For the first time ever, scientists spotted an object from outside our solar system

October 26, 2017 by  
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Until recently, every asteroid and comet that zipped by Earth came from within our solar system. That just changed, as scientists discovered an object with a trajectory not tied to our Sun. The direction of its approach suggests the asteroid came from Vega, one of the closest stars beyond our Sun. Based on limited observations, astronomers now believe this is the first visitor of its kind to be observed. The preliminary findings were published earlier today by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center (MPC) . Said Gareth Williams, the MPC’s associate director, “If further observations confirm the unusual nature of this orbit, this object may be the first clear case of an interstellar comet.” When the object — named A/2017 U1 — entered the solar system , it moved at 26 km (16 miles) per second. At that speed, it could travel 8,200,000,000,000,000 km (more than 850 light years) in 10 million years. Related: Earth’s water may not have originated with comet collisions after all Researchers failed to see it approach the Sun on September 9, partly because of the path of its approach and also because it is estimated to be just 160 meters (525) across. On October 18, however, observers using the PANSTARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii noticed something peculiar about its orbit. After attention was given to the comet, it was later declared to be an asteroid. Reportedly, the PANSTARRS asteroid entered the solar system from the direction of the constellation Lyra. That’s very close to Vega, a star located 25 light years away. If calculations are correct, it took the asteroid nearly 300,000 years to reach Earth . When it passed by our planet on October 14th, it was 24,000,000 km (15,000,000 miles) away. Now, A/2017 U1 is headed out of the solar system, never again to return. Via Sky and Telescope Images via NASA/JPL/Horizons 1 , 2

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For the first time ever, scientists spotted an object from outside our solar system

NASA discovers 7 Earth-sized planets outside our solar system

February 22, 2017 by  
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In a press conference today, NASA scientists revealed an extraordinary new discovery – the first known system of seven rocky, Earth-sized planets orbiting a single star. Three out of the seven planets are situated at the perfect distance from the sun to potentially harbor liquid water , making them habitable for life as we know it. This is the largest number of habitable-zone planets ever found around a single star outside our own solar system . It’s important to note that simply because these planets could potentially hold liquid water doesn’t mean that they do – but the likelihood is higher given their location. The planets are orbiting an ultra-cool dwarf star called TRAPPIST-1, located about 40 light years (or 235 trillion miles) from Earth in the Aquarius constellation. The system is named after the TRAPPIST ( The Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope ), located in an observatory in Chile. In May 2016, TRAPPIST researchers announced they’d discovered three planets in the system. NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope was able to confirm those exoplanets’ existence and that of four additional planets. The results of NASA’s study have been published in the journal Nature today. Related: Astronomers just discovered an alien planet with three suns that shouldn’t exist What’s especially interesting about the TRAPPIST-1 system is how different its habitable zone is from that of systems like our own. Because the star is much cooler than our sun, planets much closer to the sun than Earth could potentially have liquid water. In fact, all seven of TRAPPIST-1’s planets are closer to the star than Mercury is to our own sun, and each of the planets are so close to one another they would appear in one another’s skies the same way the moon appears in ours. NASA scientists also speculate the planets may be tidally locked , so that the same side of the planet is always facing the star, casting one half of the planet in permanent daylight and the other in perpetual night. This could cause weather patterns unlike anything we’ve ever seen before on Earth, and extreme differences in temperature from one side to the other. The Spitzer telescope was able to detect the presence of the planets by observing the infrared wavelengths emitted by the star over a period of 500 hours. Each time a planet crossed in front of the star, the telescope could detect changes in the star’s brightness. NASA also followed up with a study using the Hubble Space Telescope to determine whether the planets were rocky, or likely had a “puffy” atmosphere like those of our own system’s gas giants. There’s still much about these planets we simply do not know, but studies will continue to help NASA learn more about them. Right now, the Kepler space telescope is also recording observations about the system, which will reveal more properties about the exoplanets in March. NASA’s new James Webb Telescope will also be pointed toward TRAPPIST-1 after its launch in 2018, and will analyze the planets’ temperature, surface pressure, and atmospheric makeup – all key factors that will reveal whether these worlds can actually sustain life. Via NASA Images via NASA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnKFaAS30X8

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NASA discovers 7 Earth-sized planets outside our solar system

China is displacing 9,000 residents so a huge telescope can look for aliens

February 18, 2016 by  
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The Chinese government is forcing some 9,000 villagers in the Guizhou province to leave their homes to make room for an enormous radio telescope that will be used to look for signs of alien life. The building project, which will cost an estimated $184 million, is now under construction and could be complete as early as this September. To soften the blow of being relocated, Chinese officials are offering $1,800 to each person who gives up their home within three miles of the telescope site. Read the rest of China is displacing 9,000 residents so a huge telescope can look for aliens

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China is displacing 9,000 residents so a huge telescope can look for aliens

ALMA: The World’s Largest Telescope Array Powers Up in Chile’s Atacama Desert

March 14, 2013 by  
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The world’s largest telescope array officially opened Wednesday in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. The Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) consists of 66 huge antennas directed towards the night sky to gather data and images of neighboring stars and some of the most distant, ancient galaxies. Its telescopes will have better resolution than the famous Hubble Space Telescope , and they will allow astronomers to shed light on how stars are born and how they die. Read the rest of ALMA: The World’s Largest Telescope Array Powers Up in Chile’s Atacama Desert Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: ALMA observatory , ALMA telescope array , Atacama desert observatory , Chile telescopes , space exploration , space observing technology , space research , space technology , telescopes , the universe

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ALMA: The World’s Largest Telescope Array Powers Up in Chile’s Atacama Desert

Amsterdam’s Lush Garden-Wrapped SportPlaza Mercator is Topped With a Green Roof

March 14, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Amsterdam’s Lush Garden-Wrapped SportPlaza Mercator is Topped With a Green Roof Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “living wall” , Amsterdam , Daylighting , eco design , fortress , green roof , greenery , skylights , SportPlaza Mercator , Sports complex , sustainable design , the netherlands , Urban design , VenhoevenCS Architects , vertical gardens

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Amsterdam’s Lush Garden-Wrapped SportPlaza Mercator is Topped With a Green Roof

VolcanElectric Mask Protects Cities From Eruptions and Generates Electricity From Lava

March 14, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of VolcanElectric Mask Protects Cities From Eruptions and Generates Electricity From Lava Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “eVolo” , “sustainable architecture” , 2013 evolo , 2013 evolo skyscraper competition , eco design , eco skyscraper , evolo skyscraper competition , geothermal , Geothermal power , green architecture , Green Building , green design , renewable energy , Sustainable Building , sustainable design , VolcanElectric Mask , volcano , volcano dome , volcano energy , volcano power , volcano skyscraper

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VolcanElectric Mask Protects Cities From Eruptions and Generates Electricity From Lava

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