Around 66 million years ago, an asteroid (or a comet) with a diameter of at least 10 kilometers (6 miles) impacted a few miles from the present-day town of Chicxulub in Mexico at around 64,000 kilometers per hour (40,000 mph). The impact triggered a chain of events what it is known today as the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) extinction event, also known as the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) extinction, and wiped out three-quarters of the plant and animal species on Earth, including non-avian dinosaurs.
Continue reading Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will scan the skies for asteroids which threaten Earth
If this Chicxulub impactor happened today, it would wipe out the human civilization. Luckily, events like Chicxulub impact are rare. Asteroids with a 1 km (0.62 mi) diameter strike Earth every 500,000 years on average. But that doesn’t mean we are totally safe. Asteroids with a diameter of at least 140 meters (460 ft) are big enough to cause regional devastation to human settlements unprecedented in human history in the case of a land impact or a major tsunami in the case of an ocean impact.
An amazing video of our beautiful Blue Marble from the International Space Station, titled “ISS over New Zealand”, published by the NASA Crew Earth Observations channel.
Continue reading Watch: ISS Over New Zealand
As soon as NASA’s Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) began producing ultra-cold atoms, the International Space Station (ISS) became the coldest place in the known universe. The formation of a Bose-Einstein condensate, a fifth state of matter occurred in NASA’s Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) at a temperature of 130 nanoKelvin, or less than 10 billionth of a degree above Absolute Zero. Absolute zero, or zero Kelvin, is equal to minus 459 degrees Fahrenheit or minus 273 Celsius. Previously, the record-cold was achieved in Prof. Wolfgang Ketterle’s laboratory at M.I.T. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology): half-a-billionth of a degree above absolute zero.
Continue reading The coldest place in the Universe is now on the ISS
Global warming is accelerating – that’s a fact. In April 2018, the level of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere hit the highest point for the last 800,000 years. NASA and NOAA analyses suggest that long-term global warming trend continued in 2017. This year (2018), on March 17, the Arctic sea ice cover peaked at only 5.59 million square miles (14,478,033.54 km2), the 2nd lowest max on record (and the lowest max on record was, guess it, in 2017). 25 years of NASA and European satellite data shows that rather than increasing steadily, global sea level rise has been accelerating in recent decades. Cooler-than-normal years start to become rarer and by the 1990s, they’ve almost disappeared completely. Climate Central channel has put the 116 years history of global warming (1900-2016) into a just 34-second video. The result is terrifying. The “Temperature Circle” shows every nation on the Earth is now in the red, which means now every year is warmer-than-normal.
Continue reading History of Global Warming in just 34 Seconds
Here’s the story: during the 1960s as NASA was sending the first astronauts to space, they realized that pens don’t work in zero gravity (or actually microgravity), so they spent years and many millions of taxpayer dollars to develop a “space pen”, which means a pen that can write in the microgravity. Meanwhile, the Soviet cosmonauts simply used pencils.
Continue reading Did NASA Spent Millions of Dollars to Develop a Space Pen, While The Soviet Cosmonauts using Pencils?
As Curious Droid pointed out in the video below, “the moral of the story to many is that NASA was a wasteful government organization that would be giving your hard-earned tax dollars to some greedy contractors charging sky-high prices for seemingly trivial objects whereas the enemy (the Soviet Union) was common sense and practical.”
The mighty Saturn V, the rocket that took humans to the moon, remains the tallest, heaviest, and most powerful rocket ever brought to operational status (as of 2018). It was used by NASA between 1967 and 1973. It was powered by five Rocketdyne F-1 engines. With a thrust of 1,746,000 lbf (7,770 kN) in vacuum (1,522,000 lbf / 6,770 kN at sea level), the F-1 remains the most powerful single combustion chamber liquid-propellant rocket engine ever developed.
Continue reading Why can’t we Remake the Rocketdyne F-1 Engine, which took humans to the Moon?
The Sun is the primary source of energy for Earth’s climate system, and the life on Earth. With a diameter of about 1.39 million kilometers (864,337 miles, i.e. 109 times that of Earth), and a mass about 1.9885×1030 kg (330,000 times that of Earth, accounting for about 99.86% of the total mass of the Solar System), it may be the biggest thing in this neighborhood, but it is actually just a medium-sized star among the hundreds of billions of stars in the Milky Way galaxy. In the video published by the CAMENGAT creative astronomy below, you can see some dwarf stars and other giants compared to the Sun at the edge of its sphere: at 150 million kilometers (1 AUNotes 1) with a 50 mm objective. The stars are the Sun, Alpha Centauri A, Sirius, Vega, Pollux, Arcturus, Aldebaran, Rigel, Antares, and Betelgeuse. The scenario: Astronomical Observatory of Paranal, Chile.
Continue reading Watch: what other stars would look like in the place of the Sun
European Space Agency has published an amazing time-lapse video showing the Earth from the International Space Station (ISS). The space agency wrote “Join ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst for a quick flight from the USA to Africa aboard the International Space Station in this time-lapse filmed 12.5 times faster than actual speed.” You can watch that breathtaking video below:
Continue reading Watch: Amazing Time-Lapse Video Showing Earth from the ISS
NASA has published an amazing video titled “Sounds of Saturn: Hear Radio Emissions of the Planet and Its Moon Enceladus”. The analyze of the data from the Cassini Spacecraft’s Grand Finale orbits showed a surprisingly powerful interaction of plasma waves moving from Saturn to its icy moon Enceladus. Researchers converted the recording of plasma waves into a “whooshing” audio file that we can hear, in the same way a radio translates electromagnetic waves into music.
Continue reading Song of Saturn and Its Moon Enceladus
Russia’s Progress 70 resupply spacecraft set a milestone for International Space Station operations when it arrived in a record time: just three hours and 40 minutes, or only two Earth orbits (of the ISS). The uncrewed spacecraft delivered the cargo which includes 530 kg of propellant, 52 kg of oxygen gas, 420 kg of water and 1,565 kg of “dry” cargo such as food and other equipment to the space station.
Continue reading Russian spacecraft arrived to the ISS in just 3 hours and 40 minutes