote (2182)6/10/2019 8:57:55 PM
From: TimF
   of 2358
Big drop in price from the millions it used to cost. Still out of my price range though unless I sell my house or cash in my 401K.

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To: FUBHO who wrote (2182)6/11/2019 12:20:42 AM
From: teevee
   of 2358
accommodation is the cheap part. the return trip is $60 million.

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