The Hustle and Bustle of Our Solar System
NASA – This diagram illustrates the differences between orbits of a typical near-Earth asteroid (blue) and a potentially hazardous asteroid, or PHA (orange). PHAs are a subset of the near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) and have the closest orbits to Earth’s orbit, coming within 5 million miles (about 8 million kilometers). They also are large enough to survive passage through Earth’s atmosphere and cause damage on a regional, or greater, scale.
Our yellow sun sits at the center of the crowd, while the orbits of the planets Mercury, Venus and Mars are shown in grey. Earth’s orbit stands out in green between Venus and Mars. As the diagram indicates, the PHAs tend to have more Earth-like orbits than the rest of the NEAs. The asteroid orbits are simulations of what a typical object’s path around the sun might look like.
The dots in the background are based on data from NASA’s NEOWISE, the asteroid-hunting portion of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission, which scanned the whole sky twice in infrared light before entering hibernation mode in 2011. The blue and orange dots represent a simulation of the population of near-Earth asteroids and PHAs, respectively, which are larger than 330 feet (100 meters).
NEOWISE has provided the best overall look at the PHA population yet, refining estimates of their numbers, sizes, types of orbits and potential hazards. The NEOWISE team estimates that about 20 to 30 percent of the PHAs thought to exist have actually been discovered as may 2012, the date of this image Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Posted in Nature, SPACE WATCH
Tagged Earth, NASA, Near-Earth object, Orbit, Saturn, Solar System, Space, Sun, Venus, Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer
By Beth Stackpole – After more than eight months of space travel, the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft carrying the $2.5 billion, 2,000-pound Curiosity rover is nearly ready to touch down on the red planet. Hundreds of CAE man-hours helped simulate, optimize, and validate the mission in the digital world, but the moment of truth for the rover and spacecraft design will be the final landing, which is slated for 10:31 p.m. PT on Sunday, Aug. 5. more> http://tinyurl.com/bux4bst
NASA – John Grunsfeld, Associate Administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, was a guest on the Colbert Report on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, where he discussed the upcoming Curiosity Mars rover landing. The landing will occur on Monday morning at 1:31 a.m. EDT. Image Credit: Courtesy of the Colbert Report [VIDEO 6:27]
NASA – Bill Nye, known as the Science Guy, takes a photograph of himself with NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver at the Planetary Society‘s 2012 Planetfest on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012 in Pasadena, Calif.
Garver is visiting Pasadena, home of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, ahead of Curiosity’s landing on Mars, scheduled for 1:31 a.m. EDT on Aug. 6, 2012. Curiosity is designed to assess whether Mars ever had an environment able to support life. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Posted in Science, SPACE WATCH, Technology
Tagged Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mars, Mars rover, Mars Science Laboratory, NASA, Pasadena California, Planetary Society, Space, Technology
By Ed O’Keefe and Ellen Nakashima – Senators voted 52 to 46 in favor of the bill, coming up short of the two-thirds majority necessary to advance it to a final vote.
In hopes of moving the bill forward, the White House and Democratic and Republican sponsors of the measure had agreed to weaken the proposal by making stricter security standards voluntary, instead of mandatory, for the large private firms that control most of the nation’s infrastructure.
But even voluntary standards are strongly opposed by many in the business sector. more> http://tinyurl.com/dy5mc6m
Posted in Business, Economy, Net
Tagged Congress Watch, Cybersecurity, Internet, Joe Lieberman, John McCain, Mitch McConnell, United States, United States Department of Homeland Security, White House