Connect with us

Science

A Broken Cable Has Smashed a Huge Hole in The Arecibo Observatory

Published

on

One of the world’s most prominent astronomical observatories has a hole.

On Monday, a 3-inch-thick (76-mm-thick) cable at the Arecibo Observatory broke, tearing a gash 100 feet (30 metres) long in the reflector dish of the 20-acre radio telescope in Puerto Rico.

The observatory had just reopened after a temporary closure due to Tropical Storm Isaias when the cable, which helped support a metal platform, snapped at about 2:45 am ET.

Now the facility is closed again as engineers assess the damage, according to the University of Central Florida, a co-operator of the telescope.

It was not immediately clear how the cable broke or whether the damage was related to Isaias.

Astronomers use the telescope to study hazardous asteroids as they fly past Earth, in hopes of identifying space rocks on a collusion course early enough to intervene before they strike.

Scientists have also used Arecibo to search for signs of intelligent extraterrestrial life. In 1974, Arecibo beamed out the most powerful broadcast Earth has ever sent to communicate with potential aliens.

The broken cable. (Arecibo Observatory)

Then in 2016, the telescope detected the first repeating fast radio bursts – mysterious space signals of unknown origin.

The cable’s fall also damaged six to eight panels in the telescope’s Gregorian Dome: the part that focuses its radiation to the points in space that astronomers want to study. It twisted the platform used to access the dome as well.

“We have a team of experts assessing the situation,” Francisco Cordova, the director of the observatory, said in a statement.

“Our focus is assuring the safety of our staff, protecting the facilities and equipment, and restoring the facility to full operations as soon as possible, so it can continue to assist scientists around the world.”

Tropical Storm Isaias passed over Puerto Rico on July 30, before it developed into a hurricane, leading observatory operators to shutter the facility for a few days.

They turned it back on earlier this month to study a potentially dangerous asteroid the size of five football fields, which was passing Earth at an optimal distance for the observatory to check it out.

NASA had previously calculated a 1 in 70,000 chance that the space rock could impact our planet between 2086 and 2101, so astronomers wanted to track it more closely to better calculate the odds of an impact.

But when a team at Arecibo trained the telescope at the asteroid to determine its shape and orbit, they discovered that it likely won’t pass close enough to Earth to pose a threat in the future.

During those observations, the telescope was functioning well.

“Fortunately, the storm passed quickly without damage to the telescope or the radar system, and the maintenance and electronics teams were able to activate the telescope from hurricane lockdown in time for the observations,” Sean Marshall, an observatory scientist who led the team doing those radar observations, said at the time.

Source:- ScienceAlert

Source link

Continue Reading

Science

Bus-size asteroid to zoom by Earth, ducking below satellites – CTV News

Published

on


CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA. —
An asteroid the size of a school bus is headed our way, but NASA says the space rock will zoom safely past Earth on Thursday.

The newly discovered asteroid will come within 13,000 miles (22,000 kilometres) of Earth, well below many of the communications satellites orbiting the planet, scientists said this week. The closest approach will occur Thursday morning over the southeastern Pacific Ocean.

Once it’s gone, the asteroid won’t be back to Earth’s neighbourhood until 2041.

Scientists estimate the asteroid is between 15 feet and 30 feet (4.5 metres to 9 metres). By asteroid standards, that’s considered puny. Asteroids of this size hit Earth’s atmosphere and burn up once every year or two, said Paul Chodas, director of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. There could be as many as 100 million of these little asteroids out there.

The real threat are considerably bigger asteroids. The good news is that these are easier to spot much sooner than just a few days out.

Asteroid 2020 SW, as it is known, was discovered last Friday by the Catalina Sky Survey at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

Launch date for Tom Cruise's space mission confirmed – Belleville Intelligencer

Published

on


Tom Cruise attends the ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ Press Conference at The Ancestral Temple on August 29, 2018 in Beijing, .

Emmanuel Wong / (Credit too long, see caption)

Tom Cruise has been given a launch date for his mission to space.

The action man will become the first star to actually film in space while he’s onboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon trip to the International Space Station – and now he has a countdown to prepare for.

He’ll take off with astronauts and fellow wannabe spacemen and women in October 2021, according to the 2020-2023 ISS official manifest, obtained by TMZ.

The Mission: Impossible star will be joined in space by his Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman.

Tom will also be working with SpaceX boss Elon Musk and NASA experts on the ambitious movie, the title of which has not yet been announced.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

ISS forced to move to avoid collision with space junk – Sky News

Published

on


Astronauts aboard the International Space Station had to carry out an “avoidance manoeuvre” to prevent it from being hit by space junk, NASA has said.

Its trajectory was changed to move it further away from the “unknown piece of space debris”, the US space agency wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

The three crew members – two Russians and an American – relocated to their Soyuz spacecraft attached to the ISS during the operation, so they could evacuate if necessary.






How scientists found signs of life on Venus

Experts expected the space junk to pass within “several kilometres” of the ISS, but decided to move it “out of an abundance of caution”.

Russian and US flight controllers worked together to adjust the station’s orbit in an operation which took minutes.

The crew were able to continue with their regular activities after the manoeuvre was complete.

NASA said the crew were not in danger at any time.

More from International Space Station

“Maneuver Burn complete. The astronauts are coming out of safe haven,” NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said on Twitter.



Southern lights from the ISS




Southern lights (and UFOs at the end?)

It is the third time this year the International Space Station (ISS) has had to manoeuvre to avoid space debris, he said.

He tweeted: “In the last 2 weeks, there have been 3 high concern potential conjunctions. Debris is getting worse!”

Astronomer Jonathon McDowell, at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, tweeted the unknown object was a part of a 2018 Japanese rocket which broke into 77 pieces last year.

The ISS is orbiting around 260 miles (420km) above the Earth, travelling at a speed of about 17,130mph (27,568km/h).

At this velocity, even a small object has the ability to cause serious damage to the space station.

NASA has said these kinds of manoeuvres occur on a regular basis, with 25 having occurred between 1999 and 2018.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending