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Today we are proud to announce...

Last year, the IBM jStart group began a collaboration with the SETI Institute to use IBM’s data storage services and the power of IBM’s Spark service to analyze the many TBs of radio-telescope data they’ve acquired over the past few years using the Allen Telescope Array.

Today, IBM is proud to announce the launch of the public-facing component of this collaboration, which is called SETI@IBMCloud.
Launch of SETI@IBMCloud: SETI data analysis w/ IBM Bluemix, Data Science Experience, Spark & Object Storage. Built w/ IBM dashDB, Cloudant & Cloud Foundry.
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Rosetta measures production of water at comet over two years

In a new study led by Kenneth C. Hansen of the University of Michigan, in the US, measurements of water production rate based on data from ROSINA, the Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis, are compared with water measurements from other Rosetta instruments.

The combination of all instruments shows an overall increase of the production of water, from a few tens of thousands of kg per day when Rosetta first reached the comet, in August 2014, to almost 100 000 000 kg per day around perihelion, the closest point to the Sun along the comet's orbit, in August 2015. In addition, ROSINA data show that the peak in water production is followed by a rather steep decrease in the months following perihelion.

"We were pleasantly surprised to find such a good agreement between the data collected by all the various instruments in this unprecedented study of the water production rate's evolution for a Jupiter-family comet," says Hansen.

Read more at: http://buff.ly/2duvSwZ
Over the past two years, Rosetta has kept a close eye on many properties of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, tracking how these changed along the comet's orbit. A very crucial aspect concerns how much water vapour a comet releases into space, and how the water production rate varies at different distances from the Sun. For the first time, Rosetta enabled scientists to monitor this quantity and its evolution in situ over two years.
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Yus!
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How to Watch Europe's Rosetta Comet Mission Finale on Thursday, Friday

On Friday, NASA TV will provide Rosetta landing coverage from 6:15 a.m. EDT to 8 a.m. EDT (1015 to 1200 GMT); NASA experts will discuss Rosetta's final act and the mission's achievements. (Because it currently takes 40 minutes for signals from Rosetta to reach Earth, confirmation of the spacecraft's touchdown isn't expected until about 7:20 a.m. EDT, or 1120 GMT.)

ESA will host its own end-of-mission webcast Friday from 6:30 a.m. EDT to 7:40 a.m. EDT (1030 to 1140 GMT), though those times may change slightly as Rosetta scientists firm up the probe's impact time, ESA officials said.

For information on Thursday's events and where to watch: http://buff.ly/2dtcOzq
Europe's history-making Rosetta comet mission is coming to an end, and you can watch the grand finale live Thursday and Friday (Sept. 29 and Sept. 30).
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SpaceX's Elon Musk Unveils Interplanetary Spaceship to Colonize Mars

The ITS rocket will be more or less a scaled-up version of the first stage of SpaceX's Falcon 9 booster, Musk said. But the 254-foot-tall (77.5 meters) ITS booster will feature 42 Raptor engines, whereas the Falcon 9 is powered by nine Merlins. When combined with its crewed spaceship, the ITS will stand a full 400 feet (122 m) high, Musk wrote on Twitter. That would make it the largest spaceflight system ever built, taller even than NASA's legendary Saturn V moon rocket.

The spaceship will lift off with little if any fuel on board, to maximize the payload — people, cargo or a combination of both — that the craft is able to carry to orbit. An ITS booster will therefore launch again, topped with a tanker, and rendezvous with the orbiting spaceship to fill its tank.

Then, when the timing is right — Earth and Mars align favorably for interplanetary missions just once every 26 months — the spaceship portion of the ITS will turn its engines on and blast from Earth orbit toward the Red Planet.

The spaceship will be capable of transporting at least 100 and perhaps as many as 200 people, Musk said. It will also likely feature movie theaters, lecture halls and a restaurant, giving the Red Planet pioneers a far different experience than that enjoyed by NASA's Apollo astronauts, who were crammed into a tiny capsule on their way to the moon.

Read more: http://buff.ly/2dtteaC
SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk unveiled the company's Interplanetary Transport System (ITS) to send hundreds of people to Mars to colonize the Red Planet.
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I'm sure it will be built and will fly. I question the feasibility of settling Mars given what we've learned about perchlorates in martian soil. Maybe better to build O'Neill-type space habitats.
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OSIRIS-REx Aces Instrument Check

Its science instruments have been powered on, and NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft continues on its journey to an asteroid. The spacecraft has passed its initial instrument check with flying colors as it speeds toward a 2018 rendezvous with the asteroid Bennu.

Last week NASA’s spacecraft designed to collect a sample of an asteroid ran the first check of its onboard instruments. Starting on Sept. 19, engineers controlling the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft powered on and operated the mission’s five science instruments and one of its navigational instruments. The data received from the checkout indicate that the spacecraft and its instruments are all healthy.

Instrument testing commenced with the OSIRIS-REx Camera Suite (OCAMS), provided by the University of Arizona. On Monday, OCAMS executed its power-on and test sequence with no issues. The cameras recorded a star field in Taurus north of the constellation Orion along with Orion’s bright red star Betelgeuse. The three OCAMS cameras performed flawlessly during the test.

On Monday and Wednesday, the OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA), contributed by the Canadian Space Agency, conducted its test sequences, which included a firing of its laser. All telemetry received from the OLA instrument was as expected.

Read more: http://buff.ly/2dyFtyQ
NASA’s spacecraft designed to collect a sample of an asteroid ran the first check of its onboard instruments.
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International Space Orchestra/Sigur Rós concert on Sept. 24th - 17,500 people were there! Here are some pictures from the event:
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Apollo 11 Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Talks to Universe Today about ‘Destination Mars’

Buzz Aldrin is the second man to set foot on the Moon. He stepped onto the lunar soil a few minutes after Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong, on July 20, 1969 in the Sea of Tranquility.

