Spaaaaace

Boeing Starliner commander Christopher Ferguson bows out of first crewed mission due to family commitments

Former NASA 'naut Christopher Ferguson has withdrawn as commander from the first crewed mission of Boeing’s calamity capsule, the CST-100 Starliner.

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A 73bn-kg, skyscraper-size chocolate creme egg spinning fast enough to eventually explode – it’s asteroid Bennu

Scientists have compared asteroid Bennu to a chocolate creme egg – and say it may explode as it continues to spin at an ever-increasing rate.

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Is it my impression or are many things falling from the sky lately?

The residents of the region of Baturité, state of Ceará, were frightened, as they thought that an airplane had crashed on the outskirts of the small town.

According to experts, a weather satellite managed to record the explosion and they are still doing studies to determine the nature of the phenomenon.

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Seems like it to me, too?

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Sky rocks of doom? Space junk irresponsibly discarded? Aliens skipping stones in space?

I don’t think we’ll ever know …

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Campaign rallies for Giant Meteor 2020?

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Some people are saying these days the apocalypse ceased to be a fearful thing and became hope.

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Astronomers have watched a star be destroyed by the process of spaghettification, a rare event triggered when a sun strays too close to a black hole.

AT2019qiz was ripped apart by a supermassive black hole in the constellation of Eridanus. Though it is 215 million light years from Earth, it is the closest star we’ve seen annihilated in such a way. The extreme tidal forces exerted on the sun stretched it into long noodle-like strands that were torn apart as it was gobbled up, a violent affair that set off bright flares of electromagnetic energy.

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Years after we detected two neutron stars crashing into each other, we’re still picking up X-rays. We don’t know why

After a thousand days of observations, the continuing X-ray radiation from two neutron stars smashing into one another has left astronomers puzzled.

The collision, code-named GW170817, was picked up by our planet’s LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave detectors in mid-2017. The incredible crash, some 130 million light-years away, spilled a heady mix of electromagnetic signals into space as well as the gravitational wave we detected here on Earth.

One remarkable feature of the merger was its kilonova, which immediately followed an initial gamma-ray burst. Light from this kilonova faded about three weeks after GW170817 was observed, as expected. Curiously, though, X-rays were picked up nine days after the merger’s gravitational wave was detected, and they continue to linger well past what’s typically considered normal. The X-ray afterglow is still visible three years after the detection of GW170817.

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CRASH!

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I’m not sure why Kessler Syndrome wasn’t on my 2020 bingo card…

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This is like the 5th or 6th recent asteroid to go by this year, isn’t it? How common is that?

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Or the space warning systems are getting better, or the universe is trying to tell us something…

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Pretty common

There’s a more dangerous asteroid miss tomorrow (larger, closer, faster, stronger(?))
Source:

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If you’re feeling down, know that we’ve just buried a heat sensor in an alien planet. If NASA can get through Mars soil, we can get through 2020

NASA’s off-again, on-again Mars digger nicknamed the mole is finally buried in the planet’s soil and will take readings beneath the surface next year.

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