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SpaceRef - Space News and Reference

SpaceRef - Space News and Reference
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The Sky Tonight - Astronomy News UK, Night Sky, Celestial Events, Images, Books and Star Naming Service Northern Hemisphere Ian Morison tells us what we can see in the northern hemisphere night sky during September 2015. The Stars To the south and moving westward as night progresses you may see the Summer Triangle: the bright stars Deneb (in Cygnus), Vega (in Lyra) and below them Altair (in Aquila). Towards the south later in the evening you may spot the great square of Pegasus - adjacent to Andromeda and M31, the Andromeda Nebula. To the north lies "w" shaped Cassiopeia and Perseus. The Planets Jupiter reached superior conjunction on August 26th, and now rises shortly before the sun. The Moon On September 4th and 21st you may spot The Alpine Valley, a cleft across the Appenine mountain chain. Highlights Neptune came into opposition on the 29th of August, so will be seen well this month. Southern Hemisphere Haritina Mogosanu from the Carter Observatory in New Zealand speaks about the southern hemisphere night sky during September 2015. The Milky Way Globular Clusters The Moon and Planets

Space news on space exploration and space flight | Photo by redbullstratos astronomy magazine NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is three months from returning to humanity the first-ever close-up images and scientific observations of distant Pluto and its system of large and small moons. "Scientific literature is filled with papers on the characteristics of Pluto and its moons from ground-based and Earth-orbiting space observations, but we've never studied Pluto up close and personal," said John Grunsfeld of the NASA Science Mission Directorate at the agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C. "In an unprecedented flyby this July, our knowledge of what the Pluto system is really like will expand exponentially, and I have no doubt there will be exciting discoveries." The fastest spacecraft ever launched, New Horizons has traveled a longer time and farther away — more than nine years and 3 billion miles (5 billion kilometers) — than any space mission in history to reach its primary target. Pluto's smaller moons also are likely to present scientific opportunities.

Visible Structures by steve-burg on deviantART COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — They'll be crammed into a space the size of an RV for more than a year, breathing recycled air, subsisting on dehydrated food and drinking their purified urine. If they die, they'll be freeze-dried in a body bag. And if they survive, they'll have to re-enter Earth's atmosphere at a screaming 8.8 miles (14.2 kilometers) per second. But the applications are already rolling in for the first manned mission to Mars, the project team said Thursday (April 11). Speaking at the National Space Symposium here, members of the Inspiration Mars Foundation described the challenges inherent in launching two humans on a 501-day flyby journey to the Red Planet and back in January 2018, but remained optimistic that those challenges aren't insurmountable. "So far, we haven't come up with any show-stoppers, so that's exciting," said Jane Poynter, president of the Paragon Space Development Corp., which has partnered with Inspiration Mars. Making history "There are a lot of unknowns.

Astrophysics: Fire in the hole! Andy Potts In March 2012, Joseph Polchinski began to contemplate suicide — at least in mathematical form. A string theorist at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, California, Polchinski was pondering what would happen to an astronaut who dived into a black hole. According to the then-accepted account, he wouldn’t feel anything special at first, even when his fall took him through the black hole’s event horizon: the invisible boundary beyond which nothing can escape. But Polchinski’s calculations, carried out with two of his students — Ahmed Almheiri and James Sully — and fellow string theorist Donald Marolf at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), were telling a different story1. Free interview Zeeya Merali talks about what would happen if she fell into a black hole The team’s verdict, published in July 2012, shocked the physics community. Fiery origins Quantum mechanics says that information cannot be destroyed. One for all There wasn’t.

Ice-capades: The true blue beauty of the icebergs of Iceland By Sara Malm Published: 16:56 GMT, 12 November 2012 | Updated: 20:17 GMT, 12 November 2012 It has been called the nation of fire and ice and as these stunning pictures proves, it is certainly the latter. The magnificent ever-changing landscapes of Iceland where the freezing temperatures make the icebergs and glaciers shift in every shade of blue, from turquoise and azure to indigo. With it's volcanic 'black beaches', northern lights and stunning fiords - home of the icebergs - the Northern European nation is a photographer's dream. Beyond the ice: Icebergs and snow covered mountains on the plains of Iceland are photographed through a hole in a wall of ice Fantastic icecapes: The coast of Iceland is everchanging with glaciers moving and icebergs freezing and melting each year as the seasons change Photographer Tim Vollmer, 41, and partner Marketa Kalvachova, 32, spend months travelling to the mythical island, and braving freezing temperatures to shoot the most amazing sights.