science

far side

far side

We’ve seen the far side quite a few times – from orbit…

But…

These are the first ever images taken from the ground on the far side of the Moon.

Captured by the Chinese Lunar Exploration Project (CLEP)’s history-making Chang’e-4 spacecraft.

www.clep.org.cn…

This is simply FanFreakin’tastic!

Such wonderfuil things are coming!

be well

 

horse brains

Plate XXVII. Brain and ear. Descriptive anatomy of the horse and domestic animals. 1870.

the head

“Right infero-lateral view of the head.” Strangeways’ veterinary anatomy. 1879.

Via the one and only nemfrog

be well

 

 

Ion drive: The first flight

nature video
Published on Nov 21, 2018

Researchers from MIT have flown a plane without moving parts for the first time. It is powered by an ‘ion drive’ which uses high powered electrodes to ionise and accelerate air particles, creating an ‘ionic wind’. This wind drove a 5m wide craft across a sports hall. Unlike the ion drives which have powered space craft for decades, this new drive uses air as the accelerant. The researchers say it could power silent drones. Read the original research paper: doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-07… Read Nature’s Editorial which also raises possible concerns about how a silent drone might be used: doi.org/10.1038/d41586-018-07…

Here is a snippet from a Scientific American.com article called Silent and Simple Ion Engine Powers a Plane with No Moving Parts. There is also an ATS discussion with the same title here.

Behind a thin white veil separating his makeshift lab from joggers at a Massachusetts Institute of Technology indoor track, aerospace engineer Steven Barrett recently test-flew the first-ever airplane powered with ionic wind thrusters—electric engines that generate momentum by creating and firing off charged particles.

Using this principle to fly an aircraft has long been, according even to Barrett, a “far-fetched idea” and the stuff of science fiction. But he still wanted to try. “In Star Trek you have shuttlecraft gliding silently past,” he says. “I thought, ‘We should have aircraft like that.’”

Thinking ionic wind propulsion could fit the bill, he spent eight years studying the technology and then decided to try building a prototype miniature aircraft—albeit one he thought was a little ugly. “It’s a kind of dirty yellow color,” he says, adding that black paint often contains carbon—which conducts electricity and caused a previous iteration to fry itself

Unlike its predecessors, which had tumbled to the ground, Version 2 sailed nearly 200 feet through the air at roughly 11 miles per hour (17 kilometers per hour). With no visible exhaust and no roaring jet or whirling propeller—no moving parts at all, in fact—the aircraft seemed silently animated by an ethereal source. “It was very exciting,” Barrett says. “Then it crashed into the wall, which wasn’t ideal.”

Barrett and his team figured out three main things to make Version 2 work. The first was the ionic wind thruster design. Version 2’s thrusters consist of two rows of long metal strands draped under its sky blue wings. The front row conducts some 40,000 volts of electricity—166 times the voltage delivered to the average house, and enough energy to strip the electrons off ample nitrogen atoms hanging in the atmosphere.

Another innovation Barrett’s team came up with was designing a lightweight but powerful electrical system, Walker notes. Before this aircraft, he says, nobody had created a system that could convert power from a lightweight battery efficiently enough to generate sufficient voltage for the thrusters.

Finally Barrett used a computer model to get the most out of every design element in the aircraft, from the thruster and electrical system designs to the wires that ran through the plane. “The power converter, the battery, the caps and fuselage—everything was optimized,” Barrett says. “The simulations failed all the time. We had to make hundreds of changes.” In the end, they had the triumphant Version 2.

The breakthrough offers a great proof of concept showing ion thrusters can be used on Earth….Propellers and jets are still far more efficient than the ion wind thrusters Barrett demonstrated, making it unlikely that passenger planes would switch over anytime soon. But the thrusters have one key advantage: “There’s no sound generation

Over at ATS, one of our resident aircraft experts, anzha, offered … “Bit more info:” www.eurekalert.org… www.nature.com… and www.nature.com…

If we can overcome our socio-survival obstacles and get ourselves to a good place the future is made nicer by this development. I would venture that although it does require lots and lots of volts, those volts will be forthcoming without too much difficulty. Note to self: gotta read all the articles!

be well

 

Ultima Thule

This image made available by NASA on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019 shows images with separate color and detail information, and a composited image of both, showing Ultima Thule, about 1 billion miles beyond Pluto. The New Horizons spacecraft encountered it on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. (NASA via AP)

Read more at: NASA: Icy object past Pluto looks like reddish snowman

Ultima Thule

A new picture returned from Nasa’s New Horizons spacecraft shows the little world to be two objects joined together – to give a look like a “snowman.” The US probe’s images acquired as it approached Ultima hinted at the possibility of a double body, but the first detailed picture from Tuesday’s close flyby confirms it.
www.bbc.co.uk…

Ultima Thule

Ultima Thule… the most distant object that our current human civilization has ever checked out – at 4.1 billion miles out from Earth.

I think it’s lovely.

Read more at Phys.org’s NASA: Icy object past Pluto looks like reddish snowman.

Images by NASA via AP

Spectacular. Bravo dear Space Cowboys, we love you so!

be well

 

near-Earth asteroid 2003 SD220

These three radar images of near-Earth asteroid 2003 SD220 were obtained on Dec. 15-17, by coordinating observations with NASA’s 230-foot (70-meter) antenna at the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California and the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) 330-foot (100-meter) Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR/NSF/GBO

More here at JPL.

Looks like a thingy… : /

be well

 

This just in! Received from the boffins…

 

outofhere

NASA’s Voyager 2 Probe Enters Interstellar Space

For the second time in history, a human-made object has reached the space between the stars. NASA’s Voyager 2 probe now has exited the heliosphere – the protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields created by the Sun.

Members of NASA’s Voyager team will discuss the findings at a news conference at 11 a.m. EST (8 a.m. PST) today at the meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in Washington. The news conference will stream live on the agency’s website.

Comparing data from different instruments aboard the trailblazing spacecraft, mission scientists determined the probe crossed the outer edge of the heliosphere on Nov. 5. This boundary, called the heliopause, is where the tenuous, hot solar wind meets the cold, dense interstellar medium. Its twin, Voyager 1, crossed this boundary in 2012, but Voyager 2 carries a working instrument that will provide first-of-its-kind observations of the nature of this gateway into interstellar space.

Voyager 2 now is slightly more than 11 billion miles (18 billion kilometers) from Earth. Mission operators still can communicate with Voyager 2 as it enters this new phase of its journey, but information – moving at the speed of light – takes about 16.5 hours to travel from the spacecraft to Earth. By comparison, light traveling from the Sun takes about eight minutes to reach Earth.

numbers

Artist’s concept of Voyager 2 with 9 facts listed around it. Image Credit: NASA
Larger view

The most compelling evidence of Voyager 2’s exit from the heliosphere came from its onboard Plasma Science Experiment (PLS), an instrument that stopped working on Voyager 1 in 1980, long before that probe crossed the heliopause. Until recently, the space surrounding Voyager 2 was filled predominantly with plasma flowing out from our Sun. This outflow, called the solar wind, creates a bubble – the heliosphere – that envelopes the planets in our solar system. The PLS uses the electrical current of the plasma to detect the speed, density, temperature, pressure and flux of the solar wind. The PLS aboard Voyager 2 observed a steep decline in the speed of the solar wind particles on Nov. 5. Since that date, the plasma instrument has observed no solar wind flow in the environment around Voyager 2, which makes mission scientists confident the probe has left the heliosphere.

readings

Animated gif showing the plasma data. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Larger view

“Working on Voyager makes me feel like an explorer, because everything we’re seeing is new,” said John Richardson, principal investigator for the PLS instrument and a principal research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. “Even though Voyager 1 crossed the heliopause in 2012, it did so at a different place and a different time, and without the PLS data. So we’re still seeing things that no one has seen before.”

