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Physics and astronomy thread

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5 hours ago, The Man With No Name said:

that image... :wub: ... mascot's shadow in upper right.

it's the size of a shoebox, so no idea how far away this photo was taken.

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On 9/24/2018 at 4:46 PM, Galileo said:

In a low gravity environment on a very rough surface, you are going to hop whether you want to or not.  Hitting bumps and rough spots is going to send the rover upwards when it hits them.  With the low g, it doesn't take much for the rover to lose contact with the surface making rolling difficult.  If you hit uneven terrain, one side of the rover can be bumped upwards creating a torque causing the rover to flip and tumble.  Better to expect all this and design it to hop while appropriately protecting the body of the rover for such encounters.

After seeing the news of the German lander today, I started picking through some of the data known about Ryugu just for fun.  Based on its size and mass, the gravitational field strength ends up being about 10^-5g or about 0.0001 m/s^2 free fall acceleration.  At this value, you would have to fall for 10,000 seconds (about 2 h 45 min) and through a distance of about 5 km in order to reach a speed of just 1 m/s which just over 2 mph.  Of course, if you were 5 km away, I guess the free fall acceleration would be reduced by a another factor of 25, so those time and distance numbers are too small.  A 200 pound person on Ryugu would weigh about 0.002 pounds or about 1/3 of an ounce!!!  

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My buddy that works at Goddard has a multi-year project that was supposed to launch from the Cape in November.  After the failed launch in Russia last week, looks like his project's launched has been sidelined.  :kicksrock:

Also, this doesn't help: Russia Cuts Off U.S. Access...

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mission to mercury launches tonight-

Quote

 

The European Space Agency's BepiColombo mission, which launches Friday night from Kourou, French Guiana, will carry not one but two orbiters to the small, gray world. And while it has one of the world's most powerful launch vehicles in the Ariane 5 rocket, it will still require a seven-year journey to enter orbit around Mercury rather than the Sun. During that time, the spacecraft will make one flyby of Earth, two of Venus, and six of Mercury before finally reaching its destination.

Science at Mercury

Only in March 2026 will science activities begin in earnest around the planet Mercury. BepiColombo is Europe's first mission to the planet, and it is intended as a follow-on to NASA's Messenger spacecraft that spent a period from 2011 to 2015 at Mercury and studied its chemistry, geology, and magnetic field.

BepiColombo, named after the 20th century Italian scientist Giuseppe "Bepi" Colombo who studied the planet Mercury, is a European-built spacecraft that will transport the European Space Agency's Mercury Planetary Orbiter and the Japanese Space Agency's Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter to their final orbits, which will bring them down to within a few hundred kilometers of the planet's surface.

Overall, the orbiters will investigate a number of important scientific questions, including how the planet Mercury formed in a stable orbit so close to the Sun. For example, Messenger found that Mercury's radius has shrunk by about 7km as the planet's interior cooled. BepiColombo will image the planet at a higher resolution and attempt to improve the scientific understanding of how a planet without plate tectonics cools. More information on the orbiters and their scientific objectives can be found in the mission's press kit.

The spacecraft and its orbiters are also outfitted with technology such as a sun shield and multilayered insulation to resist temperatures ranging from -100° to 450° Celsius. European engineers plan to use knowledge gained from the operation of BepiColombo to develop a future mission to study the Sun.

Arianespace, Europe's primary launch company, has already rolled the Ariane 5 rocket and its payload to a launch pad in South America. Launch time is set for 9:45pm ET Friday (01:45 UTC Saturday). A livestream of the launch will begin about 30 minutes before the scheduled liftoff time.

 

 

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On 10/19/2018 at 12:52 PM, El Floppo said:

mission to mercury launches tonight-

 

first pic. even 7 year missions to mercury get selfies... freaking millennial rockets

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On 10/19/2018 at 7:43 AM, Mjolnirs said:

My buddy that works at Goddard has a multi-year project that was supposed to launch from the Cape in November.  After the failed launch in Russia last week, looks like his project's launched has been sidelined.  :kicksrock:

Also, this doesn't help: Russia Cuts Off U.S. Access...

Aiming this comment at the writer, not at you, Mjolnirs. Sorry to hear about your friend's project, hope it works out for him.

I get worked up at journalists who put out sensationalized headlines that his own article then goes on to contradict. No mention in the article that Russia "pledged to not carry Americans in 2019".   His article quotes Russian officials as just saying the current contract carrying US astronauts is up and "the next contract is under discussion".  And then going on to say we were looking to Boeing and SpaceX for our future spaceflight.  I don't get publications that let that kind of BS through.  Do they not even have editors anymore?

