Science

Philae comet lander goes to sleep as batteries near end

Philae comet lander goes to sleep as batteries near end

The Philae comet lander has gone into a sleep mode after being unable to get enough sunlight to recharge its batteries, the European Space Agency has reported. This follows a hiccup with landing that caused Philae to bounce off the comet's surface and eventually land elsewhere, with its final resting place being a position where it isn't able to get adequate sunlight. A ray of hope remains, however, as the mission controllers were able to rotate Philae enough before going idle that it may get more sunlight than previously available.

Continue Reading

Study: lightning strikes will increase with global warming

Study: lightning strikes will increase with global warming

In a picture of the dystopian future many paint for us, the world is scorched, and full of powerful storms. A new report suggests that might not be too far from the truth, should climate change continue unfettered. In a study published today in the Journal of Science, we find that the new thinking around climate change will bring increased lightning storms. According to the study, every two degrees fahrenheit we see in global warming will result in 12% more lightning in the US.

Continue Reading

Rosetta’s lander may be fading, but its photos are incredible

Rosetta’s lander may be fading, but its photos are incredible

Philae may be lost somewhere on Comet 67P, rapidly running out of power, and yet to tie itself down safely, but that's not stopping the Rosetta mission from sending back some incredible photos of the hurtling space rock. Images captured both by the lander itself and the Rosetta rocket that delivered it to Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko - and is currently orbiting it as a radio lifeline back to Earth - show the incredible surface both from close orbit and from Philae's unexpectedly awkward current resting place, though how much longer the probe will be able to send back footage is unclear.

Continue Reading

Philae future in question as comet lander battery dwindles

Philae future in question as comet lander battery dwindles

The Philae lander that traveled 3.98 million miles to land on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenkohas is now frantically attempting as much scientific research as it can, with the ESA concerned that its batteries could die in less than a day. The European Space Agency planned to run Philae, its Rosetta mission probe to a comet hurtling 80,000 mph through space, through until March 2015, investigating how the icy space rock was affected by the sun as it travels in the solar system, but an awkward landing - or, more accurately, three landings - has left the future of the experiment in question.

Continue Reading

Scientists descend mysterious Siberian sinkhole, reveal pics

Scientists descend mysterious Siberian sinkhole, reveal pics

Remember that massive Siberian sinkhole? There's still no answer about how these mysterious holes came about, but some brave scientists have donned their winter gear and descended into the depths of one, snapping pictures on the way down and from the bottom. Now those images are available, and they show the sheer size of the craters, as well as the glass-like icy walls. Oddly enough, some scientists think the cause could be the same responsible for the Bermuda Triangle.

Continue Reading

Robot dolphins go deep to understand Antarctic melt

Robot dolphins go deep to understand Antarctic melt

We knew the West Antarctic ice was melting, but it's taken a school of robotic dolphins to figure out why, with researchers at Caltech using ocean gliders to explore the ocean eddies responsible. The six foot long robots take advantage of changes in buoyancy to soar through the water, rather than propellers, and swam the Southern Ocean off the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula for two months, diving to depths of around 1.2 miles before surfacing again to report their findings around temperature and salinity via radio links to the Caltech team.

Continue Reading

Rosetta lander sends comet postcard (but there’s a problem)

Rosetta lander sends comet postcard (but there’s a problem)

As unusual views of space go, the surface of a comet rushing more than 80,000 mph through the universe from a tiny lander perched on its surface ranks pretty high on the list. That's just what the European Space Agency's Philae lander has beamed back to Earth - via the Rosetta spaceship it hitched a ride to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenkohas on - after successfully landing on the rocky surface yesterday. It's the incredible culmination of a decade-long journey and a seven hour descent; problem is, while the view might be dramatic, it's also threatening Philae's long-term survival.

Continue Reading

Biodegradable drone is designed to melt away if it crashes

Biodegradable drone is designed to melt away if it crashes

The drone you see in the picture here is unique in that it is designed to dissolve over time if it crashes or is abandoned in the environment. It’s made from a material called mycelium, which is a root-like fungus. The fungus material is coated in a plant-based cellulose to make it sturdy enough for flight. Inside the biodegradable enclosure, the circuitry is also designed to melt away over time.

Continue Reading

Rosetta’s comet-harpooning lander is on its way down

Rosetta’s comet-harpooning lander is on its way down

A spacecraft harpooning a comet: it should be something out of a science fiction movie, but it's actually a mission underway right now, with the European Space Agency's Rosetta probe set to grapple with a chunk of hurtling space rock. The mission officially began back in 2004 when Rosetta and the Philae lander started their journey to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenk, but cranked up the excitement in the early hours of this morning as spacecraft and rock came together. Philae shared a last-minute photo on Twitter - which you can see after the cut, as well as live video of the action itself - and then began its careful journey down fourteen miles to the surface.

Continue Reading

Rosetta/Philae to land on orbiting comet tomorrow

Rosetta/Philae to land on orbiting comet tomorrow

A full decade in the making, tomorrow will likely be the first time we land on a comet. At around 4:30pm Central European time (about 10:30 EST stateside), the Philae lander is set to touch down on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Should it be successful, the robotic Philae is the first craft built by humans to ever land on a moving comet. Philae is set to detach from its Rosetta spaceship about six hours ahead of landing on Comet 67P.

Continue Reading

Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Next