In addition to the plasma data, Voyager’s science team members have seen evidence from three other onboard instruments – the cosmic ray subsystem, the low energy charged particle instrument and the magnetometer – that is consistent with the conclusion that Voyager 2 has crossed the heliopause. Voyager’s team members are eager to continue to study the data from these other onboard instruments to get a clearer picture of the environment through which Voyager 2 is traveling.

“There is still a lot to learn about the region of interstellar space immediately beyond the heliopause,” said Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist based at Caltech in Pasadena, California.

Together, the two Voyagers provide a detailed glimpse of how our heliosphere interacts with the constant interstellar wind flowing from beyond. Their observations complement data from NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX), a mission that is remotely sensing that boundary. NASA also is preparing an additional mission – the upcoming Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP), due to launch in 2024 – to capitalize on the Voyagers’ observations.

“Voyager has a very special place for us in our heliophysics fleet,” said Nicola Fox, director of the Heliophysics Division at NASA Headquarters. “Our studies start at the Sun and extend out to everything the solar wind touches. To have the Voyagers sending back information about the edge of the Sun’s influence gives us an unprecedented glimpse of truly uncharted territory.”

While the probes have left the heliosphere, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 have not yet left the solar system, and won’t be leaving anytime soon. The boundary of the solar system is considered to be beyond the outer edge of the Oort Cloud, a collection of small objects that are still under the influence of the Sun’s gravity. The width of the Oort Cloud is not known precisely, but it is estimated to begin at about 1,000 astronomical units (AU) from the Sun and to extend to about 100,000 AU. One AU is the distance from the Sun to Earth. It will take about 300 years for Voyager 2 to reach the inner edge of the Oort Cloud and possibly 30,000 years to fly beyond it.

The Voyager probes are powered using heat from the decay of radioactive material, contained in a device called a radioisotope thermal generator (RTG). The power output of the RTGs diminishes by about four watts per year, which means that various parts of the Voyagers, including the cameras on both spacecraft, have been turned off over time to manage power.

“I think we’re all happy and relieved that the Voyager probes have both operated long enough to make it past this milestone,” said Suzanne Dodd, Voyager project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. “This is what we’ve all been waiting for. Now we’re looking forward to what we’ll be able to learn from having both probes outside the heliopause.”

Voyager 2 launched in 1977, 16 days before Voyager 1, and both have traveled well beyond their original destinations. The spacecraft were built to last five years and conduct close-up studies of Jupiter and Saturn. However, as the mission continued, additional flybys of the two outermost giant planets, Uranus and Neptune, proved possible. As the spacecraft flew across the solar system, remote-control reprogramming was used to endow the Voyagers with greater capabilities than they possessed when they left Earth. Their two-planet mission became a four-planet mission. Their five-year lifespans have stretched to 41 years, making Voyager 2 NASA’s longest running mission.

The Voyager story has impacted not only generations of current and future scientists and engineers, but also Earth’s culture, including film, art and music. Each spacecraft carries a Golden Record of Earth sounds, pictures and messages. Since the spacecraft could last billions of years, these circular time capsules could one day be the only traces of human civilization.

Voyager’s mission controllers communicate with the probes using NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN), a global system for communicating with interplanetary spacecraft. The DSN consists of three clusters of antennas inGoldstone, California; Madrid, Spain; and Canberra, Australia.

The Voyager Interstellar Mission is a part of NASA’s Heliophysics System Observatory, sponsored by the Heliophysics Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. JPL built and operates the twin Voyager spacecraft. NASA’s DSN, managed by JPL, is an international network of antennas that supports interplanetary spacecraft missions and radio and radar astronomy observations for the exploration of the solar system and the universe. The network also supports selected Earth-orbiting missions. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia’s national science agency, operates both the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, part of the DSN, and the Parkes Observatory, which NASA has been using to downlink data from Voyager 2 since Nov. 8.

For more information about the Voyager mission, visit:

www.nasa.gov/voyager

More information about NASA’s Heliophysics missions is available online at:

www.nasa.gov/sunearth

Hahaha, Vger has left the building! Now they’re both out there.

This is so cool, this is seriously exciting to me.

Now we’ll be able to clearly see the real makeup of space and be free of the noise of the heliosphere. There will be revelations and discoveries and wondrous new surprises. I have learned in my decades that the farther out you go, the weirder it gets.

Of this there is no doubt and for this we are grateful.

be well

 

Raw Sounds from InSight’s Seismometer on Mars

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Uploaded on Dec 7, 2018

Listen to raw, unprocessed data from the seismometer on NASA’s InSight spacecraft of vibrations caused by wind moving over the solar panels on Mars. A subwoofer or earphones are needed to hear this clip. The sounds were recorded by two of the three short-period sensors on the seismometer (SEIS). The audio is available for download at NASA.gov/sounds. JPL manages InSight for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. InSight is part of NASA’s Discovery Program, managed by the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. France’s national space agency, Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES), Paris, leads the consortium that provided SEIS. The principal investigator for SEIS is Philippe Lognonné of the Institute of Earth Physics of Paris (Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, or IPGP). Imperial College, London, and Oxford University made the short-period sensors.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/CNES/UKSA/Imperial College London/Oxford/ETH

For years I have anxiously awaited audio from Mars. And I am smitten… regardless of the fact that this is from a seismometer and not a microphone.

I seem to recall being told a good while back that there’s a mic on Curiosity, but I am not sure, now, as we’ve certainly not heard a peep from it if it exists.

The .wav files below are from Insight Mars Wind.

00:20

More Audible Sounds from InSight’s Seismometer on Mars

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Uploaded on Dec 7, 2018

More Audible Sounds from InSight’s Seismometer on Mars Listen to data from the seismometer on NASA’s InSight spacecraft of vibrations caused by Martian wind moving over the lander’s solar panels. In this version, the data have been processed to raise the frequencies by two octaves to make them more audible. Both the processed and unprocessed audio are available for download at nasa.gov/sounds.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/CNES/UKSA/Imperial College London/Oxford/ETH

better bass:

00:20

Sounds from InSight’s Pressure Sensor on Mars

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Uploaded on Dec 7, 2018

Listen to data from the air pressure sensor on NASA’s InSight lander, indicating wind blowing by on Mars. The data were sped up by a factor of 100, shortening the duration of the recording and shifting it up in frequency 100 times (a little more than six octaves).

For more information on the InSight mission, visit https://mars.nasa.gov/insight

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/CNES/Cornell

02:27

be well

 

WooHoo! It’s new and it’s a biggun!

newsirensal

newsirensal

What has two short, chunky arms, a mane of feathery gills, and a sleek, green-marbled, eel-like body as long as your leg? No guesses? Meet the reticulated siren, a massive, two and a half foot-long salamander, described for the first time in a paper published today in the journal PLOS ONE, hailing from the remote, secluded wilds of *checks notes* southern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.

