The satellite ran out of fuel Oct. 21 and had been steadily losing altitude since, tugged by Earth\’s gravity.
The 1.2-ton GOCE satellite is small in comparison to other spacecraft that recently crashed back into the atmosphere.
In January 2012, Russia\’s failed 14-ton Phobos-Grunt Mars probe returned. In 2011, NASA\’s 6.5-ton Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite and Germany\’s 2.4-ton X-ray ROSAT telescope re-entered the atmosphere.
NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope was launched 10 years ago and has since peeled back an infrared veil on the Cosmos. The mission has worked in parallel with NASA’s other “Great Observatories” (Hubble and Chandra) to provide coverage of the emissions from galaxies, interstellar dust, comet tails and the solar system’s planets. But some of the most striking imagery to come from the orbiting telescope has been that of nebulae. Supernova remnants, star-forming regions and planetary nebulae are some of the most iconic objects to be spotted by Spitzer. So, to celebrate a decade in space, here are Discovery News’ favorite Spitzer nebulae.
First up, the Helix Nebula — a so-called planetary nebula — located around 700 light-years from Earth. A planetary nebula is the remnants of the death throes of a red giant star — all that remains is a white dwarf star in the core, clouded by cometary dust.
My very artistic niece sent me a link to a very cool rendition of Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ that was recreated by an astronomer using Hubble images.
From the Open Culture Website: Last year, Alex Parker, a post-doctoral fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, created a mosaic of Starry Night using 100 Hubble photos. Alex downloaded the photos from the European Space Agency’s website, popped them into a free digital art software package called AndreaMosaic to make the image above. The high-res image can be found here.
The more challenging aspect of the image would be to figure out each of the little panels used to make the image. How many can you name without looking?
Alternatively, I might use some of my own images and see what great works of art I can come up with.
Normally, I show a lot of space related stuff (hence the name of the blog), but every once and a while you need to look inward at the beauty of our little (and I do mean little) part of the Universe. I want to go to Chile to visit the great astronomical telescopes high in the mountains. But after seeing these pictures, I have another reason to want to visit. Enjoy.
The Marble Caves of Patagonia, Chile, are beautiful vibrant blue caverns, partially submerged in the equally stunning turquoise waters of Carrera Lake. The lake itself is on the border of Argentina and Chile, with the caves located on the Chilean side. The caves are comprised of three main caverns: the Chapel (La Capilla), the Cathedral (El Catedral), and the Cave (La Cueva). Visitors to the caves can explore them in a small boat or kayak…
Today, 20 years ago, a Vodafone engineer received the world’s first text message: Merry Christmas. In the two decades since, texting has not only become a normal part of daily life, but it has also shaped our language (for better or worse) and the ways in which we interact with people.
Though the first text message wouldn’t be sent until 1992, the idea was born in a Copenhagen pizzeria in 1984. Eight years later, the idea became a reality and today, people just in the U.S. will send at least 2.5 billion texts. (More fascinating text-related factoids.) When I was 20 I just played Diablo II a lot and spent my money on fast food and movies. It’s safe to say that text messaging is wildly more popular and successful than any other living 20-year-old, and for that, we salute you.
Naughty or Nice?
Imagine for a moment that texting had never been invented. How would your life change, and would you prefer it that way or not?
[via @mental_floss, shinyshiny and Nokia Conversations]
Fall is into full swing here; we’ve had three snows (the last one 2 inches deep) and nights are getting cold, 20 degrees (Fahrenhight) on a regular basis. But the snows melt pretty quickly ,and it gets warm still, during the day. Why am I obsessed with the weather? Because it makes me sick. Literally. Every year, fall is my Achilles heel. I’m allergic to the mold that grows in decaying vegetation, and I’ve been sick almost non-stop for the past month. As soon as one “cold” leaves, a week later, another one begins. As a child, I was sick every Christmas, due to the mold living in the Christmas tree we kept.
What is this really about? I think part of it is a deep, subconscious rebellion against the inevitable death and decay that fall brings. I’m all about evolution of myself, my soul, and my outlook. Fall is…