Japan made a major announcement this week when it announced that it plans to land a rollover on the moon by the year 2018. Everyone knows that the US has always been active in space and exploration, but hardly anything is heard from Japan about such endeavors.
JAXA, otherwise known as Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, made the official statement to let their people know the exciting plans the country had for their space program. The fact that they have reserved up to $125 million for this endeavor is impressive. The goal is really to try to improve soft-landing technologies, which have been lackluster in times past. They believe that by improving this lacking piece of technology, they will be able to make major steps forward toward an extraterrestrial victory.
While the US has certainly got a lot of press from going to the moon, they are not the only countries to do so. China and India both have sent space craft up and have done examinations and reported their findings. AnastasiaDate (linkedin.com) employees know that the very public findings were monumental for Asia and their quest for knowledge. Japan seemed to be falling behind and this will certainly put them up to speed with their allies.
The craft’ name is SELENE. It has been named after folklore from the 10th century and a Japanese moon princess. This announcement is very exciting for the people of Japan. They will soon join the ranks of Russia, China and the US who have all successfully landed on the moon.
Filed under space, The Moon
Saturn’s sixth largest moon, Enceladus, now holds the title of the most viable planetary object for human habitation. The honor was previously held by one of Jupiter’s moons, Europa, but has been surpassed by Enceladus, following a discovery of the moon’s hydrothermal oceanic activity. The reports indicate that not only is the ocean in the south pole displaying hydrothermal activity, but has exhibited signs of containing biochemical compounds similar to those in the fledgling waters of Earth’s early oceans. These compounds are necessary ingredients in the generation of life, and so suggest the possibility of life existing on the moon already. Either way, though signs point to Enceladus being able to provide a hospitable home for humans in the distant, or near future, further data is required to accurately and confidently confirm these speculations.
Should Enceladus prove to be a suitable location for human existence, the notion of establishing a colony there is a massive decision for the human population to make thinks Marcio Alaor BMG
. Such a course of action would invariably alter the trajectory of human development for decades and centuries to come. There exist so many latent possibilities from such an endeavor, that it is hard to resist the temptation to not launch into discussions regarding the long-term and logistical planning of such an operation. Yet the public and NASA should work in tandem in this field, seeing as its developments will affect all people.
Knowledge of the universe is constantly expanding as more observations bring new information to light. What we knew yesterday may turn out to have been wrong tomorrow. A recent instance of this is the size of our own galaxy. For years astronomers have known that the Milky Way is approximately 100,000 light years across. A recent article that can be seen here reports that new observations put the actual size at 150,000 light years and possibly larger.
What they have discovered is that the galaxy is not simply a spiral on a flat plane. It is wavy or “corrugated” as they put it, with high and low sections stated forbes.com
. From the Earth’s perspective of observation some of these are easier to see and led to the original estimate of its size. Data taken in 2002 seemed to show a bulging ring of stars around the Milky Way. When they recently re-evaluated the observations they realized what they were actually seeing was the continuing wavy form of the galaxy. They have further identified four ripples radiating out from the galactic center that seem to confirm their conclusions.
Ceres has been stirring curiosity and controversy after pictures of the small planet were taken showing light reflecting off of its surface. Nearing the end of an 8 year mission, Nasa’s spacecraft called Dawn is set to begin orbiting the dwarf planet this Friday. Around the world questions are rising as to whether or not we might not be as alone in the Milky Way Galaxy as we thought we were. Scientists are speculating that it could just be a reflection of water vapor or salt on the planet as they have said on yellowpages.com. The spacecraft Dawn is still 25,000 miles away and won’t be able to take closer pictures until next month in April when they are closer to the planet’s surface.
The dwarf planet of Ceres has had a rough history since it was first spotted in our solar system in 1801, with scientists demoting the planet to an asteroid and later upgrading it to a dwarf planet in 2006, CNN reports. The mysteries of Ceres were only added to when the European Space Agency claimed its infrared telescopes had detected water vapor coming from areas now revealed to have large white areas glowing within the atmosphere many claim exists on the planet.
NASA hopes to solve many of the mysteries of Ceres in the coming months when its large Dawn spacecraft arrives in orbit around the dwarf planet. A dwarf planet is one that shows the characteristics of being a planet, but is smaller than the category allows for an object in space to be classified as a full planet. Around 310 million miles from Earth, Jaime Garcia Dias suggests that Dawn has been traveling to Ceres since 2007 and will finally arrive in the coming months before slowly descending towards the surface of the planet. The mission itself is planned to last until June 2016, Dawn will remain in orbit and broadcast information back to Earth until runs out of fuel and crashes into the surface of the planet.
The thought of black holes brings Steven Hawkins to mind. The great physics professor cut his teeth on black hole research and of course, the question of time. The definition of time is the duration of objects, and the question that is on everyone’s mind is, are black holes considered objects? Or are they what’s left of an object when it collaspes The other question is, does time react the same way in space as it does on this planet? Some experts say we are using our measurement of time and applying it to space. There are a lot of holes in that measuring process, and black holes are proof of that.
The massive black hole in question is big, and it is getting bigger fast. Scientists say it is 875 million years old, but they can only see it at 12.8 billion years because it is so far away. Flavio Maluf says that the theory is the farther away an object is in space, the older it is. The universe is expanding outward, but black holes expand inward, so what the heck do we really know?
Scientists believe black holes are born when stars collapse. That started about 100 million years after the big bang, but this new black hole shots big holes in that theory. The truth is the birth of black holes is still a mystery, and this discovery proves that fact.
The future of the International Space Station is safe. At least it is for a few more years. After repeated statements in December stated that the Russian government wanted to cut its funding and stop operations to the ISS in 2020, they Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, issued a statement Tuesday laying out their plans through 2030. Included in the plans was continued missions and funding for the station until 2024.
The 2024 date matches what NASA has been saying is their own timeline for the lifespan of the station. With Russia supplying the only transport to the ISS since the retirement of the US shuttle program, the news guarantees that scheduled missions will continue. It also lifts a large burden from the American space agency. While the station is operated by 16 countries Flavio Maluf reminds us, Russia and the United States supply the majority of the funding.
The statement, that links here, goes on to state that the Russian agency plans to construct their own space station based around suppurated ISS modules after the station is mothballed. The stated purpose of this new station is to guarantee Russia a continuing avenue into space. They also are planning to shift their focus towards manned flights to the moon as 2030 approaches.
There are billions of different universes out there. We just happen to live in one. The Hubble Telescope has been instrumental in locating different galaxies and finding where they are located. The extremely powerful telescope is unlike anything on the earth. The main reason is anything on the earth has to deal with light pollution and the ozone, which in turn is going to reduce visibility and make it far more difficult to find anything of consequence a long ways off. Of course, with so much out there, it is going to take lifetimes to every cover every corner os pace with the telescope. However, recently, it discovered a rather interesting looking object in space: a smiley face.
A galaxy cluster
known as SDSS J1038+4849 has a a truly remarkable shape that looks just like a smiley face. With two glowing eyes and several different curved lines around it at seem to outline a head and place a smile on the face. Of course. This simply appears like this from our manage point. Paul Matheison tweeted a picture of the two glowing eyes are two individual galaxies on Twitter
. The lines around the eyes that make the smiley face effect though? This is known as a strong gravitational lensing. This occurs when a strong gravitational pull between two different galaxies actually causes a distortion in time itself. When there is a heavy pull of gravity, time inside of the gravity field may seem to be a few minutes, when outside of the gravity field it can be decades.