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


#2775

I’ve been waiting for this ever since Pluto’s time in the spotlight, when they announced this target.

The new data from Nasa’s spacecraft also shows just how dark the object is. Its brightest areas reflect just 13% of the light falling on them; the darkest, just 6%. That’s similar to potting soil, said Cathy Olkin, the mission’s deputy project scientist.

It has a tinge of colour, however. “We had a rough colour from Hubble but now we can definitely say that Ultima Thule is red,” added colleague Carly Howett.

“Our current theory as to why Ultima Thule is red is the irradiation of exotic ices.” Essentially, its surface has been “burnt” over the eons by the high-energy cosmic rays and X-rays that flood space.

And now they just need to find a new target:

What does New Horizons do next?

First, the scientists must work on the Ultima data, but they will also ask Nasa to fund a further extension to the mission.

The hope is that the course of the spacecraft can be altered slightly to visit at least one more Kuiper belt object sometime in the next decade.

New Horizons should have just enough fuel reserves to be able to do this. Critically, it should also have sufficient electrical reserves to keep operating its instruments into the 2030s.


#2776

Soundtrack to the news article


#2777

That is very cool.


#2778

Far out, man!


#2779

Cool pic - Earth and Moon are in the lower left. Bennu the asteroid is the large bright object (due to long exposure time).


#2780

Speaking of New Horizons and soundtracks, Brian May is my hero.


#2781

I missed the 1st airing (Jan 2) - NOVA’s New Horizons show is excellent


#2782

New high-res image of Ultima Thule: Quest for the Avatar
http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/Galleries/Featured-Images/image.php?page=41&gallery_id=2&image_id=586


#2783

#2784

RIP little dude 😢


#2785

Don’t worry. Matt Damon will dig the little guy up when we have to rescue his ass off of Mars.


#2786

Dude! Spoiler alert!


#2787

Relax, we’ve all seen Saving Private Ryan Interstellar by now.


#2788

There was an incident on the ISS.


#2789

The agency chose to commemorate Franklin for her work as an X-ray crystallographer during the 1940s and '50s. Franklin captured structural images of substances like viruses and coal, as well as the crucial biological compounds DNA and RNA, which both carry genetic information.

James Watson and Francis Crick used her research without permission and with little credit when publishing their model of the structure of DNA in 1953. In Watson’s book “The Double Helix,” which shaped the narrative around the discovery of the structure of DNA for decades, he painted a vituperativepicture of Franklin, whom he referred to as “Rosy.” She died in 1958 at age 37, and her work went mostly unacknowledged until the 1990s.


#2790

Wow, to my shame I didnt know about her. Good for ESA.


#2791

That was a Big Bang Theory episode.


#2792

Well, they can still name the mobile lab they use to investigate the hungries after her.


#2793

Measuring stuff on Mars is hard. Who knew?


#2794

The design and engineering of that thing is mind boggling.