Space news #10 2015: the white spots of Ceres
During the week the debate raged on about the white spots on Ceres. Despite appearing as lights in the photos, they are actually just bright against the background. The most likely explanation is that they are pools of ice at the bottom of the crater. Dawn has just arrived in orbit around Ceres today, so hopefully we’ll have some definitive news in the coming week.
In spaceflight news the ISS crew have finished reconfiguring the space station to allow commercial spacecraft to dock. Meanwhile Bigelow Aerospace have finally delivered a space station module to NASA. Bigelow is funded by the owner of a Hotel chain who correctly believes that there is little accommodation for tourists in space. To solve this problem he founded the company with the intention of designing and building low cost inflatable space station modules. Bigelow have finally reached the point where they have a working prototype that can be tested in space. Conveniently the ISS now has some free docking ports.
Iran has announced plans to launch Humans into space by 2016. They have previously announced a successful test flight of animals in 2013, but there is little evidence outside of Iran that it actually happened.
The rovers aren’t roving! Both China and NASA have rover issues. China’s Lunar rover is functional, but cannot be moved. NASA’s Curiosity rover suffered a short circuit and was given a few days off to recover. If only a human technician was on-site with a multi-meter and screwdriver…
Finally check out the video by Ashens, featuring the first edition of Top Trumps: Space Phenomena. Whoever designed the cards thought nobody would notice if they just made up some of the facts and figures about our Solar System. Be warned, there is strong language, but for a very good reason.
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- NASA cowboy deploys its ‘Lasso’
- Iran plans to send humans to space by 2016
- Master’s program for space entrepreneurship
- Simulating space for JWST
- Astronauts wrap up ISS spacewalks
- 20-Year-Old satellite exploded in orbit
- Mining The Asteroids: Who Decides?
- Bigelow finally sends station module to NASA
- Astronauts honour Leonard Nimoy from space
- How an ion drive helped Dawn
- NASA does not have a post-Russia contingency plan
- Four probes to ‘catch’ gigantic energy bursts
The Solar System
- A dinosaur skull found on Mars? Nope
- The Mars “methane equals life” debate
- Saturn’s Titan ‘life not as we know it’
- Dawn arrives at Ceres this week
- Asteroid collision may have radically transformed Mars
- Amazing photo of green comet
- Bright spots on Ceres not explained yet
- Bright spots on Ceres likely ice, not cryovolcanoes
- Were there planets inside Mercury’s orbit?
- Iron vapour gives clues to formation of Earth and moon
- OSIRIS catches a glimpse of Rosetta’s shadow
- China’s moon rover functioning but stationary
- NASA’s Curiosity sidelined by short circuit
- What’s Hidden Beneath Europa’s Icy Surface?
- Dark matter could help solve sun mystery
- Research suggests Mars once had more water than the Arctic Ocean
- NASA replicates building blocks of life
- Astrobiology: A cautionary tale
- Guiding our search for life on other Earths
- Clouds around alien Kepler-mission planets
- Rings may be detectable around distant planets
- A planet in a quadruple star system
- Merging black holes will reveal gravity waves
- Black holes bulk-Up on dark matter
- Rare ‘missing link’ black hole
- ‘Dark Photons’ lurk in shadows
- Stars found far from the galaxy center
- Missing light of the visible Universe
- New insight found into black hole collisions
- Our observed Universe is a tiny corner of an enormous cosmos
- Could the Milky Way become a quasar?
- Physicists offer a solution to the puzzle of the origin of matter
- NASA aims to unlock mysteries of celestial giants
- Biggest known explosion since the Big Bang
- Youngest, most remote galaxy ever found
- Google gives Lick Observatory $1 million
- The Higgs particle can disintegrate into dark matter
- Astronomers find dust in the early Universe
- Warp in space-time swallows pulsar
- Chandra observatory finds cosmic showers halt galaxy growth
- Fastest star in the Galaxy has a strange origin
- Why isn’t the Universe as bright as it should be?
- Leonard Nimoy, Spock on ‘Star Trek,’ dies at 83
- Astronomy in Indigenous Australian knowledge
- Seeing Ceres: Then and Now http://buff.ly/1Eap11x
- The first photograph of light as a particle and wave
- Science fiction novels reimagined as pulp novels
- Space trivia card game facts and figures are laughably wrong [strong language]
- Einstein’s famous theory has aged well
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RIP Leonard Nimoy. So many of us at NASA were inspired by Star Trek. Boldly go… http://t.co/qpeH5BTzQc pic.twitter.com/nMmFMKYv1L
— NASA (@NASA) February 27, 2015