German firm ZA Architects has come up with a concept idea for the colonization of Mars. Since the first step to building a colony there is to have habitable areas, or at least shelters, the concept suggests that such shelters or caves be built underground. The idea is to send minimal resources from Earth, except solar powered robotic machines that would then get to work building hexagonal shaped structures on the red planet.
With the America Space Shuttle program swept away, the best thing the world has right now are the Russian built space capsules that will be mainly employed for taking astronauts to the International Space Station and back, but there is enough potential in these pods to give the rich a taste of life in orbit, something quite like a space hotel.
Here’s what a shooting star look like when viewed from space. The image was taken from the International Space Station during the Perseids Meteor Shower.
The image here is the Centaurus A, a.k.a. NGC 5128 galaxy some 11 million light years from Earth. While a favorite of amateur astronomers, the galaxy has never been photographed in such detail. Hubble has managed to capture this well detailed image of the galaxy in the visible spectrum, the UV spectrum, and in near-infrared. The image suggests that Centaurus A merged with another galaxy at some point in the past, showing the marks of those collisions in intense clouds of Hydrogen gas.
“The footage in this little film was captured by the hardworking men and women at NASA with the Cassini Imaging Science System. If you’re interested in learning more about Cassini and the on-going Cassini Solstice Mission.”
After more than a decade of work, astronomers have managed to create a massive 3D map of the universe. Named 2MASS Redshift Survey (2MRS), it is based on University of Massachusetts’ Two-Micron All-SkySurvey (2MASS). They scanned the entire sky through infrared wavelengths, peering through space dust and managing to look through the disturbance in observation caused by our own galaxy. The initially created image was 2-dimensional, which was converted into 3-dimensions by Harvard-Smithsonian astronomer John Huchra and his team, making use of the red-shift property. The map covers 380million light years, making it the most exhaustive map of the universe till date.
European and UK regulators have given approval to the design of Skylon, a space shuttle in making for nearly three decades. It has had its share of hiccups and problems, but the unconventional design may finally see the light of the day. Conventional flights take those huge orange tanks filled with hydrogen and oxygen to generate enough energy to fight off gravity and get into orbit. Skylon on the other hand, generates its own fuel, pulling air from the atmosphere, cooling it and extracting oxygen from other gases. This simplifies the design to a great degree, getting rid of numerous components.
Twenty light years sounds like a massive distance, but it is just a stone throw away when talking in astronomical distances. That happens to be our distance from Gliese 581d, a planet orbiting a red dwarf star, with a stable atmosphere, comfortable temperatures and plenty of water. Gliese planetary system has been of particular interest for quite some time now, getting some limelight with scientists speculating possibility of life on another planet, the 581g. Scientists now believe the 581g may not be such a great place after all, and it may just be a fairytale coming out of errors in measurement. The 581d though, is sure to exist, lying on the fringes of the star systems habitable zone, called the Goldilocks zone.