One of the most damaging meteor strikes in recorded history occurred earlier this year over the frigid Russian town of Chelyabinsk. The meteor injured as many as 1000 people when it entered the Earth's atmosphere over the Russian city creating shockwaves that shattered windows and rained shards of debris on people in the city. Scientists were later able to determine the meteor weighed in the area of 10,000 tons and is a chrondite.
A new analysis of Kepler Space Telescope data by Berkeley astronomers suggests that as many as 40 billion planets with climates similar to Earth's may be calculated to exist in the Milky Way galaxy. Of those, 11 billion orbit stars similar to our sun. The rest of the hypothetical planets orbit red dwarf stars, which are the same size as our sun but cooler. New news nicely complements the more in-depth recent mineral analysis of the single planet Kepler Planet 78b.
Back in December of 2012 NASA awarded a total of $30 million to three different private space companies. Each of the three companies received about $10 million and included Boeing, SpaceX, and Sierra Nevada Corp. So far, SpaceX has been the most successful with its Dragon capsule already having traveled to the ISS.
NASA has been targeting the first test flight for the Orion space capsule to happen in 2014 since July of 2012. Orion is a multipurpose crew vehicle that is designed to take astronauts to the ISS and possibly beyond. NASA has recently said that the Orion is on target for its inaugural test flight to happen in September of 2014.
Every now and again, something happens that causes one to question whether common sense is as common as believed, not the least of which is when someone brags in a public space about doing something illegal. Such was the case regarding Lauri Love, a British man who has been charged for hacking both NASA and the US military alongside hacking compatriots and then boasting about doing so on Twitter.
We've been hearing about the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica since the 80s. This thinning out of Earth's important ozone layer is what resulted in many aerosols being reformulated to help reduce the rate that ozone is being depleted. Scientists report that satellite data has now revealed a slight shrinking of the ozone hole this year.
Titan is the largest moon orbiting the planet Saturn in our own solar system. Titan is one of the most interesting celestial bodies in our solar system. Last summer, the weather on Titan cleared long enough to allow the orbiting NASA Cassini spacecraft to take some interesting photographs and beam them back to earth for astronomers and scientists to check out.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center predicts more solar storms Monday, disrupting the power grid and satellite communications. The predictions come during the peak of the current solar cycle, an eleven-year period of sun spot activity, solar storms, solar flares, and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). The effects on Earth are expected to be relatively mild.
Google may be floating the internet in balloons, but NASA is firing lasers between the moon and Earth, setting a new record in communications as it hunts an alternative to traditional radio. The Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) uses a pulsed laser beam to achieve 622 Mbps between a spacecraft orbiting the the moon and an Earth station at New Mexico, and could open the door to more data-rich communications supporting 3D video and higher-resolution images.