THEME BY SARAHCATHS+
The Antikythera Mechanism
I'm a lunar-tic and an astronut. I'm going to school with stars so we can all get brighter.

Proud member of the Planetary Society's New Millennium Committee and you'll hear me humming their Nep-tunes all the time







reblog posted 1 hour ago with 24 notes →
NASA will be announcing a decision marking the largest shift in policy since the space shuttle took over in the wake of the Moon Landings.
What is it? They’ll announce which company will be building their next spaceship. Possibly spaceships. 
Why? Why are they shifting the responsibility of space travel to companies? Well they’re only shifting the responsibility of Low Earth Orbit space travel… basically the area of space where the International Space Station orbits. Potentially this will reach all the way back to the Moon again.
What this does is it frees massive… inordinate amounts of their annual funding to move from having to produce and maintain their own spaceship, now these companies will take care of that.
NASA is moving on. They’re preparing to allow the private industry into space now and they’re moving focus from orbiting Earth… into deep space.
NASA will be focusing from now on, on a mission to Mars and missions beyond.
They’ll continue to work in LEO but this will no longer constitute disproportionate amount of their budget to do. 
The three major competitors are:
Boeing: They’ve made the most expensive and least innovative space ship, it’s a capsule called the CST-100. It’s not a bad vehicle. It’s all running on proven science and is being produced by a company experienced in space travel. They’re often seen as the favored candidate. They launch on Atlas V rockets which require Russian engines to launch.
SpaceX: They’ve designed a capsule not dissimilar to Boeing’s in exterior, but in reality is far different. It will have the ability to land propulsively, meaning it can land with rockets gently lowering it to the surface of Earth as opposed to using parachute and crashing as slowly as possible. In addition to having new advances in technology, this choice would be much cheaper than the other three. SpaceX’s Dragon V2 space capsule will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket, all parts coming from America. This would be the cheapest option and arguably the most innovative.
Sierra Nevada: They’ve made a space ship a lot like a miniature space shuttle. An obvious difference is the method of launch which will be whilst mounted on the tip of an Atlas V rocket. 
The Commercial Crew Development Program was initiated so that NASA will be able to refocus itself to deep space and while also allowing a private space industry to take hold. By selecting Boeing, they’d be supporting essentially a status quo company already involved in the launch industry. By selecting Sierra Nevada and/or SpaceX they’d be fostering start up companies and an atmosphere of even-playing field capitalism where the balance of new companies being able to survive depends entirely on how delicately launch contracts are parseled out.
Note that NASA may give money to each company. This would be the optimal option as having a variety of choices for their space ships would allow for flexibility were something to happen to either of the other companies ability to launch (it’s important to note that in this case there are lots of political problems between the U.S. and Russia, and all Boeing and Sierra Nevada’s space ships required the continued supply of RD-180 rocket engines from Russia).
I’m excited. I hope they give money to each.
Watch the announcement here in five-ten minutes.

NASA will be announcing a decision marking the largest shift in policy since the space shuttle took over in the wake of the Moon Landings.

What is it? They’ll announce which company will be building their next spaceship. Possibly spaceships.

Why? Why are they shifting the responsibility of space travel to companies? Well they’re only shifting the responsibility of Low Earth Orbit space travel… basically the area of space where the International Space Station orbits. Potentially this will reach all the way back to the Moon again.

What this does is it frees massive… inordinate amounts of their annual funding to move from having to produce and maintain their own spaceship, now these companies will take care of that.

NASA is moving on. They’re preparing to allow the private industry into space now and they’re moving focus from orbiting Earth… into deep space.

NASA will be focusing from now on, on a mission to Mars and missions beyond.

They’ll continue to work in LEO but this will no longer constitute disproportionate amount of their budget to do.

The three major competitors are:

Boeing: They’ve made the most expensive and least innovative space ship, it’s a capsule called the CST-100. It’s not a bad vehicle. It’s all running on proven science and is being produced by a company experienced in space travel. They’re often seen as the favored candidate. They launch on Atlas V rockets which require Russian engines to launch.

SpaceX: They’ve designed a capsule not dissimilar to Boeing’s in exterior, but in reality is far different. It will have the ability to land propulsively, meaning it can land with rockets gently lowering it to the surface of Earth as opposed to using parachute and crashing as slowly as possible. In addition to having new advances in technology, this choice would be much cheaper than the other three. SpaceX’s Dragon V2 space capsule will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket, all parts coming from America. This would be the cheapest option and arguably the most innovative.

Sierra Nevada: They’ve made a space ship a lot like a miniature space shuttle. An obvious difference is the method of launch which will be whilst mounted on the tip of an Atlas V rocket.

The Commercial Crew Development Program was initiated so that NASA will be able to refocus itself to deep space and while also allowing a private space industry to take hold. By selecting Boeing, they’d be supporting essentially a status quo company already involved in the launch industry. By selecting Sierra Nevada and/or SpaceX they’d be fostering start up companies and an atmosphere of even-playing field capitalism where the balance of new companies being able to survive depends entirely on how delicately launch contracts are parseled out.

