Author Topic: Space exploration thread  (Read 155054 times)

Offline Red Berry

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2160 on: January 11, 2019, 08:35:18 PM »
In case anybody is interested, re New Horizons/Ultima Thule...

Quote
The BBC's Sky At Night programme will broadcast a special episode on the flyby on Sunday 13 January on BBC Four at 22:30 GMT. Presenter Chris Lintott will review the event and discuss some of the new science to emerge from the encounter with the New Horizons team.
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Offline Something Worse

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2161 on: January 13, 2019, 04:54:29 AM »
Not sure if this is the right thread given the implications, but this article talks about the possibility that Oumuamua is a solar sail from another civilization.

https://www.haaretz.com/amp/us-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-if-true-this-could-be-one-of-the-greatest-discoveries-in-human-history-1.6828318?__twitter_impression=true

The interview is with the head of astronomy at Harvard.

Offline farawayred

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2162 on: January 13, 2019, 07:03:48 PM »
InSight is suffering some hiccups with the grapple hook, which could not be restowed in two attempts. If you look at the images (https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/multimedia/raw-images/?order=sol+desc%2Cdate_taken+desc&per_page=50&page=0&mission=insight), the hook had to grab that half-ball. Hopefully, the third time is the charm.
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Offline Tepid T₂O

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2163 on: January 13, 2019, 08:38:15 PM »
Not sure if this is the right thread given the implications, but this article talks about the possibility that Oumuamua is a solar sail from another civilization.

https://www.haaretz.com/amp/us-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-if-true-this-could-be-one-of-the-greatest-discoveries-in-human-history-1.6828318?__twitter_impression=true

The interview is with the head of astronomy at Harvard.
Yeah, seems to be an awful lot of guesswork there.

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Offline Red Berry

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2164 on: January 13, 2019, 08:58:33 PM »
InSight is suffering some hiccups with the grapple hook, which could not be restowed in two attempts. If you look at the images (https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/multimedia/raw-images/?order=sol+desc%2Cdate_taken+desc&per_page=50&page=0&mission=insight), the hook had to grab that half-ball. Hopefully, the third time is the charm.

It's a bit like playing one of those hook/grapple games at the amusement park - where the hook never grabs onto the prize you want or drops it before it gets to the chute. ;D
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Offline farawayred

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2165 on: January 13, 2019, 09:33:34 PM »
It's a bit like playing one of those hook/grapple games at the amusement park - where the hook never grabs onto the prize you want or drops it before it gets to the chute. ;D
Yep. Except, the hook was rigged in our favor, games in the park are not...  :)
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Offline Tepid T₂O

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2166 on: January 13, 2019, 09:36:39 PM »
Yep. Except, the hook was rigged in our favor, games in the park are not...  :)
Although the hooks in the games aren’t 34 million miles away.
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Offline farawayred

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2167 on: January 13, 2019, 09:39:46 PM »
Although the hooks in the games aren’t 34 million miles away.
But the cost per mile is about the same. :D
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Offline Zeb

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2168 on: January 14, 2019, 07:16:07 AM »
"And the voices of the standing Kop still whispering in the wind will salute the wee Scots redman and he will still walk on.
And your money will have bought you nothing."

Offline Red Berry

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2169 on: January 14, 2019, 01:16:23 PM »
Yep. Except, the hook was rigged in our favor, games in the park are not...  :)

And yet it still doesn't work right. ;)
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Offline farawayred

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2170 on: January 17, 2019, 04:57:20 PM »
And yet it still doesn't work right. ;)
Exactly my point. :)

But we finally did it, the hook has been stowed!
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Offline Red Berry

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2171 on: January 19, 2019, 09:36:42 PM »
That's good news!
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Offline WhereAngelsPlay

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2172 on: January 21, 2019, 10:09:43 PM »
My cup, it runneth over, I'll never get my fill

Offline Red Berry

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2173 on: January 24, 2019, 09:02:27 PM »
Latest Ultima Thule image:

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Offline farawayred

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2174 on: January 24, 2019, 09:36:53 PM »
That is surreal!
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Offline Red Berry

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2175 on: January 24, 2019, 10:02:12 PM »
That is surreal!

Yeah.  They don't know if those pits are impact craters or caused by outgassing of volatiles yet.  This image was taken just 7 minutes before closest approach.  It's an incredible achievement.
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Offline PROPER crazyemlyn72

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2176 on: January 27, 2019, 07:20:11 PM »
Does the sun lights up Ultima Thule that far out? Impressive flash on the camera if not haha!

