Category Archives: Space

Feelin’ Spacey

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Want to help find the next gravitational wave?

“The idea is simple: The LIGO detectors produce too much data for any one university or research project to sift through. So this mountain of data is split into more manageable slices that are then uploaded to the computers of volunteers via the internet. All volunteers have to do is install some software that runs whenever the computer isn’t being used (you can also use it as a screensaver, as in the image above). When a computer is done searching through a slice of data for evidence of gravitational waves, it uploads whatever it has found back to the Einstein@home projects where the results are analyzed further.”

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The evolving media reaction to female astronauts

“Rather than asking about her scientific qualifications (Ride had a Ph.D. in physics and worked as a capsule commander before going into space), interviewers asked Ride about bathroom concerns and makeup. Ride tells Steinem that one reporter fabricated an entire exchange about whether or not Ride would wear a bra in space. Few questions were asked about Ride’s role as a mission specialist: “They didn’t care about how well prepared I was to operate the arm or deploy communications satellites.”

However, it seems we’re not out of the woods yet…

Female cosmonaut bats back questions about hair and parenting – Sept. 2014
These Female Astronauts Just Brilliantly Shut Down Sexist Questions – Oct. 2015

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Jupiter may not shield us from comets, but it has an important role to play for life on Earth

“These simulations showed that not only is Jupiter not a particularly effective protector, but it actually teams up with Saturn to throw particles down to the inner solar system where our planet lies. A significant number of these particles end up in orbits that cross Earth’s path.”

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Newly discovered form of ice offers hints about other planets

“Using a computational algorithm and molecular simulation, the researchers were able to pinpoint the exact pressure and temperature needed to shift water into the expected shape. If their predictions bear out, they could use the research to synthesize ice in a form that has never taken shape naturally on this planet.”