 

Edited by GregR
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1 hour ago, GregR said:

Aiming this comment at the writer, not at you, Mjolnirs. Sorry to hear about your friend's project, hope it works out for him.

I get worked up at journalists who put out sensationalized headlines that his own article then goes on to contradict. No mention in the article that Russia "pledged to not carry Americans in 2019".   His article quotes Russian officials as just saying the current contract carrying US astronauts is up and "the next contract is under discussion".  And then going on to say we were looking to Boeing and SpaceX for our future spaceflight.  I don't get publications that let that kind of BS through.  Do they not even have editors anymore?

 

I completely agree, it's one reason why I didn't put the full title as the link.  It's all about the clicks and "film at 11" mentality.

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Hubble in a bit of trubble.

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On 10/22/2018 at 1:47 PM, joffer said:

Hubble in a bit of trubble.

 

Apparently it's better now, I think they fixed it by turning it off and turning it back on.

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1 hour ago, Walking Boot said:

 

Apparently it's better now, I think they fixed it by turning it off and turning it back on.

Fonzi slap, I heard.

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Other than Korea landing a man on the sun, NASA has now put a man-made object closer to the sun than anything else:

 

Parker Solar Probe: Nasa's Sun mission smashes records

The Parker Solar Probe passed the current record of 42.73 million km (26.55 million miles) from the Sun's surface on Monday.

The previous record was set by the German-US Helios 2 satellite back in April 1976.

That mission also set the all time speed record of close to 70km/s (43 miles/s). Parker will smash this, too.

The expectation is that it will eventually reach peak speeds around 190km/s (690,000km/h; 428,700mph).

Parker was launched from Earth in August. It's on a trajectory that will take it inside the Sun's outer atmosphere, or corona.

Information from this region promises to crack longstanding mysteries about our star's behaviour.

Parker's elliptical orbit will edge closer to the Sun over the coming years. At its closest approach, the probe will get to just 6.12 million km (3.83 million miles) from the star's broiling "surface".

***

Why is this mission important?

Parker will help us better understand how the Sun works.

The star is constantly bombarding the Earth with charged particles and magnetic fields. This perpetual flow, or "solar wind", is responsible for generating the beautiful auroral lights that appear in polar skies, but there are some interactions that initiate much more troubling effects.

The biggest outbursts from the Sun will rattle the Earth's magnetic field. In the process, communications may be disrupted, satellites can be knocked offline, and power grids will be vulnerable to electrical surges.

Scientists try to forecast these "storms" and Parker promises new and valuable information to help them do that.

 

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33 minutes ago, Sinn Fein said:

Other than Korea landing a man on the sun, NASA has now put a man-made object closer to the sun than anything else:

 

Parker Solar Probe: Nasa's Sun mission smashes records

The Parker Solar Probe passed the current record of 42.73 million km (26.55 million miles) from the Sun's surface on Monday.

The previous record was set by the German-US Helios 2 satellite back in April 1976.

That mission also set the all time speed record of close to 70km/s (43 miles/s). Parker will smash this, too.

The expectation is that it will eventually reach peak speeds around 190km/s (690,000km/h; 428,700mph).

Parker was launched from Earth in August. It's on a trajectory that will take it inside the Sun's outer atmosphere, or corona.

Information from this region promises to crack longstanding mysteries about our star's behaviour.

Parker's elliptical orbit will edge closer to the Sun over the coming years. At its closest approach, the probe will get to just 6.12 million km (3.83 million miles) from the star's broiling "surface".

***

Why is this mission important?

Parker will help us better understand how the Sun works.

The star is constantly bombarding the Earth with charged particles and magnetic fields. This perpetual flow, or "solar wind", is responsible for generating the beautiful auroral lights that appear in polar skies, but there are some interactions that initiate much more troubling effects.

The biggest outbursts from the Sun will rattle the Earth's magnetic field. In the process, communications may be disrupted, satellites can be knocked offline, and power grids will be vulnerable to electrical surges.

Scientists try to forecast these "storms" and Parker promises new and valuable information to help them do that.

 

My name is on a microchip traveling aboard Parker towards the sun!  Anyone else do this?

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2018/public-invited-to-come-aboard-nasa-s-first-mission-to-touch-the-sun

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I keep hoping for the best with this. even though it far exceeded it's mission and expectations, still sad to think it might be gone. from space.com

Quote

 

The clock hasn't run out on NASA's Opportunity Mars rover after all.

On Sept. 11, NASA began a 45-day "active listening" campaign in an attempt to rouse the solar-powered Opportunity, which went silent on June 10 after a raging dust storm plunged its environs into darkness. 

