Tag Archives: Earth

“Space without the “Space”!!!

EDITORIAL:  This is a fun illustration which was brought to my attention by Austin, who is a new friend and new Crew member for future episodes of the Cosmic Cafe!   Check it out, it is pretty humorous, while interesting!  [CCS]

Illustration: “Space without the Space” | Credit: http://xkcd.com/



The animation below shows changes in Earth’s magnetic field from January 2014 to June 2014 as measured by ESA’s SWARM trio of satellites.

VIDEO LINK: http://www.esa.int/spaceinvideos/content/view/embedjw/435200

The magnetic field protects us from cosmic radiation and charged particles that bombard Earth, but it is in a permanent state of flux.

Magnetic north wanders, and every few hundred thousand years the polarity flips so that a compass would point south instead of north. Moreover, the strength of the magnetic field constantly changes – and it is currently showing signs of significant weakening.

The field is particularly weak over the South Atlantic Ocean – known as the South Atlantic Anomaly. This weak field has indirectly caused many temporary satellite ‘hiccups’ (called Single Event Upsets) as the satellites are exposed to strong radiation over this area.


Solved! The Dark Side of the Moon Mystery!

EDITORIAL:  Okay, stop thinking of the excellent Pink Floyd Album – we are not talking about that “mystery” we are talking about the real Moon, and the mystery of the “dark side”!!!   CCS

Solved! The Dark Side of Moon's Mystery!
Solved! The Dark Side of Moon’s Mystery!

The Man in the Moon appeared when meteoroids struck Earth-facing side of the moon creating large flat seas of basalt that we see as dark areas called maria. But no “face” exists on farside of the moon and now, Penn State astrophysicists think they know why. “I remember the first time I saw a globe of the moon as a boy, being struck by how different the farside looks,” said Jason Wright, assistant professor of astrophysics. “It was all mountains and craters. Where were the maria? It turns out it’s been a mystery since the fifties.” This mystery is called the Lunar Farside Highlands Problem and dates back to 1959, when the Soviet spacecraft Luna 3 transmitted the first images of the Continue reading Solved! The Dark Side of the Moon Mystery!