Offline farawayred

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2177 on: January 27, 2019, 10:43:35 PM »
Does the sun lights up Ultima Thule that far out? Impressive flash on the camera if not haha!
Did you know that professional Nikon, Canon, Sony, etc., cameras can focus in conditions where a human eye cannot see jackshit?
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Offline Red Berry

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2178 on: January 28, 2019, 11:07:31 AM »
Does the sun lights up Ultima Thule that far out? Impressive flash on the camera if not haha!

The sun's brightness at the distance of Ultima Thule is approximately magnitude -18.5 - still considerably higher than the full moon's maximum brightness of -12.90 as seen from Earth.

I don't know the math, but for comparison, from Earth the sun's apparent magnitude is -26.7, which is about 400,000 times brighter than a full moon.  And as farawayred said, New Horizon's has very good cameras.
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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2179 on: January 28, 2019, 11:57:50 AM »
Does the sun lights up Ultima Thule that far out? Impressive flash on the camera if not haha!

It's Mr Blobby's spaceship, it lights itself!

Offline PROPER crazyemlyn72

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2180 on: January 28, 2019, 10:01:38 PM »
im also sick waiting for the james webb telescope. faraway red got any updates?

Offline farawayred

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2181 on: January 29, 2019, 12:17:12 AM »
im also sick waiting for the james webb telescope. faraway red got any updates?
I don't know how much faith I can put in that schedule, but the current planned launch is 2021 (as of June last year) and the cost is almost $10bn, about 20 times higher than the original cost fetched to Congress... 

I'm dreading on how many Europa Lander missions we could have built for a fraction of that money...

On the bright side, it would be a great advancement for space-based astronomy, no doubt. But it HAS TO work for a long time. It's not like Hubble where we can go there and fix it.
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Offline Red Berry

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2182 on: January 29, 2019, 05:56:32 PM »
I don't know how much faith I can put in that schedule, but the current planned launch is 2021 (as of June last year) and the cost is almost $10bn, about 20 times higher than the original cost fetched to Congress... 

I'm dreading on how many Europa Lander missions we could have built for a fraction of that money...

On the bright side, it would be a great advancement for space-based astronomy, no doubt. But it HAS TO work for a long time. It's not like Hubble where we can go there and fix it.

Better hope the mirror gets done right first time then. ;)
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Offline Tepid T₂O

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2183 on: January 29, 2019, 06:06:13 PM »
Better hope the mirror gets done right first time then. ;)
It’s a compound mirror so shouldn’t be such an issue.
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Offline Red Berry

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2184 on: January 29, 2019, 07:04:26 PM »
It’s a compound mirror so shouldn’t be such an issue.

I know, I was just wisecracking. ;D

Had a quick look at HST's wiki entry and was surprised to see that it's already been 10 years since the last shuttle servicing mission.  :o  That's honestly amazing!
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Offline farawayred

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2185 on: January 29, 2019, 08:50:07 PM »
Still, the mirrors aside ;), there are a lot of things that need to work as reliably as on a planetary mission. The coolants, electronics, optics, etc. I'm sure that there will be a number of unanticipated things that will occur, and the question will be whether we could cope with those. I first worked on some MIRI anomalies more than a decade ago, and some as recently as 4 years, so I'd have to keep my fingers crossed.
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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2186 on: January 29, 2019, 08:51:33 PM »
MIRI??
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Offline farawayred

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2187 on: January 29, 2019, 10:05:34 PM »
MIRI??
Sorry, JPL provides the  Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) on JWST.
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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2188 on: January 29, 2019, 10:31:03 PM »
Sorry, JPL provides the  Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) on JWST.
Of course...!

Mind you I read about the JWST about 15 years ago, so it’s no surprise some of the accornymns have got lost.


So it’s got mid infra red, whys other detectors does it have?
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Offline farawayred

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2189 on: January 29, 2019, 10:36:37 PM »
Of course...!

Mind you I read about the JWST about 15 years ago, so it’s no surprise some of the accornymns have got lost.


