Friday, Sep 15 will be Cassini's last day as it is sent to burn up in Saturn's atmosphere. It's a sad day but necessary so that Earthly microbes do not infect the heavenly bodies.
Here are a couple of short (under five minutes each) clips to help us remember the past 20 year of glory of this mission.
The New York Times clip -and- The NASA clip via Twitter
Despite the eclipse information overload in the breathless lead-up to the event, there’s still an earthly mystery belying the phenomenon that you probably haven't heard about; namely, shadow bands or as some call them, "shadow snakes." Shadow bands are so rare that few images of the darting shadows exist. In other words, even if you're fortunate enough to watch a total solar eclipse from the path of totality, you probably still won't see them. That's basically like winning the eclipse lottery.
Wispy, early-season clouds resembling Earth's ice-crystal cirrus clouds move across the Martian sky in some new image sequences from NASA's Curiosity Mars rover.
These clouds are the most clearly visible so far from Curiosity, which landed five years ago this month about five degrees south of Mars' equator. Clouds moving in the Martian sky have been observed previously by Curiosity and other missions on the surface of Mars, including NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander in the Martian arctic nine years ago.
Thursday, Aug 10th 2017 (3:36am)
As the Voyager mission is winding down, so, too, are the careers of the aging explorers who expanded our sense of home in the galaxy.
Some have been on the job for over forty years.
Wednesday, Aug 9th 2017 (12:00am)
A space rock now designated as asteroid 2017 OO1 was detected on July 23, 2017 from the ATLAS-MLO telescope at Mauna Loa, Hawaii. An analysis of its trajectory revealed it had been closest to Earth on July 20 sometime between 10:27 p.m. to 11:32 p.m. EDT (between 02:27 to 03:32 UTC on July 21). This means the asteroid's closest approach occurred 2.5 to 3 days before it was seen. Asteroid 2017 OO1 flyby had passed at about one-third the Earth-moon distance, or about 76,448 miles (123,031 km).
Friday, Jul 28th 2017 (5:44am)
The most anticipated eclipse in American history is coming this summer. At the heart of it is Hopkinsville, Kentucky, which anticipates 100,000 visitors. Mental Floss takes a look behind the small town's preparations - and a deep dive into the passionate subculture of people who chase eclipses for a living.
NASA's Kepler space telescope team has released a mission catalog of planet candidates that introduces 219 new candidates, 10 of which are near-Earth size and orbiting in their star's habitable zone, which is the range of distance from a star where liquid water could pool on the surface of a rocky planet.
Tuesday, Jun 20th 2017 (12:29am)
Art and science come together when Robert Hurt and Tim Pyle visualize scientific data into photorealistic works of art.
The human mind can get a very scientific explanation of what a discovery was but it takes a visual to get the point across. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Monday, Jun 12th 2017 (12:01am)
NASA’s Juno Spacecraft is investigating Jupiter in a series of 37 orbits, and though images, data, and samples, these remarkable flybys have revealed some very cool things: 900 mile wide cyclones at the planet’s poles, an interior core that “appears bigger than expected“, and a magnetic field that’s ten times stronger than Earth’s… that’s two times more powerful than predicted. Plus, there’s more data to come. From The New York Times:
Juno takes 53 days to loop around Jupiter in a highly elliptical orbit, but most of the data gathering occurs in two-hour bursts when it accelerates to 129,000 miles an hour and dives to within about 2,600 miles of the cloud tops. The spacecraft’s instruments peer far beneath, giving glimpses of the inside of the planet, the solar system’s largest.
Saturday, Jun 3rd 2017 (12:00am)
Over the next few months, Cassini will dive into the space between Saturn and its rings, moving closer and closer to the planet until it eventually disintegrates in its atmosphere in September. Cassini is one of the most successful missions to the solar system. It delivered a probe to the surface of Titan, and discovered its lakes of liquid methane. It observed plumes of water vapor shooting out of Enceladus. And, of course, it captured stunning photos of Saturn and its rings. Its demise will elicit sadness among scientists, engineers, and space enthusiasts alike.
Some 230 years ago, three curious London gentlemen walked into a room with a few eggs, a steak and a dog with exactly that question. NPR's Robert Krulwich and animator Lev Yilmaz recreated the science experiment (and added a bit of modern science knowledge!) in this animation.
Check out the rest of the story.
Monday, Mar 6th 2017 (12:00am) | Thanks: Jaxon
People have wondered for perhaps as long as life itself whether people's spirits can live on in the world once their body dies. But the TV professor says that they definitely don't, since CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) would have stumbled across one.
Monday, Feb 27th 2017 (12:00am)
On the face of things, a hot waffle iron wouldn't seem to have all that much in common with a block of ice. But the two objects share the same capacity to inflict pain. Extreme heat and extreme cold are both able to deliver a nasty blow to human skin, and it turns out that the brain monitors these thermal extremes in similar ways.
Thursday, Feb 23rd 2017 (8:52am) | Thanks: Cora
... in stunning act of alchemy that could revolutionize technology and spaceflight
"It's the first-ever sample of metallic hydrogen on Earth, so when you're looking at it, you're looking at something that's never existed before"
Thursday, Jan 26th 2017 (8:15pm)
NASA Cassini is still taking photographs of Saturn, its rings, and moons. Recently, the agency released some images of Saturn's moon Daphnis, a popular one due to the waves it creates on the planet's ring.
Cassini just flew near Daphnis, also called the "wavemaker" moon. The close approach allowed scientists to further examine the moon with unprecedented detail.
The small Saturn satellite is only about five miles (8 kilometers) in diameter, according to a report. The moon orbits the sun in the gap called Keeler Gap inside Saturn's A ring.
In the embedded video, the moon's gravity causes some waves to appear on the edges of the ring. Cassini took the latest image last Jan. 16. This is monumental for NASA since it is the most detailed photograph of the moon yet.
Tuesday, Jan 24th 2017 (3:44pm)
In this ten minute clip, Dr. Tyson enumerates a list and then elaborates on each item in a very amusing manner.
Skip between 1:15 and about 2:00 when there are some audio problems and nothing of interest occurs.
Saturday, Jan 21st 2017 (12:00am)
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