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'Lunar Loo' challenge asks people to help astronauts poop on the Moon – Mashable SE Asia



There’s 51 days left to design a NASA toilet fit for Moon-traveling astronauts.

A newly launched lunar loo challenge is asking those who are interested to redesign a toilet for the Moon that works in both lunar gravity and microgravity. NASA expects to return humans to the celestial orb in 2024 as part of the Artemis program.

Working with the challenge platform HeroX, NASA is on the hunt for the best lunar, ahem, throne. A $35,000 prize awaits for the top three technical designs. Winners also get to consult with NASA engineers about their designs. NASA’s Human Landing System (HLS) program wants to improve upon the space bathroom options already used at the International Space Station with a next-gen design that’s smaller and more efficient. The toilets will be used on lunar landers.

The challenge isn’t just replicating a terrestrial toilet; it also requires careful consideration of how and where the moon toilet will be used. The challenge guidelines list not only size and weight requirements, but decibel limits and ease of cleaning. It has to work for both men and women, and handle “simultaneous urination and defecation.” The bathroom system also needs to be prepared for what NASA calls a diarrhea “event.”

The lunar loo has to also be prepared for when shit hits the fan, literally. If there’s a system failure, astronauts can’t be exposed to a vacuum or any waste.

For anyone under 18, the best poop-filled ideas will be considered for a Junior category award and NASA recognition. That’s some stinky bragging rights.

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Comet NEOWISE Astonishes at Sunset – Heavens & Telescope – Market Research News



Comet NEOWISE above Mont-Saint_Michel French amateur Thierry Legault took this elegant image of Comet NEOWISE (C/2020 F3) over the well-known isle friary Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy at twilight on July 12 th. Information: Sony a7r iii, 135- mm f/1.8 lense, sixteen 1.6-second visibilities piled. Thierry Legault.

” Spectacular.” “Amazing.” “Beautiful.” “Awesome.” Those are actually merely a few of words new onlookers have actually utilized to define Comet NEOWISE (C/2020 F3). I concur 1,000 per-cent– this is actually one amazing comet!

NEOWISE changes coming from the sunrise to the twilight heavens today. For a while you’ll still have the capacity to watch it at each sides of the time clock, yet through July 18 th it quickly vanishes as well as comes close to the north perspective coming from sight. For the north U.S., Canada, as well as a lot of Europe the comet is actually apparent as well as circumpolar all evening long today. It arrives at optimal north declination (+48 ° )on July 20 th when it certainly never plunges listed below the perspective for areas north of latitude 42 ° N.

Comet NEOWISE above Lake Superior Comet NEOWISE mixtures right into a north lightings feature over Lake Superior observed coming from Marquette County, Michigan, beforehand July 13 th. Information: ISO 3200, 15- few seconds, f/2. Shawn Malone.

Comet NEOWISE has actually produced incredible enthusiasm as well as appropriately therefore. It is actually the 1st effortlessly apparent naked-eye comet to poise northerly heavens given that PanSTARRS (C/2011 L4) in 2013 as well as just before that, McNaught (C/2006 P1) in 2006-07 While PanSTARRS met 1st size it had a much briefer naked-eye rear, while McNaught was actually mainly a Southern Hemisphere things. You need to get to right back to 1997 to Hale-Bopp (C/1995 O1) to discover an equivalent comet.

Comet NEOWISE above Rice Lake, Minnesota Comet NEOWISE, showing off both ion (best) as well as dirt rears, bridge a residence lit up through exterior lighting fixtures in Rice Lake, Minnesota, at 11 p.m. on July 12 th. Bob King.

When it happens to social admiration of comets,

It is actually all concerning the rear. The longer as well as brighter the much better. NEOWISE has actually discolored coming from size +0.5 to concerning size 2 given that very early July, its own rear has actually been actually developing constantly, coming from a brief stump at perihelion to even more than 15 ° long 2 full weeks eventually. A combo of variables are accountable for the noticeable prolonging of the rear, consisting of tapering off moonshine, the comet’s existing exposure in a dark heavens, as well as its own improving height as well as distance to Earth. Closest strategy takes place on July 23 rd far-off of 103 thousand kilometers.

