To extract samples from wily comets, which have just a millionth of Earth's gravitational pull, a harpoon- or ballista-style device may be the best option. To test the idea, NASA engineers have constructed a six-foot-wide harpoon to whack rock samples in a laboratory. Video: NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center URL: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=124308551
2010 AGU Fall Meeting - The Sagan Lecture Isotope Geochemistry and the Study of Habitability and Life on Other Planets Presented by J. Eiler, Geological and Planetary Sciences, Caltech
A year in the making, this video pays tribute to a critical scientific and academic figure in postmodern history: Climatologist and Stanford Professor Stephen Schneider. Schneider explains the problems facing the public's understanding of climate change and consequently the lack of action in Washington legislatively. This video was screened before a live audience by Climate One of the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on Dec 6, 2011 as the introduction to an event honoring Stephen Schneider and presenting an award in his name to Richard Alley, Professor of Geosciences and Associate of the EMS Environment Institute. This video was also partially screened by Ben Santer at the 2011 AGU (American Geophysicists Union) Conference held in San Francisco (http://revkin.tumblr.com/post/14094189165/ben-santer-on-steve-schneider-and-defending) More on Plomomedia: http://www.plomomedia.com More on Climate One: http://www.climate-one.org
Science & Reason on Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/ScienceReason Science@ESA (Episode 7): Planetary science - Exploring our backyard, the Solar System (Part 2) In this seventh episode of the Science@ESA vodcast series Rebecca Barnes continues to journey through the wonders of modern astronomy bringing us closer to home as we begin to explore the Solar System. We'll discover the scale and structure of the Solar System, find out why we explore it and introduce the missions launched on a quest to further investigate our local celestial neighbourhood. --- Please subscribe to Science & Reason: • http://www.youtube.com/Best0fScience • http://www.youtube.com/ScienceMagazine • http://www.youtube.com/ScienceTV • http://www.youtube.com/FFreeThinker --- Planetary science is the scientific study of planets (including Earth), moons, and planetary systems, in particular those of the Solar System and the processes that form them. It studies objects ranging in size from micrometeoroids to gas giants, aiming to determine their composition, dynamics, formation, interrelations and history. It is a strongly interdisciplinary field, originally growing from astronomy and earth science, but which now incorporates many disciplines, including planetary astronomy, planetary geology (together with geochemistry and geophysics), physical geography (geomorphology and cartography as applied to planets), atmospheric science, theoretical planetary science, and the study of extrasolar planets. Allied disciplines include space physics, when concerned with the effects of the Sun on the bodies of the Solar System, and astrobiology. There are interrelated observational and theoretical branches of planetary science. Observational research can involve a combination of space exploration, predominantly with robotic spacecraft missions using remote sensing, and comparative, experimental work in Earth-based laboratories. The theoretical component involves considerable computer simulation and mathematical modelling. Planetary scientists are generally located in the astronomy and physics or earth sciences departments of universities or research centres, though there are several purely planetary science institutes worldwide. There are several major conferences each year, and a wide range of peer-reviewed journals. • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetary_science --- The Solar System is made up of the Sun and all of the smaller objects that move around it. Apart from the Sun, the largest members of the Solar System are the eight major planets. Nearest the Sun are four fairly small, rocky planets - Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. Beyond Mars is the asteroid belt - a region populated by millions of rocky objects. These are left-overs from the formation of the planets, 4.5 billion years ago. On the far side of the asteroid belt are the four gas giants - Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. These planets are much bigger than Earth, but very lightweight for their size. They are mostly made of hydrogen and helium. Until recently, the furthest known planet was an icy world called Pluto. However, Pluto is dwarfed by Earth's Moon and many astronomers think it is too small to be called a true planet. An object named Eris, which is at least as big as Pluto, was discovered very far from the Sun in 2005. More than 1,000 icy worlds such as Eris have been discovered beyond Pluto in recent years. These are called Kuiper Belt Objects. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union decided that Pluto and Eris must be classed as "dwarf planets". Even further out are the comets of the Oort Cloud. These are so far away that they are invisible in even the largest telescopes. Every so often one of these comets is disturbed and heads towards the Sun. It then becomes visible in the night sky. • http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/area/index.cfm?fareaid=7 .
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Beauty, Truth, and Planetary Science: Finding Ourselves in the Solar System, a Loyola Chair Lecture, April 11, 2007, by Brother Guy Consolmagno, S.J., astronomer, Vatican Observatory, Castel Gandolfo, Italy. Brother guy was the 2006-2007 Loyola Chair (Physics and Astronomy) at Fordham, and is the chair of the Division for Planetary Sciences, American Astronomical Society. He is the author of Brother Astronomer, Adventures of a Vatican Scientist (McGraw Hill, 2000); Intelligent Life in the Universe? Catholic Belief and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life (Catholic Truth Society, 2005); and God's Mechanics: How Scientists and Engineers Make Sense of Religion (Jossey-Bass, 2007).
Visit http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2012/17feb_winterplanets/ for more. The brightest planets in the night sky are aligning for a must-see show in late February and March 2012. Start looking tonight!
Music by Zero Project. The hunt for planets beyond our solar system has reached a fever pitch. With some 500 planets revealed by ground telescopes, now, the ultimate planet finder, the Kepler space telescope, has released a tsunami of data. Among over a thousand new planet prospects are 200 multi-planet solar systems and 58 worlds in life-friendly orbits. They're all within a narrow window on the sky the size of your hand. That's why this may be the tip of the iceberg in a galaxy that's literally crawling with planets. Scientists are now beginning to envision what these worlds are like, with atmospheres, oceans, geological history. In the process, they are redefining what a planet might need to spawn life.
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The Living Picture Visual Thaeater presents: Planetary Morphology Theater in 42nd Lunar and Planetary Conference 2011 Houston
Emily opens a new Planetary Society video series with this brief yet fascinating look at the Martian seasons, explaining why winters are much less fun in the southern hemisphere. Mat Kaplan produces.
Astronomers using ESO's leading exoplanet hunter HARPS have today announced more than fifty newly discovered planets around other stars. Among these are many rocky planets not much heavier than the Earth. One of them in particular seems to orbit in the habitable zone around its star. In this video news release we look at how astronomers discover these distant worlds and what the future may hold for finding rocky worlds like the Earth that may support life. Read more: http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1134/ Related news: The Two Billion Earthlike Planets in the Milky Way: How Many Will Prove to Support Advanced Life? http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2011/06/the-two-billion-earthlike-planets-in-the-milky-way-how-many-will-prove-to-support-advanced-life.html Twinkle, twinkle, another star: First cosmic census estimates there are 50 BILLION planets in Milky Way http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1358838/Milky-Way-50-billion-planets-estimates-cosmic-census.html#ixzz1XlDefsGT ESO's Atacama Desert Observatory Zooms in on Earthlike Planet http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2011/09/esos-la-silla-chile-observatory-zooms-in-on-earthlike-planet.html Alien life certain to exist on Earth-like planet, scientists say http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqAlzaRaTAM Lightest Exoplanet Found http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4_-iuAn_e4 Earth-like planet Gliese 581d discovered 'with oceans and rain' Scientists have declared a planet located 20 light years outside the solar system as officially habitable. http://www.metro.co.uk/news/863512-earth-like-planet-gliese-581d-discovered-with-oceans-clouds-and-rain Exoplanet near Gliese 581 star 'could host life' http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13423085