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17 minutes ago, nudge said:

Nice!

Do you own a pair of binoculars? If not, I'd highly recommend getting one. Not expensive, doesn't take up much space, easy to use, and it brings the stargazing to a completely new level. I have an old pair of 10x50 binos, and I absolutely love it... Moon craters, the Pleiades, Jupiter's four brightest moons, Orion Nebula and Andromeda are my highlights so far :) 

Nah haven't owned one since I was a kid!

I used the app Stellarium to find out what the brightest stars/objects in the sky are. It's just the natural wonderment of wondering what the hell am I even looking at (besides the Moon and Orion's belt which is easy to see!).

Maybe I can get the missus to add binoculars to my birthday list ;). The trouble being it's rare you get consecutive days of clear skies in this part of the world but when you do (like last night), the amount of stars seen is just crazy. Vega was the brightest star above me and regularly is across summer.

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7 minutes ago, Stan said:

Maybe I can get the missus to add binoculars to my birthday list

Now lockdown is over Deadlinesman might be flogging his cheap.... 

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1 minute ago, Bluewolf said:

Now lockdown is over Deadlinesman might be flogging his cheap.... 

Not touching those. They're probably covered in some Man Utd badges. Ew.

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1 minute ago, Stan said:

Not touching those. They're probably covered in some Man Utd badges. Ew.

Unlikely... If he got caught and had to dump and run he is hardly going to leave anything incriminating that leads back to him... 

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I like to imagine there is a transcendental dimension that goes beyond the physical and that is the last infinite frontier and that plugging into it would zero individual consciousness.

 

Or maybe not

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'SUPER BACTERIA' survives for three years outside the space station

Scientists who attached a strain of bacteria to the outside of the International Space Station have been stunned to find it survived for three years, in open space. The experiment, led by a team of Japanese researchers, involved the bacteria Deinococcus radiodurans, also known as Conan the Bacterium due to its extreme hardiness. Experts say the study could help shape our understanding of whether life might exist on other planets.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/science-environment-54029521

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Vera Rubin: Super telescope's giant camera spies broccoli

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How do you test the new sensor for the world's largest digital camera? You take a picture of broccoli, of course.

This might sound bizarre but the intricate shapes found in the Romanesco version of this plant are a good check that you're capturing lots of detail.

And for the camera that's to be fitted to the Vera Rubin Observatory in Chile - performance is everything.

This 3.2 gigapixel device is going to help unlock some of the key outstanding questions in astronomy.

Who knows? It might even get us closer to understanding those cosmic head-scratchers "dark energy" and "dark matter" which appear to be controlling the evolution of so much of what we see when we lookup.

The full report & more pictures

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'Rockets are hard': Elon Musk offers sympathy after Astra's spacecraft crash lands in Alaska

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A rocket launch attempt in Alaska ended in a massive explosion on Saturday when the launcher crashed seconds after lift-off.

Astra, a launch vehicle company based in California, was carrying out the first orbital test flight for its Rocket 3.1, with no payload onboard, from the Pacific Spaceport Complex.

The 12-metre launcher failed during the first-stage engine burn and came crashing down after 17 seconds in the air.

The event was captured on camera by observers, including one who was pushed back by the intensity of the rocket’s explosion. The rocket's engines were fuelled with kerosene and liquid oxygen and could generate a thrust of 14,288 kg.

“Preliminary data review indicates the rocket performed very well,” the company said.

“Early in the flight, our guidance system appears to have introduced some slight oscillation into the flight, causing the vehicle to drift from its planned trajectory leading to a commanded shutdown of the engines by the flight safety system.”

Astra aims to provide cost-effective rides for small satellites and can deliver payloads weighing between 50 to 150kg.

Their Rocket 3.2 is already built and ready for an orbital test flight.

“Over the next several weeks, we’ll be taking a close look at the flight data to determine how to make the next flight more successful,” said Astra’s representatives.

SpaceX owner Elon Musk sent out a tweet shortly after the failure. He said: “Sorry to hear that. I’m sure you’ll figure it out though. Took us four launches to reach orbit. Rockets are hard.”

On Saturday, a Chinese rocket also experienced a failed launch attempt after facing an anomaly.

The Kuaizhou-1A rocket was carrying a remote sensing satellite, called Jilin-1 Gaofen.

It was the country's fourth rocket launch failure this year. Others included the Long March 7A failure in March, Long March 3B in April and the Expace Kuaizhou-11 in July.

https://www.thenational.ae/uae/science/rockets-are-hard-elon-musk-offers-sympathy-after-astra-s-spacecraft-crash-lands-in-alaska-1.1076938

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Life on Venus? 

Quote

http://astrobiology.com/2020/09/phosphine-detected-in-the-atmosphere-of-venus---an-indicator-of-possible-life.html

(Monday, 14 September) morning at the Royal Astronomical Society. They want you to know its big news. The press release has been issued in advance to some journalists under embargo - but not others (like us). We have not seen the press release. But according to several sources knowledgeable with the details of the announcement (who are not under embargo) phosphine has been discovered in the atmosphere of Venus. Its presence suggests - suggests - some strange chemistry going on since phosphine is something you'd only expect to see if life (as we know it) was involved.

 

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3 minutes ago, Cicero said:

Life on Venus? 

