Category Archives: Science

Will flooding the desert help stop global warming?

Imagine flooding a desert half the size of the Sahara. Using 238 trillion gallons of desalinated ocean water to do the job. Creating millions of 1-acre-square micro-reservoirs to grow enough algae to gobble up all of Earth’s climate-changing carbon dioxide. For an encore: How about spreading the water and fertilizer (the dead algae) to grow

Why NASA chose a vanilla ice cream landing site for InSight Lander on Mars

Why NASA chose a vanilla ice cream landing site for InSight Lander on Mars

Sometimes, boring is best — and that’s certainly true when you’re trying to set a lander down on the surface of Mars, where any eventfulness is likely bad news. That’s why scientists carefully chose a flat, featureless expanse of the Red Planet called Elysium Planitia for NASA’s InSight mission to touch down on to maximize the odds

There is a creepy orange “airglow” around the earth

No, you’re not looking at a strange alien planet or the Earth through an Instagram filter – this orange glow is known as an airglow, courtesy of NASA. According to the space agency, the airglow is “diffuse bands of light that stretch 50 to 400 miles into our atmosphere.” It typically occurs when molecules, largely nitrogen and oxygen,

SpaceX’s Starman and Tesla Roadster now surpass Mars

Time flies when you’re cruising through space in a Tesla Roadster, huh? It’s hard to believe that it’s already been nearly nine months since SpaceX launched its Falcon Heavy rocket, sending a test payload into sun-centric orbit, but here we are. Now, the only passenger that took part in the adventure officially made his way past Mars,

Elon Musk said he “likes the idea” of Trump’s space Force

Elon Musk said he "likes the idea" of Trump's space Force

In a wide-ranging podcast, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said he likes the idea of President Trump’s Space Force, even if the idea is controversial. Speaking with the co-founder of Recode and technology journalist Kara Swisher, Musk said Trump’s idea of a sixth military branch is intriguing. “Well, this may be a little controversial, but

Russia says its doomed rocket has been damaged before take-off, causing the launch to fail

It was just a couple of days ago that Russian space agency Roscosmos announced that its probe into the Soyuz rocket failure had officially wrapped up. The investigation concluded that a malfunctioning sensor was the culprit, and that it failed to adequately separate the first and second rocket stages, causing one piece of the spacecraft to slam

The world’s ocean warming is far more than imagined

The world’s oceans have absorbed about 60% more heat during the past 25 years than previously estimated, according to a new study published in the journal Nature. The study takes advantage of a new method that can serve as a whole ocean thermometer. Why it matters: If the ocean is absorbing even more heat than observed, it would suggest

Stephen Hawking Wheelchair and Thesis Auction Opens

Personal effects of Stephen Hawking, including a signed copy of his 1963 PhD thesis, are being offered in an online auction starting on Wednesday. A total of 22 items owned by the physicist, who died in March, are being sold by Christie’s over nine days. They include an early wheelchair and a script for one of

RIP, Kepler: NASA’s revolutionary planetary hunting telescope runs out of fuel

RIP, Kepler: NASA's revolutionary planetary hunting telescope runs out of fuel

The most prolific planet-hunting machine in history has signed off. NASA’s Kepler space telescope, which has discovered 70 percent of the 3,800 confirmed alien worlds to date, has run out of fuel, agency officials announced today (Oct. 30). Kepler can no longer reorient itself to study cosmic objects or beam its data home to Earth, so

NASA astronaut still baffled by removal from ISS mission

NASA astronaut still baffled by removal from ISS mission

WASHINGTON — A NASA astronaut removed early this year from a mission to the International Space Station said Oct. 30 that she still doesn’t understand the reasons for her reassignment. Jeanette Epps was assigned by NASA in January 2017 to the crew of Expeditions 56 and 57, scheduled to launch to the station on a

This NASA detector is closer to the sun than any other spacecraft

This NASA detector is closer to the sun than any other spacecraft

A NASA probe got closer to the sun than any other spacecraft, setting a new world record, the agency announced. On Monday, the Parker Solar Probe moved within 26.55 million miles of the Sun’s surface, breaking the previous mark set by the Helios-2 spaecraft in 1976. “It’s a proud moment for the team, though we

NASA’s Hubble Resumes Observations after Gyro Repaired

NASA's Hubble Resumes Observations after Gyro Repaired

WASHINGTON — NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has resumed normal operations after controllers fixed a faulty gyroscope on the spacecraft, the agency announced Oct. 27. In a statement, NASA said that Hubble resumed normal science operations at 9 p.m. Eastern Oct. 26, and completed its first science observations, of a distant galaxy using the spacecraft’s Wide

SpaceX is Building a Market for Falcon Heavy

Two companies have signed deals to launch their satellites on SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, the most powerful space vehicle in operation today. ViaSat, which provides internet service from space, chose the Falcon Heavy to launch one of its next generation internet satellites between 2020 and 2022. Ovzon, a Finnish start-up that expects to deliver mobile broadband from orbit, hired SpaceX’s

Tonight Full Moon to steal the show in the Sky

Tonight Full Moon

While last night had a spectacular view of the October full moon, the moon is technically fullest tonight. Mother Nature is going to cooperate and bring us a great sky for moon gazing. The full moon tonight is called the Hunter’s full moon. So often sky gazing is a disappointment here in Michigan. Many of

Mars First Image from a CubeSat by NASA

Mars First Image from a CubeSat by NASA

NASA’s MarCO mission was designed to find out if briefcase-sized spacecraft called CubeSats could survive the journey to deep space. Now, MarCO—which stands for Mars Cube One—has Mars in sight. One of the twin MarCO CubeSats snapped this image of Mars on Oct. 3—the first image of the Red Planet ever produced by this class