space debris

Solar System: Things to Know This Week

Not to be—ahem—eclipsed, the Perseids meteor shower peaks annually in mid-August and is considered the most popular meteor shower of the year. 

This week, 10 things you need to know about this beautiful nighttime show and how to catch a front-row seat.

1. Light in August

In this 30 second exposure, a meteor streaks across the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower Friday, Aug. 12, 2016 in Spruce Knob, West Virginia. The Perseids show up every year in August when Earth ventures through trails of debris left behind by an ancient comet. Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

With very fast and bright meteors, Perseids (pronounced PURR-see-ids) frequently leave long “wakes” of light and color behind them as they streak through Earth’s atmosphere. Perseids are one of the most plentiful showers, with between 50-100 meteors seen each hour, and occur with warm summer nighttime weather, allowing sky watchers to easily view them.

2. Show Schedule

You can see the Perseids this year between now and Aug. 24, 2017, but mark your calendars for peak dates Aug. 12 and 13. This year, the waning gibbous moon rises about midnight local time, which will cut the expected rates in half this year (25 to 50 per hour at the peak from a very dark sky). But the Perseids are so bright and numerous that it should still be a good show.

3. Night Owls Welcome

The Perseids (and every meteor shower) are best viewed in the Northern Hemisphere between 11 p.m. - 3 a.m. Come prepared with a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair.

4. Look Up

Find an area well away from city or street lights and set up where you’re shadowed from the moon’s glare. Face whatever direction you like, ideally the one unobstructed by trees, buildings or moonlight. Look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible. If you have a group, each person should look in different parts of the sky. After about 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt, and you’ll begin to see fainter objects, including meteors. Be patient; the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse.

5. Functional Fashion

Pack a baseball cap and wear it sideways to cover any glare from the moon. The waning gibbous moon will block out many of the fainter meteors this year, but the Perseids are so bright and numerous that it should still be a good show.

6. Meteor Matters

Where do meteors come from? Some originate from leftover comet particles and bits of broken asteroids. When comets come around the sun, they leave a dusty trail behind them. Every year, Earth passes through these debris trails, which allows the bits to collide with our atmosphere and disintegrate to create fiery and colorful streaks in the sky. But the vast majority of meteors don’t come from meteor showers—instead, they randomly fall all of the time.

7. Origins

The pieces of space debris that interact with our atmosphere to create the Perseids originate from Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle. Swift-Tuttle takes 133 years to orbit the sun once, and Comet Swift-Tuttle last visited the inner solar system in 1992. Swift-Tuttle is a large comet: its nucleus is 16 miles (26 kilometers) across. This is almost twice the size of the object hypothesized to have wiped out the dinosaurs.

8. Discoverers

Comet Swift-Tuttle was discovered in 1862 by Lewis Swift and Horace Tuttle. In 1865, Giovanni Schiaparelli realized that this comet was the source of the Perseids.

9. Great Balls of Fire

The Perseids are known for fireballs, which are large explosions of light and color that last longer than an average meteor streak. Why? They originate from bigger particles of cometary material.

10. Sky Map

The point in the sky from which the Perseids appear to come from—also known as their radiant—is the constellation Perseus. But don’t get confused: The constellation name only helps viewers figure out which shower they’re viewing on a given night; it’s not the source of the meteors (see #6 for that answer!).

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

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When I first saw the Escape from Beta Traz episode, the idea of “sharpshooter” Lance stuck with me and I thought it would be really cool if his Bayard could eventually transform in a sniper rifle in S3. So this is my take on it ;)

((BTW: the second pic is totally background sized if you think you want Lance shooting at your desktop folders èvè))

Wonder how aliens react to all the debris trapped in orbit around earth?

Alien1: “Hey look there’s that hospitable planet we’ve been traveling to!”

Alien2: “Yeah but it looks like the indigenous life forms there have put defense mechanisms around the planet. Look at all the shiny asteroids in its orbit!”

Alien1: “You’re right. *sigh* Guess we aren’t exploring that planet anytime soon.”

Recycling NGC 5291 : Following an ancient galaxy-galaxy collision 200 million light-years from Earth, debris from a gas-rich galaxy, NGC 5291, was flung far into intergalactic space. NGC 5291 and the likely interloper, also known as the Seashell galaxy, are captured near the center of this spectacular scene. The sharp, ground-based telescopic image looks toward the galaxy cluster Abell 3574 in the southern constellation Centaurus. Stretched along the 100,000 light-year long tidal tails, are clumps resembling dwarf galaxies, but lacking old stars, apparently dominated by young stars and active star forming regions. Found to be unusually rich in elements heavier than hydrogen and helium, the dwarf galaxies were likely born in intergalactic space, recycling the enriched debris from NGC 5291 itself. via NASA

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Elon Musk unveils scaled-down version of Mars colonization vessel with broader applications.

