Space space

Freeze-dried mouse sperm stored on international station produces healthy mice, raising prospect of future human settlement when ‘space age’ arrives

Freeze-dried mouse sperm stored on international station produces healthy mice, raising prospect ...

In theory, with an artificial womb could ova and sperm be sent out into space and grow a human when the ship arrives wherever. Robot to raise the child. Kind of like a "final ark" solution.

Now all we need to do is figure out how to make humans from mouse sperm!

I think it's more likely that we can develop an AI that can raise a functional human than we can solve the problem of packaging a functional ecosystem in a box and send it through the stars.

So in theory could we send all female crews to colonize new planets?

I suddenly feel so redundant.

New Zealand: The next major space hub? - aerospace company Rocket Lab plans to conduct the inaugural launch of its Electron rocket from its Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand's North Island.

New Zealand: The next major space hub? - aerospace company Rocket Lab plans to conduct the inaugural launch of its Electron rocket from its Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand's North Island.
New Zealand: The next major space hub? - aerospace company Rocket Lab plans to conduct the inaugu...

Open areas? Check

Thousands of miles of ocean where rockets can safely crash? Check

Close to the equator? Oh..

EDIT: Actually NZ is only about as south as the US is north so this is a pretty good place to launch

I've always thought Australia should get into it. We're a country with high-tech industry and fifteen degrees from the equator at our northernmost extremes.

The British space program did their orbital launch from Australia, back in the 1960s, and several suborbital tests to space from Australia as well. I think the program was named, "Black Arrow," or "Black Brant," but that might be a Canadian rocket.

The main thing that has held Australia back, so far as I know, has been the US law, ITAR. Rockets are complicated. They have roughly a million parts, so even a company like SpaceX buys many parts from subcontractors. Export of many of those US-made parts are restricted by ITAR. Fortunately for Australia and New Zealand, many of those parts, or better versions of them, can now be bought from Japan and China, so it is not necessary to develop a dozen new support industries any more, to be able to launch orbital-class rockets.

If successful, it will mark the first launch of a craft into space from the Southern Hemisphere.

Not true. The British space program did their orbital launch from Australia, back in the 1960s, and several suborbital tests to space from Australia as well. I think the program was named, "Black Arrow," or "Black Brant," but that might be a Canadian rocket.

In the 1970s there was a secret joint Israeli-South African nuclear program, that did at least one suborbital launch to space from South Africa, but very little is known about that.

Hey, check out this view

I expected something like: Check out this view... oh we are still on the launch pad... nevermind

Seeing the Earth from orbit is a bucket list dream. I'm really hoping commercial space travel becomes a reality within my lifetime.

Just so breathtaking.

PUT YOUR HELMET BACK ON AND GET BACK INSIDE!

I wouldn't be able to get any work done for the first few days if I was up there. Just so breathtaking

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Went for an impromptu drive out to Banks Peninsula, New Zealand, to watch the Galactic Centre rise over the horizon - looking forward to more nights like this as we head into winter

Went for an impromptu drive out to Banks Peninsula, New Zealand, to watch the Galactic Centre rise over the horizon - looking forward to more nights like this as we head into winter
YT Tutorial going through my workflow

Went on a bit of an impromptu shoot last night to Duvauchelle, New Zealand. Started to get frantic messages from my wife saying I should come home because despite how calm it looks in Akaroa Harbour a gale was blowing back home.

Shot on a Sony A7ii with a Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art lens (with the MC-11 adapter). 4 shot panorama with each shot taken at 24mm, 5s, f/2.0, ISO12800. I had to go with a slower shutter speed because the wind was just buffeting us around so badly.

I will try to pre-empt some questions, but I know someone will still ask if this is what you can see to the naked eye :)

1) No the sky doesn't look like that to the naked eye - we have very, very dark skies in nz but nothing like this is visible without the long exposure of the camera - you can see magnificent detail in the MW and the Magellanic clouds are clearly visible, but there's no colour and far fewer stars. Here's a post comparing naked eye vs what the camera picks up vs what happens when you over process a pic: http://ekanttakephotos.com/can-you-really-see-all-those-stars-with-the-naked-eye/

2) Can you take photos like this? Yes, absolutely. Astro still requires some decent gear but it's very achievable for many with an interest in photography. Some MUST HAVE things: Tripod, Dslr camera, quick lens (f/2.8 or faster, ideally) and practice. Check out Lonely 'Sspeck's Astro tutorial - by far my favourite.

