Tag Archives: moon

NASA’s ShadowCam Hitches Ride to Moon on Korean Craft

Image courtesy Arizona State University / Malin Space Science Systems

NASA plans to send a new, light-sensitive camera to explore the moon’s most shadowed regions. ShadowCam will look for evidence of water ice in the permanently shadowed regions of the moon.

Lunar areas that never receive sunlight – frigid craters and mountain shadows – could conceal a treasure trove of water ice, especially near the poles.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Shadow-Piercing NASA Camera Rides To Moon Aboard Korean Craft

Thermal Camera Will Narrow Search for Water, Life on Europa

Image of Europa's chaotic surface.
Image courtesy NASA/JPL/DLR.

NASA’s recent news that the Hubble Space Telescope had spotted liquid water plumes on Jupiter’s moon Europa has raised interest in a planned mission that will study the icy world to confirm the ocean’s presence and search for signs of life.

An instrument being built by Arizona State University will show experts where to start looking.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
ASU Thermal Camera Will Guide Europa Mission’s Search For Water, Life

Who Names NASA’s Space Probes?

Early artist's conception of New Horizons, courtesy of NASA.
Early artist’s conception of New Horizons, courtesy of NASA.

The latest NASA space probes to make the news have zoomed to the farthest reaches of the solar system, and their names – Pluto’s New Horizons, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko’s Rosetta and Philae – reflect the ambition and spirit of discovery behind them.

But who gets to pick those evocative names, and is there any pattern that ties them together? Read on …

What’s Way Cooler Than Naming a Kid? Naming a NASA Spacecraft

The Science Behind Weather Superstitions

Photo of Grounghog Day from Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
Ignore the shadow of the lowland marmot at your peril! (Or not). Photo by Anthony Quintano.

Weather. It can destroy homes and harvests, shut down entire regions and re-sculpt coastlines in a matter of hours. It’s small wonder we tend to be a bit superstitious about the subject, or that we’re loath to let go of the received wisdom of family, friends and the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Then again, maybe those old wives tales contain a kernel of truth. Sometimes there’s a reason to the rhyme, as I reveal in this list of …

10 Scientifically Sound Weather Superstitions

The Other Grand Tour: 10 Stunning Space Stopovers

Fomalhaut b
Image courtesy NASA/ESA.

Cosmos is back, and Neil deGrasse Tyson is tooling around the universe in Carl Sagan’s Ship of the Imagination. But suppose someone handed you the proverbial keys? Where in space and/or time would you go?

If you don’t have a ready answer, never fear. I’ve put together an itinerary that can’t fail, whether your tastes run to science or sightseeing. Sure, we might have to break a few physical laws and grow a few extra senses along the way but, hey, it’s not called the Ship of Literal Reality, is it? So hang your fuzzy planets from the rearview and strap in for a star-spanning tour, a jaunt from the local neighborhood to the unreachably distant (and disproportionately dangerous) corners of the universe, en route to…

10 Space Landmarks We’d Like to Visit