Today in pretty space pics: Behold, the Carina nebula--but not as it looks with the naked eye. Astronomers at the Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment (APEX), unsatisfied with the visible light spectrum images taken of this stunning swirl of blue interstellar dust, decided to begin imaging the region in sub-millimeter light invisible to the eye (represented by the the orange in the image above). Aesthetically speaking, it wasn’t a bad idea.
It's now been almost a week since the launch of Russia's Phobos-Grunt spacecraft, and still mission handlers have received no communication from the interplanetary probe which has been stuck in Earth orbit since launching last Tuesday. The head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos says that the mission is not yet lost, but the window is definitely closing.
After a string of space launch disasters that have pushed Roscosmos's morale into the gutter, the Russian space agency today launched three astronauts--two Russians and one American--into orbit aboard a Soyuz-FG rocket.
By Ryan BradleyPosted 11.10.2011 at 5:23 pm 1 Comment
PopSci recently co-hosted an event called Thrilling Wonder Stories. Architects, designers, journalists, musicians, novelists and, yes, scientists spoke about their work—which everything from UFO mythology to the history of terraforming. Each presenter was also asked to consider the near future, to think about and sometimes even show us what their vision for the future might look like. The event takes its name from a mid-20th century science fiction pulp magazine, and the allusion is apt. Each talk began in the past, with real research and real facts, and used that as a springboard to envision what will happen tomorrow, or next year, or next decade.
This is kind of a Friday video, in that it is silly and involves (read: consists entirely of) moments that could be soundtracked with a loud cartoony "BONK!", but this week has been a little bit long already and it feels like maybe by watching this video we can usher Friday in a little faster. So! This is a video of astronauts falling down, on the moon. Enjoy!
A day after the successful launch of the Phobos-Grunt probe from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Russian mission handlers are already scrambling to save their spacecraft from the fate that has befallen so many Russian Mars missions. Phobos-Grunt found orbit yesterday but then failed to fire the engines that would put it on a path for the Martian moon Phobos.
Launching satellites from launchpads is cool and everything, but if DARPA has its way the military could soon be launching small satellites from airliners, granting the Pentagon the ability to put satellites aloft from virtually any airfield and at a fraction of the cost.
The search for extraterrestrial life elsewhere in our universe has taken many forms, from the radio signal searching undertaken by SETI to the rovers and probes deployed elsewhere in our universe. But if it's intelligent civilizations we're looking for, say a couple of Harvard and Princeton researchers, we can likely find them just by literally looking for them.
NASA may be temporarily out of the manned spaceflight game, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t preparing to realize all of our most technologically compelling sci-fi fantasies. The agency’s Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT) has awarded three researchers funding to study three different means of creating a tractor beam--a ray of laser light than can trap and pull objects in the opposite direction of the beam.
This week, PopSci is peeking under the hood of some of the nation's biggest and baddest supercomputers--the machines that turn big data into big discoveries, big technologies, and big leaps forward. Over the last week, we managed to get each of the busy machines in this series on the phone to see what they were up to on during a particular day. They were happy to share.