Space

NASA’s latest image of the day shows a ‘hungry goblin’ in space

NASA’s latest image of the day shows a ‘hungry goblin’ in space

NASA has highlighted another particularly notable 'image of the day,' one featuring the pulsar PSR B1509-58 in the Circinus constellation. This particular celestial destination was first discovered in the early 1980s and has since been the source of images triggering pareidolia in viewers. The latest image shows what appears to be a giant goblin in space.

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NASA talks about key experiments conducted aboard the ISS in 2020

NASA talks about key experiments conducted aboard the ISS in 2020

Dozens of experiments are underway aboard the International Space Station at any given time. As 2020 drew to a close, NASA talked about a few of those experiments. One of the experiments being conducted is known as MARROW. This particular experiment is meant to diagnose a question that has long lingered about spaceflight.

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Astronauts got to eat a crop of space radishes on the ISS

Astronauts got to eat a crop of space radishes on the ISS

About a month ago, we talked about astronauts aboard the ISS harvesting the first crop of radishes grown in space. Being able to grow radishes in space is a big deal as astronauts will require food they can grow on their own for longer duration missions away from the Earth. The first crop of radishes were packed up to be sent back to researchers on the ground. However, the astronauts were recently able to eat some of the radishes they've grown aboard the ISS.

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Harvard professor believes bizarre asteroid from 2017 was alien technology

Harvard professor believes bizarre asteroid from 2017 was alien technology

A Harvard professor named Avi Loeb, the chair of Harvard's Department of Astronomy, believes the first sign we will get of an alien intelligence won't be spacecraft. Rather he thinks the first sign we will get of extraterrestrial life will be the civilization's trash. Loeb has a book being published on January 26 that lays out a case for why a bizarre asteroid that entered our solar system in 2017 was a piece of alien technology.

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The Earth is at its closest point to the sun today

The Earth is at its closest point to the sun today

NASA recently talked a bit about something going on between the Earth and the sun today, January 2, 2021. Today marks the Earth's perihelion, which is the closest point it reaches to the sun in our planet's elliptical orbit around our host star. NASA says the sun won't appear noticeably larger in the sky.

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2021 kicks off with the Quadrantid meteor shower peaking tonight

2021 kicks off with the Quadrantid meteor shower peaking tonight

We're only a couple of days into the new year, and skywatchers have something to look forward to in the late evening hours tonight, and the early morning hours on Sunday, January 3. The Quadrantid meteor shower reached its peak Saturday night into the early AM hours of Sunday morning. This could be one of the strongest meteor showers of the year, but we won't have ideal viewing conditions.

A bright waning gibbous moon will limit the amount of meteors visible from the ground. Other challenges could prevent some from being able to see the meteors, including cloud cover. The meteor shower also has a relatively short peak lasting only six hours. Ideal viewing hours in the northern hemisphere will be 2 a.m. local and dawn.

Viewers can expect between 50 and 100 meteors per hour with the best viewing in rural areas. The brightness of the moon will reduce the number of meteors seen. Those wanting to try and view the Quadrantid meteor shower will want to watch the northeastern sky and look about halfway up.

The Quadrantid shower could produce some fireballs, but mostly watchers will see what are typically called shooting stars. The American Meteor Society says that viewers should watch the sky for at least an hour. The Quadrantid meteor shower gets its name from a constellation called Quandris Muralis, which no longer exists as a recognized constellation.

The constellation was first observed in 1795 between Bootes and Draco, but it is considered obsolete and is no longer on the International Astronomical Union's list of modern constellations. The meteor shower will radiate between the Big Dipper and Bootes. The source of the meteor shower is a "rock comet" similar to the Geminid shower.

UK company Spacebit is sending a spider-like rover to the moon

UK company Spacebit is sending a spider-like rover to the moon

A company from the UK called Spacebit has announced that it will put a rover on the moon in 2021. The mission will mark the first UK mission to the lunar surface. The rover the team is sending is very different from rovers typically sent to the moon and other planets.

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NASA’s retrofuturistic artwork reveals 1970s vision of life in space

NASA’s retrofuturistic artwork reveals 1970s vision of life in space

In the 1970s, the NASA Ames Research Center commissioned artwork envisioning what life in space may look like. The results were retrofuturistic paintings that feature huge living quarters and agricultural centers in space, entire cities in space stations, artificial sunlight and rivers, and more.

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Pokemon KIBO Pikachu – how to claim this cute monster

Pokemon KIBO Pikachu – how to claim this cute monster

Here at the tail end of the year 2020, Nintendo aimed to celebrate a KIBO stream from the International Space Station. In the mix on this particular event celebration was a new Pikachu delivered via Mystery Gift in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield. If you have either one of these games, this unique, rare, limited edition - whatever you want to call it - Pikachu is yours to claim.

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White House Planetary Protection report puts space contamination under the microscope

White House Planetary Protection report puts space contamination under the microscope

A new National Strategy for Planetary Protection has been released by the White House, detailing some of the challenges that need to be addressed to avoid contamination of Earth from other planets, and vice-versa. The document, handiwork of a team assembled by the National Space Council and Office of Science and Technology Policy, sets out some of the questions to be answered and policies to be created in order to avoid future missions to Mars and further afield from inadvertently resulting in terrestrial contamination.

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SpaceX outlines plan to catch Falcon Super Heavy booster for reuse

SpaceX outlines plan to catch Falcon Super Heavy booster for reuse

One way SpaceX works to make placing satellites and other objects into orbit cheaper is by landing and reusing its Falcon 9 booster rockets. It has a long history of successfully landing the first stage boosters, both on land and on drone ships in the ocean. SpaceX is now outlining its plan to capture and reuse the Falcon Super Heavy booster that will be used to push Starship and larger payloads into space.

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NASA heliophysics missions get the green light

NASA heliophysics missions get the green light

NASA has confirmed the approval of two heliophysics missions to explore the Sun and the system driving space weather near Earth. The mission includes the Extreme Ultraviolent High-Throughput Spectroscopic Telescope Epsilon Mission, or EUVST. The other mission is the Electrojet Zeeman Imaging Explorer or EZIE. The goal of the missions are to help scientists better understanding the Sun and Earth as interconnected systems.

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