SpaceX founder and Chief Designer Elon Musk unveiled modifications to the Interplanetary Transport System at the 2017 International Astronomical Congress in Adelaide, Australia September 29. The announcement was the first major modification of the system since its debut at the 2016 IAC conference last September.

Initially, the ITS was the colonization ship SpaceX designed to transport cargo and passengers en masse to the Martian surface. However, funding the system proved more difficult than the company anticipated, prompting Musk to redesign the rocket. 

Cutaway diagram of the 2017 BFR spaceship. This is the upper stage of the two-stage vehicle. A small delta wing has been added to improve stability during a wide-range of mission profiles across multiple atmospheres.

BFR, as it has been renamed - for ‘Big Falcon Rocket’ - will replace all systems currently flying or in development by SpaceX, including Dragon, Falcon 9, and Falcon Heavy. While still a two-stage vehicle, the ship’s diameter has been reduced from 12 meters to 9 meters, and the upper stage’s Raptor engines have been reduced to four. The vehicle’s overall length has been shortened slightly to 106 meters from 122.

However, by reducing slightly the scale of the vehicle, Musk says that the BFR will be able to take on tasks previously designated for the company’s other vehicles. Missions in Earth orbit could be performed to deploy ‘more satellites at [one] time than has ever been done before,’ collect space debris, or launch a new generation of ultra-large telescopes.

Additionally, BFR could be used for the construction of a Lunar outpost which would not only test out key skills necessary for their Mars architecture but also provide significant scientific output. A single refueling procedure in a highly-elliptical Earth orbit would be sufficient to send the BFR to a Lunar landing and a direct return to Earth.

Musk’s ultimate goal with the system is the colonization of Mars, which the BFR would be able to achieve with four Earth-orbital refuelings. The spaceship would achieve a propulsive landing on the Martian surface before beginning surface operations. Martian resources would be used to create the propellant necessary to return the ship to Earth.

SpaceX has already ordered the equipment necessary to manufacture the massive new rocket and has an ‘aspirational’ goal for a maiden voyage to Mars in 2022.

In addition to consolidating the SpaceX product line to BFR, the company also hopes to generate revenue by using the rockets for point-to-point transportation anywhere on Earth in under an hour.

Launching from ocean-based spaceports, BFR would use its 100-person capacity to loft passengers on a suborbital flight anywhere across the globe. Coupled with the company’s already in-development Hyperloop, Earth-based BFR transport would revolutionize global connectivity and culture. Musk estimates Earth-based flights would cost ‘no more than full-fare economy [class] in an aircraft.’


Watch Musk’s 2017 IAC presentation revealing modifications to the ITS/BFR system here or below.

P/c: SpaceX/Elon Musk.

Your name is JUICE. As was previously mentioned it is 17776. A number of PLANETS AND SPACE DEBRIS are scattered in the distance. You have a variety of INTERESTS. You have a passion for GAME 27. You like to think about Lunchables but you are NOT ABLE TO EAT THEM. You have a fondness for FOOTBALL, and you are FRENCH. You also like to WATCH PEOPLE STEP ON HOES sometimes.

What will you do?

==>ANNOY TEN BY DISCUSSING GAME 27

so like

why isn’t keith x pidge called forestfire

and hunk x pidge called earthbound

and lance x pidge called plant growth

??????

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE

keith x lance called smoke (i thought about calling it steam but that would be too real winks at smut fanfics

keith x hunk called volcanic eruption

keith x shiro called suns and stars

hunk x lance called beach

hunk x shiro (i’ve never seen fanfic for them but whateva) called space debris

allura x shiro called black-hole (cause shiro always disappears and allura feels like a part of her missing without him there haha im so funny)

allura x lance called ice (allura is always cold towards him when he flirts ie. water freezes when it’s cold)

keith x allura called fossil fuels [allura had hated keith, but now she’s grown closer to him; both (presumably?) having lost their fathers or remnants of them from reality and they’re both aliens so]

i haven’t come up with one for shiro x pidge, allura x pidge, and lance x shiro yet

ALSO I DON’T REALLY THINK CORRAN WOULD BE SHIPPED WITH ANYONE NO OFFENSE BUT LIKE HE’S THEIR UNCLE/GRANDPA FIGURE (if someone makes an uncle grandpa joke im deleting my blog oh my god i hate that show im sorry)

but hypothetically, i think corran and hunk would have a platonic/friendly relationship with their shared love of cooking and it would just be called fossils bc ya corran is supposed to be ded n shit

but ok lance is corran’s favorite no one fight me on this also their platonic ship would be called crystal idk that’s all i got

EDIT: I CANT BELIEVE I FORGOT KING ALFOR ANF CORRAN IM

anyway

they’re called handmaiden ;))) one giv the succ the other givs teh fucc

idek what that means im like half awake

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Meteor strikes Thailand twice in 3 months.

