This week, NASA practiced with a model of a new Mars rover over at the Mojave Desert in California. The rover is called Curiosity and will be landing on August 5, 2012. The model is basically the same as Curiosity but weighs about the same as Curiosity will on Mars. This will help train the future operators of the rover. The rover was built at The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA.
I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a long time. I’m going to try to update the blog more. Tonight, the Moon will be as big as it’s going to get all year. This event is called a supermoon. This happens when the Moon’s orbit comes slightly closer to Earth than usual while the Moon is full. Even thought the Moon isn’t that much closer, it will look a whole lot bigger.
A NASA planetary mission has discovered large lakes just under the very rough and icy layer of Jupiter’s moon Europa. Underneath these lakes is a vast ocean of liquid water. It is very difficult to study this ocean because the icy layer is ten miles thick! These lakes have the possibility of supporting life.
Tomorrow, an asteroid will flyby Earth inside of the Moon’s orbit! The last flyby of a large asteroid was in 1976 and the next one will be in 2028. A picture was taken of the asteroid yesterday (left) and it was about 860,000 miles away from Earth.
In case you don’t know, black holes are bodies of infinite gravity from which nothing can escape, not even light! One telescope that can study these objects is the Chandra X-ray Observatory. It recently found some very large black holes in the southern sky similar to ones found in the early universe. Since Chandra looked at the same part of the sky for six weeks, it could see black holes from up to 950 million years ago! These baby black holes are a little less powerful than quasars; very bright black holes that throw of energy due to gas and dust falling in to them.
Hello! Today, (like most Saturdays), is a day for me and my mom to be on our computers. But, today is different. The other day I downloaded Ubuntu 11.04 Beta, an operating system similar to Windows and Mac OS but it is completely free of charge! Ubuntu 11.04 looks completely different for previous versions (right) and is much faster and sleeker. Anyways, it’s supper cool and you can get the stable version later this month.
Let’s see. We have the disaster in Japan (right). Anyway, last night was the super moon. The moon was closer than it has been in 19 years and it was 3 times brighter.
There are rivers of water vapor high in the atmosphere that “flow” over parts of the Pacific and can cause serious flooding when they start to rain. The can flood an area the size of Maryland 1 foot (0.3 meters) deep! A sensor called HAMSR (built by JPL) will study these river aboard an aircraft called Global Hawk. HAMSR will measure the density and temperature of the rivers by recording the heat given of by oxygen and water molecules in the atmosphere.