Some of the more exciting plans for the future of space exploration are currently quite literally out of reach.
The United States doesn’t have the rocket power to send men to the moon or to Mars. There are some big rockets in the pipeline that will soon restore that power to the United States, but none can match the power of Nova. Nova was NASA’s first heavy launch vehicle that never made it to the launch pad — let alone off it.
Photo: The Nova rocket, at bottom, is shown compared to the Saturn 5 rocket at top. credit: NASA
Light from an alien “super-Earth” twice the size of our own Earth has been detected by a NASA space telescope for the first time in what astronomers are calling a historic achievement.
NASA’s infrared Spitzer Space Telescope spotted light from the alien planet 55 Cancri e, which orbits a star 41 light-years from Earth. A day on the extrasolar planet lasts just 18 hours.
The planet 55 Cancri e was first discovered in 2004 and is not a habitable world. Instead, it is known as a super-Earth because of its size: The world is about twice the width of Earth and is super-dense, with about eight times the mass of Earth.
But until now, scientists have never managed to detect the infrared light from the super-Earth world.
Famous Physicists as Children
From left to right:
Stephen Hawking (b. 1942) - Most well known for Hawking radiation and theorems involving gravitational singularities. He suffers from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease - and is one of the most well scientists of our time.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (b. 1958) - Currently the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space, Tyson is one of the leading science advocates in the world - and was one of the men who supported the demotion of Pluto.
Carl Sagan (1934-1996) - One of the most successful science popularizers of all time, Sagan was also the bestselling author of Cosmos, one of the most popular science books of all time. He was the first to propose that Jupiter’s moons Titan and Europa may hold liquid components of water on them.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) - The most well known genius in history, Albert Einstein was a boss. During his career, he revolutionized almost every area of Physics, including quantum mechanics and he effectively founded the study of Cosmology. His theory of general relativity has been wildly successful, despite ‘attacks’ by neutrinos.
Richard Feynman (1918-1988) - His most important contributions came via his path integral formulation of quantum mechanics and development of Quantum Electrodynamics (QED). Plus, he was a total badass.
New Sagan Series! Man I love these videos so much.
Astronomers discover ‘Star Wars planet’ with two suns
An astrological discovery that would make Luke Skywalker a little homesick is making waves this week — a faraway planet has been found to have two suns.
A team of experts used the NASA Kepler space telescope to discover the planet, which orbits around two large stars — similar to Tatooine, the fictional home of Skywalker in the Star Wars films.
In this case, however, the discovery doesn’t get the Hollywood treatment in terms of a name.
Its name is the far more prosaic Kepler-16b.