Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Weekly Update

    Curiosity has been shut down, but only for a short period.  She had her science experiments put on hold, after recovering from a memory hiccup that engineers were in the process of troubleshooting. That however is not the reason for the shutdown. Sol unleashes a minor blast that is heading for mars, so doing this was simply a matter of caution, as they don't expect any damage, but did it in response to the memory problem.  Basically a huge solar flare was released, that sent a stream of radiation toward Mars, along with a cloud of super heated gas moving at 2 million mph. And believe it or not, this explosion is considered middle of the road. It is not expected to have any bearing on anything on Earth however. 

    We now have what may be the first images ever of a newly forming planet around a nearby star. The young star, HD 100546 which is 335 LY's from us, apparently has a giant planet coming together. It is thought to be a baby gas giant at this time, similar to Jupiter. This star is already thought to host another giant planet that orbits it about six times farther out that the Earth does Sol. This one appears to be at ten times the distance of it's new neighbor, which is approximately 70 times the distance of our Earth to Sol.  Though exoplanet research is still a new frontier, they are finding that many things are aligning with what was thought about planet formation. 

NASA's Messenger spacecraft, the first Mercury orbiter has been sending back some real interesting pics. It has been in orbit since March 2011. The pictures can be found at the following link. Pretty cool as well.

And that is it for this week folks. Sorry for the shortness of this one, but I am proof that Alien Viruses are alive and well here on Earth. The girl friend brought them home and infected me with them. (Seriously, nothing earthly could strike this fast and this hard). So provided I don't turn into a slavering monstrosity out for world domination, or spitting acid, next weeks will be back to normal. 

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