Sirens are a small family of unusual salamanders found throughout the Southeastern U.S. and parts of Mexico. They are entirely aquatic, living in swamps and ponds and keeping their bushy external gills through adulthood. Ranging from a few inches to over three feet long, sirens have shrimpy forelimbs, and have ditched their hindlimbs altogether, leaving only a long, eel-like body and tail fin. Their name comes from their mermaid-adjacent body plan and their occasional “singing” and croaking.

Knowledge of the reticulated siren didn’t just spring into being overnight. For decades, the salamander had an almost mythical status in herpetology circles.

Sean Graham, a biologist at Sul Ross State University, author of American Snakes, and lead author on the new study, first heard about the enigmatic “leopard eel” in the early 2000s. “It was almost a rumored thing, almost like a unicorn,” he recounted. “Some biologists were familiar with it and had seen it.”

Hearing those biologists’ stories and seeing the handful of preserved specimens that were collected years ago left an impression. “I thought ‘holy crap, this is a big siren species that’s really obviously different,’ boldly colored and crazy looking!” Graham said. About ten years ago, while in graduate school at Auburn University, he mentioned the siren’s possible existence to then-fellow student David Steen, now a research ecologist at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and coauthor on the study.

“We wanted to describe this mysterious siren that others had noted as occurring in southern Alabama,” Steen said. “But we had no real claim to the project; we knew that if we wanted to work on this species we had to find one in the wild ourselves.”

Graham and Steen periodically visited the salamander’s purported turf, but came back empty handed every time. Then, in 2009, Steen captured one in the Florida Panhandle.

Read the rest and find out how they did it…
Nearly Mythical 3-Foot-Long Swamp Salamander Is Officially a Real Species

I have loved salamanders ever since I started exploring the woods… well before my 10th. They’re just neat.

I dig this newly categorized Siren reticulata fellow. Nifty keen! And nice and big… a meter is big, eh?

be well

 

shinyrok

rhinyshok

shinyrok

rinyshok

shinyrok

The Mars Rover has found a strange shiny object on the Mars Surface.

image credits: NASA / JPL / CalTech

NASA think they may have an idea what it could be, but they are prepared to be surprised.

Nasa has spotted a strange, shiny object lying on the Martian surface. The planet is largely red, dusty and bland, meaning that anything unusual stands out.

The latest discovery is one such object: a shiny lump that is visible on the surface. Now the team behind the Curiosity rover intends to have a proper look at the object, in the hope of finding out what it is.

Though they have their suspicions, they are ready to be surprised.

www.independent.co.uk…

They are actually going to drive over there and check it out. That’s yuge.

They’ve already shot it thrice with a laser for chemical analysis. Currently the main thought is meteorite, but the lab’s still hummin,’ so who knows, eh.

This is a nice thing.

Especially the level of interest. Seems this has been trending in a positive direction for a while now and trust me, it is a great sign (and omen, even) for the future.

be well

 

andrewsarchus

Andrewsarchus

weird lookin’ critter!

Andrewsarchus—the World’s Largest Predatory Mammal

by Bob Strauss
Updated September 25, 2018

Andrewsarchus is one of the world’s most tantalizing prehistoric animals: its three-foot-long, toothstudded skull indicates that it was a giant predator, but the fact is that we have no idea what the rest of this mammal’s body looked like.

Andrewsarchus Is Known by a Single Skull

as

All we know about Andrewsarchus amounts to a single, three-foot-long, vaguely wolf-shaped skull, discovered in Mongolia in 1923. While the skull clearly belongs to some type of mammal—there are obvious diagnostic markers by which paleontologists can distinguish between reptilian and mammalian bones—the lack of an accompanying skeleton has resulted in nearly a century of confusion, and debate, about what type of animal Andrewsarchus really was.

Andrewsarchus is one of the world’s most tantalizing prehistoric animals: its three-foot-long, toothstudded skull indicates that it was a giant predator, but the fact is that we have no idea what the rest of this mammal’s body looked like.

All we know about Andrewsarchus amounts to a single, three-foot-long, vaguely wolf-shaped skull, discovered in Mongolia in 1923. While the skull clearly belongs to some type of mammal—there are obvious diagnostic markers by which paleontologists can distinguish between reptilian and mammalian bones—the lack of an accompanying skeleton has resulted in nearly a century of confusion, and debate, about what type of animal Andrewsarchus really was.

The Fossil of Andrewsarchus Was Discovered by Roy Chapman Andrews (My Hero!)

rca

During the 1920’s, the swashbuckling paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews, sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History in New York, embarked on a series of well-publicized fossil-hunting expeditions to central Asia (then, as it still is now, one of the most remote regions on earth). After its discovery, Andrewsarchus (“Andrews’ ruler”) was named in his honor, though it’s unclear whether Andrews bestowed this name himself or left the task to other members of his team.

Wonderful, wonderful!

be well

 

deer eating a bird

Linda Loo
Published on May 16, 2010

Birds were flying in and running into the head of this young buck in our front yard. I was watching through the window, and I didn’t know why the birds were attacking him. Then, I saw the little bird on the ground. The other birds had only been trying to distract the deer. I decided not to exchange the audio with music because when I played the video back, I realized my overly dramatic reaction was funny. Yes, I know I have a country accent. Please be kind in your comments! I own the rights to this video. RIP Michael, my amazing husband. I miss your laugh! 12/06/60 – 08/10/18

Got the link to this from Dr. Karl Shuker’s blog… I mean, how could I have resisted clicking on ‘Bird-eating Deer’? Seriously.

And there it was! I’ve never heard of this behavior before, but obviously if this one did it, then I’m sure millions of others have, too. Gosh, do adult deer also eat birds? Or, omg, babies?!

Yikes!

be well

 

Progress launch timelapse seen from space

European Space Agency, ESA
Published on Nov 22, 2018

Timelapse of the Russian Progress MS-10 cargo spacecraft launched on 16 November 2018 at
18:14 GMT from Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, taken by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst from the International Space Station. The spacecraft was launched atop a Soyuz rocket with 2564 kg of cargo and supplies. Flying at 28 800 km/h, 400 km high, the International Space Station requires regular supplies from Earth such as this Progress launch. Spacecraft are launched after the Space Station flies overhead so they catch up with the orbital outpost to dock, in this case two days later on 18 November 2018. The images were taken from the European-built Cupola module with a camera set to take pictures at regular intervals. The pictures are then played quickly after each other at 8 to 16 times normal speed. The video shows around 15 minutes of the launch at normal speed. The Progress spacecraft delivered food, fuel and supplies, including about 750 kg of propellant, 75 kg of oxygen and air and 440 l of water.

Some notable moments in this video are:
00:07 Soyuz-FG rocket booster separation.

00:19 Core stage separation.

00:34:05 Core stage starts burning in the atmosphere as it returns to Earth after having spent all its fuel.

00:34:19 Progress spacecraft separates from rocket and enters orbit to catch up with the International Space Station.

Download the video: bit.ly/ProgressLaunchTimelapse…

Follow Alexander and the Horizons mission on social media via bit.ly/AlexanderGerstESA and on bit.ly/HorizonsBlogESA.