The first ( seen in the first animation) took place on September 7 and the second one on the second of November. They were initially thought to be some plane crashes, but were later confirmed to be small meteor showers.


Just that you know this happens all the time in our atmosphere and there is nothing to be alarmed about.

EDIT: 

Here is yet another spectacular but dangerous meteorite crash in Russia that occurred waay back in 2012. Caused quite a stir!

Sources: video-1 , video -2 , video-3.

bbc.com
Japan tests innovative magnetic tether for slowing space junk
Japan launches a cargo ship carrying a space junk collector designed to gather debris in space.

Japan has launched a cargo ship which will use a half mile- (700m)-long tether to remove some of the vast amount of debris from Earth’s orbit.

The tether, made of aluminium strands and steel wire, is designed to slow the debris, pulling it out of orbit.

The innovative device was made with the help of a fishing net company.

There is estimated to be more than 100 million pieces of space junk in orbit, including discarded equipment from old satellites, tools and bits of rocket.

Many of these objects are moving at high velocity around the Earth at speeds of up to 28,000km/h (17,500mph) and could cause catastrophic accidents and damage to the world’s orbital telecommunications network.

[…]

Researchers say the lubricated, electro-dynamic tether will generate enough energy to change an object’s orbit, pushing it towards the atmosphere where it will burn up.

Continue Reading.

Blow your mind with these 50 facts about Universe
  • Saturn would float if you would put it in water.
  • If you would place a pinhead sized piece of the Sun on the Earth you would die from standing within 145 km (90 miles) from it.
  • Space is not a complete vacuum, there are about 3 atoms per cubic meter of space.
  • Only 5% of the universe is made up of normal matter, 25% is dark matter and 70% is dark energy.
  • Neutron stars are so dense that a teaspoon of them would be equal to the weight of the entire Earth’s population.
  • The Sun is 400 times larger than the Moon but is 400 times further away from Earth making them appear the same size.
  • The star Lucy in the constellation Centaurus is a huge cosmic diamond of 10 billion trillion trillion carats.
  • Seasons last 21 years on Uranus while each pole has 42 years of sunlight followed by 42 years of darkness….

Keep reading

smoke from the chimney, log cabins on the moon

I carved a hollow place in the moon for you; I built a log cabin where a spaceship should be. When you arrive,  you will never have to swallow the poison of oxygen – never be told to hold your breath.

The craters are good places to play. When you fall, Gravity won’t curse you. When you speak, the words will float into expansion and you will be heard across the universe. 

We will build a home where love is not disrupted by satellite signals. You will understand what it is like to orbit something only beautiful from a distance. I will give you history books and religious texts

and teach you that fear is the murderer of millions. We will laugh at the lovers laying on blankets and staring at us, promising our home to one another.

When it is cold, we will burn rocket fuel but never tell ghost stories. We will vacation where the sun cannot pollute our skin cells. The arch of constellations will be meaningless 

until we create our own shapes. 

Why space dust emits radio waves upon crashing into a spacecraft

When spacecraft and satellites travel through space they encounter tiny, fast moving particles of space dust and debris. If the particle travels fast enough, its impact appears to create electromagnetic radiation (in the form of radio waves) that can damage or even disable the craft’s electronic systems.

A new study published this week in the journal Physics of Plasmas, from AIP Publishing, uses computer simulations to show that the cloud of plasma generated from the particle’s impact is responsible for creating the damaging electromagnetic pulse. They show that as the plasma expands into the surrounding vacuum, the ions and electrons travel at different speeds and separate in a way that creates radio frequency emissions.

Keep reading

A Legend, A Lie

Summary: One night while everyone is gathered around the campfire, one of the Lost Boys recites an old (and seemingly fake) myth about what happens when two people kiss under a new moon in Neverland. You don’t believe a word of it…until someone unexpected tries to debunk the legend with you.

Word Count:

Warnings: None

You watched as the flames of the fire licked up into the bitingly cold air. You wrapped your arms around yourself, pulling your knees closer to your chest.

All of you sat around the fire, trying to distract yourselves from the freezing temperature around you and instead taking turns telling stories.

