Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without – Buddha

Posts Tagged ‘Moon’

NASA ‘Morpheus’ Craft Crashes During Test Flight, Explodes At Kennedy Space Center (VIDEO)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 11, 2012


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Supermoon Photos 2012: Pictures Snapped By Skywatchers All Over (SLIDESHOW)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 6, 2012

Supermoon Saturday has come and gone. But supermoon photos are still here for those who missed seeing the dazzling lunar display in person and those who simply want to see how things looked elsewhere in the world. No matter which part of the planet the photos came from, they look pretty dramatic.

The supermoon was at its most super at 11:34 p.m. EDT, when the moon was about 221,802 miles away from Earth, the Associated Press reported. That’s about 15,300 miles closer than average, making the moon appear about 14 percent bigger than it would appear if it were at its farthest distance during its elliptical orbit. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nasa Video Shows Moon Was Once A Huge Fireball – PHOTOS, VIDEO

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 19, 2012


An amazing new animation from Nasa shows how the grey, puckered rock that is our moon, was once a flaming inferno under asteroid attack.

The video shows that the moon was not always the cool, scarred rock we’re used to seeing today; 4.5 billion years ago, it was a flaming hot mass of lava.

Then, 0.2 billion years later, the Aitken basin at the moon’s south pole was formed by asteroid strike before the the moon came under mass assault by further asteroids between 4.1 and 3.8 billion years ago, forming several basins across the celestial body. Read the rest of this entry »

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Peace in Space: Why Obama Is Right (and the Far Right Is Wrong)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 12, 2012

There’s been a lot of light-saber rattling recently, but our aspirations in the galaxy have always been and will remain peaceful
John Bolton and Darth Vader

From left: John Bolton, former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, and Darth Vader, commander of the dark side

Kluger’s latest book is The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us

What is it about space that makes the hard right go goofy? First it was Newt Gingrich and his promise of a lunar colony before the end of his second term (which looks especially bad now that the moon base is actually a better statistical bet than the Gingrich campaign). Now it’s John Bolton and John Yoo taking to the pages of the New York Times to argue against the Obama Administration’s plans to limit the militarization of space.

Bolton, you’ll remember, is America’s oddly Lorax-like former ambassador to the U.N. who was perfectly suited to his job except for the fact that he didn’t actually like the U.N. Yoo is the waterboarding apologist who helped author the Bush Administration’s so-called “torture memos” in 2003, arguing that what American war planners called “enhanced interrogation techniques” and what much of the rest of the world called “against the law” was really, truly O.K. But that was then.

(PHOTOS: Mission to Saturn: Images from the Final Frontier)

What’s got Bolton and Yoo unsheathing their light sabers this week is President Obama’s decision to follow the European Union’s code of conduct for space, an accord that calls for “prevent[ing] outer space from becoming an area of conflict.” It would achieve this through such probably not-crazy measures as preventing interference with another nation’s space assets, enhancing the “safety, security and predictability of outer-space activities,” and encouraging “transparency and confidence-building measures.” It would also try to limit the increase in space debris — which is the cosmic equivalent of laws against littering. So you wouldn’t think there’s much to object to here. But you’re not Yoo — or Bolton. Read the rest of this entry »

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400 Trillion Miles Away, a Comet Storm Waters a World

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 20, 2011


An artist's conception illustrates a storm of comets around a star near our own, called Eta Corvi.

One of the great mysteries of planetary science is how Earth got so wet. By the time our planet formed about 4.5 billion years ago, the Sun’s heat had driven most of the Solar System’s complement of water out toward the edges. Most of it is still there, frozen solid in, among other things, the rings of Saturn, Jupiter’s moon Europa, the bodies of Neptune and Uranus and billions upon billions of comets.

But the Earth has plenty of water as well, and scientists have wondered for years how it got here. One leading theory: it came from a fusillade of comets that came screaming back in toward the Sun a half-billion years or so after our planet formed. That idea got a big boost just last week with the discovery that some comets, at least, have the same chemical signature as the water found on Earth.(See pictures of meteors striking the earth.)

Before the ink could even dry on that study, astronomers have come in with another key piece of evidence to support the theory — and it comes from nearly 400 trillion miles away. To be precise, it comes from Eta Corvi, a bright star in the northern hemisphere, where, says lead researcher Carey Lisse, of the Johns Hopkins University, “we’re seeing a storm of primordial comets smashing into something relatively close to the star.”

What Lisse and his colleagues actually spotted, as they’ll describe in an upcoming issue of the Astronomical Journal, is the infrared signature of dust grains at about three astronomical units — three times the Earth-Sun distance — from the central star. A detailed examination of those grains with the infrared-sensitive Spitzer Space Telescope shows that they come from forceful collisions with some massive rocky body. Read the rest of this entry »

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Headin’ Out: NASA Aims for Jupiter, Mars and the Moon

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 29, 2011


Like pretty much every other agency in the government, NASA is likely to be hurting for money over the next few years.

The Mars rover Curiosity, photographed at its testing facility Jet Propulsion Labs in Pasadena, California NASA / JPL-Caltech

The end of the Space Shuttle program, which comes with Atlantis’ final flight next month, will free up some cash. But at best, NASA’s budget will be flat in 2012, and given the mood in Congress, “at best” isn’t something to count on. And thanks to the cost overruns plaguing the yet-to-be-launched James Webb Space Telescope, the agency’s science programs are especially vulnerable to cuts.

But that’s down the road. For now, things are positively hopping at the Kennedy Space Center. Last week, a brand-new Mars rover, named Curiosity, arrived at Cape Canaveral to be prepared for launch this coming November. But long before that — as early as August 5, if conditions are right — a new probe called Juno will be on its way to Jupiter, followed by the GRAIL mission in September, designed to study the Moon’s gravity field in unprecedented detail.(See pictures of NASA’s new Mars rover.)

Of the three, Curiosity is sure to make the biggest public splash. Ever since Sojourner, NASA’s first Mars rover, transfixed the world as it rolled around the Red Planet during the July 4th holiday in 1997, people have gone slightly mad over these adorable, self-propelled explorers — and after Spirit and Opportunity followed in 2004, the word “plucky” became a space cliche.

All three rovers did spectacular science as well, studying the mineralogy and topography of Mars in astonishing detail, and establishing beyond a doubt that water once flowed and pooled on the planet’s surface. The six-wheeled Curiosity will be about the size of a small car (think a Mini Cooper with many millions of dollars of instruments attached) compared to the golf cart-sized Spirit and Opportunity and the microwave oven-sized Sojourner. One thing Curiousity’s bulk will buy it is range — far greater than that of the other rovers, partly thanks to a nuclear power source in place of solar panels. That also means that the rover won’t have to slow down during the relatively dim Martian winter or worry about dust cutting down on the panels’ efficiency at any time of year.(See pictures of the rovers’ five-year history.) Read the rest of this entry »

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