Video of the flight: https://vimeo.com/207076450
At the moment, NASA and other space agencies are operating satellites in orbit around Mars. The spacecraft are continuing to produce amazing images of the red planet’s surface back to Earth, and some of the probes have even solved Martian mysteries in the process. But what would it look like if you were up in space, flying above Mars yourself?
A beautiful new video making use of a high-resolution camera orbiting Mars aboard a NASA spacecraft shows you just that. The images for the video were taken by a camera onboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, a probe that has been exploring the red planet from above for the past 11 years. Jan Fröjdman processed those images by picking reference points in the photos and then spending about three months converting them into 3D images.
NASA actually has a pretty huge fan base devoted to processing images beamed back from satellites in far-reaching parts of the solar system. Plenty of people on the internet spend their time taking raw imaging data sent back from spacecraft all over the solar system and turning it into something beautiful for the world to see. This is possible because NASA releases their images online for free, and the agency even encourages image processors to turn its photos into something beautiful as a way of bringing the agency’s unique brand of space science to the masses.
At the moment, the space agency is working toward flying people to orbit the red planet in the coming decades for a possible orbital or landing mission on the world’s rusty surface. For now, however, we’re just going to have to make do with photos sent back from the red planet from the high-powered robots checking out Mars on our behalf.
The first images of a Hyperloop test track built in the middle of the Nevada desert have been released. It was designed by California company Hyperloop One, who has unveiled ambitious plans to transport people or cargo between cities at near-supersonic speed.
Hyperloop One announced in November an agreement with Dubai to evaluate the construction a 500mph train they hope will be capable of travelling to the neighbouring UAE city of Abu Dhabi in just 12 minutes.
“While technology is revolutionising many facets of our lives, we have not seen a radical change in transportation since the Wright brothers introduced air travel over 100 years ago,” explained Rob Lloyd, CEO of Hyperloop One.
“Tying together the Middle East region would produce greater virtual density, without congestion and pollution, spurring innovation, productivity, job growth and more powerful sharing of knowledge, labour and investment.
“Building a Hyperloop would vastly impact the economy and make any major city in the Gulf Cooperation Council accessible within one hour.”
Hyperloop One hope to perform a public trial later this year, with the aim of creating “a faster, more efficient and cleaner system of mobility” featuring Hyperloop pods travelling at 800 miles per hour.
Josh Giegel, co-founder of Hyperloop One, added: “Our team of more than 150 engineers, technicians and fabricators have been transforming what was, just over five months ago, a barren stretch of desert, into a hive of activity and now home to the world’s first full-scale Hyperloop test site.”
The company said the latest photos showed they are “well-positioned to deliver the first working Hyperloop”, the brainchild of US billionaire Elon Musk.
An asteroid as big as the Rock of Gibraltar will streak past Earth on April 19 at a safe but still uncomfortably close distance, according to astronomers. “Although there is no possibility for the asteroid to collide with our planet, this will be a very close approach for an asteroid this size,” NASA said in a statement.
2014-J25 was discovered in May 2014 by astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona. Dubbed 2014-JO25 and roughly 650 meters across, the asteroid will come within 1.8 million kilometers of Earth, less than five times the distance to the Moon. It will pass closest to our planet after having looped around the Sun. 2014-J25’s will then continue on past Jupiter before heading back toward the center of our Solar System. The last time 2014-JO25 was in our immediate neighborhood was 400 years ago, and it’s next brush with Earth won’t happen until sometime after 2600. Furthermore, besides its size and trajectory, scientists also know that its surface is twice as reflective as that of the Moon. It should be visible with a small optical telescope for one or two nights before moving out of range.
The April 19 flyby is an outstanding opportunity for astronomers and amateur stargazers, NASA said. “Astronomers plan to observe it with telescopes around the world to learn as much about it as possible,” said the US space agency. In addition on April 19, a comet known as PanSTARRS will make its closest approach to Earth at a “very safe” distance of 175 million kilometers, according to NASA.The comet has brightened recently and should be visible in the dawn sky with binoculars or a small telescope.
Smaller asteroids whizz by Earth several times a week. But the last time one at least this size came as close was in 2004, when Toutatis—five kilometers across—passed within four lunar distances. The next close encounter with a big rock will not happen before 2027, when the 800-meter wide asteroid 199-AN10 will fly by at just one lunar distance, about 380,000 kilometers.
Nothing – including light – can escape a black hole once it’s fallen in, but the process of swallowing gas, dust, or ripping apart whole stars can cause the formation of an accretion disknear the event horizon. These disks can thrust streams of plasma called relativistic jets across the entire length of a galaxy, while hitting temperatures of 10 million degrees Celsius or more.
First detected by NASA’s Swift space telescope, the event was then tracked by the Japanese researchers, who called on scientists from 26 locations around the world to point their optical telescopes at V404 Cygni.
For two weeks, the astronomers were able to observe flashes of light being released by the newly active V404 Cygni, which is one of the closest known black holes to Earth. It was woken up when the gravitational pull of its partner star pulled the two in too close, causing the black hole to strip away the surface matter of the star, before the whole thing fell in to release an incredible burst of radiation.
For the first time, astronomers have witnessed the light produced by this event using an optical telescope.
Team hypothesizes that the light originates from X-rays produced in the centre of the accretion disk, and these X-rays irradiate and heat up the outer region of the disk, which causes it to emit optical rays.
While more research is needed to confirm this, it’s beyond exciting to think of how much more we stand to learn about black holes now that we have a new way of observing them – and it’s something anyone can help with if they have a good telescope at home.
If you enjoyed this post, find more information about black holes in https://worldinnovationsblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/03/nasa-approves-a-mission-to-look-inside-a-black-hole/