Aerospace

We all think about space exploration, but we also need to think about dodging 50 years of debris from space exploration - aluminum, steel, nylon, even liquid sodium from Russian satellites. Sierra Club hasn't started fundraising over this issue yet but they might after reading this article.

According to NASA, there are more than 21,000 pieces of 'space junk' roughly the size of a baseball in orbit, and about 500,000 pieces that are golf ball-sized. Sure, space is big, but when a piece of space junk strikes a spacecraft, the collision occurs at a velocity of 5 to 15 kilometers per second, roughly ten times faster than a speeding bullet.


If you want to make sure your extra-terrestrial efforts can survive a nuclear attack, working inside the Jamesburg Earth Station on, fittingly, ComSat Road, just outside Carmel, California, is a fine choice. A short drive to Pebble Beach and Spyglass golf courses means it is not a bad way to spend your weekends either.

If you enjoyed seeing Neil Armstrong walking on the Moon, Jamesburg is one of the dishes you can thank. But the 10-story high antenna went out of service in 2002. The land was sold to a gentleman who wanted a vacation home - the coolest Cold War vacation home ever, if you ask me, with blueprints and cinder block walls and a room the size of a football field.

NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM satellite) flew directly above tropical storm Andrea on Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 0508 UTC (1:08 a.m. EDT). This orbit showed that Andrea had a large area of moderate to heavy rainfall in the northeast quadrant of the storm and precipitation was spreading over the state of Florida.


Yesterday, a monster tornado almost 2-miles wide tore through Moore, Oklahoma, a suburb of Oklahoma City, wiping out entire blocks and killing 24 people. 

The National Weather Service upgraded its calculation of the storm's strength today, declaring it was a rare EF5, the most powerful ranking on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, and had winds exceeding 200 miles per hour and left a trail of destruction measuring about 17 miles long. Debris from the tornado fell as far as 100 miles away, reaching the city of Tulsa.


The Karoo Array Telescope (KAT-7) in South Africa, the pathfinder radio telescope for the $3 billion global Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, has released its first results.


Imagine being the project scientist for a NASA experiment and getting an email telling you that a 3,100 lb. defunct spy satellite dating back to the Cold War might crash into your baby?

That's what happened to Julie McEnery of NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope,  which maps the highest-energy light in the universe, a year ago. When she checked her email on March 29th, 2012,  she had an automatically generated report from NASA's Robotic Conjunction Assessment Risk Analysis (CARA) saying that in about a week Fermi might be hit by Cosmos 1805. 


A coronal mass ejection (CME) is when our sun sends billions of tons of solar particles into space. A CME can affect electronic systems in satellites and NASA recently saw three.


X-ray astronomy is only 50 years old but nothing shows the progress of the technology like a new view of a supernova scientists watched over a thousand years ago. 


NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has found the farthest supernova so far. Supernova UDS10Wil, nicknamed SN Wilson after American President Woodrow Wilson, exploded more than 10 billion years ago.

SN UDS10Wil is a Type Ia supernovae. These beacons can be used as a yardstick for measuring cosmic distances. One of the debates surrounding Type Ia supernovae is the nature of the fuse that ignites them. This latest discovery adds credence to one of two competing theories of how they explode. Although preliminary, the evidence so far favors the explosive merger of two burned out stars; small, dim, and dense stars known as white dwarfs, the final state for stars like our Sun.


The first published results from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) physics experiment on the International Space Station were announced today and though the result is the most precise measurement to date of the ratio of positrons to electrons in cosmic rays, we still have not caught our first glimpse into dark matter.

The AMS experiment, constructed at universities around the world and assembled at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), is the world's most precise detector of cosmic rays.  It was installed on the Space Station May 19th, 2011 after having been brought into orbit on the last flight of NASA's space shuttle Endeavour. To date it has measured over 30 billion cosmic ray events.