3) How do you take an astro panorama? I did a blog post on this, if you're interested and also I made a

4) Do you have an IG account? Yes, find me on IG or EkantTakePhotos on Facebook :)

5) How do you find dark skies to see the Milky Way? This Light Pollution Map is an amazing tool: https://www.lightpollutionmap.info/ - make sure you check out the moon phase, too - you don't want to drive 500 miles into the wilderness only to find the full moon washes out the sky (although, it does still make for a beautiful night out!)

Happy to answer any other questions folk have!

Wow! My impromptu drives usually end up at Target! Great shit shot and thanks for sharing! The world is truly beautiful

The Galactic Center doesn't 'rise', it only seems to

Of course - the same way the sun doesn't rise/set or the moon doesn't rise/set - but it's what we call it :)

as we head into winter

As someone who lives in the Northern Hemisphere, I find it somewhat funny. I always associated the view of Milky Way center with short, hot, summer nights.

But also, I always wanted to see the part of the Milky Way that is in your photo, and which is always below the horizon for me. 52*N here, so even Antares is always pretty low.

A newborn protostar has been caught at the 'hamburger' stage, right before planets begin to form out of a dusty accretion disk

A newborn protostar has been caught at the 'hamburger' stage, right before planets begin to form ...

It's 1300 light years away, and 1300 years isn't really enough time for planets to grow. Most of what we see in space (particularly​ with the naked eye) isn't as far in the past as people think.

The paper that was published on the topic:

First detection of equatorial dark dust lane in a protostellar disk at submillimeter wavelength

In the earliest (so-called “Class 0”) phase of Sun-like (low-mass) star formation, circumstellar disks are expected to form, feeding the protostars. However, these disks are difficult to resolve spatially because of their small sizes. Moreover, there are theoretical difficulties in producing these disks in the earliest phase because of the retarding effects of magnetic fields on the rotating, collapsing material (so-called “magnetic braking”).

With the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), it becomes possible to uncover these disks and study them in detail. HH 212 is a very young protostellar system. With ALMA, we not only detect but also spatially resolve its disk in dust emission at submillimeter wavelength. The disk is nearly edge-on and has a radius of ~60 astronomical unit. It shows a prominent equatorial dark lane sandwiched between two brighter features due to relatively low temperature and high optical depth near the disk midplane.

For the first time, this dark lane is seen at submillimeter wavelength, producing a “hamburger”-shaped appearance that is reminiscent of the scattered-light image of an edge-on disk in optical and near infrared light. Our observations open up an exciting possibility of directly detecting and characterizing small disks around the youngest protostars through high-resolution imaging with ALMA, which provides strong constraints on theories of disk formation.

It's interesting to think the planets have probably already formed around it and we are still waiting for that light to reach us! I love how looking into the night sky is essentially looking into the past.

Newborn indeed. That protostar is only 40,000 years old. That's younger than humanity.

The weirdest star in space is acting weird again. Is it aliens? This week a bizarrely behaving star began acting very odd again, sending scientists scrambling to train telescopes on it in hopes of solving its mystery.

The weirdest star in space is acting weird again. Is it aliens? This week a bizarrely behaving star began acting very odd again, sending scientists scrambling to train telescopes on it in hopes of solving its mystery.
The weirdest star in space is acting weird again. Is it aliens? This week a bizarrely behaving st...

Jesus people, especially clickbait journalists - it's NEVER aliens! (Until it is.)

That said, I love mysteries like this. Keeps science fun and intriguing

Protip: jumping at the wildest conclusion (i.e, aliens) just because it "baffles" scientists is never the proper cource of action. And another tip: scientists don't have it all "figured it out" so obviously there will be many, many things they cannot identify yet, including this and other future phenomena.

TL;DR

The star is diming at irregular intervals probably due to a swarm of colliding comets around it.

