What's happening in space (that's interesting)


Things like orbital periods, angular diameter, etc make that exceedingly unlikely. In order to do more than a passing obscuring the object would have to be far larger, usually a nebula or something. otherwise it would be too coincidental.

And the orbital period suggests something extremely close.


It would have to be vastly bigger than Jupiter to dim the star by that much from outside the solar system.

And I’m not sure what you mean by “it’s not orbiting it per se”. Either it is* is or it isn’t, and how do you explain the periodic dimming if it’s not?

*Alright fine, it’s either orbiting a centre of mass shared with the star, or it’s not.


How impossible would it be for the star to dim and intensify on its own? I know it’s an unusual thing in science fiction (like the On/Off Star in Vernon Vinge’s A Deepness In The Sky) but could it presage the star running out of hydrogen or helium, or getting ready to go nova, or something? Does the dimming have to indicate that something is passing between it and us?


I have not read up on it much, but nothing I have seen precludes something like a large asymmetrical rotating debris field interposed between us. Occam’s Razor should still dominate here.


There are many stars that dim and intensify on their own (some were crucial to understanding the scale of the universe). But as I understand it the variability in brightness from orbiting objects is very different - basically a brief but pronounced dip followed by long steadiness at peak brighteness - as opposed to something more or less like a sine wave.


Pretty much. The dimming of a fluctuating star is different than when an object passes in front of it.


The Kiwis have put a rocket up into space, though it didn’t quite reach orbit. Still a first for New Zealand, and they’re planning to keep going. Seems like pretty cool technology, too: “The Electron is made entirely of carbon-composite material and is designed to carry payloads of 225kg to an elliptical orbit and up to 150kg to a nominal 500km Sun-synchronous, low Earth orbit.”


Jupiter’s underside is kind of nasty.


Wow, don’t forget to pinch yourself and remember this is NOT a render!


Well, it can be hard to clean down there when you’re as big as Jupiter.

Edit: Speelung.


NASA is planning to launch a probe next year to study the sun. Amusingly some news sites reported it as NASA sending probe to surface of sun. No word if they’re landing at night.

2018 is going to be exciting for space exploration.

The Parker Solar Probe scheduled to launch July 2018, and the one I’m most excited about, the James Webb Space Telescope is slated to launch in October of next year. I really, REALLY, hope that the launch and subsequent deployment of JWST goes off without a hitch because with it we are almost certainly guaranteed to see some serious shit


It will be deployed at Lagrange point two to shield it from the sun and it will take about 6 months of calibrations before it begins its mission. Theres so much riding on this mission and given how far it will be deployed from Earth at L2 means there will be no repair missions should something break or fail to deploy.



I’m not sure if it’s awesome or disappointing that QT3 is just too bloody high-brow to make a Uranus joke with what has to be one of the most obvious setups for one in the history of history.


You might say we are a lostcawz.



Meanwhile SpaceX first resupply using a previously flow Dragon capsule, got off to a good start.
Another successful 1st stage landing a Cape Kennedy, (there was particular good shot of the landing). While the Dragon capsule deployment also happened without a hitch.

I have a Pavilion response to watching SpaceX launch. I always get inspired to play some more Kerbal space program. I play it for a while until something bad happens (I’m playing ironman) and then get discouraged when something goes wrong, rocket science is hard.

But I’ve noticed that with the increase of SpaceX missions I’m playing a lot lately.

Edit Also this.


Neato. Does KSP have reusable boosters to fiddle around with?


If you are good (aka Scott Manley) you can land your first stages and get money back for them, using a combination of parachutes and refiring your first stage. You can also build spaceplanes (aka a shuttle) and save money that way.

Fortunately, even on the most difficult settings, you do have enough money, that money isn’t a serious constraint. Unless of course you blow up a lot of rockets and kill a lot of astronauts. Elon Musk and SpaceX are playing the game on an even higher level of difficulties than KSP.


There’s also a plugin called Stage Recovery I play with, which will simulate landing stages for you. (If they have enough parachutes to land safely, or if they have enough reserve fuel to kill their terminal velocity, you get money back based on the distance to KSC.)


NASA announced their new astronaut class today five woman and seven men, that will make you feel like a tremendous slacker.

Here is a sample Bio
Dr. Jonny Kim, 33, Lt., U.S. Navy, was born and raised in Los Angeles. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy, then trained and operated as a Navy SEAL, completing more than 100 combat operations and earning a Silver Star and Bronze Star with Valor. Afterward, he went on to complete a degree in mathematics at the University of San Diego and a doctorate of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Kim is completing his residency in emergency medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Robb Kulin, 33, hails from Anchorage, Alaska. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Denver before going on to complete a master’s degree in materials science and a doctorate in engineering at the University of California, San Diego. He has previous experience as an ice driller in Antarctica on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and Taylor Glaciers, and as a commercial fisherman in Chignik, Alaska. Since 2011, Kulin has worked for SpaceX in Hawthorne, California, where he leads the Launch Chief Engineering group.

Fortunately, they aren’t all really handsome or pretty just most.