Saturday, February 24, 2007

Quick trip around Mars on Sunday

The European comet chaser Rosetta will do a fly-by around Mars Sunday to get a gravity boost on its way to the comet Churyumov Gerasimenko. The 10 year trip includes a total of three gravity boosts from Earth and one from Mars before the craft catches up to and matches orbit with the comet. Then in 2014 it will release a lander in the first attempted controlled landing on a comet.

UPDATE: Space probe performs Mars fly-by

A Rosetta camera views dust or clouds in Mars' atmosphere
Courtesy BBC News

Monday, February 19, 2007

It's Deja Vu All over again

OK, Here is the scenario:
  • A group of scientists get together and reach a consensus
  • There is an impending threat to the Earth
  • Although the chances are small (slim) should this occur all life on Earth will be destroyed
  • The planet and its environment would be ruined.
  • They are asking to United Nations to take charge and lead the effort to save us.

Global Warming?? Not quite.

Asteroid Impact! There is a 1 in 45,000 chance that the asteroid Apophis may impact the Earth in 2036 so a group of scientists and engineers are calling for the UN to take charge and lead the effort to draft a plan to make sure that this does not happen. Based on what we have seen with Oil for Food, Raping of children in Africa and IPCC political summaries that do not match the science behind them, it seems to me that the UN cannot lead itself out of a paper bag.

There are only 4 entities that have mastered space travel: The US, Russia, The European Space Agency and China. These 4 countries alone should draft a plan to assess the danger, develop an action plan to counter it and act upon it. All the UN will do is tax us to pay for some lofty ideal that never materializes.

Pravda reports:

Asteroid MN4 otherwise known as Apophis has been designated the most dangerous heavenly body of the century

We basically have two options, destroy the object or nudge it to the side. The big concern with blowing it up is that some of the debris would still head down towards us and, if it is large enough, cause substantial destruction on Earth. Small pieces would burn up in the atmosphere but larger pieces would impact the planet. If any of those pieces should hit in an urban area significant damage and deaths could result.

But we have to keep in mind that the chances of an impact are 1 in 45,000. We should, however, have a hell of a light show. Apophis crosses the Earth's orbit twice every year. In 2036, it may pass close enough to knock out a few communication satellites. That is within the orbit of the moon. We should all get a great view as the asteroid hopefully then continues on never to be heard from again.

StikNstein is also discussing this one

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Take 2

Welcome to the new, improved edition of Science Today. This is my second attempt to launch this site. I wanted to get the format right. Now I can concentrate on content. There will be one more roll out once I add Haloscan to allow trackbacks and get this blog onto open trackbacking to increase membership. I am hoping that we get my half dozen closest blog friends to give it a look-see now and then expand it out.

Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker will continue to serve as my primary outlet for severe weather, climate issues and of course tracking North Atlantic tropical systems. This blog is intended to fill the gap on other science issues such as space exploration, chemistry advances, and stem cell research among other science news. As I find other science topic news feeds, I'll add them to the sidebars to provide even more up-to-date news on science topics.

Since I first came up with the idea for this blog, much has happened:
  • Global Warming on Mars
  • China's space launch
  • China's destruction of a satellite in space
  • Successful research with stem cells from umbilical cord blood
And many others. Please check back frequently for further updates.

Trackbacked to: Woman Honor Thyself (I tried to manually add more trackbacks but the standalone pinger wouldn't work)