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Star EXPLOSION warning: Betelgeuse supernova to be so bright it will be visible from Earth – Express.co.uk

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The star known as Betelgeuse has been dimming over the past month, which would suggest that it is likely to supernova. Stars supernova when they are at the end of their lives having run out of fuel after millions of years. When they do, they implode, collapsing in on themselves before a huge explosion occurs.

Over the past two weeks, Betelgeuse has gone from one of the top 10 brightest stars visible to the naked eye to the 21st – of roughly 5,000 which can be seen.

Edward Guinan, a professor in Villanova University’s Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and his team wrote in the Astronomers Telegram: “This appears to be the faintest the star has been measured since observations have been carried out of the star.

“We plan to continue to monitor the star. If the star continues to follow above periods, light minimum should occur soon.

“But this needs to be checked. This continues to be an opportune time to carry out complementary measures of Betelgeuse while it is in its current low state and is unusually cool and faint.”

Betelgeuse is a red giant, being around 12 times the size of the sun.

If it were placed in the solar system, it would consume everything as far as Jupiter.

However, the star is 643 light-years from Earth, meaning our planet will be safe from the explosion when it finally does supernova.

But Betelgeuse would still be visible from Earth when it does explode.

READ MORE: Telescope captures ancient star burst in ’unprecedented’ Milky Way pic

Nonetheless, scientists are none the wiser as to when Betelgeuse will implode, stating it could happen within the next few years, up until 100,000 years away.

Astronomer Yvette Cendes of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics said on Reddit: “We don’t think Betelgeuse is likely to go supernova in our lifetimes as it probably still has tens of thousands of years, if not 100,000.”

Other experts believe there could be another explanation for the star’s dimming.

Rutgers University physicist Matthew Buckley suggested an alien megastructure, or Dyson Sphere, could surround it.

A Dyson Sphere is a structure which surrounds a star which harnesses all of its energy to provide limitless energy for a civilisation.

Mr Buckley wrote on Twitter: “Weird how everyone is wondering if Betelgeuse dimming means it is going supernova (sadly, unlikely), but no one is asking the real question: is its dimming a sign that someone is finishing a Dyson sphere around it?”

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Here's NASA's new idea to get its stubborn Martian drill to work – Mashable

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The InSight lander’s robotic arm.
Image: nasa jpl

Well over a year after NASA’s InSight lander parachuted down to the Martian surface, the space agency still hasn’t been able to drill too far into the red soil. 

NASA has tried a few different techniques to get the drill, known as the “mole,” deeper into the ground to measure the desert planet’s inner temperature —  with the greater goal of understanding geologic activity on Mars. 

On Friday, NASA announced a new idea. From tens of millions of miles away, the space agency will direct the InSight lander to take its robotic arm (which has a black shovel on the end), to “push” on top of the drill. 

“The InSight team hopes that pushing on this location will help the mole it bury itself and enable the heat probe to take Mars’ temperature,” NASA said.  

Eventually, NASA hopes the mole will drill down 16 feet. So far, however, the agency hasn’t gone much more than a foot.

The new extraterrestrial operation is expected to take a few weeks, if it works at all. 

“We’re cautiously optimistic that one day we’ll get the mole working again,” Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu, the lead InSight arm engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said five months ago, when attempting another drilling scheme.  

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U of A scientist lands spot on NASA Mars 2020 rover mission

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Local scientist Chris Herd is part of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission, the first attempt to collect samples from the red planet for a possible return to Earth.

He will be lending his expertise in the analysis of rocks and meteorites and select samples that may provide information about the geological history of Mars.

“Mars 2020 will let us choose where to collect samples and will allow us to get context for the rocks that are collected — their location, surrounding features, and more,” said Herd in a news release Thursday.

His role in the mission is making operational and scientific decisions for the mission’s rover to collect and store samples from the surface of Mars.

“Returning samples with that context is the holy grail of Mars exploration. That’s the reason why it’s so important to collect these with an eye to bringing them back,” said Herd.

The objective of the mission is learning about the climate, geology and signs of past microbial life. He was chosen by NASA as one of 10 experts to help to ensure the samples collected will be as useful as possible. He’s also the only Canadian on the team.

“This is a dream come true for me. I will be helping select which rocks might someday be analyzed in labs on Earth,” said Herd.

The launch window for the mission is July 17-Aug. 5, 2020, landing on Mars on Feb. 18, 2021, a mission that will take 687 Earth days.

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U of A scientist lands spot on NASA Mars 2020 rover mission – Calgary Herald

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In this illustration, NASA’s Mars 2020 rover uses its drill to core a rock sample on Mars.


supplied / NASA

Local scientist Chris Herd is part of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission, the first attempt to collect samples from the red planet for a possible return to Earth.

He will be lending his expertise in the analysis of rocks and meteorites and select samples that may provide information about the geological history of Mars.

“Mars 2020 will let us choose where to collect samples and will allow us to get context for the rocks that are collected — their location, surrounding features, and more,” said Herd in a news release Thursday.

His role in the mission is making operational and scientific decisions for the mission’s rover to collect and store samples from the surface of Mars.

“Returning samples with that context is the holy grail of Mars exploration. That’s the reason why it’s so important to collect these with an eye to bringing them back,” said Herd.

The objective of the mission is learning about the climate, geology and signs of past microbial life. He was chosen by NASA as one of 10 experts to help to ensure the samples collected will be as useful as possible. He’s also the only Canadian on the team.

“This is a dream come true for me. I will be helping select which rocks might someday be analyzed in labs on Earth,” said Herd.

The launch window for the mission is July 17-Aug. 5, 2020, landing on Mars on Feb. 18, 2021, a mission that will take 687 Earth days.

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