nasa science

independent.co.uk
Nasa announces major press conference on a 'discovery beyond our solar system'
Attending the press conference will be astronomers and planetary scientists from across the world.

Nasa is to host a major press conference on a “discovery beyond our solar system”.

The event will see the revelation of major information about exoplanets, or planets that orbit stars other than our sun, according to a release. It made no further mention of the details of what would be revealed.

Exoplanets are the major hope for life elsewhere in the universe, since many have been found that resemble our own Earth and could have the building blocks of life. More of them are being discovered all the time.

The event will take place on 22 February at 1pm New York time, it said. It will be streamed live on Nasa’s television station and on its website.

Attending the press conference will be astronomers and planetary scientists from across the world.

Nasa said that the public will be able to ask questions using the hashtag #AskNasa during the conference. The agency will also hold a Reddit AMA, or ask me anything, session straight after the briefing.

NASA scientist Sidd Bikkannavar says he was forced to unlock phone at airport

  • Before it was temporarily halted by federal judges, President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban affected thousands of people worldwide. While much of the focus has rightly been on the refugees and immigrants whose lives were affected by the ban, it’s also affected U.S. citizens — including a NASA scientist.
  • Sidd Bikkannavar, who works in NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, was detained by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol on Jan. 30 upon returning to the United States from Santiago, Chile, the Verge reported.  Read more.

Scientists predict that a pair of stars in the constellation Cygnus will collide in 2022, give or take a year, creating an explosion in the night sky so bright that it will be visible to the naked eye.

If it happens, it would be the first time such an event was predicted by scientists.

Calvin College professor Larry Molnar and his team said in a statement that two stars are orbiting each other now and “share a common atmosphere, like two peanuts sharing a single shell.”

Scientists Predict Star Collision Visible To The Naked Eye In 2022

Photo: NASA/IPAC/MSX
Caption: Scientists predict a star collision in the constellation Cygnus.

Triple treat: Eclipse, comet, full moon all coming Friday night 2/10/17

Penumbral lunar eclipse

Not as spectacular — or noticeable — as a total lunar eclipse, this rather subtle phenomenon occurs when the moon moves through the outer part of Earth’s shadow (known as the penumbra), according to EarthSky.org.

The outer shadow of the Earth blocks part — but not all — of the sun’s rays from reaching the moon, making it appear slightly darker than usual.

Full “snow” moon

As required during any lunar eclipse, the moon will be full Friday night. And this month it’s nicknamed the “snow” moon.

According to the Farmers’ Almanac, full moon names date back to Native Americans in the northern and eastern U.S. Each full moon has its own name.

“The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full moon,” the almanac reports. “Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred.”

Comet 45P

A few hours after the eclipse, Comet 45P, which has been visible after sunset for the past two months through binoculars and telescopes, makes its closest approach to Earth, when it will be “only” 7.4 million miles away, NASA said.

Look to the east around 3 a.m. Saturday morning, where it will be visible in the sky in the constellation Hercules. Binoculars or a telescope could be helpful. Watch for a bright blue-green “head” with a tail.

It will be visible in various points of the night sky until the end of February, according to NASA.