New Horizons managed to capture a beautiful sunset on Pluto from 11,000-miles away. On the top image, you can see Hillary Montes on the western skyline, with Norgay Montes in the central foreground and the frozen Sputnik Planum to the east. The entire image measures just 780-miles wide, and shows the complex layered haze of Pluto's atmosphere. The bottom image depicts dusk highlighted with fog - a near-surface haze cut by shadows of hills and small mountains. The image is 115-miles across. Continue reading for more fascinating photos.
Terraforming Mars may not sound as far fetched as turning the Moon and / or Venus into habitable planets, but it's definitely a possibility. One proposed method of paraterraforming just might work on the Moon, and would involve the construction of a habitable enclosure that eventually grows to encompass most of its usable area. The enclosure would consist of a transparent roof held one or more kilometers above the surface, pressurized with a breathable atmosphere, and anchored with tension towers and cables at regular intervals. Continue reading to see Venus terraformed.
The sun, planets and moon are a common sight in science textbooks, but actually seeing this formation to scale in a real location, isn't. Alex Gorosh and Wylie Overstreet, who are both filmmakers, decided to build the solar system to scale on the dry bed of Nevada's Black Rock Desert, starting with the Earth as the size of a marble. In the end, they need to use approximately 7 miles (11.2km) to squeeze in the orbit of the outermost planet, Neptune, and glass spheres lit by LEDs as well as GPS calculations were used to accurately map out the solar system. Continue reading for another mind-bending video about the solar system.
Five friends sent a GoPro to the edge of space via a weather balloon back in 2013, but unfortunately, they lost contact with the locator soon after take off, a few miles outside of Tuba City. Fast forward to this summer, a hiker in Arizona discovered a box with the names of all five friends on it 50 miles away from their original launch point. They were able to retrieve their equipment, and see just what was recorded. The most prized footage? Grand Canyon as seen from the stratosphere, approximately 98,664 feet above Earth. Continue reading for a video of another camera that was launched to the edge of space.
Aisha Mustafa, an Egyptain teenager, has patented a next-generation quantum-based propulsion system that could send humans to other solar systems without using a single drop of fuel. Basically, instead of rocket boosters, this system works on the principle that space is not a vacuum, but is filled with a roiling sea of particles and anti-matter particles that are created and then destroy themselves in a blink of an eye. Mustafa proposes that this quantum effect can be harnessed via the dynamic Casimir effect by utilizing a 'moving mirror' cavity, where two reflective flat plates are held close together and then manipulated in order to interact with the quantum particles. By moving the silicon plates, energy is created out of nothing and a net force is created which would be used to push, pull or propel a spacecraft. Continue reading for a video on future space propulsion systems and additional information on this one.
The terraforming of the red planet is a process in which the climate and surface of Mars would be deliberately changed to make large areas of the environment hospitable to humans, thus making human colonization sustainable. One way to create a martian atmosphere would be to import methane or other hydrocarbons, which are common in Titan's atmosphere and on its surface; the methane could be vented into the atmosphere where it would act to compound the greenhouse effect. According to modern theorists, Mars exists on the outer edge of the habitable zone, a region of the Solar System where life can exist. Mars is on the border of a region known as the extended habitable zone where liquid water on the surface may be supported if concentrated greenhouse gases could increase the atmospheric pressure. Continue reading for another video and more information.
"If an artist had painted this Pluto before our flyby, I probably would have called it over the top - but that's what is actually there," said NASA's mission's principal investigator, Alan Stern. These new up-close photos released today show wide plains, mountains, valleys, deltas that could've formerly had moving liquids, and possibly dunes, which implies strong winds, which no one expected to find on the dwarf planet. Continue reading for more pictures, a video and additional information.
Videos of a mysterious fireball exploding over Bangkok, Thailand began surfacing online Monday morning (September 7), and while the incident occurred at 8:40am local time, the clips showed a meteor-like object streaking the sky, before suddenly flaring up and then disappearing on the horizon, leaving behind a trail of smoke. "People should not worry because they are no larger than 10 meters and most of them entirely burn up in the atmosphere," said Suparerk Karuehanon, an academic at the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand. Continue reading for another video from a different viewpoint and more information.
Researchers have discovered an "alien plughole" on Mars with an enormous slab of water ice just beneath the crater, measuring 130-feet thick, that defies explanation. "There have been a lot of climate changes between now and the tens of millions of years ago when we suspect the ice was put there. But it shouldn't be stable today, and other past climates of ice instability in this region mean the ice should've sublimated away into the dry Martian atmosphere by now. So, that's what we need to investigate.
What kept the ice around all this time? There's no climate model that we have now that explains this," according to Shane Byrne, associate professor in University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. Continue reading for another video of Mars anomalies.
For millionaires tired of island getaways and / or bustling cities, you'll soon have the option of visiting the edge of space, thanks to World View Enterprises. With trips starting at $75,000, the Arizona-based company will take paying customers in a pressurized capsule to a height of 19-miles. A test flight validated the full flight profile of the spaceflight system, lifting a model of the eventual system scaled down to ten per cent to 120,000 feet and back down to 50,000 feet, breaking a world record. Continue reading for another video and more information.