The Rosetta Mission at Comet 67P Will Soon End

UP close and personal with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.  Courtesy Rosetta/ESA.

Studying a Comet Long Term I’ve been a comet fan since my grad school days. That was when I got pointed at Comet Halley and told, “study these images, and let’s figure out what’s happening with the plasma tail”. So, I pored over images of the comet taken from 1985-1986. … Continue reading

NASA: The Continuing Solar System Missions

Where Pluto is -- roughly at the position of Pluto, and headed for PT1 (2014 MU69). Courtesy New Horizons.

Beyond Pluto, Orbiting Ceres, and Circling Mars and the Moon Well, it’s official: New Horizons has the official go-ahead for an extended mission to the object 2014 MU69 that lies along its current path out through the Kuiper Belt. Mind you, the spacecraft was going to head that way anyhow, … Continue reading

Visualization Depicting the Universe

super-Earth planet loses its atmosphere

Visualization and Reality A planetarium colleague of mine posted a comment on Facebook about how he was accused of “faking data” as he described immersive storytelling on their institution’s dome through visualization.  Essentially, he was using star motion as a metaphor for the passage of time (as he explained it). … Continue reading

Gravitational Waves Are Found Again!

When two black holes merge, gravitational waves ripple outward as the black holes spiral toward each other. The black holes — which represent those detected by LIGO on Dec. 26, 2015, formed a single black hole 21 times the mass of the Sun. In reality, the area near the black holes would appear highly warped, and the gravitational waves would be too small to see.

. Pyle/LIGO

Second Gravitational Waves Detection for LIGO They’ve done it again over at LIGO. Scientists  in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration detected the faint, almost imperceptible gravitational waves from yet another black hole merger. Rumors have been flying the past few days about this (the first detection was … Continue reading