It will be ironic when aliens do get here and we ask them. us: you guys from that star with the dyson sphere around it? them: no you idiots, that is just hot gas around that star.

Von Braun's proposal for a manned mission to mars in 1965, written in the late 40s/early 50s

Von Braun's proposal for a manned mission to mars in 1965, written in the late 40s/early 50s
Tom Lehrer

I spent months trying to find a digital copy of von Braun's book The Mars Project and had no success. The publisher told me they had never made one but one day might.

So another redditor and I went in together, bought the paper copy, and scanned it to PDF.

I give you The Mars Project by Wernher von Braun, the first copy ever available online.

The Colliers series as well as a few dozen other proposals for getting people to Mars can be found here.

Von Braun's proposal was the first serious proposal in history, and it's really a historical treasure.

edit: also, mandatory - "'once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down? That's not my department,' says Wernher von Braun."

This is the first time I have been able to say this to anybody in my life and mean it literally, but you are a gentleman and a scholar

I don't think I'd describe that as the saddest thing about Von Braun's life.

Mind if I share it on my site, knowledgeglue.com ?

Europeans launch North American satellite on top of a Russian rocket in South America

Europeans launch North American satellite on top of a Russian rocket in South America

At least the space guys can get along, why can't we. ...That sort of sounds like the Paul McCartney song

Europeans launch North American satellite on top of a Russian rocket in South America...in European Union !

The French Guiana part.

Because they are not 4 year olds fighting about stupid stuff and repeating catch frases and views to gain votes.

Human-made barrier surrounding the Earth detected by NASA space probes

Human-made barrier surrounding the Earth detected by NASA space probes
Human-made barrier surrounding the Earth detected by NASA space probes

I'm surprised that this article doesn't mention Project West Ford in its description of more negative times when we've influenced the environment around the Earth. West Ford 2, in 1963, was an attempt to create an artificial ionosphere to improve long range radio communications. It's also a major part of why countries are now supposed to announce any intended orbital launch, because the US (successfully) made an artificial ionosphere by launching several hundred million needles into Medium Earth Orbit in what is now considered to be the largest ever deliberate creation of dangerous orbital debris. Some of it's still up there, because whoever came up with this idea was extraordinarily bad at long term planning.

Here's an article that actually gets to the point in the first paragraph.

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/nasa-space-weather-earth-cocoon-van-allen

If I recall, that project was to try and intercept Soviet radio and protect the Americans' from a similar idea.

I also think there's a chinese weather satellite that they (the chinese) shot down leaving a lot of debris.

So basically: we accidentally created a real, honest to god, force field around the planet that is helping to deflect dangerous radiation.

Badass.

Astronomers discover a “puffy” planet with the density of styrofoam

Astronomers discover a “puffy” planet with the density of styrofoam
Astronomers discover a “puffy” planet with the density of styrofoam

Astrophysicist chiming in here. We can determine the radius (or size) of the planet through what is known as the transit method. The tl;dr of the transit method is: planet has a projected size on the sky, star has a projected size on the sky, when the planet passes in front of the star it blocks light proportional to the ratio of the sizes and thus we can find the size of the planet.

The mass of the planet can be found through several methods but a common one is the radial velocity method. The tl;dr of this method: everything orbits a common center of mass and by measuring small, periodic changes in the velocity of the star we can determine the mass of the object orbiting the star.

When you put these two physical parameters together (radius and mass) we can calculate the bulk density of the planet and then compare to things such as Styrofoam. Although there is no practical reason to compare it to Styrofoam, it makes for an interesting pop science article. The "puffy" description refers to what we think the atmosphere is doing. These planets are very close to their host stars and therefore are very hot. This can cause the atmosphere to be much more extended than what we see for planets in our Solar System and the term "puffy" or sometimes "Hot Jupiter" was eventually adopted.

I'm curious how astronomers can know something like this about a planet. I guess I understand how they are able to roughly determine the size, but I thought the only way to see planets of other stars was to look for objects that block the light of those stars. How would that let them know anything about an object other than its size?

Replies like this is what makes reddit interesting. +1

Is it OK if I wildly speculate that it is not a planet, but is instead a structure, and that it's low density is derived from it being made up of rooms?

Try one of these subthreads