Perseid meteor shower dazzles stargazers across Canada - CTV News - Canadanewsmedia
Connect with us

Science

Perseid meteor shower dazzles stargazers across Canada – CTV News

Published

on


Jeremiah Rodriguez, CTVNews.ca Staff


Published Tuesday, August 13, 2019 9:11AM EDT

Many stargazers were fortunate enough to cap the end of their summer with a remarkable celestial light show on Monday night.

The Perseid meteor shower dazzled many from across Canada and the Northern Hemisphere with dozens of people sharing their snapshots of the light show on social media.

NASA astronomers widely consider this one of the best meteor showers to see during the year. And on its blog, the space agency pointed out the sight is caused by debris from the ancient Comet Swift-Tuttle streaking across our skies.

The classic illusion of falling stars can be seen every year as the Earth passes through debris left behind by the 26-kilometre wide comet as it orbits the sun. The showers have actually been visible since late July but peaked on Monday night and early Tuesday morning.

When astronomers trace meteors, they track them from a point of origin in a specific area in the sky and this most recent meteor shower gets its name from the constellation Perseus.

In another blog post from earlier this month, NASA wrote that visible meteor rates would be down from 60 “shooting stars” per hour to only about 15 to 20 per hour because of the brightness of the full moon.

But the space agency stressed that people didn’t need a telescope or binoculars to see the Perseids which are “rich in bright meteors and fireballs.”

So while the moon and cloud coverage absconded the views of swaths of people across North America, many managed to capture the celestial views.

The Virtual Telescope Project in Europe even livestreamed the event and left their footage on its site.

In other words, if you missed seeing the showers last night, skywatchers’ pictures, videos and GIFs online will give you a decent second-hand view.

Dozens shared their footage using the hashtag PerseidMeteorShower but if those aren’t enough, the Perseid meteor shower will still continue to be seen until later this month.

[embedded content]

 

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

NASA engineer invents physics-breaking new space engine – Newshub

Published

on

By


SPACESHIP

It doesn’t look like this, but this is what it might let us do.

Photo credit: Getty

Star Trek‘s Montgomery Scott famously said “ye cannot change the laws of physics”, but a real-life space engineer says he might have just done that.

David Burns of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama has unveiled what he’s calling the ‘helical engine’, which could potentially power flights across space without using any fuel at all.

There’s just one small problem – it breaks the laws of physics as we know them.

“I’m comfortable with throwing it out there,” Burns told magazine New Scientist. “If someone says it doesn’t work, I’ll be the first to say it was worth a shot.”

The simple version of how the helical engine works – or doesn’t work – is like this: a ring inside a box is sprung in one direction, the box recoiling in the other, just as Isaac Newton’s laws of motion say they should.

“When the ring reaches the end of the box, it will bounce backwards, and the box’s recoil direction will switch too,” New Scientist explains.

A simplified version of the engine.

A simplified version of the engine.

Photo credit: David Burns/NASA

But if the box and ring are travelling near the speed of light, Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity says as the ring approaches the front end of the box it will increase in mass because it’s going faster than when it’s going backwards – so it’ll hit harder, resulting in forward momentum. 

The actual engine itself will use a particle accelerator and ion particles, but that’s the basic gist. 

“Chemical, nuclear and electric propulsion systems produce thrust by accelerating and expelling propellants,” Burns’ paper reads. “Deep space travel is often a trade-off between thrust and large propellant storage tanks that eventually limit performance. The objective of this paper is to introduce and examine a unique engine that uses a closed-cycle propellant.”

According to Burns it could produce a forward thrust up to 99 percent the speed of light without breaking Einstein’s rules, but totally breaching Newton’s third law of motion – that an action always has an opposite and equal reaction.

There are other hurdles to overcome too – it would have to be 200m long and 12m wide to work, and would only operate effectively in the frictionless environment of deep space.

David Burns.

David Burns.

Photo credit: NASA

Burns isn’t worried if it turns out not to work at all, like others’ attempts at fuel-free propulsion, such as the microwave-powered EM drive. 

“I know that it risks being right up there with the EM drive and cold fusion,” he told New Scientist.

“But you have to be prepared to be embarrassed. It is very difficult to invent something that is new under the sun and actually works.”

Burns’ full paper can be read online here.

Newshub.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

NASA'S Long-Delayed Icon Mission Set For Unconventional Launch Off Daytona Beach Coast – WLRN

Published

on

By


Weather has delayed the first launch attempt Wednesday night. NASA will attempt to launch the payload Thursday night. 

An unconventional launch is now scheduled Thursday evening off the coast of Daytona Beach after a 24-hour weather delay. NASA is aiming to send up a spacecraft to study weather at the edge of space.

The spacecraft called ICON will hitch a ride beneath an airplane. At 39,000 feet, the Pegasus rocket carrying the satellite will drop from the plane’s belly and launch the spacecraft into space.

Once in space, the mission will study the planet’s ionosphere, where terrestrial and space weather meet. “The ionosphere is where we see aurora,” said NASA’s Nicky Fox. “Aurora is one big sign that space weather is happening.”

The ionosphere affects radio and satellite signals that make way for communications and GPS navigation. “This ionosphere is continually changing and it is very, very dynamic. That can have a big impact on our ability to do this type of communication,” she said.

The mission has been delayed since 2017 because of issues with the rocket’s navigation instruments. Wednesday’s attempt was scrubbed. NASA has another opportunity to launch the Pegasus rocket Thursday.

NASA TV will air coverage of the launch attempt starting at 9:15 p.m. ET.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

Full Hunter's Moon to light up the sky Sunday evening – WVLT.TV

Published

on

By


KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WVLT/CNN) — The full moon by the name of the Hunter’s Moon will light up the sky Sunday night.

The moon always follows September’s Harvest Moon. It can be viewed at 5 p.m. Sunday but don’t worry, it will appear full for three days.

It will stay full from Saturday morning to Tuesday morning.

Copyright 2019 WVLT via CNN. All rights reserved.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending