NASA to Make Revolutionary Mission to the Sun
In 2018, the space program is scheduled to launch a probe that will get closer to the sun than any craft before it, measuring data in the star's outer corona where temperatures are hellish.
What's the Latest Development?
NASA has selected which scientific experiments will fly on the Solar Probe Plus spacecraft bound for the sun's outer corona in 2018, where temperatures reach millions of degrees Fahrenheit. Given the 88 pound weight limit, there was only enough room for five experiments. And all the experiments have a power budget of only 40 watts (about the same as your refrigerator light). One which made the cut will measure the electrons, protons and helium ions present in the solar wind. Another will take digital, 3D images of the sun's corona.
What's the Big Idea?
The sun's corona, most visible during a solar eclipse, extends millions of miles away from the sun's surface. And after being looped around Venus, the Solar Probe Plus craft will approach the sun within 3.7 million miles, much closer than any mission before. The mission asks two central questions: "How does the corona, that ghostly, spiked halo seen during a total solar eclipse, heat to more than a million degrees, far hotter than the sun's surface? And what powers the solar wind, the stream of charged particles that flows from the corona?"
Photo credit: shutterstock.com
New research links urban planning and political polarization.
- Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
- Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
- People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.
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- What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
- Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
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