Credits: ESA/NASA. ★ Subscribe: bit.ly/ESAsubscribe Check out our full video catalog: bit.ly/SpaceInVideos Follow ESA on Twitter: bit.ly/ESAonTwitter On Facebook: bit.ly/ESAonFacebook On Instagram: bit.ly/ESAonInstagram On Flickr: bit.ly/ESAonFlickr

ESA is Europe’s gateway to space. Our mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. Check out www.esa.int/ESA to get up to speed on everything space related. Copyright information about our videos is available here: www.esa.int/spaceinvideos/Term…

My eyes have difficulties nowadays with this sort of thing, but it looks spectacular, just the same!

be well

 

jpl

Sol 0: Instrument Context Camera (ICC)

NASA’s InSight Mars lander acquired this image of the area in front of the lander using its lander-mounted, Instrument Context Camera (ICC).

This image was acquired on November 26, 2018, Sol 0 of the InSight mission where the local mean solar time for the image exposures was 13:34:21. Each ICC image has a field of view of 124 x 124 degrees.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Oh my yes, more please!

Bravo NASA teams!

wo

NASA InSight Lander Arrives on Martian Surface

Mars has just received its newest robotic resident. NASA’s Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander successfully touched down on the Red Planet after an almost seven-month, 300-million-mile (458-million-kilometer) journey from Earth.

InSight’s two-year mission will be to study the deep interior of Mars to learn how all celestial bodies with rocky surfaces, including Earth and the Moon, formed.

InSight launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California May 5. The lander touched down Monday, Nov. 26, near Mars’ equator on the western side of a flat, smooth expanse of lava called Elysium Planitia, with a signal affirming a completed landing sequence at 11:52:59 a.m. PST (2:52:59 p.m. EST).

“Today, we successfully landed on Mars for the eighth time in human history,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “InSight will study the interior of Mars and will teach us valuable science as we prepare to send astronauts to the Moon and later to Mars. This accomplishment represents the ingenuity of America and our international partners, and it serves as a testament to the dedication and perseverance of our team. The best of NASA is yet to come, and it is coming soon.”

The landing signal was relayed to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, via NASA’s two small experimental Mars Cube One (MarCO) CubeSats, which launched on the same rocket as InSight and followed the lander to Mars. They are the first CubeSats sent into deep space. After successfully carrying out a number of communications and in-flight navigation experiments, the twin MarCOs were set in position to receive transmissions during InSight’s entry, descent and landing.

From Fast to Slow

“We hit the Martian atmosphere at 12,300 mph (19,800 kilometers per hour), and the whole sequence to touching down on the surface took only six-and-a-half minutes,” said InSight project manager Tom Hoffman at JPL. “During that short span of time, InSight had to autonomously perform dozens of operations and do them flawlessly – and by all indications that is exactly what our spacecraft did.”

Confirmation of a successful touchdown is not the end of the challenges of landing on the Red Planet. InSight’s surface-operations phase began a minute after touchdown. One of its first tasks is to deploy its two decagonal solar arrays, which will provide power. That process begins 16 minutes after landing and takes another 16 minutes to complete.

The InSight team expects a confirmation later Monday that the spacecraft’s solar panels successfully deployed. Verification will come from NASA’s Odyssey spacecraft, currently orbiting Mars. That signal is expected to reach InSight’s mission control at JPL about five-and-a-half hours after landing.

“We are solar powered, so getting the arrays out and operating is a big deal,” said Tom Hoffman at JPL. “With the arrays providing the energy we need to start the cool science operations, we are well on our way to thoroughly investigate what’s inside of Mars for the very first time.”

InSight will begin to collect science data within the first week after landing, though the teams will focus mainly on preparing to set InSight’s instruments on the Martian ground. At least two days after touchdown, the engineering team will begin to deploy InSight’s 5.9-foot-long (1.8-meter-long) robotic arm so that it can take images of the landscape.

“Landing was thrilling, but I’m looking forward to the drilling,” said InSight principal investigator Bruce Banerdt of JPL. “When the first images come down, our engineering and science teams will hit the ground running, beginning to plan where to deploy our science instruments. Within two or three months, the arm will deploy the mission’s main science instruments, the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) and Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) instruments.”

InSight will operate on the surface for one Martian year, plus 40 Martian days, or sols, until Nov. 24, 2020. The mission objectives of the two small MarCOs which relayed InSight’s telemetry was completed after their Martian flyby.

“That’s one giant leap for our intrepid, briefcase-sized robotic explorers,” said Joel Krajewski, MarCO project manager at JPL. “I think CubeSats have a big future beyond Earth’s orbit, and the MarCO team is happy to trailblaze the way.”

With InSight’s landing at Elysium Planitia, NASA has successfully soft-landed a vehicle on the Red Planet eight times.

“Every Mars landing is daunting, but now with InSight safely on the surface we get to do a unique kind of science on Mars,” said JPL director Michael Watkins. “The experimental MarCO CubeSats have also opened a new door to smaller planetary spacecraft. The success of these two unique missions is a tribute to the hundreds of talented engineers and scientists who put their genius and labor into making this a great day.”

JPL manages InSight for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. InSight is part of NASA’s Discovery Program, managed by the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The MarCO CubeSats were built and managed by JPL. Lockheed Martin Space in Denver built the InSight spacecraft, including its cruise stage and lander, and supports spacecraft operations for the mission.

A number of European partners, including France’s Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), are supporting the InSight mission. CNES, and the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP), provided the SEIS instrument, with significant contributions from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany, the Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH) in Switzerland, Imperial College and Oxford University in the United Kingdom, and JPL. DLR provided the HP3 instrument, with significant contributions from the Space Research Center (CBK) of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Astronika in Poland. Spain’s Centro de Astrobiología (CAB) supplied the wind sensors.

For more information about InSight, visit:

www.nasa.gov/insight/

For more information about MarCO, visit:

www.jpl.nasa.gov/cubesat/missions/marco.php

For more information about NASA’s Mars missions, go to:

www.nasa.gov/mars

Wa hey we’re on the way!

be well

 

jd

The Juno spacecraft, owned by NASA and operated by JPL-Caltech, SwRI and MSSS, captured this stupendous image of Jupiter whilst under the control of Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran.

Its been going viral as the clods at this moment are a hotbed of pareidolian heaven. Some see a reclining lady, some see a squid and others… see other patterns.

Whatever you see, it is undeniable that the beauty is breathtaking, to say the least.

be well

 

poc

These towering tendrils of cosmic dust and gas sit at the heart of M16, or the Eagle Nebula. The aptly named Pillars of Creation, featured in this stunning Hubble image, are part of an active star-forming region within the nebula and hide newborn stars in their wispy columns.

Although this is not Hubble’s first image of this iconic feature of the Eagle Nebula, it is the most detailed. The blue colors in the image represent oxygen, red is sulfur, and green represents both nitrogen and hydrogen. The pillars are bathed in the scorching ultraviolet light from a cluster of young stars located just outside the frame. The winds from these stars are slowly eroding the towers of gas and dust.

Stretching roughly 4 to 5 light-years, the Pillars of Creation are a fascinating but relatively small feature of the entire Eagle Nebula, which spans 70 by 55 light-years. The nebula, discovered in 1745 by the Swiss astronomer Jean-Philippe Loys de Chéseaux, is located 7,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Serpens. With an apparent magnitude of 6, the Eagle Nebula can be spotted through a small telescope and is best viewed during July. A large telescope and optimal viewing conditions are necessary to resolve the Pillars of Creation.

Credits: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Such power to astound, doth Mother Nature have.

I want to go there.

Really.

be well

 

Found this interesting topic on the ATS thread NASA Finds Perfectly Rectangular Iceberg In Antarctica As If It Was Deliberately Cut. It’s a story the OP found at Forbes in a post of nearly the same name, by Trevor Nace,
Contributor in Science.