So it’s got mid infra red, whys other detectors does it have?
Shamefully, I had to google it... I'm not involved in the project, just when they had issues. Apparently it has near-IR detector and spectrograph too.
https://jwst.nasa.gov/isim.html
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Offline farawayred

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2190 on: January 30, 2019, 06:48:26 PM »
Time to deploy the wind and thermal shield (WTS)
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Offline Welshred

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2191 on: January 30, 2019, 07:25:20 PM »
When should we expect an announcement on all the data that's been collected so far?
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Offline farawayred

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2192 on: January 30, 2019, 09:05:45 PM »
When should we expect an announcement on all the data that's been collected so far?
They had been taking data from the time the seismometer was still on the deck, but they are not the top-quality data the mission was designed for. Perhaps I can elaborate a bit more. The three seismometer elements are sensitive to RF, thermal and acoustic noise and Brownian motion inside the sphere. The less noise, the fainter signals can be detected. Vacuum better than 1e-4 mbar eliminates Browninan motion and thermal shorts through the gas. The sphere itself has a thermal constant of ~4 hours; this is the characteristic time for which an external temperature change propagates into the interior to the sensors. This is pretty damn good, but not great. When the WTS goes on, the thermal constant increases to ~12 hours. Essentially, the diurnal cycles won't play a role in signal detection. The seismometer now is very sensitive to the wind, which will change dramatically with the WTS. Until now, the pinning mass had to be moved back to reduce the coupling of the seismometer to the spacecraft (a tether loop had to be opened).

So, it's a working seismometer in a great shape, but the quakes that can be detected at this time are rather large, and the origin cannot be determined (that uses Rayleigh and Lowe waves, which are 100s of times fainter). And there is a log-log dependence of magnitude versus frequency for quakes, big ones occur far less often. So, unless something major happens soon,we won't hear from the science team for a while. The first high-fidelity data will be taken when the "mole" (HP3) gets deployed. Its hammer will create "pings" that will be recorded and analyzed to learn about the structure of the Mars top crust layer.   
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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2193 on: January 30, 2019, 10:06:45 PM »
Cheers mate, clear as day now ;D
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Offline PROPER crazyemlyn72

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2194 on: January 31, 2019, 12:03:49 AM »
They had been taking data from the time the seismometer was still on the deck, but they are not the top-quality data the mission was designed for. Perhaps I can elaborate a bit more. The three seismometer elements are sensitive to RF, thermal and acoustic noise and Brownian motion inside the sphere. The less noise, the fainter signals can be detected. Vacuum better than 1e-4 mbar eliminates Browninan motion and thermal shorts through the gas. The sphere itself has a thermal constant of ~4 hours; this is the characteristic time for which an external temperature change propagates into the interior to the sensors. This is pretty damn good, but not great. When the WTS goes on, the thermal constant increases to ~12 hours. Essentially, the diurnal cycles won't play a role in signal detection. The seismometer now is very sensitive to the wind, which will change dramatically with the WTS. Until now, the pinning mass had to be moved back to reduce the coupling of the seismometer to the spacecraft (a tether loop had to be opened).

So, it's a working seismometer in a great shape, but the quakes that can be detected at this time are rather large, and the origin cannot be determined (that uses Rayleigh and Lowe waves, which are 100s of times fainter). And there is a log-log dependence of magnitude versus frequency for quakes, big ones occur far less often. So, unless something major happens soon,we won't hear from the science team for a while. The first high-fidelity data will be taken when the "mole" (HP3) gets deployed. Its hammer will create "pings" that will be recorded and analyzed to learn about the structure of the Mars top crust layer.   

yeah....i get all that...but ELI5?

edit... i took the time to read it slowly, since you put the effort in to type it. it sunk in. fair play mate.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2019, 12:46:19 PM by PROPER crazyemlyn72 »

Offline farawayred

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2195 on: February 4, 2019, 07:00:53 PM »
A cool gif of placing the WTS on the seismometer. The original is >2MB, so I shrunk this one to fit the max size. The skirt didn't fully deploy, but the well enough. The WTS is not touching the seismometer or the tether, and the seismometer is more "quieter" by just over an order of magnitude.   
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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2196 on: February 6, 2019, 10:57:21 PM »
Tesla's advertising strategy for the next decade



1 year ago today. Shame Elon kind of went off the rails a bit since then but it's still an incredible achievement.

The car is currently 226 million miles away from earth still traveling at over 5000 miles an hour

Offline gazzalfc

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2197 on: February 6, 2019, 11:04:07 PM »
This image still amazes me. No Hollywood CGI. Just good old fashioned science and engineering


Offline Red Berry

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2198 on: February 8, 2019, 09:15:47 PM »
New data from New Horizons reveals that Ultima Thule is not spherical, but rather a rounded, rather flat "pancake" shape.  A real head scratcher over how it might have formed.



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Offline farawayred

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #2199 on: February 8, 2019, 10:30:39 PM »
InSight from Orbit. Considering that a pixel is something like 30 cm, it's pretty damn good...
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