Astral

CleanSpace One: RUMBAs In Space

by on February 16, 2012


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“In Event Of Moon Disaster”: Memorium For Neil & Buzz

by on February 15, 2012

Take a moment to read this memo, delightfully sourced from the “American Originals” exhibition by The National Archives. Written by President Nixon’s speechwriter William Safire, it addresses the possiblity that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin would be killed or marooned during their mission, and aims to narrativize their deaths in tones of national pride, humanity’s undeniable desire for exploration, and honour, as would be expected.

They will be


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On The Matter Of Scale, And The Scale Of Matter

by on February 10, 2012

Feeling big today? You aren’t. Feeling small today? Sorry, you can’t make that claim either.

On a more positive note, you are still animate, ambulant matter, conscious and self-aware, so check out the Scale of the Universe Interactive.

Via Dangerous Minds
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Lego Man Launched Into Space: Video

by on January 27, 2012

Two Toronto high school students launched a LEGO minifig holding a Canadian flag into near space, using a cell phone and a weather balloon. Check out the amazing footage:

More details from a Global TV Interview, after the jump.…
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Solar Storm scores high on Neato-sphere

by on January 24, 2012

Feeling a bit wonky today?

NASA has released images and treated video of the massive solar flare that erupted Sunday evening on our local star.

Today we are feeling the impacts of the solar radiation storm, as the flare and the “solar energetic particles” have reached the Earth’s magnetosphere. Large power-grids, satellites, and air traffic are already being affected. In particular, air planes are being re-routed so as to avoid …
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Astro-Time Is So Analog

by on January 19, 2012

Horologists split on the Leap Second

The earth’s movement is slowing down by two thousandths of a second each day, which means astronomical time is out of sync with atomic time.

To reconcile this difference we have leap seconds, extra seconds which we add to time measurements every few years.

If we abandon leap seconds, and rely only on atomic clocks, time measurements will start to deviate from the position


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Apocalypse And The Wisdom Of The Not-Mayans

by on January 7, 2012

A grouchier than usual CGP Grey demolishes the whole Mayan calendar/ end of the world in 2012 thing.


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Boldly Go Learn Something About Space

by on December 29, 2011

The IRrelevant Astronomy video podcast is a consistently accessible, tongue-in-cheek look at space science. I was reminded this morning of “The Robot Astronomy Talk Show: Gravity and the Great Attractor” episode, featuring the voices of George Takei, Mark Hamill, and Ed Wasser.

What reminded me of that, was this:…
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The Higgs Boson ~ A Flirtation From God

by on December 13, 2011

The most coveted prize in particle physics – the Higgs boson – may have been glimpsed, say researchers reporting at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva.

The particle is purported to be the means by which everything in the Universe obtains its mass.

The Higgs boson

* The Higgs is a sub-atomic particle that is predicted to exist, but has not yet been seen
* It was proposed as


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Stormy Saturnalia

by on November 18, 2011

Meanwhile, on Saturn…

a storm has been raging round and round the gas giant for the more than 200 days (first detected as an angry speck Dec 5, 2010). Fortunately, Cassini is on hand to send back these images, the first rendered in false-color.

Saturn’s atmosphere and its rings are shown here in a false color composite made from three images taken in near infrared light through filters that


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The Entropy Clock

by on November 14, 2011

This week’s Minute Physics lasts a minute and 50 seconds and features a different narrator (CalTech physicist Sean Carroll) – entropy up to its old increasing tricks?

After the break: Trust general relativity to navigate your car.…
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Enceladus, Hello!

by on October 24, 2011

Meanwhile on the outer rings of Saturn…

Enceladus and Saturn

Enceladus, trumpeter to arms, is a giant son of Gaia and Uranus. Stabbed in the side by Athena, he supposedly slumbers fitfully under Mount Etna, his writhings causing the volcano to bubble and fume.

Enceladus is also the sixth largest of Saturn’s 62 known moons. After a recent fly-by (one of many) the Cassini spacecraft sent back these images
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