Sunday, December 1, 2013

MAVEN to Mars and other space and astronomy news

I took last night off from blogging to watch movies and play Rift with my wife.   I even programmed Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Comet ISON at perihelion) to post eight hours in advance to clear the evening out.  It was well worth it and I plan on doing that more in the future.  What that meant was that I posted Nablopomo for December: MORE/LESS in the middle of the day instead of programming it to post at Midnight and I didn't post the week's space news at 7:00 PM, both of which I normally would have done.  Time to make up for the latter omission with the space and astronomy news from last week's Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (MAVEN to Mars) on Daily Kos.

NASA Television goes first with MAVEN is on the way on This Week @NASA.

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, or MAVEN spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on a 10-month journey to Mars. MAVEN will take critical measurements of the Martian upper atmosphere to investigate how loss of the atmosphere to space impacted the history of water on the planet's surface. Also, Happy anniversary, ISS!, Asteroid Ideas, LADEE in science orbit, Orion progress, Rocket autopilot test, Commercial crew, and more! has a slideshow of the liftoff in United Launch Alliance Atlas V Rocket Successfully Launches MAVEN Mission on Journey to the Red Planet.
A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft lifted off from Space Launch Complex-41 at 1:28 p.m. EST, Nov. 18, 2013. MAVEN will examine specific processes on Mars that led to the loss of much of its atmosphere.
Follow over the jump for more space and astronomy news.

DarkSyde on Daily Kos previews ISON at perihelion in This week in science: A Thanksgiving visitor comes in from the cold.  SPOILER ALERT: ISON didn't survive the encounter, but that's the headline of the next space update.

Next, the University of Wisconsin has video of The IceCube Project.

Four scientists speak with University of Wisconsin-Madison University Communications about finding cosmic subatomic particles, named neutrinos and what is it like to work with one of the largest science collaborations in the world.
My favorite Cheeseheads aren't alone in this endeavor.  The University of Alabama describes its part in UA Scientists among IceCube Collaborators Pushing Neutrinos to Astronomy’s Forefront.
Nov 21, 2013
MADISON, Wisc. — The IceCube Neutrino Observatory, a particle detector buried in the Antarctic ice, is a demonstration of the power of the human passion for discovery, where scientific ingenuity meets technological innovation. Today, nearly 25 years after the pioneering idea of detecting neutrinos in ice, the IceCube Collaboration, including University of Alabama researchers, announces the observation of 28 very high-energy particle events that constitute the first solid evidence for astrophysical neutrinos from cosmic accelerators.

“We believe we are seeing, for the first time, extremely high-energy neutrinos from a source outside of our solar system,” said Dr. Dawn Williams, an associate professor of physics at The University of Alabama, who serves as the project’s calibration coordinator.

“It is gratifying to finally see what we have been looking for,” said Dr. Francis Halzen, principal investigator of IceCube and the Hilldale and Gregory Breit Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.  This is the dawn of a new age of astronomy.”
That's it for the past week's news.  Stay tuned for this week's, which has already been collected.

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