Aldrin also strongly supports some type of American space station capability “beyond the ISS” to foster the Mars capability.

And we need to be thinking about that follow on “US capability” right now!

“I think we need to have a US capability beyond the ISS to prepare for future activities right from the beginning,” Aldrin elaborated.

Currently the ISS partnership of the US, Russia, ESA, Japan and Canada has approved extending the operations of the International Space Station (ISS) until 2024. What comes after that is truly not known.

Read more: http://buff.ly/2cZ6x9u
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I saw him when he spoke live in Sydney. He wasn't dressed like that , though!
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The Frontier Fields: Where Primordial Galaxies Lurk

Eager astronomers will comb the Frontier Fields catalogs for the tiniest, dimmest-lensed objects, many of which should prove to be the most distant galaxies ever glimpsed. The current record-holder, a galaxy called GN-z11, was reported in March by Hubble researchers at the astonishing distance of 13.4 billion light-years, only a few hundred million years after the big bang. The discovery of this galaxy did not require gravitational lenses because it is an outlying, extremely bright object for its epoch. With the magnification boost provided by gravitational lenses, the Frontier Fields project will allow researchers to study typical objects at such incredible distances, painting a more accurate and complete picture of the universe’s earliest galaxies.

Astronomers want to understand how these primeval galaxies arose, how their constituent mass developed into stars, and how these stars have enriched the galaxies with chemical elements fused in their thermonuclear furnaces. To learn about the origin and evolution of the earliest galaxies, which are quite faint, astronomers need to collect as much light as possible across a range of frequencies. With sufficient light from these galaxies, astronomers can perform spectroscopy, pulling out details about stars' compositions, temperatures and their environments by examining the signatures of chemical elements imprinted in the light.

"With the Frontier Fields approach," said Capak, "the most remote and faintest galaxies are made bright enough for us to start to say some definite things about them, such as their star formation histories."

Read more: http://buff.ly/2duvLSg
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has wrapped up its observations for the Frontier Fields project.
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Big and small

In this fisheye projection one of the four small auxiliary telescopes stands alongside its larger counterpart, one of the four unit telescopes of the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. They are separated by the arc of the Milky Way, over which the faint blotches of our neighbouring dwarf galaxies — the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds — are just visible.

Credit: ESO/B. Tafreshi

Larger image http://buff.ly/2dmtaZ6
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Science ‘til the very end

Rosetta will collect science data until the very end of its descent on Friday. The opportunity to study a comet at such close proximity makes the descent phase one of the most exciting of the entire mission.

A summary of the goals of the instruments that are operating during the descent are provided here: http://buff.ly/2d4quOq
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Hidden Wonders

NASA's Cassini spacecraft looks toward the brilliant disk of Saturn, surrounded by the icy lanes of its rings. Faint wisps of cloud are visible in the atmosphere. At bottom, ring shadows trace delicate, curving lines across the planet.

Prometheus (53 miles or 86 kilometers across) is just a few pixels wide in this view, barely visible as a dark speck in front of the planet, below the rings and to the left of center.

Between April and September 2017, Cassini will plunge repeatedly through the gap that separates the planet from the rings.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about a degree above the ring plane. The image was taken in green light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on July 21, 2016.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 529,000 miles (852,000 kilometers) from Saturn and at a sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 37 degrees. Image scale is 30 miles (50 kilometers) per pixel.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

More info: http://buff.ly/2detHKB
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Xristofer Mclintock's profile photoTooter  Landers 's profile photo
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Ask eek o m


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Why Stephen Hawking is light years from the truth about ‘dangerous aliens’

According to Hawking, extraterrestrial societies could be far more advanced than we are – perhaps by billions of years. Their sympathies for us might be meagre, and they “may not see us as any more valuable than we see bacteria”.

Leaving aside the rather considerable value of bacteria, Hawking is right: we have no clue as to the intentions of putative extraterrestrials. Perhaps they live in a utopian Shangri-La similar to the one we’ve always said we want for ourselves, a place that values peace as well as the neighbours. But, of course, no one can be sure. In any Darwinian system, there’s always a benefit to aggression by some. So maybe a warning is warranted. Who would want to make their mark as the person who triggered the destruction of Earth in a misguided attempt to start an interspecies conversation?

Hawking frames his caution with a premise: that at some future date, we pick up the signals from another world. This is the goal of Seti – Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence – a small-scale research project (where I work as senior astronomer) that uses large radio antennas in an effort to eavesdrop on alien transmissions. If Seti does succeed in plucking a broadcast from the ether, some people would undoubtedly agitate for sending a reply. Perhaps along the lines of: “We’re the Earthlings, and we’d like to get in touch.”

Such a response, which could alert the aliens to our presence and location, is what troubles Hawking. Lay low, he advises. Well, it’s too late.

Read more: http://buff.ly/2dxov3P
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+Gerwyn Jones in your opinion.
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SETI Institute's Collections
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Our mission is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe.
Introduction

We believe we are conducting the most profound search in human history — to know our beginnings and our place among the stars.

The SETI Institute is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to scientific research, education and public outreach.

The Institute comprises 3 centers, the Center for SETI Research, the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe and the Center for Education and Public Outreach.

Founded in November 1984, the SETI Institute began operations on February 1, 1985. Today it employs over 120 scientists, educators and support staff. Research at the Institute is anchored by two centers. Dr. Gerry Harp leads the Center for SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Research and  Dr. David Morrison is the Director for the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe. Edna DeVore leads our Center for Education and Public Outreach.

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