Pilot Of Solar Plane Shares Secrets Of Record-Setting Flight

Swiss pilot André Borschberg still has a long flight ahead. He took off Sunday afternoon from Nagoya, Japan, in the Solar Impulse 2, an experimental craft powered only by sunlight that is attempting to set a record as the first plane of its kind to circumnavigate the globe.

After several weather delays, Borschberg is finally en route to Hawaii, on the most difficult leg of the expedition, dubbed the “Earhart Leg” because it is roughly the same path on which Amelia Earhart disappeared 77 years ago. Borschberg is expected in Honolulu by Friday or Saturday.

We spoke with Borschberg via satellite uplink from his cramped cabin in the Solar Impulse 2.

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Dazzling Video Shows What The Night Sky Would Look Like If You Could See Every Asteroid

If you think asteroids are rare, it’s only because they’re so small and dark and hard to see. An eye-opening new video (above) shows what the night sky would look like if we could see the near-Earth asteroids astronomers have discovered — it’s quite a swarm.

“We’re essentially flying around the sun through this population of asteroids with our eyes closed,” Scott Manley, the astronomer who created the animation and posted it to YouTube, says in the video.

The interactive video lets you pan around the night sky as if you were standing in the darkness with a powerful telescope. Manley created it to spotlight the all-too-real danger that asteroids pose to humanity.

Thinking about the threat isn’t much fun, but we have to say that watching the video is. Enjoy!

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Red-faced Pluto Full of Surprises

New Horizons scientists combined the latest black and white map of Pluto's surface features (left) with a map of the planet's colors (right) to produce a detailed color portrait of the planet's northern hemisphere (center). Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

New Horizons scientists combined the latest black and white map of Pluto’s surface features (left) with a map of the planet’s colors (right) to produce a detailed color portrait of the planet’s northern hemisphere (center). The color is what you’d see if you were riding along with New Horizons. “Ralph” is a visible/infrared imager.
Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

Hey, Mars, you’ve got company. Looks like there’s a second “red planet” in the Solar System — Pluto. Color images returned from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, now just 10 days from its encounter with the dwarf planet, show a distinctly ruddy surface with patchy markings that strongly resemble Mars’ appearance in a small telescope.(…)
Read the rest of Red-faced Pluto Full of Surprises (704 words)


© Bob King for Universe Today, 2015. |
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