Space

While today we're pretty darned certain there is no intelligent life on Mars, in the early 20th century, it was still an open question. 

So-- about four decades before the publically known Project Ozma search-- the Navy stepped up to find out. 

Well before SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), Project Ozma, Area 51, or even the 1938 radio hoax 'War of the Worlds', the Navy was looking for Martians.
Today is the 75th anniversary of Carl Sagan's existence. Unfortunately, Carl Sagan is no longer alive to celebrate with us. Carl is the paradigmatic advocate for science. Those trying to popularize science after Carl are all trying to be Carl. Sagan not only made science interesting, he never compromised on the facts. He trusted his audience to be intelligent and interested.
1571 was also interesting. Galileo Galilei was then seven years old. Johannes Kepler was born on December 27. There were two solar eclipses, a total on January 25 and an annular on July 21-22. Four, one partial and three penumbral, lunar eclipses occurred on August 5 and February 10, July 7, and December 31, respectively. 

An elevator to space? No, this isn't a reprise of Charlie and Chocolate Factory. As I mentioned in a blog back in January, an elevator into space is the end goal - a 100,000 km long tether anchored to the Earth as a "lift into space" for cheaper space missions.
Hello. See the giant structure in 2D and also in 3D. The positions of the galaxies in the newly found structure are shown in red in the second and third images. Other galaxies in "blue" are located in front or behind "the Giant." 

To relate to the size of things, consider first the Whirlpool Galaxy for example. This bright galaxy is 23 million light years away and 75,000 light years across.  


Credit: NAOJ.

Scientists used a pair of gravity-measuring satellites, GRACE, to look at Amazon river basin water levels and, hopefully, better predict future water storage and runoff.  The twin GRACE satellites measure the mass distribution of the Earth between the two satellites, and accumulating these measurements over time lets us know how the Earth's mass shifts around.  A team led by Shin-Chan Han compared this data with simulations to look at, basically, how water is stored, released, and sloshes about within the Amazon river basin.  They compared the data with simulations.
Dust samples collected by high-flying aircraft have found relicts from the ancient cosmos, according to scientists from the Carnegie Institution.

This stratospheric dust includes minute grains that likely formed inside stars that lived and died long before the birth of our sun as well as material from molecular clouds in interstellar space. This 'ultra-primitive' material likely drifted into the atmosphere after the Earth passed through the dust trail of comet Grigg-Skjellerup, giving scientists a rare opportunity to study cometary dust in the laboratory.
Way back when, there was an excellent film loop called "Powers of 10".  Created by Charles and Ray Eames, it can now be found at the conveniently-named powersof10.com website.  The video is elegant, starting with a couple having a picnic and then simply pulling back the camera one order of magnitude-- one power of 10-- to reveal the entire country, world, solar system, galaxy, the finally universe.
An explosion detected on April 23 by NASA's Swift satellite was more than 13 billion light-years from Earth, representing an event that occurred 630 million years after the Big Bang, when the Universe was only four percent of its current age of 13.7 billion years.

Astronomers turned telescopes from around the world to study the blast, dubbed GRB 090423.  National Science Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA) first looked for the object the day after the discovery, detected the first radio waves from the blast a week later, then recorded changes in the object until it faded from view more than two months later.
A new star is known: CoRoT-7. It is one of the 100,000 stars that were recorded by the COROT satellite in 1,000 days since the December 27, 2006 launch date. Congratulations!
 
Date: 16 Sep 2009
Depicts: Star field around CoRoT 7
Copyright: ESO/Digitized Sky Survey