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NASA just shared a stunning image of a nearly perfect rectangular iceberg in Antarctica. The monolithic slab of ice, floating just off the Larsen C ice shelf appears quite unnatural given the 90-degree angles. NASA took the image as part of Operation IceBridge, a mission to image Earth’s polar regions in order to understand how ice (thickness, location, accumulation, etc.) has been changing in recent years. While the iceberg is quite strange to look at, it is an entirely natural phenomenon. Most of us are used to seeing pictures of angular icebergs with just a small tip jutting out of the water. However, there is an entirely different type of iceberg called tabular icebergs. Tabular icebergs have steep, nearly vertical sides and a flat plateau top. Tabular icebergs typically break off of ice shelves, which are tabular bodies of thick ice. When there is a clean calve of the iceberg, the angles can be close to 90 degrees. In this case, the iceberg is likely not very old as wind, waves and sea spray will eventually winnow away the sharp edges of this iceberg and round it out, Kelly Brunt, a NASA scientist, told Live Science.

UPDATENASA released more images of the rectangular iceberg, which you can see here.

Nifty keen, kids! These images are so strange … and quite beautiful.

Mother Nature is one stunning lady.

And here, just for fun, is a triangular iceberg. : )

ti

Wa hey!

be well

 

Well, this is very interesting.

The mic on the camera picks up some reasonably voluminous wind noise when pointed left but none at any other angle so it doesn’t support the wind theory much. Neither does the fact that the left swing is not doing anything at all.

The motion is quite consistent over the entire one minute nine second duration of the first video and the shorter second one, so, that also is not a plus for wind.

So, what’s happening?

A ghost? Some guy off-screen with a fishing line? Standing wave resonance? What?!

Curious minds want to know.

From LiveLeak does the ghost push the swing. Post text: “happened at village north Saudi Arabia.”

be well

 

stg

Is St. George fighting a plesiosaur-inspired dragon in this 1678 illustration from Mundus Subterraneus? Abel (1939, also the source of this image) thought so, noting the shift towards plesiosaur-like proportions and anatomy compared to more conventional European dragon depictions of the time.

The giants and plesio-dragons of Mundus Subterraneus

Athanasius Kircher’s 1678 German textbook Mundus Subterraneus– an early thesis on geography, biology, mineralogy and geology – contains several illustrations of animals which may have been informed by fossils. They include many types of giant human, which were said to be social, cave-dwelling species based on the bones of large animals found in caves – almost certainly remnants of Pleistocene mammals. Kircher also wrote about several types of dragon, many of which were of period-typical, worm-like form, but Abel (1939) noted one unusual dragon illustration that may have been influenced by a real giant reptile: a plesiosaur.

The illustration is plesiosaur-like in many respects, with a barrel-like body, small head, long and slender neck, a true tail, and curiously small ‘paddle-like’ wings instead of broad, membranous wings typical of dragon depictions. It’s not a perfect plesiosaur depiction by any means – it also has ears, a beak, and four legs – but Abel (1939) considered this reinvention of dragon form so dramatic that it could represent the arrival of a new source of inspiration for dragon anatomy, of which plesiosaurs are a possible contender. Marine reptiles, including plesiosaurs, were almost certainly uncovered during quarrying work in the historic Swabia region (now southern Germany) as rocks we now call the Posidonia Shale were exploited to build growing settlements. The Posidonia Shale is a site of exceptional preservation with abundant invertebrate fossils and rarer, but often complete and articulated, marine reptile skeletons. Posidonia quarrying dates back to at least the 16th century and, given that the quarrying was executed by hand, 17th century quarrymen would have seen fossils of many kinds, almost certainly including some well preserved plesiosaur remains. Had these discoveries caused a stir among local learned individuals, as well a giant reptile entombed in stone might have, it’s not inconceivable to think they could have been identified as dragons, and ultimately influenced Mundus Subterraneus.

As with our discussion of cyclops art, these details are only circumstantial evidence and they do not prove beyond doubt that plesiosaurs were referenced in Kircher’s dragon art. But I find this case a little more compelling because our records of the early modern period are better, so the correlation between historic events is tighter and the contrast to other dragon illustrations more obvious. Moreover, whereas ancient cyclops art doesn’t really look like the fossils said to inspire it, I can see some obvious plesiosaur-like details in Kircher’s illustration. It’s difficult to be certain about the relevance of plesiosaurs fossils to the image but, for me, this is a possible, if unconfirmed, piece of proto-palaeoart.

Please read the rest of this wonderful piece by Mark Witton at Unicorns, dragons, monsters and giants: palaeoart before palaeontology.

Sweet! Extra sweet!

Especially as I have been enamored of a recent and quite scholarly thread on ATS called Evidence for the Co-Existence of Humans and Dinosaurs. If your interest is peaked you should have a read of that, too. It’s good! Up at 11 pages now and it’s got 108 flags. Just wonderful! You will see that the premise is exceptionally solid and you will know why, too.

be well

 

 

This is thrilling!

Gotta be some nifty critters over there, eh?! Bit of a hike, though.

We could get there if the world prioritizes nicely.

Like that’s gonna happen.

I’m sure it will someday.

For now, this short little clip spanning quite a few yarn will serve nicely in the Soul boosting division.

be well

 

garja

Gabriel N. U. @SerpenIllus 10:03 AM, 12 Oct, 2018

For this #FossilFriday I bring you the archosauromorph Garjainia, who is judgmentally looking down on all of you #paleoart

Another one! Whee!

I think Gabriel has this guy pegged… I mean, just look at that look in his eye. Definite ‘tude, there, eh?

Hehehe

be well

 

par

Gabriel N. U. @SerpenIllus 2:57 PM, 12 Oct, 2018

Day 12 of #inktober2018 continuing with my theme of Permian Tetrapods, here is the giant parareptile Pareisaur Scutosaurus. A really armored herbivorous reptile.

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Parareptiles are where it’s at, man… I have never heard of a parareptile before, but I love the sound of it and I love this fabulous fellow. Kinda wish he wasn’t a herbivore, but hey, I love my broccoli rabe and spinach with corn, eh.

Ha!

PentaProps™ to the artist, too! Woo mad skillz!

God dayum I wish I’d kept my drawing up … cuz … I coulda done that easy. But then, I should have done so many things. Ok, imma cry now.

You’ll be seeing more stuff like this.

be well

 

This is a blast from my past… the blog is What’s All This, Then and it was May 3, 2009.

Those were heady days and I was even worse than I sometimes am today!

Apollo anomalies were all the rage and there were some really good ones.

Here goes.

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This is a crop of the somewhat notorious Apollo 17 image AS17-137-20925HR. Why notorious? It’s that green thing. Some have been so bold as to suggest it’s some sort of lifeform. Since this is the moon, I’m not too sure about that conjecture… Although it has been shown that the moon has an atmosphere and water ice, there doesn’t appear to be a heck of a lot of water around this locale. Be that as it may… there this thing is. Note that it is not at all required to do any enhancing to the original photo in order to see our green friend. Nope, it stands right out… in a pretty deep shadow no less. As if it’s actually self-luminous. High strangeness, indeed.

An unknown form of living thing is a bit more likely than some sort of alien device doing who knows what…

For the image here, I started with a version with enhanced gamma, although I don’t remember where I got it. (I have such a backlog of these things to write about… sheesh.). I elevated the brightness and contrast by 30 each to get the lighting up to snuff and approach daylight a bit. [No pixels were harmed in the making of this picture.]

