On This Day in 1968: Earthrise. Apollo 8.

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Damn. It’s The Zero Moon, It’s September 13, Man.

Zero Moon

Five thousand, eight hundred and forty days after leaving Earth orbit, everybody on Moonbase Alpha must be dead.

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Yeah, everybody on Alpha must be dead…

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Or maybe…

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Pluto Update

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Pluto in Enhanced Color
Image Credit: NASA, Johns Hopkins Univ./APL, Southwest Research Inst.

Explanation: Pluto is more colorful than we can see. Color data and images of our Solar System’s most famous dwarf planet, taken by the robotic New Horizons spacecraft during its flyby in July, have been digitally combined to give an enhanced view of this ancient world sporting an unexpectedly young surface. The featured enhanced color image is not only esthetically prettybut scientifically useful, making surface regions of differing chemical composition visually distinct. For example, the light-colored heart-shaped Tombaugh Regio on the lower right is clearly shown here to be divisible into two regions that are geologically different, with the leftmost lobe Sputnik Planum also appearing unusually smooth. New Horizons now continues on beyond Pluto, will continue to beam back more images and data, and will soon be directed to change course so that it can fly past asteroid 2014 MU69 in 2019 January.

On Thursday, September 10 2015, NASA released a batch of newly downlinked hi-res Pluto images:

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They’re all here.

And, why am I only seeing this now? Stephen Colbert vs Neil deGrasse Tyson on the merits, wonders, and status of the NINTH PLANET IN OUR SOLAR SYSTEM, dammit. Which places me firmly in the camp of the sentimental vs the scientific but however you cut it this clip is wicked fucking funny.

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“If you fell into a black hole, it’s not clear how you would die.”

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Will gravity rip you apart and crush you into the black hole’s core? Or will a firewall of energy sizzle you into oblivion? Could some essence of you ever emerge from a black hole? First posited by a group of theorists including Donald Marolf, Ahmed Almheiri, James Sully and Joseph Polchinski in March 2012, the question of how you would die inside a black hole is probably the biggest debate in physics right now. It’s called the firewall paradox.

Based on the mathematics in Einstein’s 1915 General Theory of Relativity, you would fall through the event horizon unscathed before gravity’s force pulled you into a noodle and ultimately crammed you into singularity, the black hole’s infinitely dense core.

But Dr. Polchinski and his team pitted Einstein against quantum theory, which posited that the event horizon would become a blazing firewall of energy that would torch your body to smithereens.

Keep both theories, the physicist Stephen Hawking said in January 2014. Black holes aren’t what we thought they were. There is no event horizon, and there is no singularity. They’re just different.

According to Dr. Hawking, at the edge of a black hole, the fourth dimension known as space-time fluctuates like weather, making the crisp edge we assume impossible. Instead, Dr. Hawking’s “apparent horizon” would be like a purgatory for light rays attempting to escape a black hole, slowly dissolving and moving inward, but never being pulled into singularity. The event horizon, he says, remains the same, or even shrinks as a black hole slowly leaks energy. Suspended in the apparent zone, you would scramble and leak out into the cosmos as “Hawking radiation.”

From yesterday’s New York Times

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Curiosity Sees Earth and Moon From Mars | Video

The Curiosity rover on Mars captured imagery of the brightest object in its evening twilight sky, our own Earth and moon, on January 31, 2014. The rover has been at the Dingo Gap, inside the Gale Crater, on Mars this week. It captured these images on Sol 529, that is, the rover’s 529th day on Mars. Just think … everything we know is within that little dot, seen as a “star” from the planet just next door.

Via Earth/Sky.org

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/TAMU

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SEPTEMBER 13, 1999

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Earthrise

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via nasa:

Earth from the Moon! To celebrate tonight’s scheduled 11:27 p.m. EDT launch of our Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft, it’s moon day on NASA’s new Instagram, where we bring you photos from our planet and beyond. This image taken July 20, 1969 from Apollo 11 shows the Earth rising over the limb of the moon much as the Harvest Moon does from our planetary perspective. Over the stark, scarred surface of the moon, the Earth floats in the void of space, a watery jewel swathed in ribbons of clouds. To learn more about our LADEE mission, visit www.nasa.gov/ladee and to learn more about the moon, visit solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Moon For more images from NASA on Instagram, follow us at @NASA.

Image credit: NASA

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THE MOON AND SUN

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via NASA:

The Moon and Sun

Two or three times a year, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory observes the moon traveling across the sun, blocking its view. While this obscures solar observations for a short while, it offers the chance for an interesting view of the shadow of the moon. The moon’s crisp horizon can be seen up against the sun, because the moon does not have an atmosphere. (At other times of the year, when Earth blocks SDO’s view, the Earth’s horizon looks fuzzy due to its atmosphere.)

If one looks closely at such a crisp border, the features of the moon’s topography are visible, as is the case in this image from Oct. 7, 2010. This recently inspired two NASA visualizers to overlay a 3-dimensional model of the moon based on data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, into the shadow of the SDO image. Such a task is fairly tricky, as the visualizers — Scott Wiessinger who typically works with the SDO imagery and Ernie Wright who works with the LRO imagery — had to precisely match up data from the correct time and viewpoint for the two separate instruments. The end result is an awe-inspiring image of the sun and the moon.

Image Credit: NASA/SDO/LRO/GSFC

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Earth, Venus, and Jupiter as Seen from MARS

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Pretty wild, eh? Via EarthPosts

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Tonight

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Waxing crescent moon near Gemini stars on April 17

The above sky chart shows the wide waxing crescent moon on April 17, 2013, near the bright stars Castors and Pollux in the constellation Gemini – and also the star Procyon in Canis Minor the Lesser Dog. Castor and Pollux, the beacon lights of the constellation Gemini the Twins, are sometimes called ‘twin’ stars – allthough the kinship of these stars is more imaginary than real. Why twins then? These shimmering luminaries are named in honor of mythological twin brothers, Castor and Pollux.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE

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