Mystery of Martian Rock Deepens

The mystery over a mysterious Martian rock that appeared in front of the Opportunity rover deepened today.

Last week researchers saw a rock mysteriously appear over the course of a few days in front of the rover.

They now say the initial tests show it is ‘like nothing we’ve ever seen before’.

An strange rock, seen here on the left image, mysteriously appeared in front of Opportunity rover in the beginning of the month. The rover, which landed on Mars in 2004, hasn't moved in over a month as it waits for better weather on the red planet

An strange rock, seen here on the left image, mysteriously appeared in front of Opportunity rover in the beginning of the month. The rover, which landed on Mars in 2004, hasn’t moved in over a month as it waits for better weather on the red planet read more

Mini Ice Age Coming?

The Sun’s activity is at its lowest for 100 years, scientists have warned.

They say the conditions are eerily similar to those before the Maunder Minimum, a time in 1645 when a mini ice age hit, Freezing London’s River Thames.

Researcher believe the solar lull could cause major changes, and say there is a 20% chance it could lead to ‘major changes’ in temperatures.

 

Sunspot numbers are well below their values from 2011, and strong solar flares have been infrequent, as this image shows - despite Nasa forecasting major solar storms

Sunspot numbers are well below their values from 2011, and strong solar flares have been infrequent, as this image shows – despite Nasa forecasting major solar storms

 

THE SOLAR CYCLE

Conventional wisdom holds that solar activity swings back and forth like a simple pendulum.

At one end of the cycle, there is a quiet time with few sunspots and flares.

At the other end, solar max brings high sunspot numbers and frequent solar storms.

It’s a regular rhythm that repeats every 11 years.

Reality is more complicated.

Astronomers have been counting sunspots for centuries, and they have seen that the solar cycle is not perfectly regular. read more

Earth Is a Happy Accident

by: the Common Constitutionalist 

The other evening, I watched a program about planet Earth and how it was formed and so on. Throughout the program the “scientists” were constantly telling the viewers of how lucky we are to be placed in the universe where we are, how everything just seemed to come together for planet Earth, or something like that.

 

At the time I thought nothing about the program. Then Saturday morning, I awoke early, got my coffee, sat in my chair and began to write. I wrote the title of my next article, and that’s as far as I got.

 

I gazed up from the page and stared at some plants in front of a large sliding glass door. For reasons unknown, I began to hypothesize how large I could get them to grow if I somehow pumped up the CO2 in the room. Makes sense right? No? Well I thought it anyway.

 

Of course, I thought, too much and I wouldn’t survive and how much is too much for the plants? The balance would have to be just right.

 

At this point I guess I was just daydreaming. My gaze went from the plants to out the slider where the sun was just up in the sky was becoming blue. Then it hit me. read more

Scientists Stunned Over Latest Mars Mystery

Though the couple billion-dollar Curiosity rover seems to get all the attention on the red planet these days, it’s one of the veteran rovers on Mars that captured an event that is stunning scientists and space fans alike.

The crux of the issue surrounds these photos snapped by the rover Opportunity on two different missions.

sol3528 and sol3540

The image on the left was taken on the SOL3528 mission while the photo on the right, showing the new rock, was taken of the same area in the SOL3540 mission. (Images: NASA/JPL-CALTECH)

The rock perched on the ground in the right photo in the side-by-side comparison was not there before. read more

NASA Reveals New Mars Rocket

It is set to become the largest rocket ever built, dwarfing the rockets that took man to the moon and paving the way for manned missions to Mars.

NASA today reveal stunning new pictures of its SLS (Space Launch System), which will eventually be capable of lifting 130 tons into orbit.

The rocket will be used to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station, and to help us explore the outer reaches of the solar system.Nasa's vast SLS rocket, which will launch payloads of upto 130 tonnes into orbit and could make its first flight in 2017.

It is even hoped the craft could play a role in manned missions to Mars, being able to launch ‘stepping stone’ bases into orbit.

