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“Saturn’s Rings, Rainbows, and Spokes!” by Sophia Nasr, Astropartigirl

saturn-refraction-in-rings-jun-12-2007

Contributed by Sophia Nasr. @Astropartigirl (Editor’s Note: Ron here! We are excited to welcome another new contributor to UpportunityU.com, Sophia Nasr. From Sophia’s About Me page: “I’m an astroparticle physicist working on a type of dark matter beyond the Cold Dark Matter paradigm—Self-Interacting Dark Matter.” and make sure to check back for more AstroPartiGirl!) Saturn’s Rings, Rainbows, and Spokes! A …

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Kepler Telescope Discovers 10 Earth-Like Planets

An artist's concept of what "rocky" exoplanets might look like. Image credit IFLScience

NASA has announced that the team behind the planet-hunting Kepler Telescope has discovered 10 new Earth-like, or “terrestrial,” planets amidst 219 planet candidates. A planet candidate means that Kepler has returned data that suggest that there might be a planet orbiting another star, but scientists wish to confirm that a planet actually exists by observing the host star of a …

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Elon Musk Releases Paper Detailing Plans For Mars

Elon Musk discusses his Mars plan. Image credit: http://www.pestaola.gr/ta-sxedia-tou-elon-musk-gia-ton-epoikismo-tou-arh/

Since founding SpaceX, Elon Musk has not made a secret of his desire to make the formation of a space colony affordable. His development of reusable rockets and spacecraft represents an end game that will make space exploration more palatable to taxpayers and more affordable to people who are interested in paying for a trip into deep space. The fact …

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NASA Chooses 12 Astronauts Out Of Record Pool Of 18,000 Applicants

The latest NASA astronaut class poses in front of a fighter jet. Image credit USA Today

On Wednesday, NASA announced the selection of a new astronaut class of twelve men and women who may be chosen for the first Orion crews upon completion of their initial training. These twelve new astronaut-trainees include six military officers, a marine biologist who has served on scientific missions in the Antarctic, a geologist who has worked with the Curiosity Rover …

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LIGO Detects Merging Black Holes

An artist's rendition of two black holes that are about to merge. Image credit Popsugar

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) has detected gravitational waves produced by two merging black holes that were three billion light-years distant. This is the farthest distance from which LIGO has detected gravitational waves produced by an event like this. The detected gravitational wave appears to be undiminished, which provides further proof that gravitational waves travel at the speed of …

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SpaceX Relaunches Dragon Capsule for ISS Resupply Mission

A Dragon capsule is captured by the International Space Station's Canadarm2. Image credit Mysteryworld.

A SpaceX Dragon capsule has been reused for the first time during an unmanned resupply mission to the International Space Station. A new Falcon rocket launched the Dragon on Saturday, June 3rd and the capsule arrived at the station on June 5th. The first stage of the Falcon 9 has made a vertical landing, which has become almost routine for …

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Thaddeus Cesari’s new short “SpaceX: A New Era of Resuability” showcases the dawning of a new space era.

(Photo credit: Robin Seemangal)

In a spectacular new video about space exploration, Thaddeus Cesari talks about the legendary Launch Complex 39A (ya know, the one that sent humankind to the moon?) with a focus on SpaceX‘s most recent launch of its reused Dragon capsule. We contacted Thaddeus for a comment on his new work and to see what inspires him to bring space to the masses. …

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NASA Solar Probe Renamed To Honor Pioneering Physicist

Photo: NASA

NASA has renamed the Solar Probe Plus in honor of pioneering physicist Eugene Parker, who was the first to theorize that the sun sent a steady stream of high-speed particles and magnetic forces outward throughout the solar system. An article he had published in the Astrophysical Journal in 1958 was the first to describe the solar wind, a phenomenon that …

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Cassini Finds Enceladus May Have Tipped Over

Enceladus-poles

A new analysis of data returned by the Cassini probe’s studies of Saturn’s moon, Enceladus, reveals that this moon may have tipped over. Researchers have announced that an asteroid impact in the distant past may have caused Enceladus’ spin axis to reorient itself by about 55 degrees from its original orientation. In essence, the moon may have tilted very nearly …

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