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Astronomers Find Super-Earth 40 Light Years Away to Likely Have Water-Rich Atmosphere

By on Sep 4, 2013 in Breaking News | 3 comments

Astronomers Find Super-Earth to Likely Have Water-Rich Atmosphere     Located 40 light years away from Earth in the constellation Ophiuchus lies a super-Earth called GJ 1214 b. A group of japanese astronomers have been studying it to find out what kind of atmospheric properties it has. The research team used Subara Telescope’s two optical cameras with a blue transmission filter to observe the transit of the super-Earth. The observation would help them discern whether the planet had an atmosphere rich in hydrogen or water. Astronomers found that sky of GJ 1214 b did not show a strong Rayleigh scattering feature, which planets with cloudless hydrogen dominated atmospheres would predict. When combined with the other observations in other colors it led the team to believe that this planet had a water-rich atmosphere.   Planetary transits help astronomers investigate...

Bruce Murray Director of Voyager Missions and Founder of Planetary Society Dies at 81

By on Aug 30, 2013 in Breaking News | 0 comments

Bruce Murray 1931 – 2013 On Thursday August 30th, 2013 the world lost one of the most important scientists. A man called Bruce Murray who died at the age of 81 from Alzheimer’s disease. He is most famously known as the director for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. It’s amazing and inspiring to know that Bruce Murray was the man behind the successful Viking landings on Mars, the Voyager 1 and 2 missions, as well as the Galileo mission to Jupiter and Magellan to Venus. Bruce Murray was also dubbed the “Admiral of the Solar System” by Discovery magazine. Interestingly Bruce Murray never set out to be a planetary explorer. He went to MIT through a ROTC program then got his PhD in Geology. He served sometime in the U.S airforce then went to Caltech where he started observing the Moon. Most geologists were focusing on the Moon at that time since...

Methuselah Star: Older than Universe? Not Quite

By on Aug 11, 2013 in Breaking News | 0 comments

Have you ever wondered what star in our record books is considered the oldest star in the universe? Well Hubble Space telescope studied the Methuselah star and retrieved some interesting data. They found a star to be 14.5 billion (+/- .8 billion) years old and it’s located right in our own Milky Way! The distance of the star was calculated to be 190.1 light years away from Earth. Even though there is a large amount of commotion saying it is older than the universe some say it isn’t. There is a margin of error that goes along with predicting the age of a star and for Methuselah star it is about a 800 million year difference. It’s still quite close to the beginning of the universe which is still fascinating and a question that is provoking is if our theory of the big bang is facing danger because this data goes against what we know about cosmology. Nonetheless, the age...

Deadly Meteor Hits Russia Shocks World

By on Feb 15, 2013 in Breaking News | 0 comments

  Deadly Meteor Hits Russia Injures 750+ People   Wow what a day! While everyone’s eyes were on 2012DA14 this surprise meteor comes out of nowhere over Russia. Not only that but there are tons of photos and footage on this! Sadly there have been at least 750 people reported injured. I first heard news from my main guy Phil Plait over at Bad Astronomy and the story goes that at 9:30 a.m a meteor broke over Russia or 1500 km east of Moscow. It was in broad daylight and was even brighter than the sun! There was a sonic boom from the explosion which blew out most of the windows. This event shocks us in a way that no one had expected. The whole world was watching Russia and wondering what it looked like. Here is some of the Russian citizens saw.               More on this:http://chelyabinsk.ru/text/news/621775.html...

How Asteroid 2012DA14 Could Potentially Wipe Out a Major City

By on Feb 15, 2013 in Breaking News | 0 comments

credit: NASA 2012DA14 Killer Asteroid or Just Passing Neighbor?   You may have already heard something about an asteroid passing by Earth today. Even more so, the closest predicted fly by on record. Well one question a lot of people have asked is if this asteroid will come swoop down and hit us. Well let’s take a closer look at the details of this asteroid. First off the size of the asteroid is about 50m (160 ft) which doesn’t sound like a whole lot because whenever a meteor or asteroid enters our atmosphere it burns up on entry. Furthermore, the burn up causes the size to diminish or even break up into even smaller meteors and give nothing more than a great display. However that’s not the full story. 50m asteroids are no joking matter at all. In fact if this asteroid did come down and hit Earth it could easily wipe out a major city like Atlanta or Chicago. You...

New Clues for the History of Water on Mars

By on Jan 5, 2013 in Breaking News | 0 comments

Recently news broke out when a martian meteorite (founded in the Moroccan dessert in 2011) revealed information about water on Mars. Professor Agee (lead scientist on this research paper) is arguing that this meteorite, nicknamed “Black Beauty”, is a very special rock because it has characteristics of a basaltic breccia rock (or a rock that has fragments of other rocks combined together by a volcano) and that there is 10 times amount of water bounded to the rock than what is normally found in other Martian rocks. This meteorite has also been classified to date back to 2 billion years old which gives us an idea of when there could have been water. However, how do we know this rock truly indicates these findings? Well other martian rocks found back in 2005 have shown how they can be chemically altered by liquid water. Black Beauty matches those findings as well.  This is the...