May 31, 2008

Space Shuttle Launches Largest ISS Lab Yet

At 5:02pm, the shuttle launched into space carrying with it the $1 billion Kibo laboratory. The laboratory will be the largest room in the ISS yet, and is approximately the size of a tour bus.

Kibo, Japanese for "Hope", is culmination of 20 years of research and development by the Japanese. This section marks the unofficial start of a collaboration that is turning out to be very international indeed. It is a great symbol of Japanese pride, and should be.

I personally am very excited for the Kibo, and that the Japanese are coming aboard the ISS in a very big way. As an American citizen, I recognize that we sometimes have a severe superiority complex about our nation being the "best", but I'm excited for the Japanese, because to make true progress in the realm of space travel we need to work globally and not nationally.

Congratulations Japan!

We've Struck Ice (we think)!!!

What you are looking at researchers are fairly certain is a layer of ice excavated by the blast of Phoenix's retrorockets.
The possibility still exists that it's just rock, however, I doubt geologists would make that mistake, even with a black and white photograph. I was really hoping for a full color photograph letting us know once and for all if this is what we came to find, or if it's just a layer of rock. Based on the smoothness and the behavior of the soil around it, NASA's putting their money on ice.
The way we look at Mars just changed. Forever.

Hacker Shuts Down Phoenix Lander Website

Overnight, a hacker got into the Mars Phoenix Lander at the University of Arizona and changed the mission page to his signature with a link pointing to some overseas website.

This kind of behavior is totally unacceptable. This website is very popular now, and is providing us with the most up to date information about the Phoenix lander findings. If you remember correctly, the last update was that there may be a possibility of water-ice just barely under the surface of the retrorocket blast zone. I don't know about anyone else, but I have been feverishly checking the mission page to see if that was in fact water-ice or just rock. However, some foreign moron hacked the page, robbing the whole world of real-time mission data we've come to expect.

Hackers like this are just total scum. The thing that makes me mad is that if you are smart enough to hack a website like this, you should at least be smart enough to understand what it's trying to do. And why did you do it? For emails? Spam? Porn advertisements? Come on now, I know you're better than that Mr. Hacker

May 30, 2008

We all know there's been talk of an alien peeking in a window in Colorado that's very authentic. I didn't want to have to show this, but I have actual alien footage and it's debuting right here at Deep Sky Blog:

I'm an expert. It's authentic.

Phoenix's Retrorockets Unveil Possible Ice

Today's news release from the Phoenix lander is very exciting: in the retrorocket blast zone, near a footpad, scientists believe there may be water-ice chunks uncovered by the blast.

This is quicker than anyone could have imagined and very exciting. The only problem right now is that the image sent back was in black and white, which all CCD cameras inherently are, and we won't have a color image until probably tomorrow after the color is added.

Phil Plait at the Bad Astronomy blog has a great article about why CCD cameras take pictures in bacl and white, and how we essentially "trick" them into creating highly detailed color pictures.

I'm very excited about the possibility of water-ice that close to the surface. I thought the lander would find ice, just not so close to the surface. Perhaps if there's an ice layer, there's liquid water below. And who knows what that could mean. Why water? Phoenix says it best. (Space Science teachers, that links a freebie; use it!)

The digging arm will dig very slowly over the next couple of months, carefully analyzing each bit of soil as it goes ever deeper. We've barely just scratched the surface and already the discoveries are fascinating.

Sorry... No Doomsday in 2012!

I'm glad someone did it. This is a crucial must-read article for anyone who is concerned about December 2012 and the so-called "apocalypse" that is going to occur then. This is a ridiculous rumor started by... who cares...

Check out Universe Today's post on why this won't be happening.
Only the genious' at Universe Today could mathematically disprove a doomsday theory. Very cool, check it out.

FlickrFind: Fall/Late-Summer Milky Way

Fall/Late-Summer Milky Way
Originally uploaded by chipdatajeffb
I'm a sucker for wide-angle milky way photography and this photo is absolutely stunning. Check out the author's Flickr feed for sure!


I hope the "real" alien looks this authentic!!!

Laughed so hard I cried...!

Real Alien Picture!

Finally, what all astronomer's have been looking for! A real alien looking through a window! Apparently after traveling a few million light years this alien stopped by a notable nut job's window for some "peeping".

Yeah right. It looks almost like someone super imposed E.T. from the Atari over a dark window pane.

The YouTube jockeys are already claiming this as the real thing, but it's quite laughable. What they're actually saying is the "real" thing is an admitted hoax, because this still is the only released footage of this so called "authentic" video.

Check out Phil's post on how easy it is to fake this. Apparently, stupidity is contagious. YouTube has been quarantined.

In Honor of New Mars Fever

Since everyone seems to be talking about Mars these days with the lander firmly and safely on the surface, I thought I'd post the winning photo captured by Spirit in Gustav crater back in 2005.

Kind of looks like the second sun setting on Tatooine...

This picture always leaves me breathless and I thought I'd come up with an excuse to post a three-year-old photograph.


Image Courtesy of NASA/JPL

May 29, 2008

Coolest Landing Pic Ever

Want to see your tax dollars at work? Nothing says it better than the breath-taking oblique angle photograph of the Phoenix lander, it's parachute, and its parachute lines descending into (actually past) the "Heimdall" crater!

A satellite we launched 42 million (give or take a few million) miles to orbit the planet takes a photograph of the entrance of another spacecraft we send to check for samples.

Your viewing the first ever photograph of a spacecraft landing on another world taken by a camera not attached to it.

This is history. Now Phoenix... find us some water, and some life!

EDIT: Changed post title. Yeah, I totally copied the title of Bad Astronomy blog's post. Sorry. It REALLY wasn't intentional.

Deep Sky Blog is Back

To everyone who reads this blog, I've been away without making any new posts for quite a while. I've had some family issues, and I've re-enrolled in school to make a pretty drastic career change. Enough of that though, I just wanted to confirm the fact that I'm back, and this blog should be updated as often as it was.
I've also been without an internet connection until about a week ago.

Thanks for your patience.