Orbital Reflector – Nevada Museum of Art

Orbital Reflector is a sculpture constructed of a lightweight material similar to Mylar. It is housed in a small box-like infrastructure known as a CubeSat and launched into space aboard a rocket. Once in low Earth orbit at a distance of about 350 miles (575 kilometers) from Earth, the CubeSat opens and releases the sculpture, which self-inflates like a balloon. Sunlight reflects onto the sculpture making it visible from Earth with the naked eye — like a slowly moving artificial star as bright as a star in the Big Dipper.

via Orbital Reflector – Nevada Museum of Art

Orbital Reflector launches December 1st and should appear in the southern hemisphere first, according to the FAQs.

I’m looking forward to seeing it after missing out on seeing the Humanity Star discoball!

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Stephen Hawking: Visionary physicist dies aged 76 – BBC News

World renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76.
He died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday, his family said.
The British scientist was famed for his work with black holes and relativity, and wrote several popular science books including A Brief History of Time.

via Stephen Hawking: Visionary physicist dies aged 76 – BBC News

Whenever I was in Cambridge I always hoped to catch a glimpse of him around, now – assuming time is linear – I’m sad that won’t happen.

A remarkable human. Stephen Hawking RIP.

Mars Series

Just finished watching MARS series produced by National Geographic channel.

Great series that had me forget that I was watching what is (so far) fiction. It was also a lot more story based than I was expecting, but the human stories helped create the Mars world. The mix of realistic action and the the interviews really made me forget I was watching something non-factual in places – despite the miles of wasteful corridors of the Mars base, it was more corridor than habitat in places!

Recommended!

Image: Mars Endeavour Crater captured by NASA Opportunity rover

MARS

Man Made Planet: Earth from Space

Using images of Earth taken from space across the last 45 years and stunning time-lapse sequences, astronauts reveal how humanity is transforming the world – for better and worse

Very interesting programme on Channel 4 about our planet and the changes going on to the environment. Amazing timelapse photography sequences, unfortunately very clearly showing the changes for the worst, as captured from space.

via Man Made Planet: Earth from Space – All 4

Enceladus Has All Ingredients For Life

Cassini scientists announce that a form of chemical energy that life can feed on appears to exist on Saturn’s moon Enceladus, and Hubble researchers report additional evidence of plumes erupting from Jupiter’s moon Europa.

“This is the closest we’ve come, so far, to identifying a place with some of the ingredients needed for a habitable environment,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at Headquarters in Washington.

via NASA Missions Provide New Insights into ‘Ocean Worlds’ | NASA

Citizen Science Search for Planet 9

BBC Stargazing Live has come back and this time they are in Australia checking out the Southern Sky for stars. Its a great show, highly recommended viewing.

BBC Stargazing and Zooniverse a citizen science platform, have launched a search for ‘Planet 9’. Its really simple to join in. You may discover the predicted planet and as co-discoverer get to name it too!

https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/skymap/planet-9

 

Space X Moon Trip

We are excited to announce that SpaceX has been approached to fly two private citizens on a trip around the moon late next year. They have already paid a significant deposit to do a moon mission. Like the Apollo astronauts before them, these individuals will travel into space carrying the hopes and dreams of all humankind, driven by the universal human spirit of exploration.

So excited when I heard the announcement. Hopefully they hit all the deadlines and get the trip underway as soon as. Can’t wait!

via SpaceX to Send Privately Crewed Dragon Spacecraft Beyond the Moon Next Year | SpaceX