‘The potential use of SLS for science will further enhance the synergy between scientific exploration and human exploration,’ said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator for science at NASA Headquarters in Washington. read more

Back to the Moon

America is to pay the moon a visit for the first time since Apollo 17 touched down there more than 40 years ago.

The privately-owned MX-1 will blast off in 2015 on a reconnaissance mission ahead of plans to mine the moon for minerals.

The unmanned spacecraft, unveiled last night at the Autodesk University show in Las Vegas, will scoop up rock and dust samples from the lunar surface to be ferried back to Earth for testing.

 
MX-1: The unmanned spacecraft, unveiled last night at the Autodesk University show in Las Vegas, will scoop up rock and dust samples from the lunar surface to be ferried back to Earth for testing
MX-1: The unmanned spacecraft, unveiled last night at the Autodesk University show in Las Vegas, will scoop up rock and dust samples from the lunar surface to be ferried back to Earth for testing
 
 
Moon mine: The privately-owned MX-1 will blast off in 2015 on a reconnaissance mission ahead of plans to mine the moon for minerals
Moon mine: The privately-owned MX-1 will blast off in 2015 on a reconnaissance mission ahead of plans to mine the moon for minerals read more

Black Hole Discovered

A black hole has been found to be pumping out  of iron and nickel into the universe – spewing out more powerful jets that  scientists first thought.

Black holes usually put out jets of low-mass  particles, thousands of light-years long, into surrounding galaxies.

These jets recycle matter and energy into  space and can affect when and where a galaxy forms stars.

Scroll down for  video…

Black hole
A black hole has been found to be pumping out of iron  and nickel into the universe – spewing out more powerful jets that scientists  first thought. The 4U1630-47 star system is depicted above in an artist’s  illustration, with a large blue star on the right and jets emanating from a  black hole in the center of the disc on the left read more

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

 

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot – an enormous  tempest raging on the side of the planet – was expected to dissipate rapidly,  but hundreds of years on, it is still one of the solar system’s most  recognizable and mysterious features.

Scientists were unsure why the giant spot has  prevailed, but now a team of U.S. researchers believe they have solved the  mystery, using computer models.

They think the vertical motion of the gases  holds the key to the Great Red Spot’s persistence by restoring part of its lost  energy.

The giant storm
The giant storm on the surface of Jupiter (pictured)  should have disappeared centuries ago, based on scientists’ understanding of  fluid dynamics. The turbulence and waves in the Red Spot sap the energy of its  winds and it loses more energy by radiating heat read more

Pump Up The Warming… Global That Is

by: the Common Constitutionalist

 Question: what happens when the Sun sets? It gets dark and gets cooler.

Now, what happens when the Sun rises? It becomes light and warms.

In other words, the Sun is the source of the earth’s warmth. It’s hard to dispute that scientific and oh so obvious fact. And without it (the Sun), the Earth would be a dark, cold, lifeless rock.

Yet scientists discovered long ago that the warmth from the Sun is not consistent. Sunspots affect the Sun’s warming of the earth and they (sunspots) appear to run in regular cycles. The next to be the 25th recorded cycle. So it could accurately be stated that sunspots cause global warming and cooling.

On average the earth is warmer when sunspot activity is high and cooler with less and there has been a lot less sunspot activity lately, coupled with the weakening of the Sun’s magnetic fields that cause sunspots; steadily weakening since 1995. Funny how there hasn’t been any warming since 1998  – shortly after the weakening. Yet the man-made global warming fanatics insist that sunspots are not a factor. read more

Mars Once Looked Like Earth

Today Mars is a cold and barren desert world,  with no apparent sign of life.

But four billion years ago, scientists  believe the red planet was a very different place – one that the believe looked  a lot like Earth.

A stunning video by Nasa’s Goddard Conceptual  Image Lab reveals what Mars may have looked like if its atmosphere allowed for  water.

Scroll down for video…

This is an artist's concept of an ancient, habitable Mars capable of supporting liquid water on its surface.
This is an artist’s concept of an ancient, habitable  Mars capable of supporting liquid water on its surface read more