Monday, December 31, 2018

The Holiday Sale ends tonight! Get one year for $50 + free Democracy Dies in Darkness water bottle.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

FLASH SALE! 1 year of unlimited access for $50 + free Democracy Dies in Darkness water bottle.

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Friday, December 21, 2018

🚀 Farthest Object Discovered in the Solar System, Saturn's Rings are Fading Away, How to Talk to a Flat Earther, and More...


Hangoutathon
 

Join Us for 40 Hours of Science... for Science


On December 22nd at 10am EST, we're going to begin a 40 hour livestream to support the science work we do on Cosmosquest: The 2018 Hangoutathon.

Join dozens of your favorite science and educational streamers as we do some science, and raise money to keep Cosmoquest going.

Find out more information here

Fraser Cain
Publisher
Universe Today

As always, if you have comments or questions, or suggestions on how I can improve this newsletter, please don't hesitate to reply this email or email me at info@universetoday.com.

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Patrons, don't forget to login to Universe Today. That'll remove all the ads for you. Join the 807 Patrons who get our videos early, see behind the scenes, and get no ads on Universe Today.
 

Weekly Space Hangout
 

Weekly Space Hangout for December 19, 2018


This week on the Weekly Space Hangout, it was just me, Morgan and Paul (Kimberly had some kind of holiday party). And with no guests this week, we just tore through a bunch of interesting news that happened, from Saturn losing its rings to the launch of Virgin Galactic. Check it out!

Subscribe to our podcasts:
Universe Today Guide to Space Video: iTunes - RSS
Universe Today Guide to Space Audio: iTunes - RSS
Astronomy Cast: iTunes - RSS
Weekly Space Hangout: iTunes - RSS


Launch
 

Did You Know that the Earth Loses Several Hundred Tons of Atmosphere to Space Every Day?


The Earth is bleeding atmosphere out into space at a rate of several hundred tons every day. But don't panic, there's lots of atmosphere left, and it'll last us for a long long time. But the amount of auroral activity can contribute to the atmospheric mass loss, so NASA is sending up a suborbital rocket to help study the link between auroras and atmospheric activity.
 

Flat Earth
 

How to Talk to a Flat-Earther. Don't


Thanks to the internet connecting us all together, bad ideas can travel at the speed of light. What if you get caught up in a conversation with someone who believes that the Earth is flat? How do you provide evidence for someone who doesn't believe in evidence? Paul Sutter provides his method. Spoiler alert: don't bother.
 


Farout
 

Just Discovered! "Farout", the Farthest Object Ever Seen in the Solar System


You thought Pluto was far out? Well, that's nothing compared to "Farout", the newly discovered dwarf planet candidate that astronomers just announced. This 500 km-wide world orbits the Sun at a distance of 120 astronomical units away, and it probably has a pink hue. It's not Planet 9, though, the search for that still continues.
 

Uranus and Neptune
 

Uranus and Neptune Should Be Top Priority, Says Report


With all this emphasis on Mars, it's easy to forget that there are two huge planets in the Solar System which have barely been explored: Uranus and Neptune. But NASA is thinking about what it would take to go back to those planets and explore them and their moons with a Cassini style orbiter. It's time to go back!
 


Europa drill
 

A Nuclear-Powered Tunneling Robot that Could Search for Life on Europa


Of course, Europa is a pretty interesting target too. Wouldn't it be amazing if some kind of probe could dig down through all that ice and sample the oceans underneath? A team of scientists have proposed a nuclear-powered robot (a "tunnelbot") that could melt its way down through the ice sheet, searching for any evidence of life.
 


Comet 46P/Wirtanen
 

Comet 46P/Wirtanen Reached its Closest Point to Earth 


It's not that big bright comet that I keep waiting for the Universe to send me, but Comet 46P/Wirtanen is looking pretty great in the night skies right now, recently passing by the Pleiades star cluster. This short period comet was the original target for ESA's Rosetta mission, but when the spacecraft was delayed, they had to find a new target, Comet 67P.
 

Saturn
 

Saturn is Losing its Rings, Fast. They Could be Gone Within 100 Million Years


Well, this is disturbing. It seems like Saturn's rings are fading away and will be gone within 100 million years. When NASA's Voyager spacecraft passed Saturn, they measured the amount of material in the rings. Then the Cassini spacecraft did follow up observations and showed that the planet is eating its rings, they fall as rain into its atmosphere.
 

Mystery planet
 

Why Can't We Find Planet Nine?


Astronomers think there's a large planet in the outer Solar System, they can see its impact on the other icy objects out there in the Kuiper Belt. But why can't they find it? In this article, Charlie Wood proposes some of the techniques that astronomers could use to solve this puzzling mystery.
 

Saturn nebula
 

The Saturn Nebula Kind of Looks Like the Planet in a Small Telescope, But in One of the Most Powerful Telescopes on Earth, it Looks Like This


One of my favorite targets in the telescope is the Saturn Nebula, a remnant from a dead star, which seriously, looks just like the planet, with a central circular region and then lobes on either side. But when the same object is seen by one of the most powerful telescopes on Earth, it looks like this.
 


Starlink
 

SpaceX Fundraising Exactly Covers 800 Satellites for Operational Starlink Service


SpaceX is planning to launch a constellation of internet satellites into low Earth orbit over the next decade, eventually reaching thousands of satellites. They just raised $500 million to begin construction, and Brian Wang from Nextbigfuture thinks that's exactly enough to pay for 800 satellites, enough to get their network operational for the Northern Hemisphere.

 

New Horizons
 

Less Than Two Weeks Away from New Horizon's Date with Ultima Thule


We're getting down to the wire now, as NASA's New Horizons is about to pass its next target in the Kuiper Belt: Ultima Thule. The spacecraft is expected to reach its destination on January 1, 2019 at 12:33am EST. I know what I'll be celebrating on New Year's Eve...
 

Mars rover
 

Strange Rovers are Exploring the Sahara Desert. Learning Lessons for Mars


The Sahara Desert is one of the most inhospitable and rugged places on Earth, which makes it the perfect place to test out new ideas for rovers that could explore the surface of Mars. Right now the European Space Agency is testing out three different rovers in the desert to see if they're better for exploring Mars.

 


Insight
 

InSight Just Placed its Seismometer onto the Surface of Mars to Listen for Marsquakes


Work is continuing with NASA's InSight lander. The spacecraft just reached out with its robotic arm and gently placed its seismometer on the surface of Mars. Once this instrument is operational, the lander will be able to detect earthquakes on Mars - "marsquakes", which will help scientists map out the interior of the planet.
 

Other Interesting Space Stuff

Amazing Astrophotography on @universetoday



Heart Nebula


This is a familiar object to astrophotographers, the Heart Nebula, a diffuse cloud of gas and dust located about 7,500 light-years from Earth. This photo was captured by @bmamukashvili_

We have featured nearly 1,000 astrophotographers on our Instagram page, which has more than 147,000 followers. Want to do a takeover? Use the hashtag #universetoday and I'll check out your photos.

 


Our book!

Find your way across the night sky. Choose a variety of astronomy gear. Follow the Moon and the planets. Find deep sky objects across the seasons in both hemispheres. Observe comets, asteroids, satellites and space stations. Learn to do astrophotography.

Get it on Amazon for only $18.89. Here are some other options.


 






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