Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ten Thousand Years

Climate change aside, many Earth scientists think long-term climate patterns say the planet will plunge into another ice age in about ten thousand years.

That's good to keep in mind when hunting ET.  Planetary climates are likely cyclical.  Because a planet can't support life now doesn't necessarily mean it hasn't in the past or won't in the future.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Comet Siding-Spring

Comet Siding-Spring, on its first visit to the inner Solar System from the Oort Cloud, whizzed past Mars yesterday, missing the planet by only 87,000 miles.

All the probes now at Mars were focused on observing the comet.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

X-37B

The USAF's secretive unmanned spaceplane, the X-37B, landed uneventfully in California yesterday after a 674 day mission.

Exactly what, if anything, was accomplished during the mission is classified.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Cassini Zapped

The Cassini spacecraft was zapped by a beam of electrons which emanated from Saturn's moon Hyperion recently.  The beam resulted from an interaction between static electricity on Hyperion and Saturn's magnetosphere.

Cassini was not damaged.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Maybe Not, Mars One

A study by MIT students finds several aspects of the Mars One plan to colonize Mars need strengthening if the colonists are to survive.

Mars One, citing aerospace industry experts, stands by its plan.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

MAVEN At Work

The formal science mission of NASA's MAVEN probe won't begin for two weeks. but scientists calibrating its instruments are already getting "tantalizing" data about Mars' upper atmosphere.

MAVEN will also observe a comet's close approach to Mars on October 19.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Hot Times Inside Luna

A new study of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter images finds lava may have flowed on the Moon much more recently than previously thought-- perhaps only tens of millions of years ago instead of 3.5 billion.

That would mean the interior of the Moon remained hot and active into recent times, not the dead world we thought we knew.