Nice purple mineral it’s sitting on, by the way. Food, maybe? Like the NY Lottery ads say, “Hey, you never know.” Life out there doesn’t necessarily have to follow our dogma. If you said 50 years ago that there were creatures on Earth that live 2 miles down and eat rocks, you know what would’ve happened, right? Right.

It would be so sad if the anomaly is a film defect, but of course it could be, can’t leave that out no matter how doubtful the scenario, the film being custom made expressly for the lunar program. Nothing remotely like it has appeared before or since.

So… being the romantic nut that I am, I vote for… High Strangeness.

Update 5/20/09: added image below. For this version, only brightness was applied to the original hi-res image as released to the public. This is to better show you the very interesting colors at the tip of this object and what may well be projections in the tip area.
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And that ended the post.

I wanted to add the original photo from the mission and I wanted to use the latest Photoshop Camera Raw plug in to enhance it again, just to see. This plug in adjusts pixel levels to increase or decrease the exposure and adjust the highlights, shadows, contrast and such. What is there is there, what is not is not. Do note that the anomaly is actually visible in the raw, unaltered image in the original photograph.

credit NASA

Original, untouched. 300dpi. (Thanks NASA!)

credit NASA

Camera Raw to see in that hole.

credit NASA

My crop and I increased dpi to 1200.

And how about them apples?

What, I still ask, in the name of God is that?

Ponder it, eh?

be well

 

15 frames from Ryugu.

Hope we get some without the Sun trying the cameras exposure systems.

MINERVA-II1 rovers send images from asteroid Ryugu

SciNews
Published on Sep 27, 2018

JAXA’s Asteroid Explorer “Hayabusa2” deployed the MINERVA-II1 rovers to explore the surface of asteroid Ryugu on 21 September 2018. The MINERVA-II1 consists of two rovers, Rover-1A and Rover-1B, both landed on the surface of asteroid Ryugu and sent back images and a short movie. Credit : JAXA, University of Tokyo, Kochi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University, Aizu University, AIST

So nice… so very, very nice. =D

be well

 

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The one above has been corrected for angle and another parameter I can’t think of right now by Jason Major for JAXA.

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All images by JAXA.

These are the first set of images taken of the surface of an asteroid … from the surface of the asteroid!

Asteroid Ryugu, to be precise, an oddly cube-shaped rock. There are two rovers… see my previous post.

I am excited to say the least.

I hope you are, too!

be well

 

Mysterious Purple Orb | Nautilus Live

EVNautilus
Published on Jul 25, 2016

During our initial observations in NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, a snail-like foot and no visible shell suggested the sphere might be a pleurobranch sea slug. Upon more well-rounded review by our research partners at Harvard University Museum of Comparative Zoology, it is now thought the orb belongs to another distantly related group of snails–the velutinids. Modern techniques, including microCT scanning and RNA sequencing, are being used to describe this very likely new species of velutinid.

E/V Nautilus is exploring the ocean studying biology, geology, archeology, and more. Watch http://www.nautiluslive.org for live video from the ocean floor.

For live dive updates follow along on social media at www.facebook.com/nautiluslive and www.twitter.com/evnautilus on Twitter. For more photos from our dives, check out our Instagram @nautiluslive.

The mysterious and the unknown are the most important (and thrilling) things on Earth. Even Albert Einstein said so… and Al was right!

be well

 

cf

spaceforeurope

Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin

Recent tectonics on Mars

The prominent trenches that can be seen in this Mars Express image of the Cerberus Fossae system in the Elysium Planitia region, were formed by faults that pulled the planet’s surface apart less than 10 million years ago.

Read more.

Source: esa.int

I love Mars. I’d rather be there than here. Humans are an unpleasant lifeform.

be well

 

sor

GREETINGS FROM RYUGU One of the MINERVA-II1 rovers snapped this picture while hopping across the surface of asteroid Ryugu on September 21. The gray material is the asteroid, and the bright spot is sunlight.

The first rovers to explore the surface of an asteroid have landed. After touching down September 21, the vehicles took pictures of asteroid Ryugu and at least one hopped around.

Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft, which arrived at the near-Earth asteroid on June 27 after a journey of more than three years, released the MINERVA-II1 container from a height of about 60 meters (SN Online: 6/27/18). The container then released two 18-centimeter-wide, cylindrical rovers. Because Ryugu’s gravity is so weak, the rovers can hop using rotating motors that generate a torque and send them airborne for about 15 minutes.

Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency released the first blurry, otherworldly pictures from the rovers on September 22. One image appears to have been taken midhop.

Japan sent its first MINERVA rover with the original Hayabusa mission, which reached asteroid Itokawa in 2005, but that rover missed the asteroid and was lost in space. “I was so moved to see these small rovers successfully explore an asteroid surface because we could not achieve this at the time of Hayabusa 13 years ago,” wrote Hayabusa2’s project mission manager, Makoto Yoshikawa, on the mission’s webpage.

A German and French rover, also aboard Hayabusa2, is set to deploy to Ryugu on October 4. MASCOT will join the MINERVA-II1 rovers in measuring the asteroid’s composition, temperature and magnetic properties. A third MINERVA-II rover is scheduled to land sometime in 2019.

Later in October, the Hayabusa2 spacecraft is scheduled to touch down at a spot near the asteroid’s equator to gather a sample of dust, before returning to orbit. Depending on how that sample collection goes, the craft may try to collect two more samples from different parts of the asteroid. If successful, the spacecraft will send the asteroid dust back to Earth, to arrive in 2020.

2rr

TWO OF A KIND The twin MINERVA-II1 rovers, called Rover-1A (back) and Rover-1B (foreground), are shown exploring Ryugu in this illustration.

Hayabusa2 Project.

L. Grossman. Here’s where the Hayabusa2 spacecraft will land on the asteroid Ryugu. Science News Online, August 23, 2018.

M. Temming. Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft arrives at the asteroid Ryugu. Science News Online, June 27, 2018.

Ooh I am loving this! The exploration of space has been entrenched in my core and Soul since I was a very young boy and it is never going to stop thrilling my bones.

Space!

be well

 

o

NASA’s Opportunity rover appears as a blip in the center of this square. This image taken by HiRISE, a high-resolution camera onboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, shows the dust storm over Perseverance Valley has substantially cleared. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
› Full image and caption

NASA still hasn’t heard from the Opportunity rover, but at least we can see it again.

A new image produced by HiRISE, a high-resolution camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), shows a small object on the slopes of the Red Planet’s Perseverance Valley. That object is Opportunity, which was descending into the Martian valley when a dust storm swept over the region a little more than 100 days ago.

The storm was one of several that stirred up enough dust to enshroud most of the Red Planet and block sunlight from reaching the surface. The lack of sunlight caused the solar-powered Opportunity to go into hibernation.

The rover’s team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, hasn’t heard from it since. On Sept. 11, JPL began increasing the frequency of commands it beams to the 14-year-old rover.

The tau — a measurement of how much sunlight reaches the surface — over Opportunity was estimated to be a little higher than 10 during some points during the dust storm. The tau has steadily fallen in the last several months. On Thursday, Sept. 20, when this image was taken, tau was estimated to be about 1.3 by MRO’s Mars Color Imager camera.

This image was produced from about 166 miles (267 kilometers) above the Martian surface. The white box marks a 154-foot-wide (47-meter-wide) area centered on the rover.

The University of Arizona in Tucson operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., in Boulder, Colorado. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

For more, visit:
https://www.uahirise.org/ESP_056955_1775

Updates about Opportunity can be found here:
https://mars.nasa.gov/mer/mission/status.html

News Media Contact

Andrew Good
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
818-393-2433
[email protected]

2018-224

Related Links
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Oh, man, I do hope my lil buddy comes back to life!

Fabulous news! And it’s going to return samples!

Here’s a little quickie for ya…

Japanese Probe Deploys Robots to Land on Asteroid Ryugu

VideoFromSpace
Published on Sep 21, 2018

JAXA’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft deployed two little “rovers” called MINERVA-II1A and MINERVA-II1B to land on the surface of asteroid Ryugu on Sept. 21, 2018. — Full Story: https://www.space.com/41898-hayabusa2… Credit: Space.com / footage coutesy: JAXA / produced and edited by Steve Spaleta

This one’s got a lot more mission details and a timeline of events:

JAPAN LANDS 2 MINI ROVERS ON ASTEROID RYUGU

R U Ready?
Published on Sep 20, 2018

The Hayabusa2 spacecraft dropped two mini rovers onto the asteroid Ryugu this week. The Hayabusa2 team began prepping seriously for the epic maneuver last week. The current schedule calls for the mother ship to descend toward Ryugu and for the two little disk-shaped robots, known as MINERVA-II1A and MINERVA-II1B, to deploy. sources: space.com global.jaxa.jp nasa.gov music: Long Note Two by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/…) Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-… Artist: http://incompetech.com/

Ooh, this is gonna be good … and it also gives me reason to stay amongst the living. Because space!

be well

 

The Great Global Warming Swindle – Full Documentary HD

Wisdom Land
Published on Aug 19, 2018

The Great Global Warming Swindle caused controversy in the UK when it premiered March 8, 2007 on British Channel 4. A documentary, by British television producer Martin Durkin, which argues against the virtually unchallenged consensus that global warming is man-made. A statement from the makers of this film asserts that the scientific theory of anthropogenic global warming could very well be “the biggest scam of modern times.” According to Martin Durkin the chief cause of climate change is not human activity but changes in radiation from the sun. Some have called The Great Global Warming Swindle the definitive retort to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. Using a comprehensive range of evidence it’s claimed that warming over the past 300 years represents a natural recovery from a ‘little ice age’.

According to the program humans do have an effect on climate but it’s infinitesimally small compared with the vast natural forces which are constantly pushing global temperatures this way and that. From melting glaciers and rising sea levels, The Great Global Warming Swindle debunks the myths, and exposes what may well prove to be the darkest chapter in the history of mankind. According to a group of leading scientists brought together by documentary maker Martin Durkin everything you’ve ever been told about global warming is probably untrue. Just as we’ve begun to take it for granted that climate change is a man-made phenomenon, Durkin’s documentary slays the whole premise of global warming.

“Global warming has become a story of huge political significance; environmental activists using scare tactics to further their cause; scientists adding credence to secure billions of dollars in research money; politicians after headlines and a media happy to play along. No-one dares speak against it for risk of being unpopular, losing funds and jeopardizing careers.”

Yes, the climate is changing. Obviously. It is not, however, a man-made problem. The climate has been changing ever since there has been climate. Continuously. Constantly. It is the way of things.

The unfortunate indoctrinated masses are both not able to see this and unwilling to accept facts — or any information that does not come from those that feed their religion. That’s what it is, really, a religion. One based on false prophets, sadly, perhaps the falsest in history, or, good contenders for that rank, anyway. These poor folk cannot even see the incredible bullcrap of the “carbon credits” scheme, thinking it will save the world, whereas in reality it just has the polluters pay money to Gore — and they are then allowed to keep on polluting. You can’t make this stuff up.

The climate will change into whatever state nature wills for it. Period.

Of course, if there are ways to get the job done without polluting, those ways should be implemented. A cleaner place is nice to be in. The Gulf of Mexico disaster had an effect by stopping the current — that current controlled the behavior of el Niño, but this is a mere pimple on a planetary scale.  And pursuant to that note that nothing is done to clean up the plastic in the oceans. Or to clean up anything, really. There’s no profit in it, you see.

Did you know that every single grain of sea salt now contains plastic? Every single grain. Nice, huh? Enjoy.

Anyway…

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A wonderful old Martian favorite. It is intriguing, don’tcha think?

Is it? Or is it not? I really want to know. Really.

And I am more confident than ever that someday we will know.

Hopefully I’ll be around to get the update.

I love Mars. It’s just so full of wonder, how could one not?

be well

 

kj

kj

flyingthroughspaceforever

Happy 100th birthday to Katherine Johnson!

Johnson is an black American mathematician who’s work with orbital mechanics proved critical to the success of early NASA missions.  Her work included calculating trajectories, launch windows, and emergency return paths for Project Mercury, the rendezvous paths for the Apollo Command and Lunar Module on it’s trip to the Moon, and her work was pivotal during the development of the Space Shuttle program.

She was initially hired on at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) as a human computer, but her knowledge of analytic geometry helped her move up to an aerospace technologist.  Once NACA was folded into NASA in 1958, Johnson worked in the Spacecraft Controls Branch, and she was often called by management to verify electronic computations.

In 2015, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama for her instrumental work with NASA.  In 2016, a brand new building at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, was named after her.  The Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility began operations in 2017.

This lovely genius taught von Braun’s boffins how to fly! LOLOLOL — How cool is that?

I salute you, dear Lady!

be well

 

mwdm

The blue spots are areas of water ice on the surface of the moon. Image credit NASA/JPL.

Pleased as punch to see that there are quite a few of them… and that bodes well for manned exploration and base stations in the future.

The image shows the distribution of surface ice at the Moon’s south pole (left) and north pole (right), detected by NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper instrument. Blue represents the ice locations, plotted over an image of the lunar surface, where the gray scale corresponds to surface temperature (darker representing colder areas and lighter shades indicating warmer zones). The ice is concentrated at the darkest and coldest locations, in the shadows of craters. This is the first time scientists have directly observed definitive evidence of water ice on the Moon’s surface.

This post is basically the article at JPL, which is linked below.

NEWS | AUGUST 20, 2018

Ice Confirmed at the Moon’s Poles

In the darkest and coldest parts of its polar regions, a team of scientists has directly observed definitive evidence of water ice on the Moon’s surface. These ice deposits are patchily distributed and could possibly be ancient. At the southern pole, most of the ice is concentrated at lunar craters, while the northern pole’s ice is more widely, but sparsely spread.

A team of scientists, led by Shuai Li of the University of Hawaii and Brown University and including Richard Elphic from NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley, used data from NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument to identify three specific signatures that definitively prove there is water ice at the surface of the Moon.

M3, aboard the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, launched in 2008 by the Indian Space Research Organization, was uniquely equipped to confirm the presence of solid ice on the Moon. It collected data that not only picked up the reflective properties we’d expect from ice, but was able to directly measure the distinctive way its molecules absorb infrared light, so it can differentiate between liquid water or vapor and solid ice.

Most of the newfound water ice lies in the shadows of craters near the poles, where the warmest temperatures never reach above minus 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of the very small tilt of the Moon’s rotation axis, sunlight never reaches these regions.