The 45-day deadline passed late last week. But NASA will continue active listening — a strategy that involves both sending commands to Opportunity and listening for any peeps the six-wheeled robot may make — for several more months at least, agency officials announced yesterday (Oct. 29). [Mars Dust Storm 2018: What It Means for Opportunity Rover]

"After a review of the progress of the listening campaign, NASA will continue its current strategy for attempting to make contact with the Opportunity rover for the foreseeable future," NASA officials wrote in a mission update yesterday (Oct. 29). 

"Winds could increase in the next few months at Opportunity's location on Mars, resulting in dust being blown off the rover's solar panels," they added. "The agency will reassess the situation in the January 2019 time frame."

The change in strategy comes in the commitment to keep pinging Opportunity. Mission team members and NASA officials had previously said they would continue to listen for any signal from the rover at least through January.

Opportunity landed on Mars in January 2004, a few weeks after its twin, Spirit. Both robots roamed around different parts of the Red Planet, looking for signs of past water activity — and finding lots of such evidence.

Spirit and Opportunity's prime missions were pegged to last just three months, but the duo continued exploring Mars for years. Spirit last communicated with its handlers in 2010 and was declared dead a year later. Opportunity had been going strong, roving along the rim of the 14-mile-wide (22 kilometers) Endeavour Crater, until the dust storm hit this summer. 

That storm grew to encircle the entire planet by June 20. But it began dying down about a month later, and the dust had cleared so much by Sept. 11 that mission managers thought Opportunity might be getting enough sunlight to recharge its batteries. So the active listening campaign began.

Opportunity has been through quite an ordeal, enduring bitterly cold Martian nights without a working heater to keep its electronic innards warm. So it's possible that the venerable rover, which has covered more ground on the surface of another world than any other vehicle, has frozen to death or fallen victim to some "fault mode" from which it cannot recover. 

But perhaps Opportunity lives still, and is just waiting for a strong, dust-dislodging November wind followed by a wakeup call from home. We shall see.

 

 

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Interesting theory mentioned on Space's Deepest Secrets regarding how the moon formed. It takes the Theia collision a step further saying that it obliterated both objects and that, when reforming, the moon formed first.

Quote

Here's how the moon formed as proposed by the new, synestia theory. A giant collision smashed into the proto-Earth, vaporizing about 10 percent of the rock and liquefying the rest. This created a synestia. Over time, a little bit of liquid rock condensed near the center of the cloud of material. As the molten structure lost its heat, rock continued to condense and rain toward the synestia's center.

"The rate of rainfall is about 10 times that of a hurricane on Earth," Lock said. "Over time, the whole structure shrinks, and the moon emerges from the vapor. Eventually, the whole synestia condenses, and what's left is a ball of spinning, liquid rock that eventually forms the Earth as we know it today."

First the Moon, Then Earth: New Theory Reverses Formation Story

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Kepler’s dead :(

hell of a mission

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1 hour ago, joffer said:

Kepler’s dead :(

hell of a mission

Pours out a 40

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On 10/30/2018 at 6:45 PM, joffer said:

Kepler’s dead :(

hell of a mission

Dawn too. 

They die in 3's?

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Cigar-shaped interstellar object may have been an alien probe, Harvard paper claims

 

More importantly:

Quote

"We are fortunate that our sky survey telescope was looking in the right place at the right time to capture this historic moment," NASA Planetary Defense Officer Lindley Johnson said in a statement last year.

Where can I apply for this job!?!?!?!

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On ‎10‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 8:43 AM, Mjolnirs said:

My buddy that works at Goddard has a multi-year project that was supposed to launch from the Cape in November.  After the failed launch in Russia last week, looks like his project's launched has been sidelined.  :kicksrock:

My friend's project - GEDI

 

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7 hours ago, BroncoFreak_2K3 said:
9 hours ago, Mjolnirs said:

So not launching on Dec 4?

He just said in a text no earlier than the 4th.  But he expects it to be delayed, just would be par for the course.

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On 9/21/2018 at 2:42 PM, El Floppo said:

I'm waiting to see The Little Prince walking around this thing.

I think that's the lander silhouetted against the rock...

picture I hadnt seen yet. another one.

not sure where they are in their mission... I thought they were going to scoop something up and come home. 

and of course if you want to read more about it... why not Brian May, from Queen.

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On 10/3/2018 at 3:46 PM, Galileo said:

After seeing the news of the German lander today, I started picking through some of the data known about Ryugu just for fun.  Based on its size and mass, the gravitational field strength ends up being about 10^-5g or about 0.0001 m/s^2 free fall acceleration.  At this value, you would have to fall for 10,000 seconds (about 2 h 45 min) and through a distance of about 5 km in order to reach a speed of just 1 m/s which just over 2 mph.  Of course, if you were 5 km away, I guess the free fall acceleration would be reduced by a another factor of 25, so those time and distance numbers are too small.  A 200 pound person on Ryugu would weigh about 0.002 pounds or about 1/3 of an ounce!!!  

