To believe in a universe as young as six or seven thousand years old is to extinguish the light from most of the galaxy. Not to mention, the light from all the hundred billion other galaxies in the observable universe.

(Source: demoncolbert, via vintagegal)

thenewenlightenmentage:

Ultimate solar system could contain 60 Earths

Why settle for one habitable planet, when you can have 60? An astrophysicist has designed the ultimate star system by cramming in as many Earth-like worlds as possible without breaking the laws of physics. Such a monster cosmic neighbourhood is unlikely to exist in reality, but it could inspire future exoplanet studies.

Sean Raymond of Bordeaux Observatory in France started his game offantasy star system with a couple of ground rules. First, the arrangement of planets must be scientifically plausible. Second, they must be gravitationally stable over billions of years: there is no point in putting planets into orbit only to watch them spiral into the sun.

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thenewenlightenmentage:

Ultimate solar system could contain 60 Earths
Why settle for one habitable planet, when you can have 60? An astrophysicist has designed the ultimate star system by cramming in as many Earth-like worlds as possible without breaking the laws of physics. Such a monster cosmic neighbourhood is unlikely to exist in reality, but it could inspire future exoplanet studies.
Sean Raymond of Bordeaux Observatory in France started his game offantasy star system with a couple of ground rules. First, the arrangement of planets must be scientifically plausible. Second, they must be gravitationally stable over billions of years: there is no point in putting planets into orbit only to watch them spiral into the sun.
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astronomicalwonders:

Star Cluster M2

The Star Cluster M2 (or NGC 7089) is the second object in the astronomer Messier’s catalog of objects. Star Clusters are the most common objects in Messier’s catalog and M2 is the first, M1 is a nebula.  M2 is a special type of star cluster know as a Globular Cluster and is located 37,500 light-years away from earth in the constellation Aquarius. M2 is one of the largest types of these clusters known and contains over 150,000 stars.

Credit: NASA/astropixels.com

spaceexp:

The evolution of spacecraft cockpits: the 1960s to today

spaceexp:

The evolution of spacecraft cockpits: the 1960s to today

beyondneptune:

Quantum Foam, Variant #2

beyondneptune:

Quantum Foam, Variant #2

scienceisbeauty:

Researchers Develop New Amp to Study the Universe. The new amplifier consists of a superconducting material (niobium-titanium nitride) coiled into a double spiral 16 millimeters in diameter. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech 

(via agiganticcreature)

scienceisbeauty:

Researchers Develop New Amp to Study the Universe. The new amplifier consists of a superconducting material (niobium-titanium nitride) coiled into a double spiral 16 millimeters in diameter. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech 

crookedindifference:

NASA IRIS Mission Launched Successfully

The launch of NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) mission launched successfully, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

IRIS is a NASA Small Explorer Mission to observe how solar material moves, gathers energy and heats up as it travels through a little-understood region in the sun’s lower atmosphere. This interface region between the sun’s photosphere and corona powers its dynamic million-degree atmosphere and drives the solar wind.

The drop of the air-launched Pegasus from Orbital’s L-1011 carrier aircraft occured over the Pacific Ocean at an altitude of 39,000 feet, about 100 miles northwest of Vandenberg off the central coast of California, south of Big Sur.

(via itsfullofstars)

electricspacekoolaid:

Goddard Space Flight Center Helps Set 2 Guinness World Records

Setting two world records in two consecutive months, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., helped share some of NASA’s amazing accomplishments. The awards highlight the tremendous amount of work by many of the center’s engineers, scientists and communicators.

At the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (now called Landsat 8) launch, the first of these two world records was announced. During the NASA social on Feb. 10, 2013, the Landsat team announced Landsat 5 had set the Guinness World Record for “Longest-operating Earth observation satellite.” Outliving its three-year design life, Landsat 5 delivered high-quality, global data of Earth’s land surface for 28 years and 10 months.

NASA launched Landsat 5 from Vandenberg Air Force base in Lompoc, Calif., on March 1, 1984. Landsat 5 was designed and built at the same time as Landsat 4 and carried the same two instruments: the Multispectral Scanner System and the Thematic Mapper.

Managed by the U.S. Geological Survey as part of the Landsat Program, Landsat 5 completed more than 150,000 orbits and sent back more than 2.5 million images of Earth’s surface. On Dec. 21, 2012, USGS announced Landsat 5 would be decommissioned in the coming months after the failure of a redundant gyroscope. The satellite carries three gyroscopes for attitude control and needs two to maintain control.

Then on March 10, 2013, 526 space enthusiasts gathered to set the record for “Largest Astronomy Lesson” in Austin, Texas, at the South by Southwest festival. Looking up through hundreds of colored filters and spectral glasses, participants were instructed on the lawn of the Long Center for the Performing Arts.

In cooperation with the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education Coalition, NASA, the Space Telescope Science Institute and Northrop Grumman organized the record-breaking event that was arbitrated by the Guinness World Records organization. In breaking this record, instructors aimed to shine a light on the importance of astronomy with the full-scale model of the James Webb Space Telescope as their backdrop.

(via itsfullofstars)

sciencesoup:

The Planet with Four Suns

A binary system is a solar system in which two stars orbit one another, locked in a dance around their centres of gravity. Astronomers estimate that about half the stars in the universe are found in pairs, but not long ago, we were unsure whether these systems could actually host planets—but in the past couple of years, we’ve found over sixteen binary systems with planets orbiting them. One of these planets, PH1, is particularly interesting. Last year, volunteers on the citizen science website Planet Hunters, Kian Jek of San Francisco and Robert Gagliano of Cottonwood, Arizona, discovered an exoplanet in a system of not one, not two, but four stars. This quadruple star system is named KIC 4862625 and is about 3,200 light-years from Earth. Its planet, named PH1, is thought to be a gas giant the size of Neptune, with about half the mass of Jupiter, and the radius of its orbit is 1000 times bigger than Earth’s. But it’s not orbiting four stars; rather, the planet is orbiting a pair of binary stars, which are then being orbited by another pair of binary stars. So from PH1, the sky would have two suns (imagine a double sunset!), then there would be also be two very bright stars in the night sky, wandering along against the backdrop of the universe. Finding exoplanets in binary systems is both incredibly fascinating and incredibly important, because it sends astronomers back to the drawing board with their models of planetary formation, trying to figure out how planets could evolve in such a dynamic environment.

Check out Planet Hunters—data from NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope is uploaded for anyone to scan through and search for exoplanets

(Image Credit: Haven Giguere/Yale)

(via itsfullofstars)