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Space | Public Streaming Network Radio

Saturn’s ‘Blue’ Moon

This photo of Saturn’s ‘blue moon,’ Rhea, was recently snapped by the Cassini spacecraft. The false color image shows deep fractures cutting through the craters on the moon’s surface. More at Space.com.

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Total Lunar Eclipse Tonight – 12/21/2010

Filmed it in front of my home in Miami FL

The eclipse is falling on the same day as the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere — a rare occurrence that hasn’t happened in 372 years. And to top it all off, the Ursids meteor shower is expected to create a few shooting stars tonight.

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Curiosity Grows as NASA Sets Extraterrestrial Search Update

A seemingly routine press release issued by NASA is causing a serious stir in the blogosphere today with no small amount of hyperventilation about the possibility that scientists may have something to say about the discovery of extraterrestrial life.

A press conference, which will be streamed on NASA TV, is set for Thursday at 2 p.m. EST (1900 GMT) at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. According to NASA, the event will discuss “an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life. Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe.”

NASA has also brought together a geologist, an oceanographer, a biologist, and an ecologist for a panel discussion at the press conference. That’s got peoples’ imaginations running wild but props to Kottke.org for doing a bit of online sleuthing into the backgrounds of the invited speakers. They include:

Of course, more than a little skepticism is called for since at this point nobody outside of NASA knows what’s on tap for Thursday. Given the advance hype, however, anything less than a cameo by ET will likely come as a disappointment to many. Still, space exploration continues to proceed on a steady pace and so even if it’s not the aforesaid blockbuster, the announcement will be worth watching.

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NASA to brief about discovery of an “exceptional object”

OfficialĀ  NASA Announcement

WASHINGTON — NASA will hold a news conference at 12:30 p.m. EST on Monday, Nov. 15, to discuss the Chandra X-ray Observatory’s discovery of an exceptional object in our cosmic neighborhood.

The news conference will originate from NASA Headquarters’ television studio, 300 E St. SW in Washington and carried live on NASA TV.Media representatives may attend the conference, join by phone or ask questions from participating NASA locations. To RSVP or obtain dial-in information, journalists must send their name, affiliation and telephone number to Trent Perrotto at: trent.j.perrotto@nasa.gov by 10 a.m. EST on Nov. 15. Reporters wishing to attend the conference in-person must have a valid press credential for access. Non-U.S. media also must bring passports.

Scientists involved in the research will be available to answer questions. Panelists providing analysis of the research include:
- Jon Morse, director, Astrophysics Division, NASA Headquarters in Washington
- Kimberly Weaver, astrophysicist, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
- Alex Filippenko, astrophysicist, University of California, Berkeley

For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and further information, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

For more information about NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/chandra
http://chandra.harvard.edu

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Did Japan Space Probe Bring Back Alien Life?

AOL News – (Oct. 10) — Like something out of a sci-fi movie, did alien particles find their way inside a space probe that landed on an asteroid and returned to Earth?

That question was raised last week by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, according to Japanese news agencies. Scientists reportedly found small, odd particles inside Japan’s Hayabusa spacecraft, which returned to Earth in June after a seven-year, 3-billion-mile journey that took it to an asteroid and back.

That question was raised last week by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, according to Japanese news agencies. Scientists reportedly found small, odd particles inside Japan’s Hayabusa spacecraft, which returned to Earth in June after a seven-year, 3-billion-mile journey that took it to an asteroid and back.

Hayabusa left Earth in 2003, destined to become the first spacecraft to land on an asteroid, one of the many small, rocky objects found in space generally between the planets Mars and Jupiter.

Akihiro Ikeshita, AFP
This illustration shows Japan’s Hayabusa space probe approaching asteroid Itokawa. After landing on the asteroid, Hayabusa returned to Earth with asteroid dust particles.

After a more than two-year voyage, Hayabusa spent 30 minutes on the surface of an asteroid — dubbed Itokawa — and collected small samples of asteroid dust.

Recent electron microscope analysis detected some particles that display different characteristics from the dust already picked up by the spacecraft.

Hayabusa’s mission was to get enough asteroid samples to help scientists learn more about the origins of our solar system. NASA researchers are helping JAXA in the examination of the spacecraft’s powder payload.

Whether the asteroid dust contains an unknown extraterrestrial life form may not be known for some time, as the analysis of the material will continue for several months.

“Although we have not yet analyzed the makeup of the particles, I personally think the particles include sand removed from the Itokawa asteroid,” said JAXA scientist Toshifumi Mukai.

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