Comet NEOWISE in Minnesota At nightfall on July 14 th I might pursue the comet’s dirt rear for 10 ° along with the nude eye coming from a dark-sky website. At its own back it increases to around 3 °. A pale, extensive supporter of component is actually apparent midway up the dirt rear to the. Heaven dirt rear is actually faintly apparent in 50- mm field glasses. The reddish band is actually airglow. Bob King

Most onlookers, consisting of those brand-new to comet-watching, can easily outline the rear to 4 ° to 5 ° creatively as well as around dual that in a set of 50- mm field glasses. Along with the nude eye it resembles a feather plume or even misaligned hands suggesting the perspective. My pal Burt claimed it told him of a beam. Others compare it to E.T.’s hands, total along with beautiful fingertip, coming from the film E.T. the Extraterrestrial. Moonless website my mandible fell when I found it on July 14 th coming from a sulky. The comet controlled the north heavens along with its own 10 °- lengthy fanned rear as well as vivid coma. Whether looked at coming from the nation or even area onlookers settle on something: NEOWISE is actually positively remarkable in field glasses.

Comet NEOWISE and its kinked tails Michael Jäger tape-recorded amazing information in both rears on July 12 th coming from a mountain range site. The kinked ion rear procedures a minimum of 16 ° long. Michael Jäger.

While the telescopic sight uncovers extra constructs in the coma as well as escalates the comet’s different colors, just field glasses easily uncover the complete width of the rear. The dirt rear stretches (presently) also past the normal 5.5 °– 6.5 ° binocular field of vision, while the fainter ion rear opens up to greater than 15 °.

This time-lapse of Comet NEOWISE was actually captured on film near Anza, California, not long just before sunup on July 12 th. Dave Kodama

Due to the comet’s reduced height the ion or even fuel rear is actually tough to view creatively yet it is actually faintly apparent together with the dirt rear in field glasses as well as telescope. It is actually comprised mainly of carbon monoxide vaporized coming from cometary ice. Happened through uv illumination coming from the Sun it shines a stunning water. The ion rear socializes along with the photovoltaic wind to make the exciting knots as well as flaws observed in Michael Jäger’s rich picture.

Both rears come coming from sublimating ice on the 5-kilometer-wide comet body system which is actually concealed coming from sight inside the wrong core, where the leaving dirt is actually very most strong. On July 14 th by means of my 10- in telescope it was actually a little, vivid “sunlight bulb” ahead of the comet’s rear which sought all the globe like efficient haze. Telescopic onlookers are actually motivated to analyze the core very closely for planes– geyser-like bangs of dirt running away coming from the comet on its own– along with feasible fragmentation.

A salted rear, as well!

Comet NEOWISE sodium tails False-color pictures of Comet NEOWISE indicated due to the Planetary Science Institute’s Input/Output center on July 8th program (left) mild shown coming from dirt– comparable to the naked-eye sight– as well as (right) mild given off through salt atoms. The salt rear is actually as well delicate to view creatively in a telescope. Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Carl Schmidt.

Like Hale-Bopp, NEOWISE possesses a 3rd rear included salt atoms. Planetary Science Institute Senior Scientist Jeffrey Morgenthaler noted the comet on July 8th utilizing exclusive filtering system as well as located a slim, lengthy rear of salt atoms aiming straight away make up the Sun. The salt seems to come coming from disintegrating dirt in the internal coma.

” Atomic salt reacts to sunshine in a comparable means to cometary dirt, yet its own drive zing originates from a really specific insight of yellowish illumination– the very same different colors observed in sodium-vapor streetlamps,” Morgenthaler composes.

Comet NEOWISE in a telephoto lens Even a 200- mm telephoto lense uncovers a lot information in the comet consisting of heaven ion rear as well as analogue radiations or even synchronic bands inside the dirt rear. Information: 200- mm, f/2.8, ISO 800, as well as a 62- 2nd visibility. Bob King.

Evening seeing ideas

Comet NEOWISE from Duluth, Minnesota When finding NEOWISE at twilight appeal reduced in the northwestern heavens for an unclear “celebrity” along with a brief rear looking like a shuttlecock. This image was actually taken at 10: 30 p.m. on July 12 th coming from Duluth, Minnesota. Bob King

From lots of mid-northern latitude areas you can easily begin appearing as early as 9: 45–10 p.m. reduced in the northwestern heavens. Good luck provided our team Capella as an early morning quick guide celebrity. Right Now the Big Dipper come in to support (view chart beneath). You’ll require to discover an area along with an agape sight to the northwest as well as cleared away coming from vivid area lightings during that instructions. Hunt an area in the course of the daytime so you do not need to steer about seeking one during the night.