Note that NASA may give money to each company. This would be the optimal option as having a variety of choices for their space ships would allow for flexibility were something to happen to either of the other companies ability to launch (it’s important to note that in this case there are lots of political problems between the U.S. and Russia, and all Boeing and Sierra Nevada’s space ships required the continued supply of RD-180 rocket engines from Russia).

I’m excited. I hope they give money to each.

Watch the announcement here in five-ten minutes.

reblog posted 15 hours ago with 35 notes →
Plejaden-M45

Plejaden-M45

reblog posted 16 hours ago with 47 notes →
reblog posted 16 hours ago with 16 notes →
Bad News Bears

There are reports coming out saying Boeing likely is the winner of the NASA Commercial Crew contract to build their next space ship.

I sincerely hope this is incorrect. That would be utterly heartbreaking.

http://www.cnet.com/news/boeing-said-to-win-nasa-space-taxi-contract/

I’d be willing to bet my whole bank account that the winner of this contract also spent more money on lobbying the senators controlling NASA’s budget than the others. Mark my bloody words

reblog posted 16 hours ago with 24 notes →
In November the European Space Agency will attempt to land their Philae lander right here on this comet.

In November the European Space Agency will attempt to land their Philae lander right here on this comet.

reblog posted 17 hours ago with 93 notes →
Milky Way above Atacama Salt Lagoon

Milky Way above Atacama Salt Lagoon

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  62 Kilometers above Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko  
My jaw just hit the floor… this is the most incredible photograph of a comet ever taken… god DAMN. BRAVO EUROPE. YOU GUYS ARE ROCKING THIS MISSION! Much love

62 Kilometers above Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

My jaw just hit the floor… this is the most incredible photograph of a comet ever taken… god DAMN. BRAVO EUROPE. YOU GUYS ARE ROCKING THIS MISSION! Much love

reblog posted 21 hours ago with 22 notes →

Such beauty… as far as “stars” go, few are this bright

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Robot takes a selfie as it orbits around a rubber duckie-shaped comet. Science fiction’s now science fact…

Robot takes a selfie as it orbits around a rubber duckie-shaped comet. Science fiction’s now science fact…

reblog posted 22 hours ago with 14 notes →

Holy heck, they’d better support a mission for this technology after it’s finished -_-

reblog posted 23 hours ago with 73 notes →
Lynds Dark Nebula 1251 in Cepheus
Of note is the deeply red star in the lower-left of the picture. That’s a carbon star, one whose makeup is a mixture of carbon and oxygen. The mixture on the outer layers creates a red color (from carbon monoxide being created) but inside the star is carbon in a state of plasma.
What does this mean? Well one might think of it as a star made of diamonds that are so hot that they don’t simply sparkle reflected light, they absolutely emanate light and energy of their own accord.

Lynds Dark Nebula 1251 in Cepheus

Of note is the deeply red star in the lower-left of the picture. That’s a carbon star, one whose makeup is a mixture of carbon and oxygen. The mixture on the outer layers creates a red color (from carbon monoxide being created) but inside the star is carbon in a state of plasma.

What does this mean? Well one might think of it as a star made of diamonds that are so hot that they don’t simply sparkle reflected light, they absolutely emanate light and energy of their own accord.

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This picture makes me so excited. It was made by Dr. Michael West of the Maria Mitchell Observatory who I tried (and failed) to do research with this year and will definitely try again every year to come. 
This photograph is an abstract collection of the “Top 100 Images" taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The result looks a lot like a nebula which seems like a case of "reality imitating art" to me. So gorgeous.

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140913.html

This picture makes me so excited. It was made by Dr. Michael West of the Maria Mitchell Observatory who I tried (and failed) to do research with this year and will definitely try again every year to come.

This photograph is an abstract collection of the “Top 100 Images" taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The result looks a lot like a nebula which seems like a case of "reality imitating art" to me. So gorgeous.

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140913.html

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symphonyofmars I actually tried pretty hard but the physics department that runs it (or ran it back in the day) got burned pretty badly by NASA and other financial supporters which I believe influenced how they reacted to other prospective supporters. NASA (and some other science organizations) had apparently promised funding and then withdrew for some reason.

I’m sure it wasn’t malicious but the department was unresponsive to me when I was trying to get information. I was going to set up a huge campaign (and even got $2500 dollars pledged before the campaign) and run everything myself but in order to do so I needed information and also access to the observatory in order to do simple things like take pictures.

The department just stopped responding to me and I presume it’s because I was a random student they hadn’t heard of and their previous experience involved NASA burning them so they may have been thinking, “Oh we’re sure as sh*$ not going to waste our time on a single student.”

Long story short: I left the school altogether to join a significantly better physics department - well actually an astronomy department at a different school which is sweet because not many have an entire department all for astronomy. :)

@symphonyofmars, I love that idea hahahaha XD

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nihil93, this is the abandoned observatory I told you about. It’s in Boston, MA. I’ve never met anyone else who knew about it which is super odd because Boston is a pretty large city.

For any Boston people, this observatory is sitting on top of the Healey Library on the UMass Boston campus. Just be warned you may need to climb about a bajillion stairs…

reblog posted 3 days ago with 176 notes →
NGC 6960

NGC 6960