Based on data acquired by NASA’s Galileo satellite, astronomers think the global oceans sloshing around beneath Europa’s icy exterior are likely 2—3 more voluminous than the oceans here on Earth. Not 2—3 times more proportionally, 2—3 times more in total volume.
Sun’s Twin Discovered — the Perfect SETI Target?
There are 10 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy that are the same size as our sun. Therefore it should come as no surprise that astronomers have identified a clone to our sun lying only 200 light-years away.
Still, it is fascinating to imagine a yellow dwarf that is exactly the same mass, temperature and chemical composition as our nearest star. In a recent paper reporting on observations of the star — called HP 56948 — astronomer Jorge Melendez of the University of San Paulo, Brazil, calls it “the best solar twin known to date.”
Outer Space. The View From Cassini and Voyager
Jaw ————> Floor.
If Rocky Balboa was an aspiring astronomer, this is what he would watch every morning to get pumped up instead of running up that damned staircase.
Sander van den Berg has assembled a plethora of images from the Cassini and Voyager missions, in their “raw” black and white, to create this simple, awe-inspiring and sometimes haunting tour through near outer space.
I know I’ve been heavy on the space stuff lately, but with videos like these sending my brain flying out the back of my head how can I not post it?!?!? :)
(by Sander van den Berg)
Russia plans to regain world leadership in space and remain among the top three space powers, a draft of a space exploration strategy until 2030 submitted to the government by the country’s Federal Space Agency Roscosmos says.
The draft strategy has not been unveiled to the public. Some information has been leaked to the media, allowing us to assume that the new strategy is very ambitious.
February’s spectacular planetary show continues. After Venus and Jupiter lined up in the night sky last week, the distance between Earth and Mars is now shrinking to its smallest in more than two years.
On March 3 Mars will be in opposition to the sun, providing excellent opportunities for viewing the Red Planet.
The celestial event known as Mars opposition occurs whenever Earth passes between the sun and the Red Planet, approximately once every two years and two months. This makes Mars visible opposite the sun in the Earth’s sky, which is a great time to view the Red planet because the sun’s rays illuminate the full face of Mars. Because the two planets’ orbits regularly bring them close together, it also provides a good time to launch Mars missions such as the recent Mars Science Laboratory.
Mars and Earth will actually be at their closest on March 5, so you have a decent chance to catch the Red Planet anytime in the next few weeks.
How to Watch
- To spot Mars with your naked eye, look for a bright orange-red dot in the eastern sky shortly after the sun sets. The planet, which can be distinguished from stars because it doesn’t twinkle, will rise to its highest position in the southern sky around midnight.
- Those with a modest-sized telescope should have good views of Mars’ surface features, including its white polar caps.
- Anyone without access to a telescope can catch a live feed of the opposition event from the Slooh Space Camera on March 3 starting at 8:00 p.m. PST. Come back tomorrow evening to our site for an embedded video from Slooh. The Slooh show will feature commentary by the organization’s Patrick Paolucci, Astronomy Magazine columnist Bob Berman, and some special guests.
Image: An image of Mars during opposition taken with the world’s best telescope, Hubble, in 2001. NASA/ESA and The Hubble Heritage Team STScI/AURA