Georgia Tech’s Supernova Machine

Using a new "supernova machine," researchers can study the formation of nebulae, such as the Little Ghost Nebula pictured here

Using a new “supernova machine,” researchers can study the formation of nebulae, such as the Little Ghost Nebula pictured here

NGC 6369 is also known as the Little Ghost Nebula, because in smaller telescopes it appears ghostly and faded. Using Hubble, astronomers can resolve far more detail.
NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Supernovae are some of the most energetic events in the universe, and the resulting nebulas are a favorite for stargazers. To better understand the physics behind them, researchers at Georgia Tech have created a “supernova machine” in the lab. read more

Weapon Wednesday – U.S. Military Project Blackjack

darpa

DARPA
  • The Pentagon wants mesh networks of small satellites capable of replacing its larger, more expensive satellites.
  • Project Blackjack’s satellites would replace one satellite with many, making for a more resilient system in wartime.
  • The first test satellites will launch in 2021. read more

PHILIP Laser Powered Lunar Rover

An ESA rover undergoes night-time field tests in Spain
An ESA rover undergoes night-time field tests in Spain
Fernando Gandía/GMV

Solar power is not just a great energy source on Earth, it can work on the Moon and Mars too. But there are some places that a solar-powered rover just can’t reach, like the Moon’s polar regions that are permanently in shadow. Now, ESA has outlined a new system where a lander shines a laser at a rover to keep it powered from miles away. read more

Pentagon Declassifies UFOs. Does this Legitimize them?

from the American Spectator:

UFOs Get Realer

Science is real. UFOS are realer.

The Pentagon confirmed it late last month. They declassified three UFO videos. Only they weren’t UFOS — they were UAPs [Unidentified Aerial Phenomena]. That’s military lingo for UFOs. Defense doesn’t like to say UFOs. It makes them sound kooky. Kooky gets in the way of military procurement. You need gravitas when you ask for $718 billion. UFOs are anti-gravitas.

Which is why on April 27 the Pentagon felt put out when it released those three videos of UAPs, or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, and admitted they’re real and they’re spectacular, to borrow a Seinfeld phrase. But never mind — “Look over there! A pandemic!” read more

Spirograph in Space

An artist's impression of the rosette-shaped orbit of the star S2 around the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy
An artist’s impression of the rosette-shaped orbit of the star S2 around the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy
ESO/L. Calçada

In space, most orbiting objects will have circular- or elliptical-shaped orbits. But now, almost 30 years of observations has revealed that a star in the center of our galaxy orbits the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*) in a rosette, or spirograph shape. The find once again confirms a prediction made by Einstein’s General Relativity. read more

Unique Recycling of Rocket Boosters

Rocket Lab tested out its aerial booster recovery technique in New Zealand in early March
Rocket Lab tested out its aerial booster recovery technique in New Zealand in early March
Rocket Lab

Recovering rockets for re-use is becoming a key consideration for those in the private spaceflight game, with the likes of SpaceX and Blue Origin leading the charge. Rocket Lab is looking to join the party by collecting the first stage of its Electron launch vehicle in midair using a helicopter, a method that it has now successfully demonstrated over the open ocean in New Zealand.

read more

Weapon Wednesday – Space Force Satellite Jammer

The U.S. Space Force has received its first “weapon,” the Counter Communications System.
CCS is designed to prevent nearby adversaries from accessing their own military satellite communications, cutting them off from their home countries.
In addition to the United States, Russia and China are working on their own satellite communications jammers. read more

Mid-Sized Commercial Lunar Lander

Illustration depicting the mid-sized lander on the lunar surface
Illustration depicting the mid-sized lander on the lunar surface
NASA

NASA has unveiled its latest concept for a mid-sized lunar lander designed to deliver payloads of up to 300 kg (660 lb) to the Moon’s polar regions. Part of the space agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative, the unmanned “pallet” lander is designed to carry a variety of experiments and instruments, including small autonomous rovers, to the lunar surface. read more

A Decade of Scientific Breakthroughs

Kepler's efforts in exoplanet hunting was one of the biggest scientific achievements of the decade
Kepler’s efforts in exoplanet hunting was one of the biggest scientific achievements of the decade
NASA/Wendy Stenzel

As we stare down the barrel of the futuristic-sounding year 2020, it’s a time for reflection on the past decade. The world has seen some pretty major scientific achievements in the last 10 years, as discoveries and developments decades in the making were finally realized. New Atlas rounds up five of the most ground-breaking, history-making milestones of the 2010s. read more

Where to find a Wormhole in Space

They might be a staple of science-fiction, but wormholes are surprisingly plausible in the real world - so how do we find them?
They might be a staple of science-fiction, but wormholes are surprisingly plausible in the real world – so how do we find them?

Wormholes are a staple of science fiction – but could they be science fact? Surprisingly, a bridge between two distant points in space and time fits into current physics models, although no evidence that they do exist has ever been found. Now, researchers from the University at Buffalo have outlined how we might go about looking for them in our own galaxy. read more