“The scariest thing to me are the unknowns. So much about the Jupiter environment we will have to withstand is unknown. Nothing is certain about what’s going to happen.”
– Planetary Scientist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
“Juno is only about one third the way through its primary mission, and already we are seeing the beginnings of a new Jupiter. These astonishing science results are yet another example of Jupiter’s curve balls, and a testimony to the value of exploring the unknown from a new perspective with next-generation instruments. Juno’s unique orbit and evolutionary high-precision radio science and infrared technologies enabled these paradigm-shifting discoveries.”
– Scott Bolton, Ph.D., Juno Principal Investigator, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX
March 17, 2018 Pasadena, California – In less than four months, NASA/JPL’s Juno spacecraft will try the closest approach of any Earth machine so far with the goal to penetrate the giant planet’s radiation belts. Scientists are now trying to keep up with Juno’s data stream as it approaches the strongest gravity and magnetic fields in our solar system. July 4th, 2018, will be a big unknown. Will Juno be able to enter orbit around the biggest gas planet in our solar system without being destroyed after seven and a half years to get there (August 5, 2011-July 4, 2018)? Scientists in charge of this unique effort are actually afraid of what could happen when Juno tries to get to 3,000 miles from Jupiter’s cloudtops.Click for report.
“This video, GO FAST, was captured by a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet using the Raytheon AN/ASQ- 228 Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking Infrared (ATFLIR) Pod. This sensor has two imaging modes – mid-wave infrared and visual. It has high resolution and can locate and designate targets at distances exceeding 40 nm. The video imagery represents the image displayed in the cockpit to the pilot and Weapon Systems Operators (WSO). “
“The radiation environment is worsening more rapidly than previously estimated. Over the last decade, the solar wind has exhibited low densities and magnetic field strengths, representing anomalous states that have never been observed during the Space Age.”
– Nathan Schwadron, Ph.D., Physicist, Univ. of New Hampshire
March 8, 2018 Durham, New Hampshire – In mid-February 2018, solar activity was as low as 2007 levels, which was one year before that solar minimum began. That’s why solar physicists now project that the Solar Cycle 24 minimum leading up to Solar Cycle 25 will begin a year from now in the spring of 2019. Some solar physicists have even placed bets about whether low energy Solar Cycle 24 will keep extending into Solar Cycles 25 to 26 ending up in a Maunder Minimum of 1645 to 1715, when our Sun was blank without sunspots most of the time and coincided with a Little Ice Age.Click for report.
“It’s likely that Proxima b was blasted by high energy radiation during this flare. Over the billions of years since Proxima b formed, flares like this one could have evaporated any atmosphere or ocean and sterilized the surface, suggesting that habitability may involve more than just being the right distance from the host star to have liquid water.”
– Meredith MacGregor, Ph.D., Astronomer, Carnegie Institution, Washington, D. C.
March 6, 2018 Albuquerque, New Mexico – A year ago on March 24, 2017, one of Earth’s nearest stars beyond our own sun — Proxima Centauri — unleashed a solar flare that grew in brightness by 1,000 times in ten seconds compared to the normal Proxima Centauri sun. The enormous hot flare lasted for approximately one minute. All that heat and light must have scorched nearby exoplanet Proxima b, a planet 30% more massive than Earth, which orbits near Proxima Centauri.Click for report.
“You can think of the universe growing just like a child growing, and you can think of the cosmic microwave background as a snapshot of what the child looked like at that time. …Now, it’s the present day, the child is full grown, this is our present universe. In this case, it’s something faster (9% faster expansion) and that is becoming quite significant.”
– Nobel Laureate Adam Riess, Ph.D., a co-discoverer of dark energy
How fast the universe expands over time is reflected in a number known as the Hubble constant. The European Space Agency’s Planck spacecraft determined the expansion rate of the early universe by studying the cosmic background radiation, or heat, left after the “big bang” 13.8 billion years ago.
ESA: “Predictions based on the Planck data, taking into account the observed effects of dark energy, resulted in a Hubble constant of 67 kilometers per second per megaparsec. Put another way, all other things being equal, two galaxies 3.3 million light years apart — one megaparsec — should be moving away from each other at 67 kilometers per second due to the presumably constant expansion of space. The Planck data indicated a maximum upper limit of 69 kilometers per second per megaparsec.”
But Nobel Laureate Adam Riess, Ph.D., and Stefano Casertano, Ph.D., both with the Space Telescope Science Institute and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, led a team of researchers who used Hubble since 2012 to refine galactic distance measurements to more accurately calculate the Hubble constant. The scientists came up with a value of 73 kilometers per second per megaparsec, a discrepancy of about 9 percent.
“We’re just as excited as people were when they first decoded the human genome.”
– Elly Tanaka, Ph.D., Sr. Scientist, Research Institute of Molecular Pathology, Vienna, Austria
February 6, 2018 Albuquerque, New Mexico – Like a miracle creature, the axolotl amphibian salamander from Mexico is famous for “walking” on its cute arms and legs and being able to regrow those appendages if they get cut off, including bones, muscles and nerves. If the axolotl is wounded, it can heal without a scar. This amazing creature can even regenerate its own damaged internal organs. And if something crushes its spinal cord, the axolotl can restore its spinal cord to full function.Click for report.
February 2, 2018 Albuquerque, New Mexico – The South Pole on our moon contains areas that never have darkness in lunar southern summers. For example, there is a hill in Shackleton crater that gets sunshine non-stop, “the most illuminated place on the moon,” by some estimates. That means permanent solar energy and those all-sun places are logical sites for moon bases. Who gets there and builds first is the question. China has plans to build a base in a year or two. But exploring the South Pole first could be India’s claim to fame.Click for report.
“This blew our minds because no one had ever heard of anything like this in a vertebrate. … I think we’re going to look at the greatest drop in species diversity ever seen since man has been around.”
– Biologist David Owens, Ph.D. Emeritus, College of Charleston, SC
January 26, 2018 – Charleston, South Carolina – For centuries in ancient China, Indonesia, Bali, Australia, Hawaii and the Cayman Islands, the big and beautiful green sea turtles have been eaten as a delicacy and their skin tanned for handbags. All the hunting, poaching and egg harvesting have greatly reduced the turtle populations. And now another threat to their survival is coming in a bizarre way. Climate change is turning 99% of baby sea turtles into females. That means fewer and fewer males to fertilize females, so by the end of this century warming century, the green sea turtles could be facing extinction.Click for report.
— “The North Korean bomb size now is estimated to be 150 kilotons. That’s ten times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb that the United States dropped on Japan.”
– Scott Portzline, Three Mile Island Alert,
Security Committee Chairman, Harrisburg, PA
— “The magnitude of the effect of an EMP attack on the United States, or any similar advanced country, will remain unknown until one actually happens. Unless the device is very small or detonated at an insufficiently high altitude, it is likely that it would knock out nearly the entire electrical power grid of the United States.”
– Jerry Emanuelson, B. S. E. E., Intro to Nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse
January 26, 2018 – Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – On Saturday morning January 13, 2018, at 8:07 AM in Hawaii, cell phones blared a terrifying alert:
Then across TV and radio networks came another emergency alert: “If you are outdoors, seek immediate shelter in a building. Remain indoors well away from windows. If you are driving, pull safely to the side of the road and seek shelter.”
During the next 38 minutes, parents even tried to put young children down storm drains in the street.Click for report.