Tag: space

NASA finds seven life-supporting planets only 40 light-years away

Trappist_1_system
Only a drawing, not an actual photograph of the Trappist-1 system. Drawing from: CNN Online

The headline: NASA finds seven life-supporting planets only 40 light-years away.

fyi: These seven planets are orbiting the dwarf star Trappist-1 and are very, very far awayyyy.

Things to know before you book your flight…

  1. These planets are at least 40 light-years away. So, very far away. Note: 1 Light Year = 9.5 trillion kilometers.
  2. Though they may be capable of supporting a basic life system, they may not have high-speed and may still be using dial-up.
  3. Because Trappist-1 is a dwarf star, you would receive 200 times less light than you do from our current Sun. So, pre-tanning: not necessary.
  4. Trappist-1 is quite a bit younger than our Sun and will likely continue for another trillion years after our Sun fades.
  5. If on your journey, you see Megatron, Loki and a bunch of Romulans, just mind your own business and don’t get involved.
  6. Did we mention, it’s very far awayyyy?!
Yes, very, very far awayyyy.
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Mike’s top five signs it’s a #StarWars #Thanksgiving

image from http://stephenhayford.com
Star Wars Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving weekend (here in Canada) and I’m thinking about doing a “Star Wars” themed dinner this year. Mike’s top five signs it’s a Star Wars Thanksgiving.

#5. Count Dooku cuts off your right arm after you pass him the stuffing.

#4. Every few minutes someone says “Luke… use the fork…”.

#3. Your friends Howard, Sheldon and Leonard can make it to dinner, but Penny is “too busy” to make it.

#2. Instead of the Heimlich Maneuver, if someone is choking, you just slit them open like a Tauntaun with your light-saber and crawl inside for a look.

#1. Sith’s won’t pass anything to Wookiees!

also… Sith’s also won’t eat wookies for Thanksgiving. They find them a little chewy. Thnx Bill!

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3 Billion Mile (9 year) Road Trip in Space

The New Horizons spacecraft just flew past Pluto, after traveling 3 billion miles (9 years).

Top five things about being on a super long, nine year road trip in space…

#5. You’re super tired of constantly converting local time to Earth time.

#4. You find a good radio station and then 100,000 miles later – it’s gone.

#3. You get stuck behind one of those NASA transport spacecraft that rides along in the left lane for years and years!

#2. You pass Megatron, Loki a bunch of Romulans going the other way (but you don’t want to get involved, so you don’t call anyone).

#1. You’re totally shocked and saddened to find out The Pussycat Dolls broke-up! (5 years ago!)

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17 Billion Earths – Top 5 signs there's life on one

Planets
Planets around stars in the Milky Way. (M. Kornmesser /ESA/NASA)

Out of roughly 100 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, a new analysis of Kepler data shows that around 17 percent of them have Earth-sized planets orbiting them, meaning there could be as many as 17 billion Earth-sized worlds. Kepler’s mission is to find and document Earth-sized planets at greater distances. The more planets discovered with Earth-like orbits in the habitable zone, the greater the chances of extraterrestrial life.

Being a similar size to Earth isn’t the only qualification for a life-sustaining planet, there are other criteria…

#5. Does it contain the essentials elements for building and sustaining life (carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and phosphorus – arguably iron as well.)?

#4. Is it nice and warm during parts of the year and a little chillier during other parts of the year?

#3. Are there little people all making noises, yelling, waving and holding big signs saying “this speck contains life”? (ala Horton Hears a Who) #2. Is it pristine and beautiful and does it contain enough inner wealth so we might lay it to waste in an orgy of self indulgence?

#1. Do they have at least one Tim Hortons?!

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What is a Supermoon?

The “Supermoon” full moon is this weekend!

Supermoon comparison from WikiPedia
Supermoon comparison from WikiPedia

WikiPedia says: A supermoon is the coincidence of a full moon or a new moon with the closest approach the Moon makes to the Earth on its elliptical orbit, resulting in the largest apparent size of the moon’s disk as seen from Earth.

The next occurrence will be on 23 June 2013. This full moon will not be only the closest and largest full moon of the year. It also presents the moon’s closest encounter with Earth for all of 2013. The moon will not be so close again until August, 2014.

So, what you’re saying is, the moon will be closer and look larger than at any other time this year? Got it.

But really… we need to work on a name. “Supermoon” is a little too pedestrian for this colossus in the sky…

Suggested names for the Super Moon…

#5. Moon du Souper.

#4. Big Cheese?

#3. Gargantu-moon.

#2. No larger than usual, but appearing larger than usual moon.

#1. The latin name “Lunas- Kardashianus”

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Top five signs a meteorite might be heading for us

Wow… 10 ton meteor explodes over Russia, injures more than 750. CBC News story.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXT_B4kx6YA?rel=0]

In other news: Another meteor is heading our way today. NASA is saying there is no chance at all that it will hit the earth. They admit they didn’t even see this last one coming, but they’re 100% positive this next one won’t hit us. However they are recommending that around 11:30 this morning… everyone on Earth lean to the left.

Could one be heading for us? Mike’s top five signs a meteorite might be heading for Prince George.

#5. There are already large holes all over our roads.

#4. I’m pretty sure I saw Gru with his shrink ray in the mall parking lot.

#3. Mysterious activity out at the PG Observatory (lots of nervous pacing by Jeff Goldblum).

#2. NASA officials were seen unpacking a giant trampoline near Hixon.

#1. Google Earth has replaced aerial photos of Prince George with a giant arrow and radiating yellow circles.

 

 

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Top five suggested names for #4179 Toutatis

ToutatisThe near-Earth asteroid 4179 Toutatis, which is about 3 miles wide, was within 4.3 million miles of Earth during its closest approach this morning (December 12, 2012).

Deflector shields up!

No disrespect to Toutatis, the great Celtic god and tribal protector, but “4179 Toutatis” is a bit of a strange name and no one knows how to spell it.

So, I called NASA to make a few suggestions for re-naming the rock…

#5. “Toutatis style”. ala Psy.

#4. “Santa-roid”. It’s December, Santa will fly around the world, it’s an asteroid.

#3. “Prep H”. Oh, wait did I say asteroids? Never-mind.

#2. “The Rouge Reindeer”. Like a crazed reindeer, likely Comet has enough of all the sled pulling and decides to make a break for it two weeks before the big night.

#1. “Toutatis, Boo-bot-us, Do-dot-us, Moo-mot-us”. That very, very secret Harry Potter spell from Spacewarts.

Any other suggestions? Please comment below and I’ll see all suggestions are submitted to NASA…

 

 

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