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  #991  
Old 04-16-18, 04:57 PM
BlackHawk BlackHawk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lotr10 View Post
Keep your fingers crossed, there is an important launch taking place tomorrow:

https://www.space.com/40308-nasa-tes...go-launch.html

NASA's next exoplanet-hunting spacecraft is poised for an on-time liftoff Monday (April 16).

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is ready to go, as is its SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket ride, mission officials said during a pre-launch briefing today (April 15).


More on the mission:

TESS is designed to spot exoplanets by noticing the tiny brightness dips caused when they cross the face of, or transit, their host stars. This same method is employed by NASA's Kepler space telescope, which has found about two-thirds of the 3,700 exoplanets known to date.

If all goes according to plan, TESS will settle into a long, looping orbit around Earth in June, then beginning hunting for worlds that circle stars relatively close to the sun. TESS could end up discovering thousands of such planets, mission officials have said.
The TESS launch was postponed. Tentatively re-scheduled for Wednesday.
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  #992  
Old 04-17-18, 08:08 AM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackHawk View Post
The TESS launch was postponed. Tentatively re-scheduled for Wednesday.
Here's some more on the delay and let's hope Wednesday is the lucky day:

https://www.space.com/40322-spacex-n...nch-delay.html
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  #993  
Old 04-18-18, 07:55 AM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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We need to STOP being surprised by this sort of thing:

http://zeenews.india.com/space/huge-...y-2100709.html

If you are not aware that a giant asteroid the size of a football field flew past Earth over the weekend, you are not alone as even NASA scientists got to know about the flyby only a few hours before it happened, media reported.

NASA scientists noticed the massive asteroid at an observatory in Arizona just 21 hours prior to the flyby, ScienceAlert reported on Tuesday.


And it would have been an even BIGGER surprise had it's course been just a little different!

Travelling around 106,000 kilometres per hour, the asteroid was as far away from our home planet as half the average distance between Earth and the Moon.

NASA has estimated that the asteroid is somewhere between 47 to 100 metres wide, meaning it is roughly 3.6 times the size of the one that cleared 2,000 square kilometres of forest when it exploded over Russia's Tunguska region in Siberia in 1908.


The Tunguska event is NOT something I want happening over the US:

http://earthsky.org/space/what-is-th...uska-explosion
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  #994  
Old 04-19-18, 08:22 AM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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And it's off!

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43790557
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  #995  
Old 04-19-18, 06:17 PM
BlackHawk BlackHawk is offline
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Originally Posted by lotr10 View Post
Success!

It's always exciting watching a successful rocket launch. With a rocket launch, there is always some degree of uncertainty. There's something like a 5-6% overall failure rate for rockets launched to outer space (about 100 kilometers above sea level). That rate has improved in recent years, but we still see plenty of failures...luckily, almost all failures have been unmanned rockets!
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  #996  
Old 04-21-18, 07:52 AM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackHawk View Post
Success!

It's always exciting watching a successful rocket launch. With a rocket launch, there is always some degree of uncertainty. There's something like a 5-6% overall failure rate for rockets launched to outer space (about 100 kilometers above sea level). That rate has improved in recent years, but we still see plenty of failures...luckily, almost all failures have been unmanned rockets!
Yes it is.

And here's a nice article that explains in detail what the gizmo the SpaceX rocket put into space will do:

https://www.space.com/40357-nasa-tes...oundtable.html

A NEW ERA IN THE SEARCH FOR EXOPLANETS — and the alien life they might host—has begun. Aboard a SpaceX rocket, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) launched on April 18, 2018, at 6:51 p.m. EDT. The TESS mission, developed with support from The Kavli Foundation, is led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research.

Over the next two years, TESS will scan the 200,000 or so nearest and brightest stars to Earth for telltale dimming caused when exoplanets cross their stars' faces. Among the thousands of new worlds TESS is expected to discover should be hundreds ranging in size from about one to two times Earth. These small, mostly rocky planets will serve as prime targets for detailed follow-up observations by other telescopes in space and on the ground. [NASA's TESS Exoplanet-Hunting Mission in Pictures]

The goal for those telescopes will be to characterize the newfound exoplanets' atmospheres. The particular mixtures of gases in an atmosphere will reveal key clues about a world's climate, history, and if it might even be hospitable to life.



And there's an excellent Q&A with the TESS mission leaders about the goals of their work in this article.
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  #997  
Old 04-21-18, 02:53 PM
BlackHawk BlackHawk is offline
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^^^ It's hard to imagine, but TESS is just a warmup act for the main show, the James Webb Space Telescope....if the JWST ever launches...launch delayed now until May 2020.

The JWST will provide even far more answers (and cool pictures!) about our universe than the Hubble telescope, if that's possible. We have some amazing technology in an incredible time to live.
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  #998  
Old 04-24-18, 08:36 AM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Interesting speculation on the struggles an alien civilization would face in reaching space from a super sized earth like planet:

https://www.space.com/40375-super-ea...ns-launch.html

"Super-Earth" planets are giant-size versions of Earth, and some research has suggested that they're more likely to be habitable than Earth-size worlds. But a new study reveals how difficult it would be for any aliens on these exoplanets to explore space.

To launch the equivalent of an Apollo moon mission, a rocket on a super-Earth would need to have a mass of about 440,000 tons (400,000 metric tons), due to fuel requirements, the study said. That's on the order of the mass of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.

"On more-massive planets, spaceflight would be exponentially more expensive," said study author Michael Hippke, an independent researcher affiliated with the Sonneberg Observatory in Germany. "Such civilizations would not have satellite TV, a moon mission or a Hubble Space Telescope."



IMO the article makes to much of a "Super Earth's" high gravity limiting launches because they would need massive rockets to boost stuff into space. I think the authors underrate the power of evolution on a high gravity world where a civilization is going to have to work harder to lift anything off the ground. This could lead to a culture that perfects big & strong! My guess is that they would view HUGE rockets as the norm and be quite capable of developing them.
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  #999  
Old 04-25-18, 11:31 AM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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It's a BIG, BIG Galaxy out there!

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/...hape-milky-way

“It’s like waiting for Christmas,” said Vasily Belokurov, an astronomer at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom last week. Today, the gifts arrived: the exact positions, motions, brightnesses, and colors of 1.3 billion stars in and around the Milky Way, as tracked by the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) €750 million Gaia satellite, which after launch in 2013 began measuring the positions of stars and, over time, how they move. On 25 April, ESA made Gaia’s second data set—based on 22 months of observations—publicly available, which should enable a precise 3D map of large portions of the galaxy and the way it moves. “Nothing comes close to what Gaia will release,” Belokurov says.

I can't wait to see those 3D maps!
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