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Saturday, April 18, 2015

NASA Dawn Spacecraft captures image of sunlit north pole of Ceres

Jet Propulsion Laboratory – The Dawn spacecraft, which is orbiting the dwarf planet, Ceres, has been able to capture some images of its sunlit north pole. On April 10, the spacecraft was able to move from the dark side of the dwarf planet towards the sunlit side and capture high resolution pictures of the pole, from a distance of 21,000 miles.

Dawn has been orbiting the icy body since March 6, when it established orbit and became the first spacecraft to orbit the planet. As Dawn moves closer towards the planet, additional better quality pictures will soon be released. Currently, the spacecraft is using its ion propulsion system to maneuver itself towards a series of lower orbits, with the next orbit due to be established on April 23.

It is expected that it will remain in this orbit, at just 8,400 miles, until May 9, after which it will proceed towards lower orbits.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

NASA hopes to discover Alien Life before 2045

The possibility of Alien life has been the subject of a long running debate as scientist increase the intensity of their studies into the matter. Scientists at NASA are convinced more than ever that alien life is a big possibility and that conclusive evidence will become evident before 2045. Focus now shifts to when alien life will be discovered and not if, it will ever be discovered.

NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan made the sentiments last week during a forum on habitable places in space. Stofan added that they now know the specific areas to look at and how to go about the research, technology already in place.

NASA hopes that its next mission to Europa will yield more answers than questions after years of studies especially with regards to alien microbes.

Stofan is, however, quick to point out that their study and research is not focused on finding little green men on Mars but essentially finding more answers about microbes. Unique properties of molecule and astronomical techniques have in the recent past provided insight and reason that signs of life beyond the solar systems could be discovered two to three decades from now.

Monday, April 6, 2015

CERN restarts Large Hadron Collider, seeks dark universe

A general view of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiment is seen during a media visit to the Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in the French village of Saint-Genis-Pouilly, near Geneva in Switzerland, July 23, 2014. 

GENEVA — Scientists at Europe’s physics research centre CERN yesterday (April 5) restarted their “Big Bang” Large Hadron Collider (LHC), embarking on a bid to probe into the “dark universe” they believe lies beyond the visible one.

CERN reported that particle beams were successfully pushed around the LHC in both directions after a two-year shut down for a major refit described as a Herculean task that doubled its power — and its reach into the unknown.

“It’s fantastic to see it going so well after such a major overhaul,” CERN Director General Rolf Heuer told delighted scientists and engineers as the beams moved round the tubes of the 27km underground complex.