NASA Researchers at the Langley facility have unveiled HAVOC (High Altitude Venus Operational Concept) as a way of exploring Earth's nearest planetary neighbor, Venus. This blimp-like craft holds two astronauts, and can be used to send them on a month-long mission to float around the planet's sulfuric acid-heavy atmosphere. There would be a floating habitat attached to HAVOC where the astronauts would live and work 50-kilometers above the Venusian surface. Click here to view the first image in this week's funny Facebook status updates gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of street musicians with unbelievable handmade guitars.
The Sun has a mass of 2*10^30 kg, which is about 300,000 times greater than the mass of the Earth. Mass depends on the amount of matter in an object. Weight on the other hand, varies with respect to local gravity, however the Sun is not sitting near any other planet's gravitational field. On a related note, since the radius of the moon is about 1,080 miles, approximately 64.3 million moons could fit inside the Sun if it were hollow. Continue reading for more interesting space facts.
Jackie, an alleged former NASA employee, called into the nightly Coast to Coast AM radio show, with a 'confession' that she saw suited men walking on the red planet in 1979. Apparently, she was working as part of a 'downstairs' team downloading telemetry from a Viking Lander when something caught her eye on the live feed. Continue reading to listen to the entire call.
Clint Curtis is an American attorney, computer programmer and ex-employee of NASA and ExxonMobil. He's known for making a series of whistleblower allegations about his former employer and about Republican Congressman Tom Feeney, including an allegation that in 2000, Feeney and Yang Enterprises requested Curtis's assistance in a scheme to steal votes by inserting fraudulent code into touch screen voting systems. Continue reading for more interesting facts.
Another day, another UFO sighting, but this one isn't just a blurry video shot by someone with a smartphone. This unidentified flying object recently photobombed astronauts making repairs to the International Space (ISS) earlier this month, making it a viral internet sensation. It happened when Flight Engineers Reid Wiseman of NASA and Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency conducted a spacewalk outside the International Space Station to fix an electrical problem, and the UFO can be seen hovering just for a few seconds behind the astronauts, before the camera cuts to another angle. Continue reading for the video and more information.
Despite its invisible interior, the presence of a black hole can be inferred through its interaction with other matter and with electromagnetic radiation such as light. Matter falling onto a black hole can form an accretion disk heated by friction, forming some of the brightest objects in the universe. If there are other stars orbiting a black hole, their orbit can be used to determine its mass and location. Such observations can be used to exclude possible alternatives (such as neutron stars). In this way, astronomers have identified numerous stellar black hole candidates in binary systems, and established that the core of the Milky Way contains a supermassive black hole of about 4.3 million solar masses. Continue reading for more.
NGC 6302, also known as the Bug Nebula or Butterfly Nebula, is a bipolar planetary nebula in the constellation Scorpius. The structure in the nebula is among the most complex ever observed in planetary nebulae. Due to its composition, when observed with a telescope, its shape reminds many of a butterfly. Continue reading for five things you may not have known about this nebula.
At first glance, these may appear to be a blurry image of random lights, but in reality, what you see are co-orbiting supermassive black holes powering the giant radio source 3C 75. They're surrounded by multi-million degree x-ray emitting gas, and blasting out jets of relativistic particles, separated by 25,000 light-years. Continue reading for a video and more information.
If you thought sunrises here were beautiful, think again, as the International Space Station crew crew sees, on average, sixteen mind-blowing sunrises and sunsets during a 24-hour orbital period. The time between day and night on the ground is marked by the terminator, a line separating the sunlit side of Earth from the side in darkness. Astronaut Reid Wiseman, who is currently aboard the station, is known for his beautiful shots of Earth, along with his German colleague Alexander Gerst. Continue reading for more.
In astronomy and astrobiology, the Goldilocks zone is the region around a star where a planet with sufficient atmospheric pressure can maintain liquid water on its surface. A potentially habitable planet implies a terrestrial planet within the Goldilocks zone and with conditions roughly comparable to those of Earth. Although only about a dozen planets have been confirmed in the habitable zone, the Kepler spacecraft has identified a further 54 candidates and current estimates indicate that there are "at least 500 million" planets in habitable zones in the Milky Way. Continue reading for more.