So you're saying I could dunk?

------

Looks like the Parker Solar Probe survived it's first Sun pass.  Very cool - I did some significant work on that one, so it's great to see it survive launch and start to send back good data.

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17 minutes ago, Sand said:

So you're saying I could dunk?

------

Looks like the Parker Solar Probe survived it's first Sun pass.  Very cool - I did some significant work on that one, so it's great to see it survive launch and start to send back good data.

wait... what? go on...

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"super earth" orbiting sun's nearest star

 

Quote

A "super-Earth" has been discovered orbiting the closest single star to our Sun, scientists said Wednesday in a breakthrough that could shine a light on Earth's nearest planetary neighbours.

Astronomers studied Barnard's Star, a red dwarf just six light years away -- practically in our back garden, galactically speaking -- and noticed the presence of a "frozen, dimly lit world" at least 3.2 times heavier than Earth.

The planet, known for now as Barnard's Star b, is the second nearest to Earth outside the solar system and orbits its host star once every 233 days.

"It's important because it's really our nextdoor neighbour and we like to meet our neighbours in general," Ignasi Ribas, from the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia and Spain's Institute of Space Sciences, told AFP.

Despite being relatively close to its parent star, the planet receives less than two percent of the energy Earth gets from the Sun, and the team estimates it has a surface temperature of -170 degrees Celsius (-274 Farenheit) -- far too cold to support life as we know it.

...

 

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25 minutes ago, El Floppo said:

wait... what? go on...

Worked on the heat shield.  That part is going to get pretty toasty on the close passes.

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56 minutes ago, Sand said:

Worked on the heat shield.  That part is going to get pretty toasty on the close passes.

:thumbup:

very cool.

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From BBC:

A Samurai swordsmith is designing a space probe

Quote

The resulting corers are small, cylindrical devices with a bladed edge angled inwards. Instead of swiping a katana sword at the asteroid – which would be cool but impractical – the idea is to launch the tamahagane-tipped corer at the space rock at great speed. In theory, it will dig into the asteroid and allow for a sample to be scooped up. A tether back to the mothership spacecraft could then reel the device and asteroid fragments in.

Back in 2005, an earlier Hayabusa mission showed how difficult it was to grab significant quantities of rock from an asteroid. Two attempts to sample Ryugu were not triggered properly, though a small amount of dust was collected in a canister. One and a half thousand grains were later returned to Earth, but ideally an asteroid-sampler could gather up a lot more than that – and go deeper than just the surface rock.

This is because the surface of an asteroid is “weathered” over millions of years by cosmic rays, ultraviolet light and X-rays from the sun.

“Clearly it would tell us more about solar system history if we could get a sample from deeper into the rock to look at the unexposed pristine rock,” explains Martin Elvis, an astrophysicist at Harvard University.

Quote

So far, the Japanese team have tested some of their corers by dropping them down a long pipe towards a concrete slab at the bottom of a tall stairwell. The samplers successfully extracted some concrete, but occasionally dropped it when being retrieved.

“A mechanism to prevent samples from falling off during the extraction and recovery phase needs to be devised,” the authors note.

Plus, the tamahagane corers themselves were not tested – because they were so expensive.

Still, these are the first steps towards blasting a sword-inspired sampling technology into space.

Is such a metal really the best material for the job? McKinnon is unsure, but she does point out that the emotional appeal of such a culturally significant metal is not to be ignored.

“By sending human elements with our spacecraft, we create ties to these machines that have gone on our behalf,” she says.

Perhaps that is the real value of tamahagane – it forges a very human link between us down here on Earth, and the asteroid the steel may one day sample. A samurai-inspired emissary whizzing through the solar system would connect Japan’s history and its future.

 

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7 hours ago, El Floppo said:

Would prefer alternate, renewable and more stable sources (let alone what shortcuts greed will lead to in the ocean). 

Absolutely.

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21 hours ago, El Floppo said:

Would prefer alternate, renewable and more stable sources (let alone what shortcuts greed will lead to in the ocean). 

It could be the answer to the world's energy problems if they developed a way we could make it at home by farting in the ice dispenser.

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3 hours ago, DaVinci said:

It could be the answer to the world's energy problems if they developed a way we could make it at home by farting in the ice dispenser.

Meh, my college roommate did this back in 1988.  Heated the apartment all winter.

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13 hours ago, Phil Elliott said:

Planned for 3:00pm ET (Monday). Live coverage on NASA TV starts at 2:00 PM . 🚀 :popcorn:

bump 70 minutes to go. :popcorn: 

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