Based on our current knowledge, it would be either life, or some wonky, exotic, and completely unknown chemistry happening in the clouds of Venus. Very exciting, but there's alot of caution and skepticism about it. John Carpenter, an ALMA observatory scientist, said they are unsure if the phosphine observations themselves are real as the signal is faint, and the team needed to perform an extensive amount of processing to pull it from the data returned by the telescopes. Therefore, that processing may have returned an artificial signal at the same frequency as phosphine, so a follow up is needed. 

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I hope there aren't some kind of humans there too

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35 minutes ago, Cicero said:

Maybe that's where @cannabis buggered off to. 

Nah he went to Uranus

meme_kid.jpg

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UK Space Agency funds tech for orbital awareness

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New approaches to tracking satellites and debris in orbit are to get a boost from the UK Space Agency.

UKSA is giving over £1m to seven firms to help advance novel sensor technologies and the smart algorithms needed to interpret their data.

Finding better ways to surveil objects moving overhead has become a high priority issue.

With more and more satellites being launched, there's growing concern about the potential for collisions.

A big worry is the burgeoning population of redundant hardware and junk in orbit - some 900,000 objects larger than 1cm by some counts, and all of it capable of doing immense damage to, or even destroying, an operational spacecraft in a high-velocity encounter.

FULL REPORT

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Nasa outlines the plan for the first woman on Moon by 2024

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The US space agency (Nasa) has formally outlined its $28bn (£22bn) plan to return to the Moon by 2024.

As part of a programme called Artemis, Nasa will send a man and a woman to the lunar surface in the first landing with humans since 1972.

But the agency's timeline is contingent on Congress releasing $3.2bn for building a landing system.

Astronauts will travel in an Apollo-like capsule called Orion that will launch on a powerful rocket called SLS.

Speaking on Monday afternoon (US time), Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine said: "The $28bn represents the costs associated for the next four years in the Artemis programme to land on the Moon. SLS funding, Orion funding, the human landing system and of course the spacesuits - all of those things that are part of the Artemis programme are included."

But he explained: "The budget request that we have before the House and the Senate right now includes $3.2bn for 2021 for the human landing system. It is critically important that we get that $3.2bn."

FULL REPORT

 

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On 14/09/2020 at 17:47, Cicero said:

Life on Venus? 

 

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A meteor that skimmed Earth may have brought life to Venus as experts say at least 600,000 objects that dipped into our atmosphere have collided with the distant planet

Traces of phosphine gas was recently detected in the clouds of Venus, which suggests it could support life - but a new study proposes the compounds may have originated from Earth.

Harvard researchers theorize that the biosignatures gas came to Venus from meteorites that grazed our planet's atmosphere and crashed into the distant planet.

This notion was developed from a 2017 meteor that grazed Earth's atmosphere over Australia for 90 seconds and then headed back on its journey to deep space.

The team believes this meteor could have collected up some 10,000 microbial colonies from our world and carried it to another.

The study notes that over the last 3.7 billion years, at least 600,000 space rocks that dipped into Earth's atmosphere have a collided with Venus.

The 2017 meteor skimmed across Earth's atmosphere for one and a half minutes at more than 35,000 miles per hour before returning to space.

Based on its trajectory as it skimmed the atmosphere, the team estimate that the rock was around 12 inches across and likely weighed at least 132 pounds.

'Although the abundance of terrestrial life in the upper atmosphere is unknown, these planet-grazing shepherds could have potentially been capable of transferring microbial life between the atmospheres of Earth and Venus,' the Harvard study reads.

'As a result, the origin of possible Venusian life may be fundamentally indistinguishable from that of terrestrial life.'

Previous research determined that life is found up to an altitude of 43 miles from the surface.

Earth-grazing asteroids can dip 52 miles without experiencing significant heating – another lower would kill any life it gathered from our planet.

'Further work is needed to investigate the existence and abundance of microbial life in the upper atmosphere,' reads the study.

The team also notes that if a meteor coming from Earth enters the atmosphere of another planet, hitchhiking microbes could be released in clouds before the rock disintegrates in the atmosphere.

'A future probe that could sample the habitable cloud deck of Venus will potentially enable the direct discovery of microbial life outside of Earth, the team wrote.'

'Specifically, the capability to either directly analyze microbes in situ or to return an atmospheric sample to Earth will be critical in the design of a successful mission. Finding exactly the same genomic material and helicity on Venus and Earth would constitute a smoking gun for panspermia.'

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8774393/Meteor-skimmed-Earth-brought-life-Venus-Harvard-study-suggests.html

 

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NASA’s Juno spacecraft is the first to capture clear images of Jupiter’s polar regions and in this extreme false-colour view, a striking ring of cyclones ranging in size from 4,000 to 4,600 kilometres across (2,500 to 2,900 miles) surround a huge, persistent polar storm. A similar pattern is present in the giant planet’s south polar regions. Citizen-scientist Gerald Eichstädt assembled this composite image using JunoCam data captured during four close passes of the probe by Jupiter between 17 February and 25 July. The exaggerated colour is partly the result of combining multiple images into a single composite. Says NASA: “The colour choices in this image reveal both the beauty of Jupiter and the subtle details present in Jupiter’s dynamic cloud structure. Each new observation that Juno provides of Jupiter’s atmosphere complements computer simulations and helps further refine our understanding of how the storms evolve over time.”

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Cyclones near Jupiter’s north pole. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS; image processing by Gerald Eichstädt

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