Hilarious. Here's a laugh for all you rocket scientists out there.
This week the sun will be continuing it's flurry of solar activity. Initially fireing this on Thursday, March 8th, the same region on the sun is expected to produce another streak of solar flares.
This past week's flare was categorized as a M6.3-class flare, which is a mid-range size according to the Space Weather Prediction Center of the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.) Space weather scientists use five categories — A, B, C, M and X — to rank solar flares based on their strength and severity. A-class flares are the weakest types of sun storms, while X-class eruptions are the most powerful.
The M-class solar flare exploded from the same sunspot region, called AR1429, which has been particularly active all week. This dynamic region has already unleashed three strong X-class solar flares. On Tuesday (March 6), two powerful X-class eruptions triggered the strongest solar storm in eight years, Bob Rutledge, head of NOAA's Space Weather Forecast Office, told reporters today (March 9).
"When you take overall intensity and length — how long it persisted — we're confident in saying by some measures, it was the strongest storm we've seen since November 2004," Rutledge said. "That doesn't mean that between November 2004 and today we haven't had brief periods that were more intense. If you look at the storm overall for length and strength, it was the strongest storm since November 2004."
Details of china's latest planned astronaut mission have been somwhat obsure to the western media. Initially there was confusion and ambiguity due to reports coming from the Chinese media. With recent clarification, these details have become clearer.
The Shenzhou 9 spacecraft is expected to launch later this summer, probably July or August. It will carry three astronauts (referred to as taikonauts or yuhangyuans) to China's Tiangong 1 space labroatory. The Shenzhou 9 craft will dock with Tiangon 1 for about a week.
Speculation suggests that the crew will be men, and most likely members of the Shenzhou taikonauts who were selected back in 1998.
The strange patterns of confusing claims about Shenzhou 9 seem to have been clariefied with the release of the newest details. The orgin of the previous ambiguity is still under debate, but some speculate it may have been due to internal tensions in the program. Some have even suggested possible opposition from certain managers or even crew.
A great ananlysis of the ambiguity of the Shenzhou program has been discussed by Morris Jones and published on space daily.com.
A bright meteor lit up the night sky over the United Kingdom last night. The Irish Times reported that police stations across Britain were recieving numoerous calls about the fireball crossing the sky. Eyewitnesses reported seeing a huge fireball travelling from northern Scotland to southern England at about 9:40pm on Saturday.
The Met Office tweeted: “Hi All, for anyone seeing something in the night sky, we believe it was a meteorite.”
Adrian West, of Meteorwatch, said he spotted the meteor in Berkshire and believed it could have gone down in the English Channel or the Bay of Biscay.
The timing and location was somewhat perfect for maximizing the visibilty of the event. As such, several people were able to photogrpah and video the meteor. Some the best video and images have been posted on universetoday.com.
Photo Credit: Metro.co.uk
NASA's proposed Mars InSight Lander will mine the deepest hole yet into the Red Planet; revealing the mysteries deep in the interior of Mars. InSight (Interior exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) is set to launch in 2016. It is based on the proven Phoenix Mars spacecraft and lander design with state-of-the-art avionics from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) missions in this artist rendition. InSight will be able to drill as deep as 5 meters deep.
“InSight is essentially built from scratch, but nearly build-to-print from the Phoenix design,” Banerdt, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena , Calif, told me. The team can keep costs down by re-using the blueprints pioneered by Phoenix instead of creating an entirely new spacecraft. This will be an international science experiment based the platform very similar to NASA's Phoenix system. “The robotic arm is similar (but not identical) to the Phoenix arm.”