Inside | Real news, curated by real humans
Inside Space

Inside Space (Nov 21st, 2017)

Astronomers discovered an asteroid from another star system in our solar system. The discovery — the first of its kind — was made in October by astronomers using the Pan-STARRS1 telescope in Hawaii and announced this week. “For decades we’ve theorized that such interstellar objects are out there, and now — for the first time — we have direct evidence they exist. This history-making discovery is opening a new window to study formation of solar systems beyond our own," NASA's Thomas Zurbuchen said. The asteroid is shaped like a cigar, making it a rare find in our solar system, and is about a quarter-mile long. Its composition is similar to some objects found within our solar system. The object was named Oumuamua, which is Hawaiian for "scout" or "messenger." Scientists think the asteroid could have been in the Milky Way galaxy for hundreds of millions of years before making its way to our solar system. The asteroid is moving at 85,000 mph and is bound for star constellation Pegasus in December, which will take it out of telescope-viewing range. — USA TODAY

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

Aa team of scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey say the surface of Mars likely has avalanches of sand and dust — and not water, as previously reported by NASA. In a report released this week, the scientists said slopes that appeared to once hold water "are more like what we expect for dry sand." But the research doesn't rule out the possibility of water on the planet. The study suggests that water could, in fact, be part of the dust and sand moving. “The [Recurring Slope Lineae] on Mars behave in a similar way to laboratory experiments on Earth. What is still not understood is where the supply of fresh material comes from, though we do have some speculative ideas," said Jim McElwaine, a co-author on the report. — NEWSWEEK

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

Aerospace firms in the United Kingdom say they have been excluded from space contract bidding of the Galileo satellite program due to Brexit. "Although membership of the European Space Agency is not part of the [European Union] discussions because it is not an EU body, many of the contracts, including Galileo, are EU-funded. And it's a requirement that the companies that participate and get funding for their contracts are part of an EU country," Simon Henley of the Royal Aeronautical Society said. ADS Group — the trade organization for United Kingdom companies in the aerospace, defense, security and space sectors — has estimated that the space industry employs some 40,000 people and is worth of £14 billion. — BBC

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee is set to monitor China's Tiangong-1 upon its re-entry into Earth's atmosphere sometime early next year. The group is made up of space experts from 13 international agencies, including NASA and the European Space Agency, and those of China, Russia, Japan India and South Korea. Participants will pool their theories of the space lab's fall and share tracking data. Tiangong-1 was launched into orbit in September 2011 and used for six rendezvous and dockings. In March 2016, though, the space lab stopped functioning. It weighed about 19,000 pounds at launch. The space lab is in a slow roll back to Earth, so scientists think the object could break apart upon re-entry, meaning some of its pieces could stay intact, though much of it is expected to burn up. It's expected to return to Earth in January 2018, but has a window of plus or minus one month. — SPACE

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

Scientists in Norway last month beamed a radio signal to the nearest star system thought to have Earth-like planets. The radio signal was sent toward GJ 273 (also known as Luyten’s Star). The system is about 12 light-years from ours. But we'll have to wait about 20 years to know if any alien life received the signal since radio waves travel at the speed of light. The plan laid a foundation for future efforts, scientists said. "It is a prototype for what I think we would most likely need to do 100 times, or 1,000 times, or 1 million times. To me, the big success of the project will come if, 25 years from now, there's someone who remembers to look [for a response]. If we could accomplish that, that would be a radical shift of perspective," said Douglas Vakoch, the president of the San Francisco-based nonprofit METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence) International. — NBC

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

If Aunt Sally's turkey seems a little dry this Thanksgiving, know that somewhere out there astronauts are eating rehydrated turkey, stuffing, potatoes and vegetables. That's how the crew of Expedition 53 will celebrate this week. 

Their meals will come from prepackaged pouches rather than fancy dinnerware. It's not the first time astronauts have celebrated Thanksgiving in space.

In 1973, astronauts Gerald Carr, William Pogue and Edward Gibson celebrated Turkey Day in space while aboard Skylab. Crews on Space Shuttle Columbia and Russia's Mir celebrated in 1996 and 1997.

Along with her regular work of food shipments and new food development, food scientist Vickie Kloeris helps to make holiday feasts for those in space.

Getting those Black Friday sales might prove a bit difficult, though.

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

Due to an editing error, a story in the November 16 issue of Inside Space incorrectly stated that "an Earth-size exoplanet just 11 light years away showed signs of life." In fact, researchers believe the planet might be capable of supporting life. We regret the error. Thanks to the diligent readers who pointed this out. 

Subscribe to Inside Space

MORE NEWSLETTERS

The present and future of virtual/augmented reality news and technology

Inside VR & AR

The present and future of virtual/augmented reality news and technology

DAILY
The present and future of virtual/augmented reality news and technology

Inside VR & AR

DAILY

SUBSCRIBED!

Share via

Facebook's mission is to connect the world's people. Ours is to keep an eye on them.

Inside Facebook

Facebook's mission is to connect the world's people. Ours is to keep an eye on them.

TWICE WEEKLY
Facebook's mission is to connect the world's people. Ours is to keep an eye on them.

Inside Facebook

TWICE WEEKLY

SUBSCRIBED!

Share via

The news, trends and tech that is reshaping the rapidly changing world of retail

Inside Retail

The news, trends and tech that is reshaping the rapidly changing world of retail

TWICE WEEKLY
The news, trends and tech that is reshaping the rapidly changing world of retail

Inside Retail

TWICE WEEKLY

SUBSCRIBED!

Share via

Financial, legislative, agricultural, and all the other most important news about the cannabis industry

Inside Cannabis

Financial, legislative, agricultural, and all the other most important news about the cannabis industry

TWICE WEEKLY
Financial, legislative, agricultural, and all the other most important news about the cannabis industry

Inside Cannabis

TWICE WEEKLY

SUBSCRIBED!

Share via