Since the world’s spacefaring nations got serious about sending people to Mars, they’ve had to start figuring out just what such a long journey would do to a person enduring it.
Research around the world is now starting to flesh out with data what used to be conjecture about the health impacts of space travel. Some of it is also shedding light on how our bodies work.
Our cups ran over with the many beautiful and amazing images scientists and satellites captured this year when they looked around and out from Earth. From things microscopic to those light years across, and from morning coffee to the deep recesses scattered around the universe, we bring you some of our favorite science pictures created in 2012.
These are in no particular order and by no means inclusive of all the best.
1. The first, above, comes from Hinode - a joint JAXA/NASA mission to study the connections of the sun’s surface magnetism. The project brings us this unique image of the transit of Venus between the Earth and sun, the once-in-a-lifetime event that occurred on June 5. Courtesy: JAXA/NASA/Lockheed Martin.
Click through to see the rest.
NASA released new data current through Oct. 4 that seems to show the environment around the Voyager 1 spacecraft has drastically changed. Is it possible that the craft, now more than 18.3 billion km from Earth and the farthest human-made object, has already left the solar system?
The above graph shows that since September the craft’s instruments have sensed a major, sustained drop in the low-energy charged particles released by the sun that reach it.
During the same period, Voyager’s cosmic ray detector has recorded a steady rise in higher-energy charged particles originating from outside the solar system. This detector can also detect the output of large solar flares.
Here is the 2011 six-hour averages for low-energy particles coming from the sun for comparison:
Congrats SpaceX! You are building the future of space exploration! Read the full AP story.
It looks like I’m freaking standing right there. I wish we could hear mars on top of this pic!
Curiosity wiggles it’s toes for the first time on Mars
Check out the interactive panorama here
By tying together the observational power of three radio telescopes, astronomers have made the sharpest observation of a distant galaxy, some two million times sharper than human vision. That’s big news in an of itself, but it’s even bigger news for astronomers pursuing next-level Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI). The observation demonstrates a kind of telescopic collaboration that’s never been seen before, hinting at the future of astronomical observation.
NASA has released a new panorama from its Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, showing the terrain where the robot spent the four-month Martian winter.
The most impressive and clear photos of Mars ever! Check out full set courtesy of Mashable.
Also cool story about a creating a reality show to fund the colonization of mars.
NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory is on its way. In a little more than a month, the 1-ton rover, which launched in November, will descend to the Martian surface.
The nuclear-powered robot is designed to make spectacular new discoveries about the Red Planet. It will drill and analyze the Martian soil to search for signs of water, past or present, and determine whether or not the planet was ever able to support life.
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