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The Gorgeous Butterfly Nebula NGC 6302 Emerges from a Dying Star

By on Mar 12, 2014 in For Your Information | 0 comments

The Gorgeous Butterfly Nebula NGC 6302 Emerges from a Dying Star     What a beautiful image of the Butterfly Nebula. This planetary nebula is a result of a dying star that was 5 times the mass of our own Sun and released a fury of hot gasses and a stream of ultraviolet radiation. For those of you who don’t know it’s called a planetary nebula because when viewed through a telescope it appears to look like a planet. In the 1780’s William Herschel coined the term planetary nebula even though it is a misnomer, astronomers still use the term today. The gas you see in the image is ripping through space at 965,606 km an hour (600,000 miles an hour), fast enough to travel from the Earth to the Moon in 24 minutes! If you wanted to take a trip to the Butterfly Nebula or also known as the Bug Nebula it would take you about 2,200 years travelling at the speed of light....

Space Station Mir: The Love and Loss of Earth’s First Space Station

By on Mar 2, 2014 in For Your Information | 0 comments

Space Station Mir: The Love and Loss of Earth’s First Space Station     When we think about space stations the first name that comes to mind to most of us is the International Space Station (ISS). However, a space station that is often forgotten but was important to us is a space station called Mir. Space Station Mir lasted 15 years, three times it’s expected lifespan, and even outlasted the Soviet Union who launched it into space. The Russian word “mir” literally translates to peace, world, or village.  It’s a fitting name as it was a host for many crewmembers and international visitors. What’s interesting about Mir that some may not know is that it was the first to raise a crop in outer space from a seed. Space Station Mir carried a lot of strong feelings such as joyous reunions, feats of courage, determination, moments of panic, and...

Reasons Why Triton, Neptune’s Moon, is One of the Coolest Moons!

By on Feb 17, 2014 in For Your Information | 0 comments

  When I think about moons in our solar system I usually go for the favorites like, Jupiter’s Europa because of its mysterious hidden ocean beneath the crust, or Saturn’s moon Titan being one of the only moons with a dense atmosphere. However, one planet and moon that never gets in the spotlight is Neptune’s moon Triton! It’s arguably one of the coolest hidden gems in our solar system, and I’ll tell you why.   Why Triton Rocks My Boat   1 ) Triton is one of Neptune’s largest moons and is the only large moon with a retrograde motion, which means it orbits in the opposite direction of the planets. Sure, it’s cool to know that this moon is a rebel and orbits the other direction but what’s really neat is astronomers believe because of its retrograde motion Triton may have come from the Kuiper belt. 2) The surface on Triton is...

What is a Dark Galaxy?

By on Feb 6, 2014 in For Your Information | 0 comments

  What is a dark galaxy? Well a dark galaxy is an early galaxy formation that is very inefficient at forming stars and is thought to be made up of dark matter. They are usually small low density gas-rich galaxies that have been thought to be the building blocks of today’s bright star filled galaxies. Since dark galaxies don’t hold any visible stars they are invisible to us making it very hard to detect. The theory of dark galaxies originated in 2000 when astronomers were studying a gas cloud called VIRGOHI21. Scientists were trying to figure out what it was and why it could cause a gravitational pull from the galaxy NGC 4254. After years of research they concluded that VIRGOHI21 was a dark galaxy due to the massive effect it had on NGC 4254. Well how does an astronomer detect a dark galaxy if they devoid light? Interestingly astronomers use quasars (which is an active...

Evidence of Other Universes Pulling on Our Own

By on Oct 24, 2013 in For Your Information | 0 comments

Evidence of Other Universes Pulling on Our Own     One theory that is by far mind boggling and perhaps one of the most interesting is the multiverse theory or M theory. It says that there could hypothetically be more than one universe other than our own. It may sound ludicrous to you but just think back to when we believed there was only one our one Sun and then we realized most of those bright dots in the sky are suns or stars! Think about when we felt that Earth was the only planet that had water then we discovered Europa (a moon not even a planet!) has water as well (even more than we do). It seems that whenever we believe something is rare and unique we get slapped by the universe as a reminder that the possibilities are endless and we only just scratched the surface.     Moving along straight to the reported evidence of possible universes pulling on our own....

Deep Impact Spacecraft Still Not Sending Back Any Signal

By on Sep 16, 2013 in For Your Information | 0 comments

Deep Impact Spacecraft Still Has no Signal or Communication Coming Back     Well seems like there are major problems happening with NASA’s Deep Impact spacecraft. The mission of Deep Impact is to survey comets as well as observe them close up. The spacecraft was launched in 2005 and has traveled 7.58 billion kilometers (4.7 billion miles) in total thus far. Deep Impact mission controllers have been trying to establish a connection with the spacecraft for quite some time now. The last time there was a connection was on August 8th 2013. The mission controllers believe that there was some anomaly that has caused the spacecraft to continually reboot itself. This means there is very little hope that this anomaly will go away. The spirit rover on Mars had a similar issue but in the end a line of code that allowed the rover to boot up without flash memory saved it. Now the two...