The Lost Boys told tales of (alleged) encounters they’d had with big bad wolves and little boys who were actually made of wood. Peter rolled his eyes at their stories, but watched on from a distance with faint amusement as he sharpened one of spears.

One of the Lost Boys looked up at the night sky, squinting his eyes. Slowly, he spoke up, “H-hey, guys, what kind of moon was it last night?”

One boy said, “It was a waxing crescent!”

Another called out, “No, you idiot, it was a waning crescent!”

The boy to the left of you let out a laugh. “Really? Well, now that we finally have Y/N here, maybe somebody will get some action.”

Peter stopped sharpening his spear.

“What?” Your eyes widened, giving questioning looks to the boy to your right. “What the hell are you guys talking about?”

Some of the boys cackled, while others just shook their head.

Finally, the boy who’d first stared up at the sky answered, “You see, it’s kind of this old legend…”

“A fake legend!” A boy shouted out.

“No it’s not!” Another one argued.

“What kind of legend?” You asked, feeling slightly uneasy.

This resulted in another round of laughing, and you rolled your eyes, your unease turning to flat out irritation.

“It’s dumb, Y/N.” The boy to the right of you spoke up. “But…some of the boys who were here before us told us about it, and they said that it’d been a thing ever since they first came to Neverland.”

What is a thing?” You cried out, annoyed with the all the preambling.

“The myth goes that if a boy and a girl kiss under a new moon in Neverland, something crazy will happen in the sky!” Another boy finished.

You let out a breath, simultaneously pissed off and relieved that it was just something stupid. “Yeah, okay. So some of the goons before you guys got bored and made up some heteronormative lie to keep themselves preoccupied. What exactly does that have to do with me?”

You hadn’t realized that Peter had moved closer to the camp fire, and when you glanced at him, you saw he had his arms crossed, a disapproving look on his face.

“Well, Y/N…” A boy across the campfire slowly said, “…It seems that you’re the first girl in a while to show up here in Neverland.”

Then, the boy wiggled his eyebrows at you, and all the boys broke into a fit of giggles once more.

That’s when the fire suddenly went out with a loud WHOOSH!, and everyone went deadly quiet.

Peter was standing up on one of the tallest rocks in the clearing, visibly agitated. “No one,” he boomed, “is going to be telling any more ridiculous stories, especially those that harass one of our own Lost Girls. Got it?”

Trembling partially from the cold and partially from fear, the Lost Boys vigorously nodded their heads. When Peter finally waved his hand dismissively, the boys quickly dispersed, sprinting back to their own tents.

This left you alone with Peter in the clearing, standing by the put out fire.

“You didn’t have to do that.” You told him, standing up and brushing some of the dirt and ash off your legs. “I know it’s just some dumb story.”

Peter chewed on his lip for a moment, watching the remaining smoke from the fire drift off into the crisp, night air. “Yeah, well…Still. You’ve been one of the most hard working people since you showed up here, and I’d hate for you to be bothered by a bunch of pubescent imbeciles.”

This made you laugh, which in turn made Peter grin. “Nah, they’re alright. After all, it’s not like they’ve been exposed to girls much, right?”

Peter nodded. “Yeah, and at their rate, they never will be.”

You smiled again, and found yourself admiring the way Peter looked when he wasn’t yelling at someone. There was almost a sort of softness to his face, and even though it was nighttime and the moon was nowhere to be seen, his pale skin seemed to have a natural glow all on its own. 

You didn’t know why, but something about the moment made you have to ask:

“So, you really don’t think it’s true?”

The question almost seemed to surprise Peter, but a gleam in his eyes told you something else.

“Hmm. I guess I really don’t know.” He answered, glancing up at the stars before letting his gaze fall back on you.

“Yeah. Too bad we’ll never find out-” You began to tease, but were stopped. Because then, right then, Peter swiftly closed the distance between the two of you, cupping your face and kissing you right on the mouth.

You let out a small gasp, clearly taken aback. However, instinct set in quick, and you closed your eyes, leaning into him and wrapping your arms around his neck.

Almost simultaneously, the two of you pulled back. Then, immediately, you and Peter’s attention shot up towards the sky, looking up to see…

…Nothing. The moon was still absent, the stars still lazily twinkling. There were no comets, no sudden explosions, not even any debris from space hurtling back down to Earth in a ball of fire.

You looked back at Peter, your heart racing despite the troposphere still being in perfect condition.

He smiled breathlessly, biting his lip in a way that made you feel light-headed.

Pulling you in closer, he said, “I don’t know about you, but I definitely just felt something crazy happen.”

You nodded, leaning in the rest of the way. “Yeah. I guess the boys were right after all.”