Cosmos

Category archives for Cosmos

Did Curiosity Find an Artifact on Mars?

Quite possibly. Here’s a picture of it: There’s a pretty good chance that this is a manufactured object and not some natural thingie that formed on the surface of Mars by Mars-esque natural processes. But, if that’s true, then there’s a pretty good chance that the object, formed by an intelligent being, is just some…

Do ghosts really exist? Is there life on Mars? Despite what one might think, what with large class sizes and the homogenization of culture caused by TV and Fast Food, the fact remains that clumps of high school students organized into classes can vary widely from one another. Each year has its own characteristics, and…

Welcome Comet ISON

Late Winter, 1997, just before moving from Boston to Minnesota, was very snowy out east. And, that year I had stupidly agreed to shovel the snow for our apartment building in exchange for a pittance of some kind. One night I was shoveling the latest 7 inch storm off the walk, and the father of…

Remember Rover? Rover is still finding stuff, and this latest find is strange, enigmatic, interesting, and worthy of further investigation. So far there is only a press release from NASA, here: NASA Mars Rover Opportunity Reveals Geological Mystery PASADENA, Calif. — NASA’s long-lived rover Opportunity has returned an image of the Martian surface that is…

From NASA: …astronomers have, for the first time, spotted planets orbiting sun-like stars in a crowded cluster of stars. The findings offer the best evidence yet that planets can sprout up in dense stellar environments. Although the newfound planets are not habitable, their skies would be starrier than what we see from Earth. The starry-skied…

Moon Gravity Mapping Project in New Phase

Remember the GRAIL mission? At the beginning of the year, two satellites, named Ebb and Flow, arrived at the Moon and fell into a parallel orbit. There is an instrument on board that very precisely determines the distance between the two space craft, said to be about the size of a typical washing machine. As…

Curiosity Animation

The “Next Media” animation company used to send me several animations a week (a few a day for a while) but then they were bought out by a major media outlet (can’t remember which one) so most of the emails I get from them now are about how great they are, rather than providing much…

Today, NASA did something never before done, and well, not all that impressive. Charles Bolden of NASA spoke some words into a microscope, and this voice stream was sent to the Curiosity Rover on Mars, which then sent it back. Hey, I just spent the last 15 minutes swapping monitors around on my computers, and…

Curious about Curiosity?

Here’s the last few news reports: August 21: NASA’s Curiosity Studies Mars Surroundings, Nears Drive NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has been investigating the Martian weather around it and the soil beneath it, as its controllers prepare for the car-size vehicle’s first drive on Mars. The rover’s weather station, provided by Spain, checks air temperature, ground…

It worked!

Never mind the heat shield, the parachute, the thruster-guided landing, all of that. Curiosity went to Mars to carry out experiments using Big Science Gear and now it is confirmed that at least one set of gear works! The method is laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, in which very high power but short burst laser light is…