Archive for the ‘Space’ Category

SnoreCraft: NASA’s MMO?!

April 21st, 2008

Oh, say it ain’t so.

At TinySci, we pride ourselves in our deep skepticism of practically everything. Some say this leads only to apathy while others wonder how we can then be passionate about anything. Well if you’ve had a chance to read a few of our posts, you’ll realize that neither is the case. Rather, the skepticism helps bring about a solid case of objectivity.

Which is what I’m thinking is lacking for those NASA administrators who believe they can create a viable, let alone interesting, massively multiplayer online (MMO) game targeted to the teens of tomorrow.

Read more…

Internet, Space

Two Reasons to Tune in to TV This Tuesday

April 21st, 2008

Despite its status as a high-end sports car, most of us wouldn’t give a thumbs up after taking in a few whiffs from a Corvette’s exhaust.  But, most of us aren’t the Car Guys from Car Talk.  And most of us don’t have access to what I assume is a fuel-cell powered vehicle.

If you listen to NPR, it’s likely you know of Tom and Ray, the automotive geniuses on Car Talk. They’re staring in a new episode of NOVA this Tuesday appropriately titled, “Car of the Future”.  If you don’t listen to Car Talk, you probably aren’t in TinySci’s demographic, so no worries.

They’re reason #1 to watch TV on Tuesday. Read more…

Cars, Space

Auroras Studied by Satellites with Name Only Mother Could Love

April 14th, 2008

Aurora at Acadia National Park, 2005 For many of us who do not live close to the poles (say, south of Canada for the Northern Hemisphere), a view like this is quite rare. They’re the Aurora Borealis, strange northern lights which are relatively common occurrences during the spring and fall equinoxes. But despite being described by humans for centuries, we’re only marginally closer to understanding why and how they happen at all.

NASA is trying to change that. With THEMIS.

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Physics, Space

Stereoscopic Dinosaurs Put the 3D in Phobos

April 10th, 2008

Phobos in 2DWhat do dinosaurs and Phobos have in common? Nothing. Though I have to admit to buying my son a dinosaur book, very much like this one, not just for it’s intrinsic and educational value, but also for the fact it came with a set of red/green 3D glasses.

That purchase came about a year ago, when images from Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity beamed back picture after picture of beautiful images, many of which were rendered in 3D for the general public. At the time, I couldn’t justify spending the $2 to get a mail-order set of 3D glasses, so Amazon came to the rescue.

Let’s just say I’m making better use of the glasses now than my son.

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Tiny Black Hole makes way to TinySci

April 2nd, 2008

Black Hole, Small

At TinySci, it’s only natural for us to get excited about all things small, even if it means, relatively small. In this case, Nikolai Shaposhnikov and and Lev Titarchuk of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center announced the tiniest black hole ever discovered, one weighing in at only 3.8 solar masses. If you were wondering, that translates to approximately 7.6E+30 kilograms, or about 1,270,000 Earths.

I know what you’re thinking: It doesn’t sound quite that small, right?

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Cassini Flies by Enceladus, Samples Organic Matter, Verdict: Tastes Just Like Chicken

March 31st, 2008

Cassini and EnceladusCassini, as you know, is a probe NASA sent to explore Saturn and its moons. Back in 2005, it made a discovery – one of Saturn’s moons, Enceladus, had “hot spots” emanating from its surface. A closer look revealed the presence of active geysers spewing liquid from its southern pole.

Certainly worth another look, NASA sent the probe back and had it fly directly into the path of these geysers, coming to within 30 miles of the surface of the moon.

Read more…


Baby Blowing Bluish Bubbles

November 12th, 2007

Bubble StarHH 46/47, an altogether unsexy and unimaginative name for a star, reveals a nonetheless amazing display as viewed by NASA’s JPL’s Spitzer telescope. With the ability to see into the infrared, cutting through cosmic dust is a breeze for the Spitzer. Which makes interpreting this seemingly violent picture a breeze. The bright white spot in the center is HH 46/47, a very young star in the midst of spewing out jets of gas at extraordinary speeds. As these jets ram into the stellar dust, hydrogen is warmed (the parts in blue), and iron gets superheated (the bright red spots at the end of both “bubbles”).

Their scientists believe that HH 46/47 may be in the midst of developing a wind powerful enough to halt its growing via gravitational disk accretion. Personally, I just like the pic.

Primary Source + Larger Picture: JPL

Space ,

Old Comet Comes to Life

October 29th, 2007

CometNow visible to the naked eye, Comet 17P Holmes can be seen by looking in the constellation Perseus. Right now, there’s not much to see, but the view might prove noteworthy with a telescope.
Directions for finding the comet:
Sample pictures:
Source: Harvard

Space ,

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