by Ryan McGillicuddy figures by Sean Wilson When I think of the challenges associated with exploring space, I usually think of explosive rockets, speeding meteorites, deadly radiation, and the empty vacuum of space. Admittedly, my first worry about space is not the freezing temperatures. But in reality, temperature control in space is a challenge that NASA constantly faces. For example, the sun-facing side of the … Continue reading How to Keep Electronics Warm in Space? Use Hot Wax
by Matthew Smith figures by Bradley Wierbowski Step aside, NASA. The 20th century model of space exploration is running out of fuel, and private companies are now leading the race for human expansion across the galaxy. Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and Jeff Bezos are three of the billionaires leading this extraterrestrial adventure with their respective companies, SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, and Blue Origin. Bezos, the founder … Continue reading Commercialized Space and You
No, I don’t mean Matthew McConaughey. A few weeks ago, our first interstellar visitor flew nearby Earth and now is on its way back out of our solar system. While these types of extra-solar system objects have long been expected to exist as a bi-product of planet formation in nearby solar systems, this is the first ever detected – an event scientists have been waiting decades for. Continue reading Saying goodbye to our first interstellar visitor
In an affront to the scientific community, the Science Committee of the House of Representatives recently retweeted a questionable Breitbart article which denied global warming. The cited Breitbart article claimed that warm temperatures in 2015 were due to a particularly strong El Niño, not a longer term trend of global warming, and that previous to 2015, there was actually a “global warming hiatus.” The article was … Continue reading House Science Committee Retweets A Breitbart Denial of Global Warming
Recently, the Kepler mission announced the discovery of 1,284 new planets. The announcement represents the most planets ever discovered at a single time, and more than doubles the total number of planets discovered by the Kepler telescope. Launched into space by NASA in 2009, Kepler’s goal is to determine how many Earth-sized planets reside in or near habitable zones, and estimate how many of such planets might exist … Continue reading NASA’s Kepler Discovers over 1000 New Planets
In the year 2000, the Earth’s spin axis made a sudden turn towards the east. While some shifts in the geographical pole occur regularly and are well understood, this sudden shift required a new explanation. According to teams from UT Austin and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), climate change is the driving force behind the north pole’s wayward path. In 2013, the team from … Continue reading Climate Change Makes the Earth Wobble
by Jordan Wilkerson figures by Michael Gerhardt When someone asks you to consider the impacts of climate change, what do you think of? There’s a good chance that melting ice sheets comes to mind pretty quickly. For that reason, a recent finding regarding the trend in Antarctic ice is quite perplexing; the ice sheet is reportedly increasing in size! This is according to a research … Continue reading Why is Antarctica’s Ice Sheet Growing in a Warming World?
The warm winter has been hard to miss. January temperatures were higher than average, and a little over a month ago most the Northeast was turning off the heat, opening windows, and wearing shorts in December. The strange weather hasn’t been confined to the past few months. In 2015 the world saw extreme floods along the Mississippi river, a heat wave in India that killed thousands … Continue reading The Hottest Year on Record