Arrive there in between 9: 45 to 10 p.m. true time along with a set of field glasses. Any sort of are going to perform yet I definitely like the 7 ×50 s or even 10 ×50 s due to the fact that they blend a big field of vision as well as intermediate magnifying along with really good light-gathering potential. Prior to you appear for the comet be actually certain to center the field glasses on an intense celebrity or even world. That are going to create the blurry comet much easier to detect.

Comet NEOWISE Chart Comet NEOWISE settings are actually presented every 3 times for one hr after sundown July 15–23 The comet quickly improves in height today. Stellarium along with add-ons due to the writer.

Use the chart to aid you aim the field glasses in the best instructions, after that gradually “swing” the location up until you detect a little bit of factor of illumination along with a brief rear standing out of it. However provide it some opportunity if you begin early you might certainly not view the comet along with the nude eye. When the heavens acquires darker the comet certainly not just comes to be a wonderful view in field glasses yet additionally seems to the nude eye as a light, fat deposits touch of illumination.

Corrected for atmospheric termination– the dimming of things near the perspective where the setting is actually thickest– NEOWISE beams around degree 1.5– 2 presently (July 15 th). As well as although the comet is going to discolor in the happening full weeks (it is actually assumed to lose to 3rd size through July 18 th as well as to 4 due to the 25 th) it is actually additionally climbing up much higher as well as much higher at night heavens, which are going to partly counter its own dimming. Since you certainly never recognize when clouds might spin in, make an effort to capture it every crystal clear evening you can easily.

Comet NEOWISE light curve The comet’s lightweight contour by means of July 14 th presents an optimal in illumination around its own July 3rd perihelion adhered to through a slow-moving fading. Comet Observation Database.

Where to Next?

The comet strides past a lot of universes as it takes a trip southward coming from Ursa Major right into Coma Berenices in the following couple of full weeks. Emphasizes consist of a near coupling along with the Black Eye Galaxy (M64) on August 3rd adhered to through an appealing organizing along with the globular collections M53 as well as NGC 5053 on August 6th. NEOWISE is going to beam about size 6 back then, the naked-eye limitation. The Moon go back to cheer up the setting beginning July 23 rd.

Observers in the much southerly U.S. are going to need to stand by merely a bit longer to view NEOWISE– it is going to put over the northwestern perspective beginning July 16 th as well as just improve coming from certainly there. Southern Hemisphere skywatchers, that are actually certainly chewing at the little bit, are going to receive ultimately receive their NEOWISE repair around July 28–30

Comet NEOWISE in Minnesota My more mature little girl as well as I discuss the comet on a mosquito-rich yet wonderful strike July 11 th. Bob King

Due to COVID-19 involves it is actually difficult or even tough to discuss the comet in a team setup. Our team can easily discuss it along with our family members as well as also a tiny teams of close friends along with effective social distancing. Youngsters really love experiences as well as keeping up behind time. What much better means to make an exclusive moment, as well as you could merely encourage your little one to create a lifetime hookup to the celebrities.

I want you lots of pleased evenings using this wanderer coming from the Oort Cloud. Like my pal Patricia mentioned: “What is actually a little bit of much less rest when you possess a comet checking out Earth?”

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Good News: This Comet Won't Cause A Mass Extinction In 2020. Also, It's Really Pretty – KCCU



The first thing to know about a new comet that has appeared in the evening sky is that it’s one big ice ball: about 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) across.

“Just to put it into context, about 65 million years ago there was an asteroid or a comet that was thought to have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs,” says astronomer Amy Mainzen. “That object is thought to have been about 5 to 10 kilometers across.”

And yes, it’s true, Mainzen is Principal Investigator for a NASA mission known as NEOWISE, which is seeking to spot comets and asteroids that could wipe out life as we know it on Earth.

And NEOWISE did spot this comet in March.

And 2020 has been a terrible year so far.