Previous observations indirectly found possible signs of surface ice at the lunar south pole, but these could have been explained by other phenomena, such as unusually reflective lunar soil.

With enough ice sitting at the surface — within the top few millimeters — water would possibly be accessible as a resource for future expeditions to explore and even stay on the Moon, and potentially easier to access than the water detected beneath the Moon’s surface.

Learning more about this ice, how it got there, and how it interacts with the larger lunar environment will be a key mission focus for NASA and commercial partners, as we endeavor to return to and explore our closest neighbor, the Moon.

The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on August 20, 2018.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, designed and built the moon mineralogy mapper instrument and was home to its project manager.

This is excellent news!

Sorry I am a couple of days late in posting.

Forgive me, you know I ain’t right in the head…

be well

 

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Possible critter remnant? Or critter byproduct remnant? Credit NASA/JPL

Tiny “terlet,” maybe? J/K. Sort of.

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The latest. Good enough for them to take a second look! Only happened once before. Credit NASA/JPL All pics here.

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Unfortunately… a false alarm… just a rock. Albeit the gol dang coolest rock we’ve seen in a long, long time!

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Nice hole, eh? Credit NASA/JPL

We need boots on the ground.

be well

 

NASA’s TESS Catches a Comet

NASA Goddard
Published on Aug 6, 2018

This video is compiled from a series of images taken on July 25 by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. The angular extent of the widest field of view is six degrees. Visible in the images are the comet C/2018 N1, asteroids, variable stars, asteroids and reflected light from Mars. TESS is expected to find thousands of planets around other nearby stars.

Read more: www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/…

This video is public domain and, along with supporting multimedia, may be downloaded from NASA Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio at: svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/13030

Video credit: Massachusetts Institute of Technology/NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Scott Wiessinger (USRA): Lead Producer Aaron E. Lepsch (ADNET Systems Inc.): Technical Support Claire Saravia (NASA/GSFC): Lead Public Affairs Officer Jeanette Kazmierczak (University of Maryland College Park): Lead Science Writer Padi Boyd (NASA/GSFC): Scientist

If you liked this video, subscribe to the NASA Goddard YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/NASAExplorer Follow NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center · Facebook: www.facebook.com/NASA.GSFC · Twitter twitter.com/NASAGoddard · Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/ · Instagram www.instagram.com/nasagoddard/ · Google+ plus.google.com/+NASAGoddard/p…

This is pretty darn cool… short but jam packed with great info for our knowledge banks.

Dig it.

be well

 

jbb
You Retweeted

Science News ‏Verified account @ScienceNews Aug 6

#OTD in 1967, Jocelyn Bell Burnell, then a graduate student, discovered pulsars. The discovery garnered a Nobel Prize just six years after it was announced in 1968 — but Burnell’s supervisor got the prize instead of her. #PulsarWeek

Another stolen prize. The supervisor needs at the very least a right solid bitchslap that would knock some common decency into the feeble excuse for a brainpan.

This genius girl did the work. She obviously has thirty or forty times the twerps brain power. And I would have loved to have known her back then. Ahem. Yes, well. But damn it I hate when there is this sort of injustice and it is rife.

But the truth is known, Ms Burnell! We know that YOU did it… not that mook.

Carry on, eh.

be well

 

As a child addicted to sci fi movies (along with the unexplained) I always wondered if critters and other things really could come back from being in a deep freeze or other seemingly impossible situations.

Well, we saw a while back that success was enjoyed in unfreezing some plants, flowers,  I think, but I’m not sure of the specifics. Sigh.

And of course there are the perfectly preserved remains of everything, everywhere in the permafrost, even to the undigested stomach contents. Ooh God, I wish my memory didn’t have such trouble… I heard recently that the inventor of our frozen food process , the head of Birdseye, had calculated some fantastically short time for mammoth freezing of hours so you know something absolutely unimaginable happened…

But getting back on track, now we have this! Scientists from several Russian schools and our own Princeton University have warmed and woken nematode worms from back in the days of the mammoths. Don’t worry, nematodes are super tiny and are still around today.

nematodes

Worms frozen in permafrost for up to 42,000 years come back to life

Nematodes moving and eating again for the first time since the Pleistocene age in major scientific breakthrough, say experts.
Case study
Opinion
Profile

Worms frozen in permafrost for up to 42,000 years come back to life
By The Siberian Times reporter
26 July 2018

Nematodes moving and eating again for the first time since the Pleistocene age in major scientific breakthrough, say experts.
Awake after 42,000 years… Picture: The Siberian Times
The roundworms from two areas of Siberia came back to life in Petri dishes, says a new scientific study.
‘We have obtained the first data demonstrating the capability of multicellular organisms for longterm cryobiosis in permafrost deposits of the Arctic,’ states a report from Russian…

The actual nematodes:
tan

Some corroboration…

Fox News website

The research was conducted by teams from multiple Russian institutions as well as Princeton University in New Jersey.

Interesting discussion over here, as well.

We live in such fascinating times…

be well

 

BlackFly – Flight

Opener
Published on Jul 12, 2018

For more information, visit https://opener.aero.

BlackFly – the newest flying car

BlackFly is latest attempt at flying car

Well now … maybe this one will become a viable vehicle. Time will tell, of course, but, oh man I can see myself in one of these. It would be exhilerating and maybe the thing that would stop me wanting to die so badly.

I am assuming, being that this is Western Greedland, that only the ludicrously wealthy will be able to afford one, but one never knows, do one?

be well

 

spiny

This is a crop from this shot:

spinyfar

spotted by BlueShift of ATS, I’m pretty sure, anyway, (my memory is going away), but it was a good while ago.

I will leave it up to you to have a guess as to what this, umm, “rock,” really might be.

I have some nifty thoughts tucked away. It just looks too much like a …

Dig it?

I love Mars. There are fossils layin’ out on the ground, man. I want to go there. Boots on the ground, eh. Maybe my eyes can even be fixed by then…

Prayin’ for it.

be well

 

Felix Baumgartner becoming the first skydiver to break speedofsound, reaching 833.9mph

Felix Baumgartner becoming the first skydiver to break the speed of sound, reaching a speed of 833.9mph. Wow!

via palmetto64

Wow, indeed!

Can you imagine?

I wonder if you can move your head and limbs without messing up the aerodynamics and hurting yourself?

be well

 

Man finds evidence of super massive tree w/leaves longer than the Empire State Building

MrMBB333
Published on Jun 15, 2018

June 16, 2018: Astonishing find gives entire new meaning to “big”! Truly amazing…MrMBB333 – Google Earth https://www.mrmbb333.com 🌏 If you like my research and my daily dedication to all my loyal subscribers, and would like to show financial support, you can do so via Patreon or PayPal. Please see links below. Your financial support is greatly appreciated. Thank you! Become A Patron  Patreon  https://www.patreon.com/MrMBB333 DONATE TO ME DIRECTLY-PayPal  (Safe & secure one time user friendly method)   PayPal https://www.paypal.me/MBradbury Thank you for watching! Please LIKE & SHARE 👍

I am not sure what to make of this. My eyes aren’t helping.

Location of what looks like a 8 mile wide “ancient tree stump” – super massive

MrMBB333
Published on Jun 16, 2018

June 16, 2018: 🌍 google earth https://www.mrmbb333.com If you like my research and my daily dedication to all my loyal subscribers, and would like to show financial support, you can do so via Patreon or PayPal.

Still not sure but grateful for the location.

This is too strange.

be well