It’s known as the Wow! signal. It was discovered during a SETI project—i.e., they were trying to find intelligent aliens. There have been a bunch of debates as to what the hell the Wow! signal actually is, but no real consensus.
There is a non-zero probability that the Wow! signal came from an extraterrestrial intelligence; however, given the strength of the signal and how far it must have traveled, whatever civilization sent it would have to be way, way more advanced than we are. Any messages we could send with the most powerful radio transmitters we have would degrade into static long before they would get to where the Wow! signal may have originated.
Hubble telescope spots blue planet where it rains glass
BBC News: The world, known as HD189733b, has a deep azure hue - probably the result of silicate (glass) rain in the atmosphere, which scatters blue light.
The temperature of the planet’s atmosphere is a scorching 1,000C, and it rains glass, sideways, in howling 7,000km-per-hour winds.
Its atmosphere has been found to be dramatically changeable and exotic, with hazes and violent bursts of evaporation.
Details of the discovery, made with the Hubble Space Telescope, are to appear in Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Photo: HD189733b, artist’s impression (NASA/ESA/M Kornmesser)
The Black Marble
NASA has released a jaw-dropping new image collection of the Earth at night, illuminated by constellations of electric humans. These images were collected in 22 days and 312 orbits by the Suomi NPP Earth observing satellite, then stitched together into a continuous, high-resolution image of the planet at night.
Take a look at the high-res zoom of the continental U.S. I’m sort of stunned at how orderly the pattern of dots becomes in the Midwest, a tiny town at the crossroads of every county highway from Chicago to Cheyenne.
NASA has the full details and some wonderful videos on their site. Download your next desktop wallpaper and check out the rest of the world here.
I can’t stop staring!!!
Side Note: The two images shown above are mere crop outs from ESA’s recent hit: The 9 Billion Pixel Image of 84 Million Stars. These two focus on the bright center of the image for the purpose of highlighting what a peak at 84,000,000 stars looks like.
Astronomers at the European Southern Observatory’s Paranal Observatory in Chile have released a breathtaking new photograph showing the central area of our Milky Way galaxy. The photograph shows a whopping 84 million stars in an image measuring 108500×81500, which contains nearly 9 billion pixels.
It’s actually a composite of thousands of individual photographs shot with the observatory’s VISTA survey telescope, the same camera that captured the amazing 55-hour exposure. Three different infrared filters were used to capture the different details present in the final image.
The VISTA’s camera is sensitive to infrared light, which allows its vision to pierce through much of the space dust that blocks the view of ordinary optical telescope/camera systems.
RBSP Night Launch
Credit & Copyright: Mike Killian