Magnetospheric Reflections

March 13, 2015 / 0 comments

After they were launched into space tonight, four Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft are in Earth’s orbit preparing to study how the protective magnetic fields around the Earth sometimes disconnect and then reconnect. When this “magnetic reconnection” happens, the reconfiguration is explosive and releases as much energy as billions of megatons of TNT. These bursts of…

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Exploring Extraterrestrial Oceans Here on Earth

March 12, 2015 / 0 comments

NASA has announced that observations from the Hubble telescope suggest there is a vast underground ocean on Jupiter’s moon Ganymede, which is also the largest moon in our solar system: “Scientists estimate the ocean is 60 miles (100 kilometers) thick – 10 times deeper than Earth’s oceans – and is buried under a 95-mile (150-kilometer)…

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The Huygens DISR: An Astonishing & Musical Data Visualization

January 22, 2015 / 0 comments

From the title of the video you would never know this is one of the most visually captivating and melodious presentations of space probe data you may ever see. The video (from Erich Karkoschka, University of Arizona, the DISR team, NASA, and ESA) is titled “The Descent Imager / Spectral Radiometer During the Descent of…

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graphical Image of Low Earth Orbit orbital debris around the earth

Two Approaches to ‘Space Junk’: “Cultural Heritage of Space Exploration” & “Orbital Wake of the Anthropocene”

January 17, 2015 / 0 comments

NASA has an Orbital Debris Program Office dedicated to the question of space debris. The featured image for this post comes from this office, and is an image of debris in LEO. LEO “stands for low Earth orbit and is the region of space within 2,000 km of the Earth’s surface. It is the most…

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