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Even after decades of observations and a visit by NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft, Uranus held on to one critical secret — the composition of its clouds. Now, one of the key components of the planet’s clouds has finally been verified.
A global research team that includes Glenn Orton of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has spectroscopically dissected the infrared light from Uranus captured by the 26.25-foot (8-meter) Gemini North telescope on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea. They found hydrogen sulfide, the odiferous gas that most people avoid, in Uranus’ cloud tops. The long-sought evidence was published in the April 23rd issue of the journal Nature Astronomy.
The detection of hydrogen sulfide high in Uranus’ cloud deck (and presumably Neptune’s) is a striking difference from the gas giant planets located closer to the Sun — Jupiter and Saturn — where ammonia is observed above the clouds, but no hydrogen sulfide. These differences in atmospheric composition shed light on questions about the planets’ formation and history.
Many of NASA’s most iconic spacecraft towered over the engineers who built them: think Voyagers 1 and 2, Cassini or Galileo — all large machines that could measure up to a school bus.
But in the past two decades, mini-satellites called CubeSats have made space accessible to a new generation. These briefcase-sized boxes are more focused in their abilities and have a fraction of the mass — and cost — of some past titans of space.
In May, engineers will be watching closely as NASA launches its first pair of CubeSats designed for deep space. The twin spacecraft are called Mars Cube One, or MarCO, and were built at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
NASA’s Webb Observatory Requires More Time for Testing and Evaluation; New Launch Window Under Review
NASA Release by Jen Rae Wang / Steve Cole
By George McGinn
Cosmology and Space Research Institute
I don’t believe in Dark Matter or Dark Energy. Even the new Dark Flow.
Published on Oct 25, 2017 – For years, astronomers have been unable to find up to half of the baryonic matter in the universe. We may just have solved this problem. We’ve known for some time that around 95% of the energy content of the universe is in dark matter and dark energy. This dark sector doesn’t interact with light in any way and so is invisible to us. The remaining 5% – the light sector – represents all of the regular matter in the universe. Yet what if I told you that all of the stars and galaxies and galaxy clusters only comprise 10% of the light sector. The rest has proved as elusive as the dark sector. We think it must exist as extremely diffuse gas in between the galaxies, yet our intense searches miss up to half of it. At least until now.
POST TO SPACE-TIME: What about matter that due to the faster than light expansion of the universe? Do we not count them? Ignore them? At the current rate of expansion, which I believe (no verified) is about 2.4, this would mean less mass would be within the visible range every year, 100, 1000+ years. In the area where light will never reach us there is still matter and star creation which must me counted to get an accurate, exact answer to the total mass to dark matter to dark energy (if this really is another name for the faster than light expansion of the universe) ratio. Until them, this is no more than guess work.To make this less confusing, what I am referring to is the speed of causality, or speed of light. In several episodes, you represented this on a graph, say X=time, Y=speed, and the speed of “c” cut the graph at 45 degrees. Now everything to the left of “c” is the visible universe, but due to the faster than “c” expansion of the universe, galaxies cross over the line into the area where light is not fast enough to cross over. The same goes for matter. If Dark Energy is a myth, and only explains the rapid expansion of the universe set in motion by the Big Bang, the missing mass is in the part we can’t see. And since we can’t see into it, we have no idea how big it is, nor how old it is. Ninety-five percent of our missing mass may reside there.
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Transiting rocky super-Earth found in habitable zone of quiet red dwarf star
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
A relatively large near-Earth asteroid discovered nearly three years ago will fly safely past Earth on April 19 at a distance of about 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers), or about 4.6 times the distance from Earth to the moon. Although there is no possibility for the asteroid to collide with our planet, this will be a very close approach for an asteroid of this size.
ESO’s VLT spots brand-new type of star formation
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Dwayne Brown / Laurie Cantillo
NASA Headquarters, Washington