Category Archives: Space

The universe is missing light. . .

From Popular Mechanics:

Scientists explain that we are missing 80 percent of the light in the universe. Just writing that sentence felt weird. . .

As one participating scientist points out, to miss the mark by so much means what we understand about the universe is fundamentally wrong. The universe continues to be exciting, a little scary, but mostly—a mystery. . .

Read it all.

Cool Hunting Friday v 2.8


Humans better than computers at sight? Who knew. . .

5. SETI Live

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has decided to crowd-source their efforts to find life on other planets. Using the Allen Telescope Array (ATA), users can see a live feed of the most life-friendly star systems, and can report what they see in real time. The move is based on SETI’s decision that the human eye is more reliable than their computer algorithms.

Cool Hunting Fridays v 1.9

Maybe this will be one of the aircraft/spaceships landing at the new Spaceport America in New Mexico:

10. NASA for Virgin Galactic

After bringing the Space Shuttle Program to a close earlier this year, NASA has signed a $4.5 million, three-mission contract with the commercial airline. It’s a partnership that may seem jarring to those who grew up idolizing the space program, as a lucky few tourists and NASA-sponsored research groups take turns aboard the suborbital flights on Virgin.

Check it out.

9/11 from space: Astronaut shares pictures and thoughts

Astronaut Frank Culbertson captured this image as the International Space Station orbited above New York on 9/11

From CNN, a story on Astronaut Frank Culbertson, who had been aboard the International Space Station for a month when the 9/11 attacks occurred:

On Friday, NASA released letters Culbertson wrote and images he took as the space station passed over the New York City area after the 9/11 attacks.

Frank Culbertson

Culbertson wrote that he first heard of the attack via radio from a NASA flight surgeon.

“I was flabbergasted, then horrified. My first thought was that this wasn’t a real conversation, that I was still listening to one of my Tom Clancy tapes,” Culbertson wrote. “It just didn’t seem possible on this scale in our country. I couldn’t even imagine the particulars, even before the news of further destruction began coming in.”

And he closed his letter on that first day:

“Other than the emotional impact of our country being attacked and thousands of our citizens and maybe some friends being killed, the most overwhelming feeling being where I am is one of isolation.”. . .

Check it out.

Australian night sky: time lapse

From Wired Science:

Ocean Sky from Alex Cherney on Vimeo.

It took Alex Cherney of Victoria, Australia a year to compile the 30 hours of exposure. In May, Cherney took the overall prize at the STARMUS astrophotography competition for this video.

Tonight is Yuri’s night

From Rand Simburg at the Washington Examiner, an update on the 50 year celebration of human spaceflight:

… For several years now, the date [April 12] has been celebrated by spaceflight enthusiasts all over the world, at events called Yuri’s Night parties. The fiftieth anniversary should be a blowout, particularly combined with the thirtieth of the Shuttle, but the celebrations will be tinctured with sadness that we haven’t made as much progress as many hoped at the dawn of the space age, and that the Shuttle never lived up to the early promises of making space routine, reliable, affordable and safe.

But a new space age is dawning now, a private one driven by profit and adventure, rather than national prestige and fickle politics, so the next half century is likely to be more exciting than the past one, with opportunities for all to go into space, and not just a few privileged government employees, whether Russian or American. …

Don’t forget to find the celebration party near you.

Space and politics

From Bill Donahue at Popular Science, an article on the Deep Space Observatory:

Nearly a decade ago, NASA built an Earth-monitoring satellite that could have observed global warming in action. Then the agency stashed it in a warehouse in Maryland, where it remains to this day.