ICYMI News: Sunday Morning’s Space, Nature & Science Edition

Canary. Photo by 4028mdk09.

Space – The final frontier

Venus rising.


Bold new plan announced to explore alien ocean worlds

Not all that long ago, it was thought that Earth was the only place in the solar system with liquid water. Other planets and moons were either too hot or too cold. But now, thanks to various spacecraft sent out to explore these worlds, we know that is not the case. Water is actually abundant throughout the solar system, and some moons even have more water than Earth does. We just can’t see it on their surfaces – the water is, instead, below ground.

EarthSky; Nov 2 2018




The SpaceX team at the facility in McGregor, Texas “completed a static fire test last night of Falcon 9 booster that will launch SpaceX’s first demonstration mission for Nasa’s Commercial Crew Program,” saying this pushes them “one step closer to flying astronauts to the Space Station.”

The phenomenon of Nature.




Candidate Gravitational Waves gets a Super-PAC.

A small microchip “about the size of a postage stamp” that was “loaded with thousands of tightly-packed rubidium-87 atoms” was launched into spacem and for 6 minutes on January 23, 2017 scientists “were given a rare opportunity to study in-depth the weirdest, least-understood state of matter in the universe – the Bose-Einstein condensate.”

Unlike the other four states of matter (solids, liquids, gases and plasmas), Bose-Einstein condensates can form only when clouds of gassy atoms cool to within a few billionths of a degree above absolute zero. When groups of atoms are cooled to such unfathomably low temperatures, they stop moving as individuals and meld into one big “super atom.” Tens of thousands of atoms suddenly become indistinguishable from one another, slowly vibrating on a uniform wavelength that can, theoretically, pick up the tiniest gravitational disturbances around them.

That hyper-sensitivity makes Bose-Einstein condensates promising tools for detecting gravitational waves — disturbances in the curvature of space-time created by collisions between supermassive objects like black holes and neutron stars. The trouble is, when scientists create Bose-Einstein condensates in terrestrial labs, they have just a few seconds to study them before the blob of homogenous matter falls to the bottom of its container and breaks apart.

Live Science; Nov 2 2018



Because Turkey Day is Coming!


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