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Mission to Jupiter’s Moon Europa: 2014 Edition

By on Jul 19, 2014 in Breaking News | 0 comments

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

2014 Update on the Mission to Jupiter’s Moon Europa     The mission to Europa has been a dream of many planetary scientists for a long time and now NASA is asking for proposals for what science instruments should be on board for the mission. One of the main reasons Europa is an excellent prospect to send an orbiter or spacecraft is the ocean of water beneath its thick icy crust. As far as we know water is a great indicator for potential life and with a combination of tidal heating it makes Europa a suitable candidate for life. Before we jump into the details of the mission let’s take a look at why Europa is insanely cool!   Europa: All the Fun Facts You Want to Know     It’s still quite mind boggling that not only do we live in a galaxy that may support from 100-400 billion exoplanets but now moons may be capable of harbouring life as well!...

Carnival of Space 356

By on Jun 1, 2014 in Carnival of Space | 2 comments

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Welcome to Carnival of Space 356!     We have some amazing space stories for you today so let’s get right into it! Our first story comes from TheVenusTransit with the Deep Space Network’s (DSN) fifty year celebration! Thanks to the DSN we can communicate with all of our wonderful spacecrafts that are waay out there in our solar system like Voyager.     Vega 0.0 looks at a really cool story about an interesting object called the Smith’s Cloud that could be a possible failed dwarf galaxy. Speaking of really peculiar objects, Gamma Ray Burst M31 (GRBM31) was in the news spotlight but our friends at the AARTScope Blog will take a deeper look at what exactly is going on here with GRBM31 and why we should focus on the positives of this news story. We also get to see the first amateur photos of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by the Professional Amateur...

Take a Gorgeous Peak at the Rosette Nebula! (Caldwell 49)

By on May 16, 2014 in Pictures | 0 comments

Estimated reading time: 1 minute

Take a Gorgeous Peak at the Rosette Nebula!     Ah, the Rosetta Nebula or what’s also known as Caldwell 49. This is a true beauty of among the cosmos that’s often showed a lot during romantic holidays like valentines day. This nebula is 5,200 light years distant from Earth and measures in 130 light years in diameter! If you can imagine, the mass of this emission nebula is 10,000 that of our sun! The stars you see surrounding the gas are actually only a few million years old. The colors you see here are not it’s natural ones but they help scientists understand which elements are present in this gas cloud. The ones highlighted in red are sulfur, green is hydrogen, and the blue is oxygen. There are actually tons of images of the Rosette Nebula taken by Hubble Space telescope and amazing astrophotographers. Here are some of my favorites:      ...

Penny4NASA – One of the Most Inspiring Videos You’ll See Today

By on Apr 27, 2014 in For Your Information | 0 comments

Estimated reading time: 1 minute

Penny4NASA – One of the Most Inspiring Videos You’ll See Today     Space exploration and science in general is wonderful and awe inspiring. Even right now there is a mission called New Horizon, which will be orbiting Pluto in 2015, 2 other missions from 2 different countries headed to Mars, and countless others. It’s an exciting time to be living in and also a tough time as well. It’s not enough to sit back and cheer from afar, it will take some passionate groups of people and some heavy convincing to the public that space exploration is important. Cue Penny4NASA.     For those of who don’t know, Penny4NASA is an organization that is comprised of enthusiastic space advocates that want to get NASA to 1% of the Federal budget. Penny4NASA is derived from the notion that right now NASA receives half a percent of the federal budget or half a...

5 Reasons Why You Should Know Future Mars-Walker Alyssa Carson

By on Apr 13, 2014 in For Your Information | 5 comments

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

5 Reasons Why You Should Know Future Mars-Walker Alyssa Carson     There are a lot of ways one could feel inspired in astronomy, whether it’s from looking at a marvelous galaxy located millions or even billions of light years away, or landing a rover on another planet. One person really caught my attention and her name is Alyssa Carson. She is quite an amazing person and just an overall humble and intelligent person. I’m going to list 5 reasons why I think you should know the future Mars-walker Alyssa Carson.   1. She’s the First Person to Complete All NASA Space Camps     Alyssa said she has always wanted to be an astronaut since she was 3, which is amazing someone wanted to dream big at such an early age. She’s completed all NASA Space Camp programs including Space Camp Turkey and Space Camp Canada. You have to keep in mind that Alyssa...

Our Current Understanding of How are Planets Formed

By on Mar 31, 2014 in For Your Information | 1 comment

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Our Current Understanding of How are Planets Formed     Have you ever wondered how planets are formed? For hundreds of years astronomers have imagined how it could have formed and formed theories around these ideas as more and more evidence came into the picture. However, we can only observe after the fact planets have formed so it makes it a little difficult to study. There are ways around this and the Hubble Space Telescope has helped scientists all over uncover the mystery of how planets are formed. Let’s take a look.   From our understanding we know that a star and its planets form out of a collapsing cloud of gas and dust within a larger cloud, which is called a nebula. Some of these gasses and dust are leftovers from supernovas and colliding stars. As gravity starts to take over and pulls in the materials together, the cloud compresses, churns, and gets...

Three Beautiful Galaxies in Draco

By on Mar 26, 2014 in Pictures | 0 comments

Estimated reading time: 1 minute

Three Beautiful Galaxies in Draco     Here are three beautiful galaxies in the Draco constellation. These three galaxies are (from left to right) NGC 5981, NGC 5982, and NGC 5985, which lie 100 million light years from Earth. The sharp-edged shell details on NGC 5982 hint at a previous galaxy merger. To many deep sky observers this is also known as the “Draco Trio.” Seeing two barred spiral galaxies at different angles is a rare sight to see in one image. There are a few mysteries bubbling in some of these galaxies. For example, NGC 5982 has been said by researcher Simões Lopes, that the galaxy may house a supermassive black hole within its active galactic nucleus. “This result demonstrates a strong correlation between the presence of circumnuclear dust and accretion onto the central, supermassive black hole in elliptical and lenticular galaxies. Current...

One of the Coolest Discoveries About Andromeda You Never Knew About

By on Mar 24, 2014 in For Your Information | 0 comments

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

One of the Coolest Discoveries About Andromeda You Never Knew About     You’ve may have heard of this famous galaxy called Andromeda or M31. It’s located 2.5 million light years away and it’s so large that it can even be seen with the naked eye! However, that’s not the astounding fact I want to talk about today. What’s really interesting is this research paper published in the new Nature issue (March 2014). What researchers discovered is that Andromeda is surrounded by numerous small satellite galaxies (that’s not even the new part!). Astronomers from the Niels Bhor Institute, and among others, detected a string of stars in one of Andromeda’s outer galaxies called Andromeda II. As these researchers follow the movement of the stars they uncovered that they were left over from a merger between two dwarf galaxies. Mergers of such low...