But don’t worry, she says, “It’s definitely not going to hit the earth.”

“It’s definitely not going to hit the earth.” – Amy Mainzen, University of Arizona

Instead the comet, known officially as C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) – or just comet Neowise for short – is providing an unexpected bright spot in the lives of quarantined astronomers. It came from a dark part of the Solar System known as the Oort Cloud—an icy graveyard billions of miles out that is filled with ancient comets and asteroids. It shot into the inner solar system and astronomers watched as it passed the Sun at a distance closer than the planet Mercury.

“Of course, the question we asked was, ‘Will it survive? Or is the sun going to melt it like an ice cube on a Tucson summer day?’ ” says Mainzen, a professor at the University of Arizona.

It did survive, thanks in large part to its size, and is now passing near Earth. Mainzen says the wanderer appears to be very rich in carbon, making it almost sooty in appearance if you were up close. But the sun’s rays are making it visible, even to the naked eye.

“It looks at first like a little fuzzy dot and then you’ll notice that it has this long streaky tail sticking off of it,” she says.

Until this week, the comet was only visible to early birds willing to rise before dawn. But now it’s appearing in the evening. To find it, go outside just after dark and look to the northwest, below the Big Dipper. It appears close to the horizon right now, but it will start to rise higher in the sky in coming days. Here’s more on how to find it.

Mainzer says she can’t predict how long the comet will remain visible. Its brightness depends on its distance from the sun and earth, and its composition. But while it’s here, she finds it to be comforting to look at.

“In spite of the really difficult times right now, it’s a reminder that we’re part of a bigger universe,” she says. “And there are some really wonderful and beautiful things in it.”

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit

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Rare comet dazzles night sky over Saanich Peninsula – Goldstream News Gazette – Goldstream News Gazette



As an avid astro-photographer for more than 12 years, James Younger of Central Saanich is more than familiar when it comes to being up at late hours to get the right shots.

But as Younger prepares to spend many hours in the coming days and weeks to capture the comet NEOWISE with his camera, he is far from complaining, especially, if that opportunity comes around only every 7,000 years or so.

The comet has become increasingly visible in northern latitudes and Younger went down to the beach in Island View Park in the early morning hours of Monday (July 13) to take some of the very first pictures of the comet appearing over the Saanich Peninsula’s sky, as it become visible here.

“I found this celestial event awe-inspiring,” he said. “I have photographed lunar eclipses, solar eclipses, auroras, and I have found that this was the most excited I have been for a long time.”

For one, NEOWISE is the biggest comet that he has seen and photographed. It is also something that appears in the sky without any run-up. “For an aurora, you can go out, wait all night and nothing will happen,” he said. “For this, as soon as you got down to the beach, you can see it as plain as day.”

This visibility will only increase as the comet gets closer to Earth with astronomers identifying July 22-23 as the day when the two celestial bodies will be closest to each other, with the comet passing at a distance of some 103 million kilometres, according to

RELATED: Photographer captures Perseid meteor shower over Shuswap

It will also get much darker as the moon’s luminescence decreases, said Younger. “We are currently at 75 per cent, but as the moon gets down to zero, it’s going to be much darker and the tail should also be brighter and bigger. So it should get better over the next two weeks.”

What also makes the comet special is its relative sudden appearance. Modern-day astronomers (and the rest of humanity along with them) generally know well in advance when comets pass through the solar system. But astronomers only discovered NEOWISE on March 27. “This one came on really, really, really fast. No one knew it was going to happen,” he said.

In other words, it literally came out of the dark, and it won’t reappear again for another 7,000 years. To put this into historical context, the last time NEOWISE appeared in the sky, humans living in the Middle East had just entered the Neolithic age characterized by the domestication of animals, the emergence of settled communities and increasingly sophisticated societal structures, with the proviso that the rest of humanity were still largely living as hunters and gatherers as they had done for tens of thousands of years before. Familiar monumental pieces of architecture from this Neolithic period such as Stonehenge, as well as the pyramids in Egypt and Mesoamerica would not appear for several thousand years.

In other words, watching this comet represents a once-in-a-civilization moment and Younger encourages others to take advantage of the opportunity.

“It’s awe-inspiring,” he said. “It’s really quite breathtaking.”

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