On Oct. 18, 2014, a sunspot rotated over the left side of the sun, and soon grew to be the largest active region seen in the current solar cycle, which began in 2008. Currently, the sunspot is almost 80,000 miles across — ten Earth’s could be laid across its diameter. —> Read More Here
Although scientists have flown two spacecraft in formation, no one ever has aligned the spacecraft with a specific astronomical target and then held that configuration to make a scientific observation — creating, in effect, a single or “virtual” telescope with two distinctly different satellites. —> Read More Here
Transfer of super-cooled or cryogenic fuel from one tank to another in the zero gravity of space may one day be a reality. But the challenges of measuring fuels and fuel levels in the weightlessness of space must be solved first. A newly developed sensor technology that will be tested on the early suborbital flights of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo in 2015. —> Read More Here
An emerging super-black nanotechnology that is to be tested for the first time this fall on the International Space Station will be applied to a complex, 3-D component critical for suppressing stray light in a new, smaller, less-expensive solar coronagraph designed to ultimately fly on the orbiting outpost or as a hosted payload on a commercial satellite. —> Read More Here
It might look like a spoked wheel or even a “Chakram” weapon wielded by warriors like “Xena,” from the fictional TV show, but this ringed galaxy is actually a vast place of stellar life. A newly released image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope shows the galaxy NGC 1291. Though the galaxy is quite old, roughly 12 billion years, it is marked by an unusual ring where newborn stars are igniting. —> Read More Here
NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft obtained this ultraviolet image of hydrogen surrounding comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring on Oct. 17, 2014, two days before the comet’s closest approach to Mars. The Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) instrument imaged the comet at a distance of 5.3 million miles (8.5 million kilometers). —> Read More Here
Pareidolia is the psychological phenomenon where people see recognizable shapes in clouds, rock formations, or otherwise unrelated objects or data. There are many examples of this phenomenon on Earth and in space. —> Read More Here
NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope detected a rapid-fire “storm” of high-energy blasts from a highly magnetized neutron star, also called a magnetar, on Jan. 22, 2009. Now astronomers analyzing this data have discovered underlying signals related to seismic waves rippling throughout the magnetar. —> Read More Here
NASA scientists have identified an unexpected high-altitude methane ice cloud on Saturn’s moon Titan that is similar to exotic clouds found far above Earth’s poles. —> Read More Here
Google’s Vice President of Search, Alan Eustace, has just smashed the altitude record for stratospheric skydiving. His liftoff was from Roswell, New Mexico, where the record was first set in 1961 by USAF Colonel Joseph Kittinger. Paragon Video link. (Credit: Paragon Space Development Corporation)
Just a little over two years since Felix Baumgartner broke USAF Colonel Joseph Kittinger’s stratospheric jump record, Alan Eustace from Google has independently smashed the high altitude skydiving record again. This brings home to Silicon Valley a record that might stand for a while. Eustace took a minimalist approach to the jump. His setup involved a helium filled balloon and just him hanging from the balloon in a spacesuit. Pure and simple, this permitted his system to reach 135,890 feet above the Earth, over 41 kilometers altitude, exceeding Baumgartner’s record by 7000 feet.
The simple design of his balloon launch might remind one of a bungy jump. How can anyone break that record? Can someone rise to a higher altitude? So what is next for the Google high flyers? Will Baumgartner take this as a challenge to retake the record?
Read the rest of Google Exec hands Silicon Valley the Stratospheric Jump Record (574 words)
© Tim Reyes —> Read More Here