The question of who owns the Moon has always been an interesting topic. Fortunately we have a treaty system to say that no one can own the Moon – but before this there were some very interesting and somewhat crazy claimants.
Riding on Elon Musk’s muscle power earthlings are preparing to invade the Moon again. There they will find that some of its craters have been renamed to honour the Apollo 8 mission, the first to orbit our natural satellite 50 years ago. Venus is hailed by the Parker Solar probe that swings by it, Jupiter’s Moon Europa has 15 meters ice spikes on the surface and Saturn’s rings are not just water nor all the lost airline luggage. Mars has to resign to the idea that earthlings have figured out how to grow plants on it. Not even perchlorates can stop them. And last but not least, New Horizons is unstoppable going towards Ultima Thule.
Last month, the New Zealand Government – The New Zealand Space Agency together with the US Embassy have announced four scholarships at NASA Ames, the same place I have been in 2014. There were media outlets in New Zealand that publicised this as an astronaut training opportunity, but this internship is no astronaut training school although it might lead to becoming one. This, and the knowledge that you don’t need to be an astronaut to work in the space industry, prompted me to want to share from my experience at NASA and give an overview of what to realistically expect from these internships.
First of all, Earth has a lot of water. It has 1,260,000,000,000,000,000,000 l of water. Some of this is in the oceans, some in the
This week, the European Space Agency announced that radar data collected by ESA’s Mars Express point to a pond of liquid water buried under layers of ice and dust in the south polar region of Mars. There is a long way between finding liquid brine pools on Mars and finding life. However, there might be a similar place on Earth, the Blood Falls in Antarctica that originate from a hypersaline brine groundwater environment that supports an anaerobic microbial ecosystem sustained by chemical energy. Professor Ian Hawes from Waikato University explains the importance of the discovery from Mars.
Ever wanted to work for NASA? Or learn about astrobiology from New Zealand? Join us to find out what’s an astrobiologist, why should one visit New Zealand, how the hot springs here in Rotorua are putting it on the astrobiology map, what are NASA plans for sending people on Mars and what you need to do to work there at NASA, jobs of the future, Twizel and artificial intelligence.
Recently published research has demonstrated that the expansion of the universe and black holes may be linked.
Stardate South Island was held 17-19 Feb 2023 at Staveley, near Christchurch. It was a fantastic weekend and you can read all about it here.
Venus doesn’t capture a lot of press time as it’s often overshadowed by the more hospitable Mars and the more photogenic planets of Saturn and Jupiter. It’s not all quiet around Venus, as JAXA has Akatsuki orbiting Earth’s twin and sending back some great images and building our understanding of Venus.
We got AI to describe Einstein’s theory of general relativity, and the results are pretty good. We also got some AI images created.